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Sinatra & the Impact of Sound Dynamic Microphones
Old 13th May 2003
  #61
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Who knows more about Esquivel's use of recording or mastering to 35mm film instead of tape? Very Hollywood. His recordings sound cinematic in more ways than one
Old 13th May 2003
  #62
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

With so much agreement on "The Voice" could there anybody doubt?

I do.
For me Frank Sinatra as well as most of Elvis Presley has always been kitsch. ( Nothing against kitsch, but I prefer it with some subtle irony, not dead serious.) The decades and nostalgy couldn´t change this impression. ( Rather do I remember his embarrassing gig with Nancy Reagan.)

Sinatra´s singing to me appeared like a style and as it was the same all the time it even wasn´t too versatile. Same artificial phrasing all the time with a constant push below his natural scale.

I like singers better who can perform in a natural way. ( As some had mentioned female singers, I am thinking e.g. of Melanie or Nina Simone - who unfortunately passed away on April 21 -.)

Funny the parallels also of artificial and natural style and the corresponding lifes in these cases.
Melanie quit her carreer on the peak, because she didn´t like the greed site of the biz and Nina left the states and traveled the world, because she wanted to get away from the cash as cash can mentality.

Sinatra on the other hand got on stage only by help of his mafia friends and applauding his career probably means appreciation of the fact that his trendy audience made him the first interpret who´s concert ticket reached the 250$ treshold.

If bills were connected to performance I would had rather have seen Tom Jones, Barry White, Allen Price, later Mink DeVille or so many others burried in cash than blueeyed Voice.





Ruphus
Old 14th May 2003
  #63
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

With all due respect, Ruphus, must disagree on several points;

1) Sinatra was a MASTER of pop phrasing
2) He was extremely effective in selecting vocal TONES to
express emotions.

Also...
If you listen to either of Frank's or Elvis' records, and just
pay attention to the MUSIC, they both were fine interpretive singers with excellent voices.
(doubters may post their MP3 remakes for "comparison")

Chris

P.S. I'm getting that book on Frank too!
"Only The Lonely" and "Nice and Easy" are two of my
other fave Frank albums BTW.
Old 14th May 2003
  #64
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Frank and Elvis, it's all about the tone, it doesn't matter, thank god, what the words are or any of that. Just those resonances can drive a person crazy. It's a tone thang, like Coltrane, don't matter what he plays there's that sound. The sound is enough.
Old 14th May 2003
  #65
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

When talking to guys who can react so behaved and nice one actually doesn´t really like to oppose.

I wish you joy also with Frank Sinatra
- And yes, it had a certain quality.


Best,

Ruphus
Old 14th May 2003
  #66
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Mixervixen's Avatar
 

Every picture I see of Frank in the studio, he's wearing a hat. I think that's the secret.
Old 14th May 2003
  #67
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Old 14th May 2003
  #68
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chessparov's Avatar
 

Thanks Ruphus.
Must confess that in my teen-age years, didn't care much for
either James Brown or Aretha.
And that has done a total 180 .

Chris

P.S. I think Tom Jones & Barry White have been critically underated
as singers.
Old 14th May 2003
  #69
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
Thanks Ruphus.
Must confess that in my teen-age years, didn't care much for
either James Brown or Aretha.
And that has done a total 180 .

Chris

P.S. I think Tom Jones & Barry White have been critically underated
as singers.
Hi Chris,

your wellcome!
I think so too about T.J.&B.W.

What sins in youth / childhood are concerned I think I estimate to have done even worse. There has been a time I shouted about the Beatles only because my sister and my cousine played their singles all the time.
About five years later I completely changed my mind, better to say the group´s work just blew me away.
Today I see this as the biggest musical event on the planet and in the sametime feel real sorrow about the fact that such can´t ever happen again ( as an unique occasion.) Nothing makes me feeling more nostalgy than any document about that period.





