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Christina's headphone bleed in Beautifull
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lwr
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30th September 2004
Old 30th September 2004
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Christina's headphone bleed in Beautifull

Hi Dave,

im sure you mixed this one.

could you tell me about the headphone bleed in the vocal and how you went about doing whatever you did with it?

thanks
Romesh
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1st October 2004
Old 1st October 2004
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ONE OF MY FAVORITE IDEAS TO DATE

The song was about being beautiful and honest in EVERY way. That bleed is honest. It was one of the most honest vocal performances I had EVER heard. It was actually the scratch vocal. Christina still had the lyrics in her hand. She truly has THEGIFT. So I tried to make the mix (with Linda's guidance) as honest as I knew how. I studied "Imagine" by John Lennon and used that as a guide. To me the bleed at the end was HONEST. When I took it out, I missed it. It sounded too clean and contrived. Linda Perry (writer/producer is a real genious), and records her tracks kinda by feel, and has NO regard for traditional engineering techniques. That is what makes her so special. When I heard the bleed, I thought it would send a message to all the big time engineers (especially the older ones) that it's about the music and song, and not US. I REALLY love it, 'cause most engineers would have removed it, and taken some of the personality away. Damn I'm arrogant. Sorry, but you asked.
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1st October 2004
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Good for you Dave for standing out in a good way, and having the balls to do it. I must admit, when I first heard that tune I figured that the engineer was a dope and didn't notice it. What an ignorant thought that was... It became very clear the it was intentional.

The ending sounds great but hearing it go in and out with the vocals through the begining of the song is a bit weird if i'm listining critically. But man...what a take. Being a scrath track what kind of mic was in front of her for that? (hearing about the rest of the chain would be nice too)

Did you mix the entire album?

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1st October 2004
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Good for you Dave....I remember George Massenburg answering some criticism over a distorted vocal line on a Linda Ronstadt song. "Performance comes first..." That always stuck with me.
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1st October 2004
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I totally agree with your thoughts on her having a great gift and I had a feeling that was a scratch vocal "keeper", excellent job, sticking with it!
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1st October 2004
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vocal chain

I could be wrong, but I think it was an old tube 47 thru a 1073, with Fairchild 660 compressor. Remind me, and I will confirm this with Linda. She has an incredible assortment of vintage gear.
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1st October 2004
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Dave,
I hear people saying that the 1073 is a must have as far as pre is concerned, can you describe how much that makes a difference than say an Avalon 737, Manley Voxbox, or lesser pre's.
thanks in advance.
Scott
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1st October 2004
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Wow, that's quite a signal chain for a scratch vocal. I guess when your dealing with talent like that, you'd better be prepared at any time.
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1st October 2004
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I wasn't there for the Linda vocals but I did engineer and produce some other tracks for Christina on "Stripped". Her regular vocal chain is a 251 into a 1073 followed by an EAR 660. I recently used a Wunder Audio PEQ-1 in place of the 1073 and it was awesome on her. With someone like Christina there's no such thing as a "scratch", I always setup for what could be the "magic" take. On her debut record I used a Sony C-800G into a Brent Averill Neve 3405 followed by a DBX 165A.


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1st October 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Parsons
Wow, that's quite a signal chain for a scratch vocal. I guess when your dealing with talent like that, you'd better be prepared at any time.


When working with high profile clients there's no such thing as a scratch track..

Never delete anything....and always be recording with a proper signal chain..........I don't care if the client is farting in the mic....track it.......and don't delete it....
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1st October 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by robmix
.....followed by a DBX 165A.
wow.... wickid!
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2nd October 2004
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Hey RobMix

Is this Rob and Heather? If it is, you guys did one of my favorite songs on Stripped. But you knew that. Hope to see ya soon. Rob probably knows as much or more about Xtina's vocal as anyone, because they have been working with her from before the beginning. If this isn't you...never mind.

The other vocal chain mentioned is engineer Wasim Zriek. His is very talented also. He did all the Storch tracks.
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2nd October 2004
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It's me, my other half Heather is not quite as addicted to internet forums. Thank you for the kind words Dave. I'm still blown away at the mixes you did on that record - one of my benchmark records, along with just about everything else you've mixed.

Wassim and I talked quite a bit about Xtina's vocal chain with Ron Fair and in the end the chains mentioned above won out. I threw up the BLUE Bottle a couple times and while it sounded good it was a bit too forward and the look of the thing kind of bothered her. I still like the C-800G for extremely soft ballads but it can sound a bit dated - kind of "Mariah Carey 1995". I'm looking forward to trying out some of the 251 clones on her.


Rob
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2nd October 2004
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Thumbs up lilly

I remember moby saying something similar about the vocal on Why does My Heart Feel So Bad, it's an old sample but the same principle. He cleaned it up and the mood died. So he left it dirty.

Real character and emotion are not pristine, they mess a bit. It's whether a mixer can be brave enough to ask does this flaw detract or does it add to the whole?

I remember Orbit saying Madonna's mantra was 'Don't gild the lilly'.
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16th October 2004
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agree on 165A. i don't have very much gear to choose from, but for vocals i use brauner phantom c into UA 6176 (pre only) into 165A into rosetta.

during mixdown i might run the vocal thru 6176 compressor.

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17th October 2004
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i also want to get the 1073-type pre for vocals one day. i have heard many good opinions on great river MP-2NV. have you tried it?
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21st October 2004
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So this headphone bleed thingie....

at first I wasn't sure what to listen for.
I noticed this kinda strange shuffly sound in the background, not my taste but that could've been deliberate. Then I noticed the really short slapback kinda thing on the drums, but that might have been pre delays from a verb, again possibly a taste issue. At the end of a track of course it dawned to me. the real obvious drum box guide bleed...

my question is: did the bleed only bring that problem, or did it induce the slapback thingy on the drums as well, or something you decided to mask /w more slapback stuff from a verb.

the vocal also seems to have a bit of short echo to it, just a few ms....did the headphone bleed also cause that?

maybe my questions sound silly, but I don't mix this mega clean poppy kinda stuff so every effect suddenly becomes really obvious to me, if they are intentional effects then that's cool.
I'm just interested in learning exactly which artefacts in the track were introduced by the HP bleed.

thanks!
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30th October 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Parsons
Wow, that's quite a signal chain for a scratch vocal. I guess when your dealing with talent like that, you'd better be prepared at any time.
You shoudl be prepared with any talent, to keep the "scratch" take.
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11th November 2004
Old 11th November 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Henchman
You shoudl be prepared with any talent, to keep the "scratch" take.
Oh boy......what a moment of clarity

hahaha
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6th September 2008
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dave, the song "soar" from christina is what it all has be worth doing. money pays bills, but this song is more than being part of a project or just "working".

music is a great tool to give people a good feeling. with beautiful and soar she┬┤s got 2 songs on her album which are that BIG. they paint a bigger picture.

and her voice is from another planet! so much life and pain in it, just great!

next time you meet her, tell her she has made one human happier and stronger with those tracks!

you can be proud to be part!






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