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What made 70s Analog Recordings sound 70s? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 17th February 2015
  #601
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Society and culture changing is just an excuse. How do I know this? I've been completely blown away by people from other cultures performing in languages I don't understand.

One of the experiences that really brought this home was going to a house concert where an 18 year old girl who was visiting San Francisco from India was singing ragas. She went to places that gave me chills like I'd only experienced from a few famous Gospel and opera singers. I learned in just a few minutes that every "name" Indian classical performer I'd ever heard was second rate. I told a friend from India about my experience and he laughed. He said yes and you'll notice none of those "names" still live in India because they aren't good enough to make a living there.

Music can go far beyond mere fashion. James Brown, James Cleveland and Count Basie all had something live that their recordings never did justice to.
good points, right here in London i see firsthand that there's a real demand for live quality music among the public. but there is zero interest in recorded music. there is one word that sums up the entire problem:

market-failure

the record business (if one can call it that) has consistently failed to deliver to the public what it (the public) really wants, which is good quality music. so there's definitely a demand out there, but no one to fulfill it.
Old 17th February 2015
  #602
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Mike O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Society and culture changing is just an excuse. How do I know this? I've been completely blown away by people from other cultures performing in languages I don't understand.

One of the experiences that really brought this home was going to a house concert where an 18 year old girl who was visiting San Francisco from India was singing ragas. She went to places that gave me chills like I'd only experienced from a few famous Gospel and opera singers. I learned in just a few minutes that every "name" Indian classical performer I'd ever heard was second rate. I told a friend from India about my experience and he laughed. He said yes and you'll notice none of those "names" still live in India because they aren't good enough to make a living there.

Music can go far beyond mere fashion. James Brown, James Cleveland and Count Basie all had something live that their recordings never did justice to.
And were successful in any culture in which they were allowed to participate.
Old 17th February 2015
  #603
Motown legend
 
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Let me say it again. There is just as much talent as ever but there are not nearly as many experienced performers and that experience is no longer financially accessible to nearly as many people as it was in the '50s-'70s.

This can only be fixed at the grass roots exactly the way it was in the late '40s when the majors dropped every artist who wasn't a movie star. We HAVE in fact been here before and there is a massive opportunity.
Old 17th February 2015
  #604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
This can only be fixed at the grass roots exactly the way it was in the late '40s when the majors dropped every artist who wasn't a movie star. We HAVE in fact been here before and there is a massive opportunity.
...not before either(or both) Kim K or Paris H score a mega hit...

Picturing a scenario in which you'd have Congressional hoopla a la Tipper Gore where there is a call to rid the scourge that is mediocre entertainment...hmm, could be wickedly entertaining...
Old 18th February 2015
  #605
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Let me say it again. There is just as much talent as ever but there are not nearly as many experienced performers and that experience is no longer financially accessible to nearly as many people as it was in the '50s-'70s...
Are you referring to the live scene as a proving ground or labels like Motown that directly trained new talent? If the latter, it seems to me they were in the minority even in the 60s.
Old 18th February 2015
  #606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telecode View Post
I have an issue with your attitude.

My point is, there is no point looking at the people that are occupying the top 50 (the Taylor Swifts, the Beyonces, the Kanyes, and what not) and go saying "these are the artists and music that all the young kids are all into these days and they can't play and they suck the future is going down the drain".
Funny, I don't recall saying that in my post, but otherwise I totally agree with everthing you said. Cheers
Old 18th February 2015
  #607
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Mike O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Let me say it again. There is just as much talent as ever but there are not nearly as many experienced performers and that experience is no longer financially accessible to nearly as many people as it was in the '50s-'70s.

This can only be fixed at the grass roots exactly the way it was in the late '40s when the majors dropped every artist who wasn't a movie star. We HAVE in fact been here before and there is a massive opportunity.
Surely no one believes that the percentage of talented people in a given population has decreased? That would be a bleak outlook indeed!

Please feel free to correct me, but if I've understood some of your other posts over the years you also don't think it is great thing that music education increasingly unavailable in our public school systems.

