] - What Mathijs came up with a few years ago:
Been listening to all 146 outtakes of Citadel, and there’s some hints…
From Request and Requires:
Take 5 is the first one with mellotron and the ping sound. Take 5e has Richards adjusting the volume of the guitar, and an adjustment to the ping sound seems to be made. Take 6 has the ping and hard struck E chord so on time, the sound does seem to be induced by the guitar signal. On the intro of take 16 it seems like the ping sound is responding to the drums, not to the guitar. Just before take 22 Johns ask Keith something I can’t understand, the response is ‘yeah’ and he opens the volume of the guitar, which seems to induce the ping sound.
From Satanic Box:
In take 20 (actually 19), at 1.05 Keith makes a timing mistake on the guitar. The ping makes the exact same mistake. At 1.33 (take 20) the same double mistake happens and the ping is gone for some time. At 2.39 Glyn Johns ask ‘Keith, are you still doing that ping?’. Keith: ‘yeah’, then strikes guitar lightly and the ping sound is there again.
So, Keith does the ping for sure. Another indication is the timing of the ping: it coincides so exact with the timing of Richards, including mistakes, that it seems impossible for another musician to induce the ping sound. Then, the ping mostly coincides with Richards’ downstrokes on the 2 and 4, but whenever a more difficult part is played by Richards, the ping starts to miss the beat several times. At the start of take 25, Charlie says to Keith ‘you gotta start the kick now’ and keith answers ‘yeah’ with a ping.
Concerning the sound of the ping: it sounds like a dampened glockenspiel, but does a Glockenspiel have such high E? And, the sound of the ping is exactly the same on all takes –same length, same attack, same presence. Only the volume changes. This might rule out a manually struck instrument. Then, on Keith’s guitar there’s tremolo and slap delay. The ping has the same slap delay. Most likely the tremolo is from the Conqueror, the slap delay from the studio board. The slap delay from guitar and ping is exactly the same in timing (about 25 ms). So either the ping is picked up through the same microphone as the guitar, or both the guitar and ping sound are routed through the same delay machine.
My conclusion so far is that the ping sound is induced by the guitar signal. It is not played ‘manually’ by anyone, there’s evidence that the ping comes from Keith. I have no idea what the effect is that is being used –there where sound generators already, there where tape machines like the mellotron. How it works is unclear to me, but it might be controlled by the volume of the guitar, added with some basic settings like on a tape delay at the time: in fourths or eights, or in milliseconds.
But I am quite positive that it is not any real instrument like a glockenspiel played by anyone other than Richards.
Aha! The conclusion appears to be quite right -a signal induced by the Richards and the guitar, and not a real instrument but a gizzmo. I do not know exactly where this info comes from, it apperently is missing from Stones gear:
For the ‘Citadel’ sessions, Keith used primarily his Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty, his blue Fender Telecaster, and occasionally his Gibson ‘Non-Reverse’ Firebird VII. The ‘pinging’ or ‘ringing’ sound heard on the tremolo guitar track was made by a metallic, tubular hand-held device. The device could best be described as looking like a thinner version of a Danelectro lipstick pickup, approximately 2 & 3/4 to 3 inches in width with a thin metal loop attached, a standard male guitar cord intact on one end, the cord roughly 5 feet in length (which plugged into the guitar), while the other end was female where a standard guitar cord would plug into it to an amp. The loop went over the middle or ring finger and held the metal tube firmly along the upper palm of the strumming hand, synonymous to the principle of the novelty ‘handshake buzzer’ (See Diagram) The high-pitched ‘ping’ or ‘ring’ sound was produced when the device was brought close to the pickup and touched across the strings after a chord was struck ringing loudest when flush across all strings which was sometimes difficult to achieve when using a pick as your hand had to open almost flat to a degree.