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That "SWEET SOUL MUSIC" thread! Dynamic Microphones
Old 26th January 2018
  #31
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
My biggest step towards nailing a classic tone was when I recently filled a bass drum with newspaper strips and mic'd it with a ribbon outside.
"get it right at the source"... whodathunk?
Gives it some crispy texture and makes it "read" without having to dial in click.* Also makes it last a little longer, which probably helps. I do the same thing by putting an upside-down snare drum inside.

* I hate kick-click.
Old 26th January 2018
  #32
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Sigma's Avatar
lol we put a blanket and a mic stand base and shoved it up against the beater head ..then miked the kick lol..dead as sheee ite
Old 26th January 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
lol we put a blanket and a mic stand base and shoved it up against the beater head ..then miked the kick lol..dead as sheee ite
Lots of people did. I worked at a place where that was the standard m.o. and one day we were cutting something that called for the snares to be thrown off, and all of sudden the kick sound went all to hell. That's when I realized that the kick mic hearing snare wires was part of the recipe.
Old 27th January 2018
  #34
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Really cool thread.

I was listening to that Marvin Gaye stuff. The thing that stood out to me the most was that it was all done live.

The same stuff now, today, would be done by a small operation programming some machines. In that day, it was a small team of humans in real time in a room creating those sounds on real instruments. Really amazing. Daft Punk tried to recreate that with Random Access Memories, I think. Of course, it's probably more interesting to listen to the original source material.

I'm interested in that sound where pop music was made by hand instead of by programming. There's a lot of room for error, which means a lot of room for success I guess. A similar transition happened with animated films, and live action films as well, with the CGI revolution. There is certainly an appreciation for the human factor.
Old 27th January 2018
  #35
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So, between two mastering sessions, I went out to the courtyard at Kendun to get something out of the vending machine. No one was in the courtyard when I came out. I was wasting time, so I spent a little time looking at the choices and started singing The Miracles “Ooo, Baby Baby”. I actually was in decent voice and was enjoying the song, so I was getting kind of loud. I made my selection, and when I turned around, Smokey Robinson was standing right behind me waiting to use the machine. Over some years we had been in the same room a few times, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t know me. I was just some random white guy butchering a beautiful song he had written and recorded. He seemed somewhat amused... we gave each other a nod, and I went back to my studio thinking, “This is a really strange day.”
Old 27th January 2018
  #36
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I was listening to that Marvin Gaye stuff. The thing that stood out to me the most was that it was all done live.
When it comes to Marvin the record that always kills me is "Your Precious Love." It starts in Bb Major and then without any setup, the chorus jumps to Db Major and the first sung lyric is right on the downbeat. It's weird as hell and Marvin and Tammi make it sound like the most natural thing in the world.

When I did a lot of jingles I used to see Ashford and Simpson sometimes (they wrote it) and always wanted to ask them about that, but never found the right time or worked up the nerve. Not sure which.
Old 27th January 2018
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Lots of people did. I worked at a place where that was the standard m.o. and one day we were cutting something that called for the snares to be thrown off, and all of sudden the kick sound went all to hell. That's when I realized that the kick mic hearing snare wires was part of the recipe.
Wow, now I just got the idea of duct taping some snare wires on the kick just to hear what that sounds like.
Old 27th January 2018
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
My biggest step towards nailing a classic tone was when I recently filled a bass drum with newspaper strips and mic'd it with a ribbon outside.
"get it right at the source"... whodathunk?
Cool! Got a pic of this technique in action?
Old 27th January 2018
  #39
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andychamp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33 View Post
Cool! Got a pic of this technique in action?