From my perspective, over time this lack of access would at a minimum seem to negatively affect at what age people of all innate talent levels become musically literate. It would also affect the literacy of the listening/buying public. Neither seem like positive developments (to me).
Old 18th February 2015
  #608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O View Post
Surely no one believes that the percentage of talented people in a given population has decreased? That would be a bleak outlook indeed!

Please feel free to correct me, but if I've understood some of your other posts over the years you also don't think it is great thing that music education increasingly unavailable in our public school systems.

From my perspective, over time this lack of access would at a minimum seem to negatively affect at what age people of all innate talent levels become musically literate. It would also affect the literacy of the listening/buying public. Neither seem like positive developments (to me).
It seems pretty clear what musical illiteracy has done over the past 40 years. Up through the 70s instrumental music, sofisticated music like jazz and jazz and classical influenced pop were very popular. Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, George Benson etc ... were selling millions. A far cry from what things have become today.
Old 18th February 2015
  #609
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O View Post
Surely no one believes that the percentage of talented people in a given population has decreased?
What has decreased is the use of that talent. And the focus it took to reach the level of excellence they once did. I think part of it is that there are just so many more distractions these days.
Old 18th February 2015
  #610
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pichi View Post
It seems pretty clear what musical illiteracy has done over the past 40 years. Up through the 70s instrumental music, sofisticated music like jazz and jazz and classical influenced pop were very popular. Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, George Benson etc ... were selling millions. A far cry from what things have become today.
Well to be fair, when compared to prior years/decades not much of ANY music is being purchased.
Old 18th February 2015
  #611
Motown legend
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Are you referring to the live scene as a proving ground or labels like Motown that directly trained new talent? If the latter, it seems to me they were in the minority even in the 60s.
Motown harvested artists from a live scene exactly like every other label did. It was a management company that had its own label which was different and that would actually be the best way for somebody to operate today.
Old 6th April 2016
  #612
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CapStudio's Avatar
Dunno? Look at the thread topic!

Oh what a ride this thread has been. From the original question with
enlightened answers about gear/setups/studios to which oven is the best
for baking your analog vintage tapes to Nile Rodgers guitar
abilities and a lot of brilliant answers in between Thank you all for
this wonderful thread!

Here is my take on the question. First, let me explain a little bit
about myself - I'm basically nobody I'm no hotshot studio
engineer/producer/musician - hell I didn't even grew up listening to
the music in the 70s (born 1974), but the last 5-6 years I've been
on a quest. Listen and read about the music in the 70s, as much as
my day to day job let me (which is a lot). During this quest I've dug up rare
obscurities from long lost bands and of course I've also listened to a lot
of the big names from that period. From Black Sabbath to
Supertramp,Pink Floyd,Santana,Led Zeppelin (which I always loved),
from Kraftwerk to Tangerine Dream,Harmonia,Teddy Lasry. But the journey
also led me to less know artists from all over the world. Compiled
list in alphabetical order and by no means meant to be complete in any
way.

Affinity, Aphrodite's Child, Asgard, Baker Gurvitz Army, Birth
Control, Blonde On Blonde, Carmen, Curved Air, Focus, Gentle Giant,
Kin Ping Meh, Krokodil, Lucifer's Friend, Manfred Mann Chapter Three,
Matter Of Taste, Mother Superior, Nektar, Nightwinds, Passport,
Ragnarok, Rare Bird, Riff Raff, Spontaneous Combustion, Snafu,
Supersister,Sweathog, The Greatest Show On Earth, The Middle-Earth
Band, Three Man Army, Undertakers Circus, Warm Dust, Wigwam,
Windchase, Wishbone Ash, Zazu, Zebulon, Zior, Zon, Zyma, Zzebra
. Just
to name a few

Anyways listing to hours and hours of music in all genres from the
70s I have a few pointers. And again by no way exhaustive.

* They told a story with their songs.

They were supreme in telling a story and by that I mean creating
a feeling/vibe around the text with the music, to support the story
that was told through the lyrics and vocal - or is it the other way
around? A lot of you are talking about "the arrangement" as one of
the keys to the 70s sound - I agree 100%. The great bands took their
time building a foundation/framework around a song to be able to
tell their story.

