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jim demetri
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#1
3rd December 2005
Old 3rd December 2005
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old sound

ok guys yes i work with digital so does every body nowdays . and i thought i had a prity decent sound . but today i thought i would plug in my old dusty lin record deck though my desk and have a liscen to so old lps. so i put on an old original franksinatra lp not processed or remasterd . i nearly started crying . dammm sorry guys digital dont work it just doesent its s..t . i just can discribe the effect it had on me . i have forgoten THAT sound . ok it was hissy but who cares. it really breaks my hart that people dont enjoy that smooth rich sound anymore .
#2
3rd December 2005
Old 3rd December 2005
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I agree, and we have been working VERY hard to achieve some of those sounds....

Here's some tips:

- look at the spectragraph, and see the EQ curves (especially the top end rolloff)
- look at the goniometer and see how spread out these older recordings are. Mic technique/placement was critical.
- listen for arrangement...reveals a LOT about how they got the sound.

I have really been playing the heck out of some Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bobby Hackett, etc...just to train my brain to think in those terms....
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3rd December 2005
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I remember years ago comparing the CD versus the vinyl of "Women and Children First" for my roomate at the time who was an ironworker with really bad tinnitus. He said, "WTF? Even I can tell that the CD sounds like shit!"

Funny and sad at the same time.
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3rd December 2005
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Analogue records the event, in the room as it happens. You can fake the shit out of the tracks you get from that and move them around the phase field and E.Q. them, etc..., but you essentially have that thing recorded.


Digital creates a mathematical simulacrum of that event.

What did you expect?
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3rd December 2005
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oy vey here we go again
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3rd December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlandmorgan
I agree, and we have been working VERY hard to achieve some of those sounds....

Here's some tips:

- look at the spectragraph, and see the EQ curves (especially the top end rolloff)
- look at the goniometer and see how spread out these older recordings are. Mic technique/placement was critical.
- listen for arrangement...reveals a LOT about how they got the sound.

I have really been playing the heck out of some Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bobby Hackett, etc...just to train my brain to think in those terms....
These are good points. Also look at the equipment they used. If you're trying to recreate the same thing with a Rode mic and Mackie board, you're gonna be way off. Don't forget that in those days a lot of gear was made with very high quality in mind, not hitting a "prosumer" pricepoint.

Pay close attention to the third point listed above, along with the talent...
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4th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drundall
Pay close attention to the third point listed above, along with the talent...
arrangement is the the sound. it´s everything.
#8
4th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlandmorgan
I agree, and we have been working VERY hard to achieve some of those sounds....

Here's some tips:
Try putting a really great vocalist in front of a really great mic in the same room as some really great musicians with some really great mics playing a really great arrangement.
Then try to put yourself in the place of one of those great musicians. Think what it would be like if you were the bass player and Frank or Nat or whomever just gave the vocal performance of their lives and you blew the first note of the chorus.
I was with Phil Ramone one day and he told me about the first time he recorded Sinatra. It was a full orchestra session and Frank says: I have to hit a low C in this song and I can't sing it very loud today. Make sure I hear it on the play back and walked away.
A lot of things went into those recordings and its not a analog or digital debate.


Of course, someone will.




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jim demetri
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#9
4th December 2005
Old 4th December 2005
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yep i totaly agree with the orchestration and araingement could make a recording sound more lush but it still comes down to the analog medium. let me put it this way what would you rather eat ? reall cheese that was made of real milk with a master maker or processed god knows what is happening supermarket rubber. it could be a silly analogy but just think about it . what ever happends in the future you cant get away from the fact that everything is processed. i dont think even at a billion khz and an atomic clock rate you can ever get away from that fact . we all work with digital because we have to and to be honest young people have been educated in hearing that perticular sound . its a shame thats all im saying . at the moment its a sociaty of quick foods quick money , quickmusic , and lowgrade sound . i did anouther experiment i played a ela fitzgerald cd that was obviously remasterd and a westlife cd for comparison . my partner nearly fell of the his seat at the diference . ela sounded so full and rich even on cd , while the westlife sounded as if it was coming out of an eye of a needle .
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4th December 2005
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Some months ago Lindell posted an mp3 of a girl singing some type of jazzy tune. Mp3´s sound great is what i thought for the first time. They are DEFINETLY not the cause of the problem.
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#11
4th December 2005
Old 4th December 2005
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I think old methods are a lot more of the story than old gear.

I asked Reggie Young about when he first ran into people using headphones. He said at American Sound in Memphis they ONLY used headphones when they were cutting with a live horn section. At Motown only the drummers and organ, which was located in an iso room, used cans. Virtually NOBODY used headphones before 1965. Overdubs were done to the playback speakers out in the studio.

After speaking on a panel with Jim Williamson, who recorded countless infamous hits of the '50s and '60s, I tried recording a live vocal in the room with the mike placed so it would double as an overhead. The sound was absolutely amazing.
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#12
4th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo
A lot of things went into those recordings and its not a analog or digital debate.


Of course, someone will.



I do agree, however even LP's of records made this year sound a great deal better than the CD's do. Somehow, it seems we're losing something in the CD, which actually makes me more optimistic than if LP's of current recordings sounded the same as the CD's.

