What is the noise on Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City"?

C.R. Rivera

Popper @ his favorite toy.
On the album version of the song, in the first milliseconds of the song loud and clear, there is a tinkling sound, almost like a crystal glass being struck. I know he starts off with a Fender Rhodes and then kicks in with the Moog bass. He doesn't use TONTO until later in the song. Does it sound like he was triggering something?

 

re-peat

Senior Member
On the album, nearly all the songs segue straight into one another without any silence in between — except, of course, where the LP switches from Side A to Side B — which on several tracks results in the fact that you can hear the final second of the previous track during the first second of the current track.

In the case of “Living For The City”, the previous track is “Visions” which uses plenty of acoustic guitars, and it’s one those guitars that spills over into “Living for The City”.

Here is the transition between those songs as heard on the album: Visions > Living For The City

_
 
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C.R. Rivera

C.R. Rivera

Popper @ his favorite toy.
Thank you very much re-peat. It is just like the songs on the Moody Blues classic 7 where they record songs and then segue them in.

Cheers

CRR
 
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bill5

Active Member
Yep, Jeff Beck did the same on his Blow by Blow album. It was briefly a thing at the time as the whole album concept and listening to entire albums all at once was in full swing vs just listening to a hit song - interesting idea, but ultimately IMO inadvisable and unnecessary.
 

creativeforge

Barefoot Heart Music
On the album version of the song, in the first milliseconds of the song loud and clear, there is a tinkling sound, almost like a crystal glass being struck. I know he starts off with a Fender Rhodes and then kicks in with the Moog bass. He doesn't use TONTO until later in the song. Does it sound like he was triggering something?

As re-peat rightly noted, you are hearing acoustic guitar notes that have been ending the previous song, filling the space between the songs. On re-peat's segment, you can hear it at the 23 seconds mark. It's so short on the YouTube video that it makes it hard to tell what it is. But re-peat's segment highlights that passage quite clearly, building up to the next song.

You probably already know that, but eh. :)
 
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creativeforge

Barefoot Heart Music
Yep, Jeff Beck did the same on his Blow by Blow album. It was briefly a thing at the time as the whole album concept and listening to entire albums all at once was in full swing vs just listening to a hit song - interesting idea, but ultimately IMO inadvisable and unnecessary.
As for "ultimately IMO inadvisable and unnecessary," I wouldn't say that, but you can of course. It's not for every project, but it has its purpose. IMHO.

Here's a quote I found from Stevie (who plays almost every instruments on the album, and wrote every song himself):

"Innervisions gives my own perspective on what's happening in my world, to my people, to all people," he told The New York Times in 1973. "That's why it took me seven months to get together — I did all the lyrics — and that's why I think it is my most personal album. I don't care if it sells only five copies: This is the way I feel."

In that context, and with the results, who can argue about transitions between songs? This album is a transition for himself, a product of his personal awakening, the evolution of a consciousness about the darkness and the light in his generation, and the power of putting it into words that reveal and summon, and reach deep and far, in a (still) racially polarized America of the 70s.

The instrumental flow between songs (I extrapolate) could be saying: "Everything is connected, like this whole album of different songs are all connected it's one message unifying them all, and so the songs spill into the next, from one moment to the next, from one event to the next, without ever stopping."

I could be wrong, but I like that idea. It's not a mistake, but intentional.
 
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C.R. Rivera

C.R. Rivera

Popper @ his favorite toy.
As an "aside", I teach history, both early and modern US history. I use Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues", 1920, to describe the "Red Summer" in NYC, where racial violence was very common, hence Red Summer. I am using SW "Living for the City", 1974, which describes a country feller getting to NYC......the similarities are so scary, and looking further at the lyrics, they clearly have a revelance to today, and not only racially, but environmentally.
 
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josejherring

Senior Member
Just to concur, it just sounds like a bit of a guitar with a delay and chorus on it fading out. Don't know the album so I'm glad to learn the history.