here you are
But it doesn't quite sound the way Brent described. It's a kind of chesty thump with a little bit of very short resonance and tone left. The reso head tuning still matters.
Less radical dampening than a blanket touching both heads, more like an "average, whole drum" thing.
More Motown than Philly, but I can see it working in many styles.
This is a ported 22", the Motown kick was a closed 20", IIRC.
Old 27th January 2018
  #40
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To clarify, I do what I do - the drum in drum thing - with the reso head off. It's late on a Friday night, but I'll try to post some examples tomorrow.
Old 27th January 2018
  #41
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andychamp's Avatar
What I love about the music of that era (and the Daptone stuff, too), is the simplicity of the tones. Dry kick, thumpy bass, clean guitars, piano, etc.
No complex distortion tones, synth layers, harmonically rich bass and drums to get lost in while you wrestle them around.
The longer I do this, the more I realize my personal quest is towards this simplicity, away from sonic distractions. What some may label as "retro" to me is refinement.
And yes, there's the human factor. You can hear it's been played by people - albeit very good ones - so it's very easy to connect with it, it's within your grasp. Lots of modern music sounds unreal to me, even if the songs are OK.

Last edited by andychamp; 27th January 2018 at 07:46 AM..
Old 27th January 2018
  #42
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Thanks again everyone. Lots of creative techniques & info.

Chris
Old 27th January 2018
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
To clarify, I do what I do - the drum in drum thing - with the reso head off. It's late on a Friday night, but I'll try to post some examples tomorrow.
So here I am quoting myself -- that's so me -- and here also are some examples of the snare-drum-in-kick-drum thing. It's not as pronounced as you might expect.

None of these, btw, are sweet soul music.





Old 27th January 2018
  #44
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rhythmtech's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
What I love about the music of that era (and the Daptone stuff, too), is the simplicity of the tones. Dry kick, thumpy bass, clean guitars, piano, etc.
No complex distortion tones, synth layers, harmonically rich bass and drums to get lost in while you wrestle them around.
The longer I do this, the more I realize my personal quest is towards this simplicity, away from sonic distractions. What some may label as "retro" to me is refinement.
And yes, there's the human factor. You can hear it's been played by people - albeit very good ones - so it's very easy to connect with it, it's within your grasp. Lots of modern music sounds unreal to me, even if the songs are OK.
I went down that rabbit hole a few years back for a soul project. First time i'd tried anything like it.

Everything was recorded using old techniques and mics as much as was possible. Obviously budget limited us to some compromises in mic choice.

In the end the artist decided it was a little too vintage, so we decided to make it a bit more modern, with the vintage still there there as a flavour.. ala Amy Winehouse.


Here's the result. After a few years i'm still quite pleased with it as my first attempt at the genre.

Old 27th January 2018
  #45
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Drumsound's Avatar
Yeah, man. This is great.
Old 28th January 2018
  #46
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
So, between two mastering sessions, I went out to the courtyard at Kendun to get something out of the vending machine. ....snip... I made my selection, and when I turned around, Smokey Robinson was standing right behind me waiting to use the machine. Over some years we had been in the same room a few times, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t know me. I was just some random white guy butchering a beautiful song he had written and recorded. He seemed somewhat amused... we gave each other a nod, and I went back to my studio thinking, “This is a really strange day.”
i got that one beat
i was at the California State Fair, 1971
i walked up to the lemonade stand where they have like a trucklod of lemons and half a dozen beatiful babes ready to spring into action
i non-chalantley asked for a pint of lemonade
while the lass was cutting and squeezing lemons, i started to sing
:squeeze my lemon till the juice runs down my leg:

after i got my lemonade i turned around
and saw me mum
got a good right thrashing as well
what luck!
Old 28th January 2018
  #47
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Old 28th January 2018
  #48
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Bob,
Do you have information to go with the picture? Who, when, where, and what is the five-VU piece of gear behind them?
Old 28th January 2018
  #49
Gear Nut
 

that 5 U unit
a piece of ugly history
those lads were setup to recieve a shock
if they played A in 430
gawd, we are such recalcitrant humans
eh?
Old 28th January 2018
  #50
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

That's our "guitar amplifier" that had direct feeds coming up in the control room patch bay. The musicians are Robert White and Joe Messina. The picture was probably taken around 1963 before the organ was moved to an isolation room.
Old 28th January 2018
  #51
Gear Nut
 

man
look at the inlays
on the tele
Old 28th January 2018
  #52
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Been walk'n over "25 Miles", over at the NAMM Show today and... Won the drawing for a Soundelux U195!! (at the Bock booth)
Looking forward to some soul singin' on it.

