What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

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What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby blacktiger » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:32 am

I wanted to put "overdrives/fuzzes/distortion pedals", but it wouldn't fit. Anywho, the gear guide claims that they relied on amp distortion up to '89 which, to my ears, is bullshit. Rats? Which version? I'm also curious about the Goo era. Spill, please.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby Domm » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:15 am

i saw them during daydream nation tour, never got a bead on lee's set up but thurston had a rat and a muff in his chain.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby 71Smallbox » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:30 am

On Sister, they were using loud ass amps. No dirt or fuzz, at least according to their website gearology thread.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby stevejamsecono » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:40 pm

Rats and muffs will probably get you there. They didn't seem to get super gear-heady about pedals until later.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby Domm » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:03 pm

i still record without pedals alot! but what u can pull off in the studio vs live is huge!
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby Jaguar018 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:10 pm

If memory serves (and it might not) I don't recall hearing any effects until the Goo era or so.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby Domm » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:08 pm

when i saw them on the daydream tour they played at floor level(no stage) was on the thurston side the whole show. definitly had dirt on the floor
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby blacktiger » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:09 am

Jaguar018 wrote:If memory serves (and it might not) I don't recall hearing any effects until the Goo era or so.


Well, they definitely made liberal use of wah before that.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby UlricvonCatalyst » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:17 am

blacktiger wrote:
Jaguar018 wrote:If memory serves (and it might not) I don't recall hearing any effects until the Goo era or so.


Well, they definitely made liberal use of wah before that.

And echo on Kotton Krown at least....
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby UlricvonCatalyst » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:18 am

Also I think Lee might have had a phaser in his armoury.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby Johnnyseven » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:23 pm

blacktiger wrote:I wanted to put "overdrives/fuzzes/distortion pedals", but it wouldn't fit. Anywho, the gear guide claims that they relied on amp distortion up to '89 which, to my ears, is bullshit. Rats? Which version? I'm also curious about the Goo era. Spill, please.


I would believe the gear guide, that guy seems to have contact with the band and i'm sure he would have confirmed this before stating it on the site. If they did use Rats, bearing in mind the record was made in the mid 80's, I guess it would have been the regular vintage style LM308 Rat.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby Johnnyseven » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:29 pm

Domm wrote:when i saw them on the daydream tour they played at floor level(no stage) was on the thurston side the whole show. definitly had dirt on the floor


Thurston has used a Green Russian Muff, Turbo Rat and Dunlop Hendrix Octave Fuzz for years, however he didn't in the Sister era - the Turbo Rat wasn't even introduced until 1989 and Sister was made in 1987. Although he has started using more 'boutique' pedals in the last couple of years.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby ejstans » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Live, judging from a video of a concert from the Sister tour in '87, Lee was using at least four or five pedals, including a wah, and Thurston had at least one pedal (probably more...)
However, although the video clearly shows them manipulating pedals, it is not very sympathetic to determing exactly what those might be, because of angles, view being blocked by the audience, and the video quality.
One of Lee's pedals visible between audience head and monitor:
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Wah barely visible:
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby mynameisjonas » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:01 pm

I remember reading somewhere that for many years the only pedals they used was volume pedals. Maybe that was earlier though.
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Re: What dirt pedals were Sonic Youth using on Sister?

Postby UlricvonCatalyst » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:49 pm

I remember the SY documentary 'Put The Blood In The Music' being shown on The South Bank Show in the UK around the time of Sister (or possibly between Sister and Daydream Nation) and as an aficianado I was obviously interested in any clues as to how they got their sounds. I distinctly remember seeing a Boss pedal in (I think) Lee's chain at one point but, other than Thurston brandishing a Cry Baby for comic effect at one point, I don't remember there being any more clues to be seen in it.

I wish I'd been paying more attention when I saw them live just after Sister came out, cos my vantage point was on a balcony above the stage.
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