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why 80/90 s records sounds scooped in the mids? Studio Monitors
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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why 80/90 s records sounds scooped in the mids?

Some very famous records does sound a little bit thin/scooped in the mids to me. Any reason for this? I feel like some of the body of the instruments lives in the mids so I tend not to scoop out anything when I mix/master.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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Poinzy's Avatar
 

Fashion? People in authority thought the recordings sounded better with the mids scooped. Why did so many rock records in the early-mid '80's sound dry? Because, at the time, dry seemed like "the way to go".
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
To a large extent, I always thought it was a result of the introduction of the SSL console with its compression on every channel combined with automation that allowed mixing by committee. Like all new toys, people tend to start out by overdoing it. At the same time, there had been a rise in overdubbing most parts and a decline in ensemble playing. This led to arranging on the console using Eq. rather than the traditional way out in front of the microphones.

Mastering for vinyl often required reigning in the low end to boost the level along with pulling the upper midrange back to moderate the harshness.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Disco and dance music had a big impact on the sound of everything that came after, putting a lot more focus on lows and highs. Mid-60s and earlier it was all mids and almost nothing below around 150Hz, so it’s important to keep the historical progression in perspective. Late-60s and 70s guitar/piano-led music although full bandwidth so to speak, it was still mid-focused by later standards.

In the 80s there’s also powerful radio processing and the “loudness” button on a lot of playback devices, both of which many wanted to simulate because most of the boxy/honky systems sounded bigger that way.
Studio monitoring with speakers like the Auratone 5C and later the Yamaha NS10 that were mixing benchmarks (both brutal in the mids) those two decades didn’t help.

On the productions side, multitracks and overdubbing, busier mixes with noisier sources, more compression and hype (which with the SSLs they could do, like Bob O says), catering to the more aggressive music of the 80s/90s.

The then new CD medium didn’t have the limitations of vinyl wrt LF/HMF/HF, allowing people in production to fully explore (and exploit) that type of sound for the first time.

In addition to portable media (cassettes became a popular alternative to vinyl late 70s onwards), that era saw a big boom in car and consumer hifi systems, walkmans, boom boxes etc. Consequently, music became more of a background activity where being able to talk over it and hear what’s happening around is important, adding to people’s expectation of more relaxed mids.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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mastermat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by z-plane View Post
Disco and dance music had a big impact on the sound of everything that came after.....
this:

cut the midrange drop the bass!!

YouTube (check 1.55!)


Last edited by mastermat; 2 weeks ago at 04:34 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Seems to me it progressed from the disco kick. The disco kick was everywhere -- in New York bars, they even had Beatles records on the jukebox with disco kick overdubbed onto them.

Almost overnight, the word went flying around that the disco kick sound was now the fashionable kick sound across all genres, and the way you got it was to cut all the 300-500 you possibly could. And once you did it to the kick, the rest of the drums sounded tubby. And once you did it to all the drums...

On top of that, a few years previous, taking note of all the pop records where the piano was both scooped and brightened all to hell, Yamaha introduced the pre-scooped, pre-brightened piano. The C7 became the de riguer studio piano sound, and if you didn't either have one or know how to contort a Steinway into that sound you were screwed.

Then Taylor came out with the acoustic-guitar version of the Yamaha piano.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 2 weeks ago at 05:48 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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Thanks for all answers, appreciate it
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Geariophile
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post

Then Taylor came out with the acoustic-guitar version of the Yamaha piano.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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Barncore's Avatar
Great thread. Lots of interesting insight from experienced guys. Thanks
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
i typically Don’t scoop mids.

it’s where all the melodic stuff resides, the real music.

i might use a little control on any peaky info in the mids.

but i do hear those records where they’ve scooped it, and roll my eyes...

jt
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 
moostapha's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poinzy View Post
Fashion? People in authority thought the recordings sounded better with the mids scooped. Why did so many rock records in the early-mid '80's sound dry? Because, at the time, dry seemed like "the way to go".
I'm pretty sure that was the answer. You can watch that happening in most aspects of pop culture.

The reasons why aesthetic preferences change aren't always known...usually it's because someone, somewhere does something different and then "the man" figures out that he can sell it just because it's different.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=887WIB1oRAA

Other people (lucey comes to mind) have pointed out the midrangey sound of the 90s (which is due to what happens when you push extreme loudness using the tools available at the time). So, it certainly wasn't a universal.

The "sound" of the 90s probably came from those two competing influences: the midrangey loudness achievable with digital limiters (and a reaction to a lot of people in rock/punk/etc. hating dance music) and the intimate thump of the "disco kick" that others have mentioned, combined with the drastic influence of Disco and House on Pop and Rock that happened through the late 90s and into the naughties (and continues, but with more Hip Hop and Breaks influence).

You might as well be asking why men's suits have gotten tighter/slimmer (just look at Daniel Craig and Sean Connery's suits as James Bond), why girls' pants/skirts tend to stop at the top of the pelvis instead of at the true waist, why almost no one installs parquet floors, and why so many houses (regardless of budget) look like Ikea instead of Gothic or Art Nouveau.

It's all fashion.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Parquet floor -- get one wet and don't throughly sop it up right away, and the tiles will curl up due to the expansion of the individual wood "fingers" pushing against the ends of the wires that hold the tiles together.

And did you ever try to sand and refinish a parquet floor? It's way too easy to buzz right down to those little wires. Do it even once, and then you're prying out single tiles and swapping them with an undamaged tile in some less-visible corner. Which will stick up a little because you didn't sand it at the same time as its neighbors.

The guy who invented the parquet floor gets as much love from me as the committee that decided there should be a 3" rise under every kitchen sink and bathroom vanity, the only purpose of which is to kill your back when you're trying to do some otherwise-easy plumbing.

Thanks for letting me vent. :-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Part of it was that the "mid scoop" sound become a very popular way to process guitars at that time. This was the decade of the out-of-phase pickup sound and just about every guitar processor made then has a big "smiley face" graphic eq on the presets.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
You always had the lemmings. One hit record having a certain style that had been created as a result of a different production workflow usually led to dozens of copycats.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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In some early CD releases I suspect it was simply a case of adding a touch of 100Hz & 10k shelving EQ to what were 2nd generation EQ-d for vinyl master tapes.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
We have parquet flooring throughout, and love it. Sound is good too, very dry and woody, "chamber" like.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Mastering Engineer
 

Because Cocaine use can cause hearing loss????
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
eternalsound's Avatar
It was not the '80's at all. Not one bit. It was those horrible grunge bands in the early/mid '90's. An era of music that fully indicated that it was the last chapter in the book of bands. The afterbirth was purged during these years.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalsound View Post
It was not the '80's at all. Not one bit. It was those horrible grunge bands in the early/mid '90's. An era of music that fully indicated that it was the last chapter in the book of bands. The afterbirth was purged during these years.
Agreed!
I don't feel the 80's that scooped in the mid, at least like what we can hear since the 90's and today.
Music now has much more low-end and highs are often pushed with overcompressed masters.
No natural mids such as what we could hear on the 80's.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Addict
 
gorka's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Davis View Post
Because Cocaine use can cause hearing loss????
Especially in the high range
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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bitman's Avatar
Because the ear is most sensitive in the mids, by cutting them you can flatten the spectrum our ears hear and make for a better sounding overall sounding thing, hopefully. Compression tends to bottle up everything in the mids too.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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DrAudioBot's Avatar
I dont hear 80s music this way at all. 80's sound is all about super wide, thin and a lot of top end - but still sounding professional! Love 80's stuff!
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