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phillysoulman
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2nd May 2010
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Warmth

This thread is directed toward those who are new to engineering and producing.
Being as this term is used so often on this board, I want you all to give us your interpretation of the term "warmth" when used within the context of audio recording.
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2nd May 2010
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Soothing saturated sonic sizzle; smooth, soft, sweet.











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to me fullness and warmth are two very close terms. Low mid enphasis and small high end roll off

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I think of the term warmth in contrast to the word clear.

U47 = Warm
M49 = Clear

Coles 4038 = Warm
Royer 122 = Clear (as far as Ribbons go)

U67 = In between Warm & Clear

Tape = Warm
Digital = Clear

MCI Tape Machine = Warm & Colored
Studer 827 = Clear with a touch of warmth

But something can also have warmth and clarity in equal parts - when the low mids are round and hazy and the upper mids and top end are defined. KM84s are both warm and clear. API preamps are both warm and clear. Rode K2s are neither warm nor clear.
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2nd May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
This thread is directed toward those who are new to engineering and producing.
Being as this term is used so often on this board, I want you all to give us your interpretation of the term "warmth" when used within the context of audio recording.
I like to describe it in terms of color saturation, as I tend to listen to music somewhat visually. Something like, low frequencies are more black and high frequencies are more white. The warmth of the mixes or tracks has to do with the saturation of those colors.
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warmth= less high end, nice boosted lows, and low mids...I sometimes use it to describe distortion, musical distortion that is...
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Enough clothing when doing location recording winter time in Finland. Maybe some liquor for inner warmth.
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Penis in Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyMike View Post
Penis in Virginia
thumbsup
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From my research some say its two things. The mid frequencies and others say its when you get digital recordings, to sound like they were recorded by a tape machine. And it involves something to do with some type of saturation.
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Okay now for my more serious answer.

When I think of warmth I think of an absence of digital brittleness (piercing highs/clipping), and a nice amount of euphonic distortion...the "soothing sizzle" I was talking about earlier.
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My take on warmth, is something with a little grit, its hard to explain, like on a vocal when you can just hear that nice low end subtly, if that makes sense.

But as a whole my perception is something thick and slightly gritty. I dunno theres a million ways to put it.
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This is totally a subjective question. There is no one answer to the question. It's like asking what color is "Black". When I think of warmth, I think of 90's R&B and Pop and 60-70s soul and R&B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyMike View Post
Penis in Virginia
Which part, Richmond, or Fredericksburg? They get snow in the winter.
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3rd May 2010
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Can u guys give examples of songs that are warm? just wanna make sure we're on the same page.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthy08 View Post
Can u guys give examples of songs that are warm? just wanna make sure we're on the same page.
Isley Brothers - Don't Say Goodnight

Playlist | Track Search Results:

Fine Young Cannibal - She Drives Me Crazy(3:36)

http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/t...%20crazy/all/1

Erykah Badu - Next Lifetime

http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/t...h%20next/all/1

B.G. - Cash Money Is An Army
http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/t....%20cash/all/1

By the way, "Loudness" destroys warmth hence no modern comparisons.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Set Surgeon View Post
Which part, Richmond, or Fredericksburg? They get snow in the winter.
Downtown Virginia. Where the crease meets the fold.
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3rd May 2010
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im a gs (more S than G) but i think it's not something that i could explain technically. i think it's when the track touchs, reachs your brain and u keep it. it's neither about genre i think. it's just about music, and words together worked by a guy that can feel things and also understand how to trasmit them to the people, of course the artist is the source.
i think it's something very individual i know someone that could talk about warmness in a french tekno track

these are warm for me:
YouTube - Pink Floyd-Marooned
YouTube - Noyz Narcos - Sotto Indagine feat Duke Montana (GUILTY 2010)
YouTube - Aphex Twin - Window Licker
YouTube - Groove Armada - At the River (a real video exists also, but it's cutted)
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well to me warmth apply stickly to a certain way a recording sound

to me the guitar on this track is warm. crackle add to it but are not essential.
YouTube - Akrobatik - Remind My Soul
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sounds that are often a little distorted a little more bass heavy and often have a slight bit of air underneath. i rarely use the term but thats what i would consider warmth
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The vocals on Elton Johns "I want Love" anyone agree???

Please if anyone has idea of vocal chain, please let me know, i posted thread while back, nobody replied :(
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3rd May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthy08 View Post
Can u guys give examples of songs that are warm? just wanna make sure we're on the same page.
Norah Jones--Come away with me
Bonnie Raitt-I cant make you love me
India Arie- Purify Me
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3rd May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Norah Jones--Come away with me
Bonnie Raitt-I cant make you love me
India Arie- Purify Me
so for u it's a lot about vocals
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Warmth to me means "body". When the sounds sound 3d, they have a perception of depth and width. Warm is one of those things that is a character trait of some analogue gear, you can get warmth digitally with saturation plug-ins, but it's a little more work. Whereas with analogue a lot of it is just a trait of the gear you are using.

For example, drums coming out of an MPC, the MPC makes the drums "warm". But if you take the same drum sounds and put them in a software they just don't have that depth.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Norah Jones--Come away with me
Bonnie Raitt-I cant make you love me
India Arie- Purify Me
Norah wins
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3rd May 2010
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Quote:
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so for u it's a lot about vocals
It all starts with the vocals.
Listen to the original(not remastered) versions of so many classic recordings starting with Al Green,Isaac Hayes,Curtis Mayfield,Teddy Pendergrass,The Ojays...you get the picture.
Some of you all just dont get it, and thats why this thread is directed to the "noobs" and those with perceived experience in the field of recording.
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As far as I understand it, having gone to a tech school. Warmth is signal noise, a trademark of analog signal flow, much less prevalent if modern clean digital gear is used in recording.

Digital clarity especially on the high end of the spectrum is opposite of "warmth" where there is a gentle blending of raised frequencies that smoothes the sound out, most of the time it can be more "musical" than Digital, but personally, recordings from the 60's and seventies don't sound good to me.

If I had the chance to re-record an album like ...and Justice for All without all the gated reverb on the drums and sloppy tape edits it would sound much much better.

Personally I'm happy with the path that technology has taken away from completely analog signal flow, where at every stage you were imparting warmth.

I know this isn't a way to make friends with my second post but it's my honest opinion. It can have all the "character" in the world but if it doesn't have a reasonable amount of clarity then it's really just musical noise.
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You can achieve warmth in the digital domain, as long as your monitoring chain is correct, your ears are working and you know your tools and what you're going for.

You might want to cut more than you boost, with eqs.
You can use a little bit of tube/tape saturation/distortion on tracks that need it.
Find a balance in your mix, but also make it interesting.
Get a really good bass that works with your track, and mix it so that it fills the "holes".
Low mids are your friend. Highs too. High mids - use caution when going for warmth. You want your stuff to be present, but not ear piercing.
Don't forget about SPACE. Reverb/delay. Don't forget that highs don't travel that well through air (thanks Charles Dye) - so less highs means a further away sound. Use "space" to fill the mix. If everything is dry, say goodbye to warmth.

It all starts with understanding what warmth is and understanding your mixing tools.


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