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3-D Palpable Sound
Old 27th June 2005
  #1
Gear Head
 
arrakian's Avatar
 

3-D Palpable Sound

Hi all,
Not sure if this is the right forum to post this in, but here goes:

For a lot of the much older recordings I've heard, the vocals (as well as some instruments) that don't sit "flat" in the mix; they have an "almost there" quality about them. I assume that they were using tubes in the mics and pres. My question is, since these old products are out of production and very expensive, what tube products could you use to get that same "3-D" quality today? Is it in the mic? Pre? is it a combination of tubes in both? Most importantly, does it HAVE to be the expensive stuff?

As you can see, I'm new to this
Old 27th June 2005
  #2
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Could you state an example (preferably something pretty well-known?)
Old 27th June 2005
  #3
Gear Head
 
arrakian's Avatar
 

Neil Young's "The Needle And The Damage Done" from his lad]st greatest hits CD. The air and "there-ness" around him and his guitar are amazing!
Old 28th June 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I think a lot of factors has to do with that 3-D sound, but the biggest part IMO is the mic! I own an U 47, U67... they have that quality, esp. the U47!

...well sorry, I don't know which of the modern mics, if ever come close to them??? and for a cheaper price? Honestly, I think that doesn't exist.

Andreas
Old 28th June 2005
  #5
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

i think that was a sm57 on that recording.
Old 28th June 2005
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
i think that was a sm57 on that recording.
LOL uhh, yeah... I forgot... the only alternative.
Old 28th June 2005
  #7
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrakian
...Most importantly, does it HAVE to be the expensive stuff?

yup.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 28th June 2005
  #8
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I think that what you may be hearing is the 'room'. The ratio of 'direct' to 'reflected' sound reaching the microphone(s), as well as the qualities of both go a long way towards making a recording sound 'alive'.

The importance of the room can't be overstated.
Old 28th June 2005
  #9
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

The beauty of subjectivity / the subjectivity of beauty

"The Needle And The Damage Done" is, famously, a live recording.

May I respectfully submit that the three dimensional quality you're speaking of might be emotional. I think we all feel this way about our most cherished musical recordings.

I mean, I think of A Tribe Called Quest's "The Low End Theory" as 3D.

--- Chad
Old 28th June 2005
  #10
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
another factor may be tape :-)
Old 28th June 2005
  #11
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Don't be fooled, the 3D quality isn't emotional!
Any decent tube pre hooked up to a '57 will be great.
Tape too, to soften the '57s edges, would be very nice.

My personal theory on why that mic works so well into tube pres/tape is simply that it outputs a 'lean' signal - or that it delivers it's voltage before/after it's current - which can be driven harder into tube/tape without breakup, where it becomes as fat as an ldc or whatever.
And the space around it, I always hear as 'pitch black', is something quite unique to the '57.

So, what other recordings do you regard as 3D?
If you haven't listened to carol kings tapestry, you've got a 3 dimensional treat in store there!

Andy
Old 28th June 2005
  #12
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
A LOT of it has to do with how the original sound is stored... tape? Pro-Tools? Sorry, even the "H-D" Pro-Tools converters sound 'flat'... 47 into Fearn into a Fairchild and the damn vocal is still going to come out pretty 2 dimensional.

There are some converters that do less damage to the spaciousness afforded by tape... but they're not as fashionable as Pro-Tools
Old 28th June 2005
  #13
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AlphaDingo's Avatar
 

Could you give us an example fletcher? Have you ever heard these http://www.troisi.com/home/home.html ?
Old 28th June 2005
  #14
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arrakian's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_simpson
Don't be fooled, the 3D quality isn't emotional!
Definitely not!!!

Quote:
So, what other recordings do you regard as 3D?
I'm not near my collection, but one that comes to mind is, especially the vocals, Curtis Mayfield & The Imperials, "Gypsy Woman"; alot of those early Imperial recordings (from the CM box set) have more "life" to them.
Old 28th June 2005
  #15
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arrakian's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
Pro-Tools? Sorry, even the "H-D" Pro-Tools converters sound 'flat'...
Thank you!!! I'm glad someone else hears this, too. I thought it was the software, but either way, there is a "flatness".

Quote:
There are some converters that do less damage to the spaciousness afforded by tape... but they're not as fashionable as Pro-Tools
Like which ones?
Old 30th June 2005
  #16
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arrakian's Avatar
 

I've been investigating microphones recently. The AEA Ribbon mics talk about:

"Pure natural sound, just as you hear it when you're placing your mic in the studio.
Quick smooth transients that capture the feeling of being there without sounding like a recording."

Does transient speed help with a holographic soundstage?

What aren't ribbons good for?

What pre-amps to use with them?
Old 30th June 2005
  #17
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrakian
What aren't ribbons good for?

What pre-amps to use with them?

ribbons aren't the best when you want: modern, airy, hyped, and/or edgy. they're also not so good with big transients or high spl's, like kick drums or ludicrously loud marshalls (notable exception: royer).

a high gain pre is almost a necessity, unless you're doing very quiet stuff.

my favorite ribbon application is in the back of a medium sized wood room capturing old drums... instant motown. they have a quality of being dark without being dull, i call it "darkbright".


gregoire
del ubik
Old 30th June 2005
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
my favorite ribbon application is in the back of a medium sized wood room capturing old drums... instant motown. they have a quality of being dark without being dull, i call it "darkbright".


gregoire
del ubik
I call it 'presence' ;-)

But it does highlight what I look for in a classic recording - presence/3d/depth which never requires painful brightness.

Btw, people are always saying how well ribbon mics take eq, which I personally put down to a 'natural sounding' phase-correct response which most condensers can only dream about.