Ruphus
Old 15th May 2003
  #70
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Smile

"A Hard Days Night" was the FIRST real movie I saw (Mom took me) in a movie theatre,
so I was indoctrinated early on. Later when I brought the "Beatles '65" album to
elementary school, it was considered "passe" and most liked the Partridge Family album
better! (also first kid to wear "hippie" jeans at school-was sent home within 2 hours)

Chris
Old 15th May 2003
  #71
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Lest I disgress too much...
(back to thread)

Interesting to note that early on Frank's fan base was mainly female,
while later it it changed to the opposite.
Seems to correlate with going from "The Swooner" to
"The Chairman Of The Board" stylistically.

Chris
Old 15th May 2003
  #72
Gear Maniac
 
Sir Bob's Avatar
 

Mic sounds

Using Frank, what was the difference in sounds between the U47 and the 251 he used? They seem to be different but I am not sure when one would be preferred over the other.

This is a great thread. As to Frank's relationship with Nancy Reagan, I'm sure he's done a lot worse. And as musicians, so have most of us.
Old 16th May 2003
  #73
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Old U47's Vs Telly 251's

Im gonna stick my neck out here a little. Ive only used the Telefunken 251 3 or 4 times, but the last time was only a year or so ago, down at Studio Four In philadelphia. Both the U47 and 251 mics have hot, creamy tubes in them, huge diaphrams, similar body styles, and from general impressions, similar sounds. If I remember one thing about the 251, it was a slightly exagerrated but sweet high frequency response. Both have incredible low end and proximity effect. Anyone else agree/Disagree??

ANOTHER THOUGHT

My friend John Patterson mentioned that back in the 50''s - 70's, everything was 600 ohms. And they had transformers in and out. When you have one transformer output terminated properly into another transformer input, things tend to work very smoothly with an optimal power transfer. Some artifacts from one transformer can get "undone" by another transformer. Maybe with any impedance problems eliminted, and the use of transformers throughout the chain, the audio was fundamentaly correct in some ways, and in the ways it was not correct, perhaps it was "musical".

Honestly though, I think thats a small part compared to the fanatical attention to sound, arrangement, and performance from Frank and the people he surrounded himself with.
Old 16th May 2003
  #74
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malice's Avatar
 

Re: Old U47's Vs Telly 251's

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Derr
Im gonna stick my neck out here a little. Ive only used the Telefunken 251 3 or 4 times, but the last time was only a year or so ago, down at Studio Four In philadelphia. Both the U47 and 251 mics have hot, creamy tubes in them, huge diaphrams, similar body styles, and from general impressions, similar sounds. If I remember one thing about the 251, it was a slightly exagerrated but sweet high frequency response. Both have incredible low end and proximity effect. Anyone else agree/Disagree??
That sums up the general idea

I wouldn't say exagerated for the 251, maybe the 47 lack a little high freq IMHO

do I get spank for that ?

I didn't get much luck with the 47 with female though, more a male toy ...

malice
Old 16th May 2003
  #75
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

One of my most treasured memories is the time I spent over several years conversing with Voyle Gilmore who produced many of Frank Sinatra's Capitol recordings. (My Motown work has given me amazing access to people.)

Many were made at the Radio Recorders Annex in Hollywood which was the site of many hit big band recordings during the 1940s and 50s. According to my friend Mark Neill, who used to work at Radio, the mike preamps and limiter were all Westrex film gear. A great deal of the Reprise sessions were done at United in Hollywood using their own tube gear up into the late 60s when solid state gear was added in order to go 8 track.

Microphones are very hard to judge. Virtually all of the photographs we see were staged photo shoots. While chrome Teles were popular with photographers, they were not necessarily what was being used in practice. Wally Heider told me that Sinatra even used his handheld gold Shure 546 for everything in the studio during the mid to late '60s. RCA 77s were very popular for vocals too.

Frank came up in an era when a PA system amounted to an open-backed guitar amp with a mike plugged into it. His mike technique had to be impeccable in order to even be heard with the band. It's a safe bet his vocals required NO limiting at all. My experience with this kind of singer is that their vocals cut like a knife.
Old 16th May 2003
  #76
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Speaking of golden age singers, Billie Holiday's (who's voice I cherish) voice always reminded me of a female version of Louis Armstrong. Their phrasing and voice mannerisms sound very similar to me.
Old 17th May 2003
  #77
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Got the "Sessions with Sinatra" book and am really enjoying it.
In the 50's (between wives), Frank took my Mom out for dinner four or five times. She said he was very nice, however, his entourage seemed pretty extensive. Frank knew how to pick
'em-she looked like (a young) Vivian Leigh, and was a Vegas
showgirl. (Alan King almost married her, but that's another story)

While they never went "All The Way", it was exciting for her.
Although I was born around that time, bear some vocal resemblance to him, and love Italian food.
Hmm...