But sure, there's no question that much of the art has been lost. But even by the 1970's, a great deal had been lost, and there was not much digital recording yet.
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4th December 2005
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Quote:
I tried recording a live vocal in the room with the mike placed so it would double as an overhead.
Hi Bob. Can you expound on this please?
#14
4th December 2005
Old 4th December 2005
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Don't forget the Sinatra, Nat King Cole, etc. sessions were recorded in GREAT SOUNDING ROOMS, sections mic'd properly, with terrific arrangements, and all the musicians playing at the top of their form.

Today we have musicians playing their parts piecmeal one at a time in small project studios, with lots of DIs, and inexpensive mics placed way too closely to the source (because the room doesn't sound good) and run through the analog sections of digital gear that weren't designed properly to begin with.

Gee, where did it go wrong? I think it began when the shortsighted major labels started slashing recording budgets that ultimately forced the emergence of the "project studio" and the closure of the "real" rooms.
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4th December 2005
Old 4th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim demetri
yep i totaly agree with the orchestration and araingement could make a recording sound more lush but it still comes down to the analog medium.
With all due respect...nonsense. Different media have different qualities, some positive, some not. Whatever happens to be the medium of choice, that technology will tend to improve over time. One method of reproduction is not "more real" than any other. It's all phony baloney.

If one is alarmed at the current state of recorded music in comparison to that of earlier eras, one will learn ten million times more by studying their use of arrangement and appreciating the level of training and musicianship than in putting a microscope on the recording technique involved. If you like the sound of that music and nothing else, great, you're on the right track, but if you like the experience of the music, you're chasing illusions with endless talk about tubes and tape.

Heresy for a slut. Ya think? I dunno. I'm in a crabby mood.


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4th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek
Some months ago Lindell posted an mp3 of a girl singing some type of jazzy tune. Mp3´s sound great is what i thought for the first time. They are DEFINETLY not the cause of the problem.
Oy vey, here we go again.
#17
23rd July 2006
Old 23rd July 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
I tried recording a live vocal in the room with the mike placed so it would double as an overhead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokushoka
Hi Bob. Can you expound on this please?

Bump.

Has Bob been around here lately?..
#18
23rd July 2006
Old 23rd July 2006
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British!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek
oy vey here we go again
What! With a name like that. If I worked for immigration under today’s circumstances I would be having a good look at your passport young man. Come to think of it "Eeeh though but lad" is a great deal more convincing than "oy veh". Even my cousin in Florida (name Justin Thomas "look you boyo isnt it") uses different pre's as I do, as indicated by my avatar and some pre's impart that old sound better than others.
Regards James, Lord Vere of Heddingham and Mark Fairfax-Harwood.
tutt
#19
23rd July 2006
Old 23rd July 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33
Bump.

Has Bob been around here lately?..
B-Bump.
#20
23rd July 2006
Old 23rd July 2006
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old, dinosaur consoles and 2 or 3 track ampex decks certainly helped make those records for a good portion of time. they were in fact "mastered" but mastering was a whole different thing back then.
#21
24th July 2006
Old 24th July 2006
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I'm around!

The recording I was speaking of was a bit frustrating because we had to overdub the vocal on one tune and the drum sound really suffered from the lack of leakage. A friend recently played me a wonderful jazz recording he had done. I asked if it was mixed to tape. Turns out it was recorded to Pro Tools and mixed in the box! It was just recorded in a very live living room with no headphones on anybody. The musicians had all risen to the occasion of not being able to punch in mistakes and the results were pure magic.
#22
24th July 2006
Old 24th July 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
I'm around!

The recording I was speaking of was a bit frustrating because we had to overdub the vocal on one tune and the drum sound really suffered from the lack of leakage. A friend recently played me a wonderful jazz recording he had done. I asked if it was mixed to tape. Turns out it was recorded to Pro Tools and mixed in the box! It was just recorded in a very live living room with no headphones on anybody. The musicians had all risen to the occasion of not being able to punch in mistakes and the results were pure magic.
But what about the vocal mic that doubled as an OH? You mean the singer was near the kit and you picked up the vocal and the drums on one mic? ???
#23
25th July 2006
Old 25th July 2006
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You got it!
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25th July 2006
Old 25th July 2006
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I'm on a mission to get more in tune with that older 60's sound. Room sound and arrangement are key IMO. Also, distortion is your friend. I just got done recording some vocals, where I really cranked the gain on a Quad Eight preamp, into a Langevin DVC limiter and smashed the crap out of it. It wasn't a fuzzed out distorted, but more bandlimited, and just cut through the mix like a knife. Ended up sounding perfect for this viby 70's psychadelic band I'm working with.
#25
25th July 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
I do agree, however even LP's of records made this year sound a great deal better than the CD's do. Somehow, it seems we're losing something in the CD, which actually makes me more optimistic than if LP's of current recordings sounded the same as the CD's.

But sure, there's no question that much of the art has been lost. But even by the 1970's, a great deal had been lost, and there was not much digital recording yet.
Its not what we are losing on CD's its what we are not losing. Vinyl rolls off frequencies that CD's don't.

Complete isolation, track by track, recording techniques are the other culprit.
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26th July 2006
Old 26th July 2006
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I think Norah Jones' first album had an 'old' sound to it. I really like the sound of that record. Does anyone know what she recorded with as far as (mic,console,tape/pro tools)??
#27
26th July 2006
Old 26th July 2006
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What did Norah Jones first record and Frank Sinatra have in common that made them sound so good? Great songs.
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