Andy
Old 30th June 2005
  #19
Gear Head
 
arrakian's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
they're also not so good with big transients or high spl's, like kick drums or ludicrously loud marshalls (notable exception: royer)
So, would the blat of a horn or vocal work be out of the question; how about percussion (all up-close)?
Old 30th June 2005
  #20
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i only use ribbons with horns
my favourite for horns would be coles 4038
you defintely want to ask the player to stay a foot back

as for the neil young thing, i think the space you are hearing is in the tape
check out the nina simone record "nuff said" - especially on vinyl - live to quarter inch, amazing recording - the space and the vibe are 3d in front of you ( perhaps all the more
so as the show was impromptu in honor of martin luther king jr who had been assasinated the night before)

sadly, i have witnessed the disappearance of this soundstage many times, as soon as
a 2" 16 tape is brought up as pro tools tracks , regardless of the sampling rate -
its in that momment that you can really ask yourself whose definition of progress
you are working with.....

by the way , neil young works with two new A827's set up as 16 tracks right now....

be well

- jack
Old 30th June 2005
  #21
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arrakian's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom
by the way , neil young works with two new A827's set up as 16 tracks right now....
Good to hear, Jack

I guess everyone that likes tape stocked up before Quantegy died. Wish I could afford a Studer, but without tape... hey hey my my.

-Reggie
Old 1st July 2005
  #22
Gear Addict
 
MBishopSFX's Avatar
 

Secrets to 3D soundstage: (some here may not like these viewpoints)

1. Stop using software plug-ins.

2. Don't use auto-tune.

3. Don't mix ITB.

4. Forget about recording to maximum level.

5. Leave some airspace between the performer/instrument and the microphone(s).

6. Use stereo mic techniques wherever possible. Bruce Swedian's work is a prime example.

It is quite possible to achieve a 3D soundstage without analog tape - there are plenty of examples that prove it. Unfortunately, most of them are not pop/rock/country or hip-hop.
Old 1st July 2005
  #23
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

arrakian,

quantegy is back - i have a couple of new reels in the other room.... in the crisis period
a lot of tape was sucessfully recycled.........
keep your antenna focused, you may well be able to afford a new studer...
the way the prices are falling.......right now about $28,000 or joe big studio will buy the new one and sell you
his - it makes getting great sounds much easier for me ......... 1/2" 4 track machines also
sound great - they can be $2500
i flew to your city for four hours a couple of years ago so as
to go check out that house at 2648 west grand boulevard - so humble - so
inspiring - so many great songs - so much great spirit - so much vision and
love ......... transcending the financial............

0 bling

be well

- jack
Old 1st July 2005
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

imo, it's the placement of the mic, rather than the mic itself

there's always a spot in the room where the sound is most focussed, and that's the start (probably, the sound itself is the start, but that's another story)

after that, it's just keeping it from being flattened
Old 1st July 2005
  #25
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom
sadly, i have witnessed the disappearance of this soundstage many times, as soon as a 2" 16 tape is brought up as pro tools tracks , regardless of the sampling rate...

jack,

is that true for you even when the tracks are brought up on their own channels thru the desk? iow, it's not a pt summing thing, it's strictly an a/d/a issue?


gregoire
del ubik
Old 1st July 2005
  #26
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
I think that what you may be hearing is the 'room'. The ratio of 'direct' to 'reflected' sound reaching the microphone(s), as well as the qualities of both go a long way towards making a recording sound 'alive'.

The importance of the room can't be overstated.

that's what i was thinking as well: 3d comes from the space around the sound. amazing mics and pre's help too.

all the ideas on this thread, about the room, stereo recording, and emotion, are spot on imo.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 1st July 2005
  #27
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RoundBadge's Avatar
To this day .I am still absolutely blown out my chair by those old Juan Esquivel recordings.
the stuff they recorded to optical film mag..the stuff just sounds beyond anything i've ever heard.all recorded live between 2 large sound stages.
the fidelity, depth and "3-D"ness is just stunning.
I'll be listening to my Itunes on shuffle everything from coltrane,miles davis/classical/rock ..whatever...and that stuff comes on
and I'm always taken aback at how amazing that stuff sounds compared to everything else,even coming from those unbelievably sh*tty mac converters.
amazing. stike
Old 1st July 2005
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge
To this day .I am still absolutely blown out my chair by those old Juan Esquivel recordings.
the stuff they recorded to optical film mag..the stuff just sounds beyond anything i've ever heard.all recorded live between 2 large sound stages.
the fidelity, depth and "3-D"ness is just stunning.
I'll be listening to my Itunes on shuffle everything from coltrane,miles davis/classical/rock ..whatever...and that stuff comes on
and I'm always taken aback at how amazing that stuff sounds compared to everything else,even coming from those unbelievably sh*tty mac converters.
amazing. stike
Please tell me more about these recordings?!!!!]
Optical film...what?

Where can I get/hear these recordings?
How were they recorded, using what?

Thanks!

Andy
Old 1st July 2005
  #29
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

ubik,

the tracks are coming up through different buckets of the same mixing desk.....


- jack
Old 1st July 2005
  #30
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge
To this day .I am still absolutely blown out my chair by those old Juan Esquivel recordings.
the stuff they recorded to optical film mag..the stuff just sounds beyond anything i've ever heard.all recorded live between 2 large sound stages.
the fidelity, depth and "3-D"ness is just stunning.
I'll be listening to my Itunes on shuffle everything from coltrane,miles davis/classical/rock ..whatever...and that stuff comes on
and I'm always taken aback at how amazing that stuff sounds compared to everything else,even coming from those unbelievably sh*tty mac converters.
amazing. stike
Hey, Roundbadge: I think Westerncine will still cut an optical track for you. I've been seriously considering it. Imagine dropping the drums to optical and back to tape!
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