Stevie Wonder is so fantastic. This past year I've been studying up on him. Trying to learn how I could do an urban instrumental album without it sounding cheesy.

Anybody have an suggestions on good Clav vst's like it this song:

 

kgdrum

Senior Member
Don't know the album so I'm glad to learn the history.

Stevie Wonder is so fantastic. This past year I've been studying up on him.
@ Jose,
if you are studying Stevie Innervisions is imho is his best album for me it's on the level of the Beatles Sgt. Peppers.My other favorite Stevie album is the 1st record(it was a double) of Songs in the Key of Life, weirdly for me disc 1 is a masterpiece and I always seem to skip disc 2.

If you want to explore urban music I highly recommend Parliament/Funkadelic anything George Clinton related is amazing.
Please don't overlook the genius of Prince, besides his recordings there are numerous live concerts on YouTube that are mind blowing!

this is an amazing Stevie/Prince tribute to Chaka Kahn with Yolanda Adams and India Arie:


A great Prince concert performance (Musicology tour)from Detroit



Meshell Ndegocello is another great talent you might want to check out as well:

 
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chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Just to concur, it just sounds like a bit of a guitar with a delay and chorus on it fading out. Don't know the album so I'm glad to learn the history.

Stevie Wonder is so fantastic. This past year I've been studying up on him. Trying to learn how I could do an urban instrumental album without it sounding cheesy.

Anybody have an suggestions on good Clav vst's like it this song:

I use a trio of VST’s to get those tones.
PTeq is tone wise very authentic from full on to mute. Doesnt bite enough so depending on whats needed I layer ZebraHZ or Omni/Keyscape.
I do a few Stevie Tunes in a Dance Tribute group on my Physis K4.
I have to cover Horns and Clav parts. Not one part at a time either, but Stevie was so rhythmic once you sync its easier copping his groove.

My only beef was on Superstition. Theres more than one track of Clav to choose from.
Until you really dissect the parts you wouldn't really notice because he is nailing the vocals with such perfect embellishment.

If you have PTeq, Omni/Key or ZebraHZ, I’d be happy to send you presets and CC#’s for multi mods in real time.

Then you can woodshed easier because you’ll have the right axe from the get go.
 

josejherring

Senior Member
I use a trio of VST’s to get those tones.
PTeq is tone wise very authentic from full on to mute. Doesnt bite enough so depending on whats needed I layer ZebraHZ or Omni/Keyscape.
I do a few Stevie Tunes in a Dance Tribute group on my Physis K4.
I have to cover Horns and Clav parts. Not one part at a time either, but Stevie was so rhythmic once you sync its easier copping his groove.

My only beef was on Superstition. Theres more than one track of Clav to choose from.
Until you really dissect the parts you wouldn't really notice because he is nailing the vocals with such perfect embellishment.

If you have PTeq, Omni/Key or ZebraHZ, I’d be happy to send you presets and CC#’s for multi mods in real time.

Then you can woodshed easier because you’ll have the right axe from the get go.
Thanks Man!

Yeah, I'm looking into the PTech not just for the Clav but also for the Electric pianos and other pianos. Looks like a great package.

I have Zebra2 but not ZebraHZ. And, the Keyscape I don't have.

if the presets work in Zebra I'd like to check them out. If not, when I get ZebraHZ I will check them out then.

Thanks for the response. Sorry for the delay in getting back.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Ive got 2.6 as well as HZ.
Diva Filters get that Frankenstein Wah-Wah, not needed for Stevie.
Like most of my sounds I can't get the bite I need unless I layer them.
I get back home Monday and will pm you Zebra2 so you canblend with whatever else you have.
PTeq pretty much is great for acoustic and electro-mechanical.
200A is so tweakable.
Bobby Blue Bland, Supertramp, Creedence. Kills through my Strymons.
New Strymon Amp Mod pedal is as good as the Pricier Line 6 Helix Rack too.

PM you Monday