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Wanting to sound like Etta James
Old 17th June 2007
  #1
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gurubuzz's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Post Wanting to sound like Etta James

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your time and sharing your knowledge.
Every time I listen to Bob Marley it lifts my soul to the sky....

Seeing your wealth of knowledge and some bluesy/soul influences,
can you give me some Ideas on how to get an Etta James kind of
vocal sound...

I have at my disposal:

An old Harrison Desk for pre's
1176
U89
414
Rode Valve Classic
" NT2
" K2
421
e906
e935
57
58
Tube screamer
SDR 1000
Alesis Quadraverb



I use Cubase so I have VSTs

URS
Waves
PSP

I usually just close my eyes after listening to the original and
see what I can do - distortion/comp/reverb. I don't have the time to
experiment this time so any Ideas wil greatly speed my thought process.

I also have a few guitar amps and a large concrete floor and brick wall area
with a pitched roof broken up by some wooden walls.

I know her Vocals were done on a M49 originally not sure of the pre's/comp
etc...I don't know anyone who has an M49.

The singer has a similar tone.
Trying to emulate "In the basement" , "I prefer you", "7 day fool kind" of sound.

We are doing it all live in Iso.

Thanks a lot guys.
Old 18th June 2007
  #2
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Tony Platt's Avatar
 

The quick answer is get Etta James but that is rather flippant and not at all helpful!

My advice is to make sure that the instruments sound the way you want them before you even put a microphone up. Find the best place in the room for each instrument and make sure the blend between them is naturally good. Then you can record what you are actually hearing rather than trying to make it happen afterwards.

Of course you need good players too.

As far as the microphone is concerned I will always (regardless of time) try a number of microphones to find the one that best suits the singer's voice. It is important because if she is hearing her voice the way she imagines it then she will sing better and the sound will be better - it's self fulfilling.

Harrison would not be my first choice for the sound you want - API or Neve would get there more easily but the RME has similar characteristics at a lower price.

Personally I wouldn't go near Cubase either but it can do the job if you have a decent way into it - you don't say what interface you have.

The point is that even with the best mic amps and mics in the world a crap sound card will destroy all your good work.

I think you need to look at this as if you are setting up a photograph - get all the components arranged well, then click the shutter!

I don't think we can give you a list of what to use and where to put it - you need to develop an instinct for that by trusting your own ears and your own judgement - hey - you know what you like and you know your taste is good!!

Tony
Old 19th June 2007
  #3
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Thread Starter
Yes I will trust my instincts. Just a little nervous.
As they are an 8 peice. Nervousness usually makes me work better.

The interface is a Mackie digital 8 bus

Why don't you like Cubase?

Thanks for your reply.

Buzz
Old 19th June 2007
  #4
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Tony Platt's Avatar
 

It's not that I don't like Cubase (my first sequencer was Pro 24 - Steinberg's first) but it is not really good at acting like a multitrack and depends entirely on the quality of the converters used. At least Protools HD defines this quality. My preference would be Radar but the Alesis HD is good too.

My instincts would tell me that you were perhaps not using enough of an analogue path for the results you want!
Old 20th June 2007
  #5
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Platt View Post
It's not that I don't like Cubase (my first sequencer was Pro 24 - Steinberg's first) but it is not really good at acting like a multitrack and depends entirely on the quality of the converters used. At least Protools HD defines this quality. My preference would be Radar but the Alesis HD is good too.

My instincts would tell me that you were perhaps not using enough of an analogue path for the results you want!

To over come the unmultitrackability I have all the live stuff monitored through sends analog and then have various outputs from cubse(playback) going to other analog channels and blend these for monitiring.

Also there is "Mulitrack mode"in the settings which makes monitoring straight through cubase when record is armed. You need super low latency.

Thanks for your comments I will try a few different mics although I don't have the luxury of API or Neve at the studio I'm using.

I'm going to have to "act it out". I have spent years trying to make digital recordings sound more analog. I just have to close my eyes and find what I need to do, some times going out through guitar pedals. and other stuff that can recreate analog's lovable flaws.

Thanks heaps you have forced me to dig deep in my brain rather than be lazy and have it served up to me...

Old 22nd June 2007
  #6
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Thread Starter
Hi Tony,

The session went great..they were happy to do pay overtime so
i set up the rhythm section first then I put 5 mics up for the lead singer.

NT2 , VAlve Classic, K2, 421 and 57.
I went through a mackie 24-8 to an 1176 into the digital 8 bus.

The Nt2 worked best but I will need to do a lot of coarse sand papering to get it sounding like the classics but I have a good starting point.

I'm Glad that I tried all the mics... then the back up singer chose out of 4 mics

Thanks for your advice.....
Old 22nd June 2007
  #7
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Tony Platt's Avatar
 

Great!!

Tony
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