Midnight Marauders/Bob Power Vocals
Old 1st July 2013
  #1
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Midnight Marauders/Bob Power Vocals

The more I listen to tribe's discography the more I love the distinct vocal sound that Power mixed with. It sits a lot lower and has less "sheen" than most modern vocals yet everything is present and all the words are clear. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the actual voices of Phife and Tip but mixing also had
to play a large part.

I was just looking for any ideas or information to approach this sound?
Old 1st July 2013
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In case anyone needs some examples...





Old 1st July 2013
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Listening to album right now.
Old 1st July 2013
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Not exactly related, but check 45:20 on this video:

Lecture: Q-Tip (New York, 2013) on Vimeo

Q-Tip says:

Low End Theory made on the "John Lennon" Neve board.

Midnight Marauders made on an SSL board.

Great interview, you should check out the whole thing.
Old 1st July 2013
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Yeah I checked out that interview with Red Bull, didn't catch everything but it was very nice. Also watched the Bob Power one which was really good too.
Old 1st July 2013
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Now I have no idea what exactly they did but it sounds like the vocals were just not compressed a lot. It just sounds like a natural vocal recording without it having an in-your face 1176 type compressor. Also where it sits in the mix, it seems like a few instruments are actually louder than the vocals except for in the chorus.
Old 2nd July 2013
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That's funny cause a lot of opinions online say it sounds like real aggressive compression. You think it might be some parallel processing going on for the best of both worlds?
Old 2nd July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeriousPancakes View Post
Now I have no idea what exactly they did but it sounds like the vocals were just not compressed a lot. It just sounds like a natural vocal recording without it having an in-your face 1176 type compressor. Also where it sits in the mix, it seems like a few instruments are actually louder than the vocals except for in the chorus.
It's funny you mention that, because 1176 is exactly what comes to mind when I hear those vocals.

Anyway, can't speak specifically about the Tribe records, but I can say I did a good bit of work with Bob back in that era, as well as worked with cats who were making records he mixed, and it wasn't at all uncommon to cut vocals with dynamic mics. So, take the dynamic mic signal of an emcee spitting hard with little regard for musical dynamic (iow, the focus was on ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY), compress it a good bit with something kinda fast and snappy to tame the unruly performances (of course, Tip and Phife don't really fall into that description, but a lotta cats back then did...hell, check out Scenario), and print that bitch to tape. That's three, maybe four layers of distortion right there. Can't crank up the 16k, cuz there isn't any, so you find yourself (or rather maybe, Bob finds himself) pushing the mids and upper mids.
Old 2nd July 2013
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Sounds like 1176 to me too. I hear transformer overload the way the midrange is extending and the low end of the vocal is choking off, and fast action compression. My guess is two 1176s, or one la2a, one 1176. One doing heavy parallel compression, the other doing somewhat gentler compression.
Old 3rd July 2013
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he mixed tariq and malik b's voices like that too.
Old 4th July 2013
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So I should probably try to get some vocals on a 58 or an sm7 through a pretty good preamp?
Old 4th July 2013
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my bad, I guess it seems compressed but sounds like it was recorded with a dynamic mic
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