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70s soul, disco and funk clap recordings
Old 12th July 2009
  #1
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70s soul, disco and funk clap recordings

Just wondering if any old school engineers here could tell me what types of recording techniques were used to record claps in classic 70's disco, soul and funk.. I assume many are recorded live but sometimes I here a clap percussion instrument which i can't figure out what it is.. any help on this?

S
Old 12th July 2009
  #2
You know.. I asked myself that question for a min.... i wanna know this too...
Old 12th July 2009
  #3
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dannygold's Avatar
 

I can't say I was around recording studios a lot in the 1970s (too busy watching Sesame Street). But I have recorded claps a few times. The first thing is there has to be the right number of clappers. 3-5 is good. More can sound sloppy. Less WILL sound weak. Obviously they have to have a decent sense of timing, but the goal is really not metronomic accuracy... slight flamming is good. Gating can help keep things tight. A mic in omni with everyone gathered around in a good room is ideal. Or just sample it from a 70s record!
Old 12th July 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motion View Post
Just wondering if any old school engineers here could tell me what types of recording techniques were used to record claps in classic 70's disco, soul and funk.. I assume many are recorded live but sometimes I here a clap percussion instrument which i can't figure out what it is.. any help on this?

S
Get about six mufukkas around a 414 or an 87 set on omnni.
Record a pass all the way through and then double it panned hard left and right.
Done deal.

Another trick is to put up a tape loop of a clapping audience like from a tv show or a concert and then just key it with the snare drum. and gate the release to taste
Done deal
Old 12th July 2009
  #5
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ncoak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Another trick is to put up a tape loop of a clapping audience like from a tv show or a concert and then just key it with the snare drum. and gate the release to taste
Done deal
huh!
Old 12th July 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
huh!
If you are a "pro" you wouldnt have to say"huh"?
Its self explanatory my friend.
Old 12th July 2009
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Get about six mufukkas around a 414 or an 87 set on omnni.
Record a pass all the way through and then double it panned hard left and right.
Done deal.

Another trick is to put up a tape loop of a clapping audience like from a tv show or a concert and then just key it with the snare drum. and gate the release to taste
Done deal
Thank you good sir.
Old 12th July 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
If you are a "pro" you wouldnt have to say"huh"?
Its self explanatory my friend.

i didn't say 'huh?' - i said, 'huh!' as in 'interesting.'
Old 12th July 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
If you are a "pro" you wouldnt have to say"huh"?
Its self explanatory my friend.

Also Philly...if he did say Huh? why not explain it to him...you seem to share a lot of good info. Drawing the line there is confusing.

BTW that's a pretty good trick there (the loop). Never thought of that.
Old 12th July 2009
  #10
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There's an art to reading philly's posts. he'll give you the best info EVER, but you have to read it within a series of insults...LOL
Old 13th July 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Get about six mufukkas around a 414 or an 87 set on omnni.
Record a pass all the way through and then double it panned hard left and right.
Done deal.

Another trick is to put up a tape loop of a clapping audience like from a tv show or a concert and then just key it with the snare drum. and gate the release to taste
Done deal

thumbsupthumbsup

thats how they did it at united sound for the funkadelic recordings.

vocal booth, 414, bunch a cats clapping
Old 13th July 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glissando View Post
Also Philly...if he did say Huh? why not explain it to him...you seem to share a lot of good info. Drawing the line there is confusing.

BTW that's a pretty good trick there (the loop). Never thought of that.
I already explained it in my post...and very detailed at that

Its not really a "trick" per se, but a way to have your claps play exactly on time with your snare,even if the snare is live and not in perfect time,the claps will follow suit.
Just adjust the hysterises of your gate and it will be just fine.
Old 13th July 2009
  #13
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthy08 View Post
There's an art to reading philly's posts. he'll give you the best info EVER, but you have to read it within a series of insults...LOL
Hey,thats show biz.
They are not insults,just a wry sense of humor for those with a sense of humor, and judging by the posts here on GS, not too many peeps have a sense of humor.
Lighten up y'all...its all love up in the house.
Old 13th July 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Hey,thats show biz.
They are not insults,just a wry sense of humor for those with a sense of humor, and judging by the posts here on GS, not too many peeps have a sense of humor.
Lighten up y'all...its all love up in the house.
haha word up i second that... some people have a stick up there ass trying to get "placements"... I can't stand that word lol
Old 13th July 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYAMS View Post
haha word up i second that... some people have a stick up there ass trying to get "placements"... I can't stand that word lol
Placements my ass.

Their knowledge and attitude need to be "in place" first
Old 13th July 2009
  #16
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeper1400 View Post
thumbsupthumbsup

thats how they did it at united sound for the funkadelic recordings.

vocal booth, 414, bunch a cats clapping
You need a larger space than a "booth" for optimal results
Old 13th July 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Placements my ass.