When I get home, I also appreciate being able to catch up on this thread. Thanks for joining us Bob O. Chris
Old 28th January 2018
  #53
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by son of soulohio View Post
man
look at the inlays
on the tele
Every time I see that photo, that's what I notice. That and the fact that they perfected the design of the folding chair a really long time ago. That neck's gotta be from an old Jazzmaster.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 28th January 2018 at 04:40 PM..
Old 28th January 2018
  #54
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the fxs's Avatar
 

what a refreshingly positive thread.
Old 28th January 2018
  #55
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

It was a new Jazzmaster neck. Joe was the Michigan distributor for Fender. We even had a Fender acoustic which sounded dreadful. Joe also supplied the studio bass that James played until he took it out to a gig and it was stolen. (James called it a "pussy bass" while to him an upright was truly the "man's bass.")
Old 28th January 2018
  #56
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
It was a new Jazzmaster neck.
I just meant "old" in the "they don't make them like that anymore" sense. :-)
Old 28th January 2018
  #57
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Bob, in past posts, you mentioned the KM86. IYO how would that microphone compare to the top vocal LDC microphones available today? BTW as I'm posting this, "Ain't No Mountain High" (Diana Ross & Supremes version) came up at the restaurant I'm eating at!

Guessing Diana was singing through it. It's my favorite song of theirs, with Diana as lead vocalist.

Thanks, Chris
Old 28th January 2018
  #58
One of my favorite soulful voices came out of David Ruffin. I'd ask what kind of set up was used when his vocals were recorded but I believe it wouldn't matter that much as that voice would sound incredible through just about any chain. This is one of the most fun threads I've ever encountered here and after all the childish bickering that goes on in other threads is a real breath of fresh air.
Old 28th January 2018
  #59
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Yes-"No fighting in the War Room!" (Dr. Stranglove)

OK, my David Ruffin story...

A few years before David R. passed on, I went to a nightclub called "The Strand"
(South Bay/L.A.) to hear him and Eddie Kendricks sing.

Most of you probably know the story about how after he was fired from the Temps, he used to jump up onstage anyway & sing with them.

Well... Unbeknownst to David (maybe Eddie was in on it)

EVERY living member of the Temptations, surprised him by getting up onstage
with him. I could see the tears in his eyes, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house!

Oh, what a night and what singin'. It was the first set of two, and I was allowed to visit David between shows. I told him how much of a vocal inspiration he was to me. Then, he asked me to sing a bit for him. He said "Your voice reminds me of my brother" (Jimmy) Boy, I was on "Cloud Nine" after he told me that.

Then David said "What are you doing after this-I'd like you to stay for our 2nd show. So he got me "first row seats"! A great life long memory for me. Chris
Old 28th January 2018
  #60
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I'd take an 86 or an 84 over almost anything but a 67. The way they take eq in a mix without a need for de-essing is wonderful. The 84s and 86s must be shock mounted. We used Shures because they were cheaper than the Neumanns and sounded better. The only thing I used a windscreen on was kick drum. They all screw up the midrange and breath pops are trivial to fix in a DAW. I did a mike shootout where people compared both with and without. The mikes all sounded better without but some of today's boutique mikes had massive pop problems compared to AKG and Neumann.

As for modern mikes, I'm using a Miktek C1 which has more above 10k than an 84 yet doesn't require de-essing. (The 184 was a huge disappointment.) The difference between small and large diaphragm is the frequency that proximity effect begins. The more massive the diaphragm, the higher that low frequency boost will be.
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