Chris

P.S. Notice more of a difference between the ribbons used
on the Columbia recordings, vs. the U47/251's used on the
Capitol stuff BTW.
Old 17th May 2003
  #78
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Hmmm.. Chesspinatra...
Old 17th May 2003
  #79
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malice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson

Many were made at the Radio Recorders Annex in Hollywood which was the site of many hit big band recordings during the 1940s and 50s. According to my friend Mark Neill, who used to work at Radio, the mike preamps and limiter were all Westrex film gear.
Was it Westrex-Quad Eight at the time, Bob ?
I understand they were developing a lot of gear together ...

malice

I love when bob post some infos like that, we are searching the internet for infos, read books, extrapolate things out of promotional photos, and bob actualy lived the whole thing heh



When I grow up, I wanna be like bob
Old 17th May 2003
  #80
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Chessparov said:

Although I was born around that time, bear some vocal resemblance to him, and love Italian food.
Hmm...
=======================================
Thats friggin interesting as hell, Chess. Lemme hear ya sing "And thru it all, I did it My Way"....

Actually, I have a really neat aunt who "dated" Marlon Brando a few times. It makes you try to imagine what kind of wild things our parents and relatives did when they were young whippersnappers. Lifes a trip aint it?
Old 17th May 2003
  #81
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
One of my most treasured memories is the time I spent over several years conversing with Voyle Gilmore who produced many of Frank Sinatra's Capitol recordings. Wally Heider told me that Sinatra even used his handheld gold Shure 546 for everything in the studio during the mid to late '60s. RCA 77s were very popular for vocals too.
Woh Bob.

Thats some interesting stuff. Never heard of Voyle, but now Ill be on the lookout for his name.

You know Frank worked with Bill Putnam for many years, and Bill is becoming one of my other idols. Bill was one of those guys who if he couldnt find something to get the sound like he knew it could be, or if a piece of gear wasnt quite right, would go into his little room and start prototyping something new. Hed tweak and twiddle untill he had something for the next similar session. And when he was ready, he'd bring it into the studio and plug it in, and punch up something thru it for its first real world application. Its such an exciting moment when you go from looking at things on the scope and soldering the connectors in, double checking for shorts, to actually plugging someones "sacred" performance thru the box, and hearing a sound that no one else has ever heard before!

I just bet that Bill Putnam plugged Frank into an La2a or something from his company, UREI, and just smiled like a wild man. I also heard the Bob Fine used to make little compressors for his orhcestral recordings, and those recordings still ROCK ME, 40 years later.

Ive heard of the RCA 77 and 44, but never the Shure 546. Dynamic or Condensor??

Any more relevant stories Bob? Im with Malice here... sounds like you've seen some things that Ive only heard the results of. I bet lots of us would love to know about passed down events, and other late nite diner conversations over hash browns.

Dave

PS I just got in from celebrating my buddy John Pattersons B-day. He was Phil Ramones engineer for several years, and shares stories with me when I can pry them out of him. My computer had a few drinks so... if any of this is incoherent...
Old 17th May 2003
  #82
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I understand Bill recorded Frank at Radio Recorders before he sold his Chicago studio and moved to Hollywood however I don't know if this was for Capitol.

From the All music guide:
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p...=R80088#APPEAR

Frank Sinatra In the Wee Small Hours (1954) Producer
Frank Sinatra Songs for Young Lovers/Swing Easy! (1955) Producer
Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1955) Producer
Frank Sinatra Swingin' Affair! (1957) Producer
Frank Sinatra Close to You and More (1957) Producer
Frank Sinatra Come Fly with Me (1957) Producer
Frank Sinatra Only the Lonely (1958) Producer
Frank Sinatra Point of No Return (1961)
Old 17th May 2003
  #83
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by malice
Was it Westrex-Quad Eight at the time, Bob ?
TUBE, from long long long before there was ever a Quad Eight!
Old 17th May 2003
  #84
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

A 546 was the chrome-bodied predecessor of the SM-56 which was an SM-57 with a built-in stand coupler and shock mount. All three used/use selected 545 capsules.