Their knowledge and attitude need to be "in place" first
I just hate the concept that you submit your tracks in a huge pool and get "placed"... What happened to getting "signed on" for a project where you are crafted the sound for an album not hustling a few tracks. Thats why as an upcoming dude its definitely way better to try to get in with a "super" producer who does get signed on to projects and work your way up the latter as an assistant rather than whoring yourself on myspace doing everything from mixing to mastering to vocal recording all in your home "studio"only to get 1 placement and remain a nobody. Sorry for the vent I just hate that process I am sure you would agree Philly.
Old 13th July 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYAMS View Post
I just hate the concept that you submit your tracks in a huge pool and get "placed"... What happened to getting "signed on" for a project where you are crafted the sound for an album not hustling a few tracks. Thats why as an upcoming dude its definitely way better to try to get in with a "super" producer who does get signed on to projects and work your way up the latter as an assistant rather than whoring yourself on myspace doing everything from mixing to mastering to vocal recording all in your home "studio"only to get 1 placement and remain a nobody. Sorry for the vent I just hate that process I am sure you would agree Philly.
thumbsup
Old 13th July 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Get about six mufukkas around a 414 or an 87 set on omnni.
Record a pass all the way through and then double it panned hard left and right.
Done deal.

Yeah, or use two mics in the room and pan them out.
Old 13th July 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joemamma View Post
Yeah, or use two mics in the room and pan them out.
I've done it like this with great results.
Old 13th July 2009
  #21
Don't know if this will be of any help to the OP but I recall reading a interview with George Clinton where they used a couple 2x4's (pieces of wood found at your local lumber/hardware store) and smacked them together in a live room to help create some of those signature claps in Parliament.
Old 13th July 2009
  #22
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Heres an idea I learned from an old schooler that was recording in the 70's.. He said two mics was the common setup to record claps but the key was the room and positioning of clappers or snappers. From a birds eye view of the room you position two people 2 ft from the mic (claps or finger snaps) another two aggressive clappers about 8-12 ft back and wider to the left and right making a pyramid position outwards from the mic. He said the two people in the front will give a clear dry clap or snap while positioning the two people in back would give that natural "verb slap" since the reflections are different. Of course this depends on the size of the room.

I found it interesting...

S
Old 13th July 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motion View Post
Heres an idea I learned from an old schooler that was recording in the 70's.. He said two mics was the common setup to record claps but the key was the room and positioning of clappers or snappers. From a birds eye view of the room you position two people 2 ft from the mic (claps or finger snaps) another two aggressive clappers about 8-12 ft back and wider to the left and right making a pyramid position outwards from the mic. He said the two people in the front will give a clear dry clap or snap while positioning the two people in back would give that natural "verb slap" since the reflections are different. Of course this depends on the size of the room.

I found it interesting...

S
Don't get too caught up in numbers, shapes, rules, etc.

But you're on the right track.

Once you got things set up, the mics and everyone placed in the room, get in the control room, and listen to them clapping. From there just tell them where to move in the room in order to get the sound you want. For example: "Hey snappers, get closer to the mics!" or "Hey, you with the loud clap, move back a bit!"
Old 13th July 2009
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeoctane View Post
Don't know if this will be of any help to the OP but I recall reading a interview with George Clinton where they used a couple 2x4's (pieces of wood found at your local lumber/hardware store) and smacked them together in a live room to help create some of those signature claps in Parliament.
Yes, that's actually an official percussion instrument from the classical world.
I know it was used on several great disco records.
Take two pieces of wood any size and slap them together....... usually mixed together with some real claps.
Early 80's clap tracks are also sometimes generated with a 'Claptrap'.
This was a box made by Simmons.
It had a button for triggering, or you could attach a piezo trigger on your snare and trigger it via a trigger input on the box.
Old 14th July 2009
  #25
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I've heard some of the Parliament songs use the 'claptrap'. Dont know if its true. peace
Old 14th July 2009
  #26
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Old skool recording part one,

Find vintage gear;

First piece of vintage gear you should try to find is a musician (that is a person who plays an instrument). As of now there are very few that are still working making them extremely difficult to find. Well try your local pizza delivery....

I could go on....
Old 15th July 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
I already explained it in my post...and very detailed at that

Its not really a "trick" per se, but a way to have your claps play exactly on time with your snare,even if the snare is live and not in perfect time,the claps will follow suit.
Just adjust the hysterises of your gate and it will be just fine.
No need to explain to me, but maybe some folks don't know what sidechaining is...whatever Phil, good info.
Old 15th July 2009
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glissando View Post
No need to explain to me, but maybe some folks don't know what sidechaining is...whatever Phil, good info.
That's easy, everybody know this, wayne himself been sidechaining a lot:
Old 15th July 2009
  #29
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpuma View Post
That's easy, everybody know this, wayne himself been sidechaining a lot:
That about sums it up
Old 15th July 2009
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
i didn't say 'huh?' - i said, 'huh!' as in 'interesting.'
i can't help but feel i've been misunderstood here...i'm down with sidechaining to the fullest! yaaarghh!!!
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