A lot of the songs was much longer in the 70s again they took their
time laying the foundation, drawing the listener into their universe,
whether today you have to deliver a loud bang-for-your-bucks-catchy-song
in 3 minutes on the local radio station so it will fit in between commercials.

They knew how and when to put in pauses to captivate their audience
and communicate the feelings/vibes of the song. Kind of like a good
film that keeps you interested in the story and wants you to know what
comes next.

Some good examples in my book would be :

Supertramp - School (1974)

Supertramp, "School" from 'Crime of the Century' (1974): One Track Mind

Barefoot Jerry - Warm (1973)

Listen to how they create the vibe of the song :



I sort of get the same feeling/vibe from this absolutly beautifull
Pink Floyd gem :



And the lyrics. Very nice :

A cloud of eiderdown
Draws around me
Softening a sound
Sleepy time, and I lie
With my love by my side
And she's breathing low

And the candle dies

When night comes down
You lock the door
The book falls to the floor

As darkness falls
The waves roll by
The seasons change
The wind is wry

Now wakes the awl
Now sleeps the swan
Behold the dream
The dream is gone

Green fields are calling
It's falling, in a golden door

And deep beneath the ground
The early morning sounds
And I go down
Sleepy time, and I lie
With my love by my side
And she's breathing low

And I rise, like a bird
In the haze, when the first rays
Touch the sky

And the night wings die


.......Which let me to the next point.

* Using the studio/mixer/engineer as an instrument, basically
experimenting a lot more..


I've also heard the very valid argument that in the 70s the
mixer/producer had a large role in experimenting with the band in the
studio. What could be achieved with the studio - the mixer/producer as
the last member in the band. Fx the Pink Floyd song from before using
a recording of the wind in the beginning of the song to get the listener
tuned into the vibe of the song - brilliant!. A lot of the bands in
the 70s experimented with samples/sounds/effects/unconventional
instruments here illustrated by a supreme dutch band "Supersisters"
which in many ways was ahead of time. I can't help noticing the
fantastic drumming reminding me off nowadays drum 'n' bass and the track
ending with recording of a horse in the streets or something.....

Supersister Dangling Dingdongs (1974) :



Brian Eno comes to mind as well being a musician and a
producer/engineer himself

Airport (1978) :



And let's not forget the muppet labs where a lot of experimentation took
place in the 70s:

=)


* The 70s bands politicizing a lot more than today's bands

Some in this thread has also raised the argument that musicians in the
70s had an honesty maybe even a naive way of writing which let to
more refreshing and stronger songs. Maybe the world was a simpler place to
live in the 70s? Musician in the 70s wrote about politics,economic,war,
sleep,things that mattered, where today a lot of the lyrics is about how rich,
or how in love, or how the weather is (huge simplification!) The 70s
bands were very political indeed. The next band, a brilliant Finnish band
called Wigwam thought the world should be taken over by Communism and
used their music to "educate and communicate this message :

Wigwam album Being (1974) :



Wigwam Inspired Machine (2:12 into stream) :

First vers :

Working men in all countries
Let us unite in vengeance
For the time has come to annihilate
The bourgeoisie and suck the rest up

We all know how that went

Anyhow. This is just a few things that I think makes up some of the
elements in what made music in 70s great. That said. I've listened to
a lot of crap music from the 70s as well. I'm not gonna post any
examples of that, though!

Over and out.

Last edited by CapStudio; 6th April 2016 at 03:09 PM..
Old 6th April 2016
  #613
Playing as a band - together in a room. Not just for the performance benefits but for the organic warm and fuzzy leakage - thats the glue!
Old 6th April 2016
  #614
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I didn't read through 21 pages of responses but the OP original question about being able to replicate the "sound" of early 70s music in his own small studio does have an answer.

A part of the alchemy from early rock (aside from chops and creativity) came from the signal chain. And UAD has nailed almost all the pieces you need to recreate the sound of this era. From HELIOS eq's to 1176 comps.... you may all be surprised on how many UK early 70s bands recorded using the HELIOS desks and the ubiquitous 1176s. More specifically, a ton of these bands recording in BASING street and Audio Ease even has sampled the rooms from Basing St (now called SARM west). So, other than the chops, you can get pretty close to the "sound" of these early classic LPs in the comfort of your home studio.