To the best of my knowledge Bill hadn't bought Teletronix yet and it was probably before the 1176s. Limiters were used mostly to make sure the tape didn't distort back then, a safety device. "Real men" like Bill Putnum or Bob Fine were pretty well known known for avoiding them when at all possible. The use of limiters as a creative device began during the late 1960s. I remember being amazed in 1972 that Wally Heider actually had three 1176s in every studio. I had almost never seen a studio that that had more than two limiters available and I used to bring in my own LA-3a well into the '70s.
Old 17th May 2003
  #85
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Bob, is that "selected" in the same sense that Shure divides up the SM48 and SM58's-where the capsules that fall outside the 58's specs to become 48's? I bought a SM57 with "Unidyne III"
on it recently that sounds better than any other '57 I've tried BTW.

Dave, yes that was a great time for meeting interesting people.
My uncle was the "official" taxi cab driver for Big Joe Turner for a while. Used to go to clubs like "Shelly's Manhole" (spelling?),
hear people like the Nat King Cole Trio, Sarah Vaughn, etc. live.
One night he was torn between seeing Sarah Vaughn and
Ella Fitzgerald-because they were playing across the street from each other! So he walked back and forth all night.

One thing I've begun to properly understand from the "Sessions"
book, was how wonderful the reverb chambers were at Capitol.
While the records still sound good at Reprise, I'm in agreement with the book that Capitol represented the pinnacle in his sound.

Chris
Old 17th May 2003
  #86
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malice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
TUBE, from long long long before there was ever a Quad Eight!
Bob, do you have some Quad eight favorites, did you like em, still own some of them ...

I'm curious ...

malice

sorry for of topics heh
Old 17th May 2003
  #87
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I had a lot of friends at Quad-8.

I pretty much agreed with everybody else that the API 550 left EVERY other console eq made up to that point in the dust. Quad-Eights were very clean and quiet for a 20+ input console but they were nothing esoteric you'd want channel strips from like a Helios. I never have gotten the thing people have today for Neve modules.

Voyle told me that almost nothing Frank recorded at the tower was ever issued so you may be talking about the sound of Radio Annex or the original Capitol studio on Melrose. Radio is where Jailhouse Rock was also recorded!
Old 18th May 2003
  #88
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chessparov's Avatar
 

Sorry I wasn't clear Bob.
Meant "at Capitol" only in the sense of being done with the label,
not just the tower.

In fact, the "Sessions" book goes in detail over how much trouble they had getting it to their previous sonic standards, including the rooms.

Chris
Old 19th May 2003
  #89
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sonic dogg's Avatar
Gawd! ya gotta LOVE this stuff...

My Dad had all of those albums....I used to listen to em over and over as a kid...We had an old RCA record player with one speaker in the unit and another that was the remote...I'd just lay on the floor in between em and close my eyes.....and....

"Come flyyyy with me........."

I still have a couple of 545's stored somewhere...they ALWAYS sounded better than ANY 57 (except the unidyne models)...I sold the 56's though cause they were harder to deal with than the clips for the 57/58's ....dummb......


"Fly me..to the mooooonnn ..and let me playyy...amoung the clouds...."
Old 19th May 2003
  #90
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

It is interesting stuff, Sonic. I was at a Birthday Bash yesterday (we have a lot of social events around here!), and they played 6 - 7 Sinartra tunes, again. Frank wont go away, especially now that we are talking about him.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
[B] "Real men" like Bill Putnum or Bob Fine were pretty well known known for avoiding them when at all possible. The use of limiters as a creative device began during the late 1960s. [B]
BOB

And yet I have heard from fairly reliable sources that both Bill and Bob created their own limitiers/compressors. Bill obviouslyowned a company that made compressors that are still valued now, 40 years later. Someone wrote a few years ago that they had an opto limiter or something that Bob Fine had come up with.

When you say "they avoided them when at all possible", are you suggesting they didnt regularly use limiting before 1970?
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