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MOTHER SOLO from Pink Floyd's The Wall

MOTHER - This is the David Gilmour solo from the Roger Water's song Mother, from Pink Floyd's The Wall album, one of my all time favorite Gilmour solos. David plays a beautiful sequence of notes that very melodically follow the chord progression, showcasing his incredible modulated and watery Big Muff tone. Below are my attempts at recreating this sound. A key to the tone is the modulation used. I do not have a Leslie style speaker cabinet so I have used a Boss chorus and an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress to replicate this sound, both also used by Gilmour.

EXAMINING THE MIX

STUDIO VERSION - Here is the original Gilmour solo from The Wall studio recording of Mother. You can hear a lot of reverb and processing in the mix. David used his famous Black Strat for The Wall studio recordings and in the original live concerts. It was a late '60s model strat with a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup. The distortion came from an Electro-Harmonix "Ram's Head" Big Muff. The tone is bright with more mid range than some of the other Big Muff solos from The Wall. The modulation you hear is likely a mix of the Big Muff signal recorded from two separate amps - an Alembic F-2B preamp powering a Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker cabinet (Leslie type speaker) for the modulation, and a Hiwatt DR103 head with WEM cabinet housing Fane Crescendo speakers for the unmodulated tone. David used the same setup for the Comfortably Numb solos, and also for the live performaces of The Wall in 1980 and 1981. David also had an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress flanger at this time, so the modulation may be a mix of the Mistress going to one amp and the unmodulated signal going to another amp.

Mother solo - studio recording

FILM VERSION - Here is the version from The Wall film soundtrack. This is the dry center channel from the 5.1 mix. Though on first listen it may sound like a different take, examine this and the studio recording closely and you will find this is the exact same solo track, but this version is dry with little or no reverb or delay added. I hear a slight artificial double tracking (ADT), which means the solo was copied and moved a few milliseconds out of sync with the original to make the sound fuller. I also hear some real double tracked guitar toward the end of the solo, which is another take of David playing the same part rather than an ADT copy. This is probably much closer to what the original recording sounded like before it was mixed and sweetened with reverb for the studio version. You can hear the tone and modulation very clearly here, which sounds like a blend of the Yamaha rotating speakers and the Electric Mistress.

Mother solo - center channel 5.1 mix

LIVE VERSION - Here is an example of David Gilmour's live Mother tone from on of Pink Floyd's original Wall shows in 1981, also featuring a Ram's Head Big Muff. David had his Hiwatt Head, Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker cabinets, an Electric Mistress, and a Boss CE-2 chorus for these shows. The modulation sound like a mix of the CE-2 and Electric mistress going to the Hiwatt, and the RA-200 rotating speakers. The swirling doppler effect of the RA-200 is very dominant.

Mother solo - Live at Earls Court 1981

GETTING THE TONE

I compare the Boss CE-2 chorus and the Deluxe Electric Mistress in my clips below. I also tested boosting the gain of the Big Muff with an old and a new Tube Driver pedal. The circuits are slightly different for each, and one handles brighter mids slightly better than the other. Overall, I think the CE-2 recreates the modulation I hear in the studio recording much better than the Mistress. The Mistress alone sounds closer to the live tone, but is missing the Yamaha rotating speaker effect.

Signal chain: Ram's Head Big Muff > BK Butler Tube Driver > Boss CE-2 Chorus or Deluxe Electric Mistress flanger > TC Electonic Nova delay. Played with a 2008 American Standard Strat, Seymour Duncan SSL-5 bridge pickup, into a '65 Fender Twin Reverb RI. The backing track is from Gilmourish.com

Mother solo with '73 Ram's Head Big Muff / BK Butler-Chandler Tube Driver / Boss CE-2 Chorus / Nova Delay
Solo with backing track

Same as above but without backing track

Mother solo with '73 Ram's Head Big Muff / BK Butler Tube Driver (brighter mids) / Boss CE-2 Chorus / Nova Delay
Solo with backing track

Same as above but without backing track

Mother solo with '73 Ram's Head Big Muff / BK Butler-Chandler Tube Driver / EH Deluxe Electric Mistress / Nova Delay
Solo with backing track

Same as above but without backing track

Mother solo with '73 Ram's Head Big Muff / BK Butler Tube Driver (brighter mids) / EH Deluxe Electric Mistress / Nova Delay
Solo with backing track

Same as above but without backing track