Just IMHO,
Jim
Old 6th April 2016
  #615
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The music told a story because performers had learned from performing live that a story was what most successfully engaged listeners.
Old 6th April 2016
  #616
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Though there has been some flavor of teen pop for a long time...even some of the motown stuff really...

...one of the big difference is that the true creatives are increasingly behind the scenes, making things for the performers/front people.

A person that has their own goals, artistic ideas, is more likely to expand music.

But you get a bunch of those people, wrangle them together to create for the performers, and you have a result much like the musical equivalent of a hokey TV sitcom.
Old 9th April 2016
  #617
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Actually, it was the weed. The smoke got in the grooves, and changed the quality of the sound, made it more mellow, more analogue.

Play any vinyl disk in Colorado these days, you'll get pretty much that '70's vibe again.
Old 9th April 2016
  #618
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TREMORS View Post
Sinatra apparently thought Evlis was garbage and rock and roll was garbage.

One thing is for sure: older people have thought the youth were dumb and clueless since the beginning of time.
Maybe the next generation of pop stars will think autotune, overdubbing, gridlocking, samples and loudness are garbage. One can hope.
Old 11th April 2016
  #619
Gear Maniac
 

Imagine not having all of the super specific processing tools we have now and just having a few eq bands per instrument on a console. There is less tone carved out of everything.
Old 13th April 2016
  #620
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
I would like to get the sound of pro recordings from the 70s with my personal studio. I don't mean the sound of vintage outboard gear lending a color to what is still obviously a contemporary, squeeky clean recording. I'm really looking for the full-on, distinctive sonic experience of 70s recordings. There's something about those old records (especially early 70s, like early Elton) that excites me and transports me and sets me daydreaming in a particular way which feels like rock n roll to me. More than the music itself, it's a specific sonic quality and the way the music images. No digital recording has done that for me. I've tried without success to find the recipe to simulate that experience, thinking if only my vintage outboard gear were run through the right converters, with the right plug-ins, etc... I'm sick of jumping through hoops with such disappointing results, and am now considering abandoning the DAW route altogether and going analog. To someone of my generation this decision seems drastic and scary and off the map, almost like swearing off electricity and heading out to live in the wild! Nobody I know, least of all myself, has knowledge or advice about what all would be involved in going this route.

Anyway, the prospect of going analog raises the question of how to achieve the specifically 70s, not 80s or god forbid 90s sound of analog. So...

- Was it just down to the way the tape machines of the time sounded? (How do they even contribute a "sound" if the're just mechanical things moving the tape around?) If so, do I then need to limit my search to vintage machines from the 70s?

-OR was it that back then they recorded at 15 ips or whatever and they used such and such width of tape? (I'd be very grateful if someone could describe the differences in sound and functionality of each tape width.)

-OR was it the kind (formulation) of tape used then? If so, are these kinds of tape still available or is there tape being made today that would impart a similar sound?

What was it? I'm aware that the magic of those records is largely due to writing and performance so that old chestnut doesn't need to be trotted out. Any relevant info or guidance would be appreciated. I'd also be interested to know recording techniques, mic placement, acoustic treatment, etc. of the time, all of which must have played a big role in the sound as well.
In my humble opinion, this is a classic case of recording gear fetishization. Yes, the gear contributed to the sound of the final product but much more than the gear it was the songs themselves, the arrangements of the songs and the sound sources that were being captured.
Also, the people twisting the knobs were making sonic decisions based on their perceptions while enveloped in the culture of the time.
Old 13th April 2016
  #621
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myles's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
In my humble opinion, this is a classic case of recording gear fetishization. Yes, the gear contributed to the sound of the final product but much more than the gear it was the songs themselves, the arrangements of the songs and the sound sources that were being captured.
Also, the people twisting the knobs were making sonic decisions based on their perceptions while enveloped in the culture of the time.
Thank you.
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