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U2 "Bad" vocal dynamic's
Old 2nd February 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 
thecount_x's Avatar
 

Bad

Hi Kevin

I first heared Bad when Bono pulled the chick/bird out of the crowd at Live Aid and I've been in love with the track ever since. My question is about dynamics on the vox. It sounds like Bono is all over the place (in a good way) as far as dynamics goes, yet the vox do not sound squashed, ridden or backed off the mic at all. How did you capture that in such a natural sounding way and preserve the feel in the final mix? Also, were the "Hoo Hooooo"'s punched in or were you guys riding it?

Thanks for your work.

Kevin
Old 2nd February 2007
  #2
engineer / producer / mixer
 
Kevin Killen's Avatar
 

Well I am not sure which version of Bad do you mean because there are at least three performances out there, the album, the live aid performance and the live recording that appears on the "Unforgettable Fire /Wide Awake In America EP".

In general, Bono has good technique on the mic and I would not be doing so much riding to tape. At that time we used a LA 2A as the compressor with about 5 db's of reduction and our peak level to tape was around +1

Also keep in mind that Bono will often sing with the band during studio tracking to establish the internal dynamic of a song and even if he ends up redoing the vocal, that imprint is there for him to refernce.

In a live situation everything is different. You have to contend with all the volume on stage, the monitors for the band, the auditorium or stadium. So it is a much more fluid situation and if any one of the band loses a mic or cannot hear themselves , its not possible for me to adjust quickly enough because I was located about 1000 feet from the stage.

During Live Aid the stage was divided into three, one performing, one loading up, one unloading. It was frantic and nobody got to sound check before going onstage, hence the chaotic nature of the first song both in Wembley itself and in that initial broadcast. All you got was a line check, which is basically somebody tapping the mic and saying "bass drum, vocal mic "etc. etc. Apparently all the mic inputs were color coded and as the day wore on, things got mixed up, not helped by the fact that some of the stage hands were color blind!

U2 went on at 5pm GMT, which meant they were the first band to appear on the US broadcast so there was a lot riding on their performance, especially given the expected audience. As the band was going onstage and the line check was been completed I could not find either Bono's vocal mic or Edge's guitar mic. Everybody was screaming for somebody to find them and I looked at the end of the SSL in the truck and pushed up the last 8 faders and just as Bono said "Hello" I heard his voice and the guitar. Nothing was supposed to be plugged into those inputs !!

Hope this answers your question

Kevin

Last edited by Kevin Killen; 2nd February 2007 at 03:07 PM.. Reason: grammer
Old 2nd February 2007
  #3
Old 2nd February 2007
  #4
Gear Nut
 
thecount_x's Avatar
 

Thank-you for taking the time to answer so well.

Kevin
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