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Old time radio vocal chain
Old 23rd June 2005
  #1
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petsematary's Avatar
 

Old time radio vocal chain

I need to process some vocals to make them sound like old time 50's radio announcers. I thought I might ask you guys what the radio vocal chain (mic to tape) could've looked like in the 50's, including brands/models, so that I know roughtly what I am trying to emulate. Obviously I have a vision of the final result but since there are a number of mic simulators etc. out there, I thought I could try and emulate the actual recording chain they used.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #2
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brianroth's Avatar
 

In the USA, RCA 44 and 77 mics were common for "network" announce mics. From there, the mic fed into the mixing desk...RCA, Gates, etc. Inline processing such as EQ and compression wasn't done at that point, although a number of processes were possible downstream from the mixer.

Bri
Old 23rd June 2005
  #3
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Phil Cibley's Avatar
 

... and don't forget the spring reverb for that top 40 sound if that's what you want.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #4
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petsematary's Avatar
 

Was compression being used back then or is that a more recent innovation? I take it the compression was applied right before the signal was fed to the transmitter, as it is nowadays? What kind of compressors were these - tubes?

God, I soo want that Jack Benny sound.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #5
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brianroth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by petsematary
Was compression being used back then or is that a more recent innovation? I take it the compression was applied right before the signal was fed to the transmitter, as it is nowadays? What kind of compressors were these - tubes?

God, I soo want that Jack Benny sound.
Yes, any compression/limiting was applied towards the end of the chain to keep the transmitter modulation "legal".

Part of the sound you're hearing might also be from the fact that many surviving recordings were cut to acetate disks. Magenetic tape recording in the USA and Europe (except for Germany) didn't come onto the scene until after WW2, and even then acetates hung around for another couple of decades.

Another recording method back then was onto photographic movie film.

Bri
Old 15th July 2005
  #6
Gear Maniac
50's RCA Console Preamp

A company called K&K audio who makes high end audio also has a mic tube preamp kit replicated after a very popular 1950's RCA radio console preamp. The model is the RCA BC-2B. It looks like a great kit.(They can build it for you if you want ). Uses Lundahl transformers and step attenuators. I would take a look at that if you're really serious about emulating that sonic quality you're looking for. I was seriously considering ordering that one.

PHil Donovan Good Luck!
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