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Mixing in 1980s was pretty terrible Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #61
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
This was exactly my experience in the 80s.

Mixing in 1980s was pretty terrible-2d3894d93b2f5423fcc37f83c8a6a41853e7cc8cc1fc8075002cdd40a4a87471.jpg
My Brother!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuieve View Post
Still listening to that youtube...
That’s not helping. Do yourself a favor and get yourself TIDAL and listen to music in high-quality.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegean Blue View Post
As mentioned the culprit were all these new synths(still hate dx7 for this) and excessive use of the new reverbs..specially on the drums and more specially on the snare.this really was not nice.
I hated the DX7 Rhodes sound ..we had great Dynamo Rhodes..one day I pulled it into the control room before a session and showed them the difference...on the DX7 unless the velocity was off , the sound would go from dull to nails ..no way to eq it
Old 4 weeks ago
  #64
The DX7 Rhodes sound became it's own thing though in much of 80's RnB/Soul.
Can't beat a nice sounding Fender Rhodes, well recorded.
But the hybrid DX7 EP sound became as different as a drum machine is different to a drum kit.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #65
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I really don't think that 'Bad mixing' is synonymous with any specific decade.

I personally am not a great fan of the 80s 'mainstream' sound, I feel that production per se became more important than the song, which IMO resulted in massively disproportionate bass and drums....this, of course, shaped contemporary pop mainstream....and who am I to argue with that.

Every decade from the 50s on has produced some great sounding records.....along with it's own share of badly written, badly produced, and badly mixed efforts.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
I hated the DX7 Rhodes sound ..we had great Dynamo Rhodes..one day I pulled it into the control room before a session and showed them the difference...on the DX7 unless the velocity was off , the sound would go from dull to nails ..no way to eq it
I remember some real "fanatics" with their dx7..not so much the musicians themselves (the keys-players I knew back then rather did not like them much at first..) but the producers and every musician who thought of himself as a "great producer".It was a mess.As a guitar player who started his first session/recording jobs the dx7 gave me (better said the engineers) a hard time to fit into the mixes.Not only voice and snare but also this new kid on the block which demanded a lot of "guitar specific" places in the house of frequencies..and all this not enough..they put tons of reverbs on everything.

Yes..there was a lots of good music -prodiction in the 80s..no doubt..but a few things were just comedy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #67
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Also we must consider that the first Walkman is 1979.

So some tracks of the era, probably were optimized both in mix and master, also to sound at least "pleasant" in the cassette+earbuds combination of the glorious sony walkman. Specially for commercial mainstream music.
Earbuds if I'm not getting wrong were a new thing in that era (I think that in 70 there were only big headphones).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #68
The Walkman was never seen as an ideal music player. It was convenient pure and simple.
Records were mixed for vinyl at the beginning of the 80's and became more and more mixed for CD as the decade went along.

It really is impossible to agree that top professionals weren't doing their best in the 1980's. It really IS a case of changing tastes, different gear, and different needs of artists and record companies. The sound of mixes in the 1980's was exactly what they were meant to be, as requested by artists, record labels and radio stations.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #69
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I know that walkman/boomboxes etc were not optimal compared to vynil, but I'm thinking to this graph...the yellow was the cassette boom as mainstream medium.
The green were vynils, red are cds.
There is a part of the graph dominated by the explosion of yellow and is in the '80s circa.

Old 4 weeks ago
  #70
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegean Blue View Post
I remember some real "fanatics" with their dx7..not so much the musicians themselves (the keys-players I knew back then rather did not like them much at first..) but the producers and every musician who thought of himself as a "great producer".It was a mess.As a guitar player who started his first session/recording jobs the dx7 gave me (better said the engineers) a hard time to fit into the mixes.Not only voice and snare but also this new kid on the block which demanded a lot of "guitar specific" places in the house of frequencies..and all this not enough..they put tons of reverbs on everything.

Yes..there was a lots of good music -prodiction in the 80s..no doubt..but a few things were just comedy.
So true after I centered a "stereo" sound in it and realizing just chessy reverb and modulation effects..I'm like nope .. velocity's off, all effects off and mono out..so I could be able to eq ( and yeah no low end beef or top air), add 224 lexicon verb and an spx 90 chorus...now the oberheim obxa ? Nice.. Jupiter 6 fine, fairlight? had a sound..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimi777 View Post
I know that walkman/boomboxes etc were not optimal compared to vynil, but I'm thinking to this graph...the yellow was the cassette boom as mainstream medium.
The green were vynils, red are cds.
There is a part of the graph dominated by the explosion of yellow and is in the '80s circa.
I'm just saying, absolutely NO ONE mixed with Walkman's in mind.
I sat in mix rooms right throughout the 80's. NS10's dominated, with the odd Auratone or boom box for a quick reference test.
No one ever checked anything on walkman headphones or earbuds, or even a walkman...... No one mixed with cassette in mind. People mixed to the best quality format (vinyl or CD) and regarded consumers who chose convenience instead to accept the compromise in sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #72
DX7 was good in it's own right:
Old 4 weeks ago
  #73
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clump's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I'm just saying, absolutely NO ONE mixed with Walkman's in mind.
I sat in mix rooms right throughout the 80's. NS10's dominated, with the odd Auratone or boom box for a quick reference test.
No one ever checked anything on walkman headphones or earbuds, or even a walkman...... No one mixed with cassette in mind. People mixed to the best quality format (vinyl or CD) and regarded consumers who chose convenience instead to accept the compromise in sound.
Yep, I concur.....It was always switching from 'main' speakers to Auratone, often with "How will it sound on radio or TV?" in mind.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #74
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
So true after I centered a "stereo" sound in it and realizing just chessy reverb and modulation effects..I'm like nope .. velocity's off, all effects off and mono out..so I could be able to eq ( and yeah no low end beef or top air), add 224 lexicon verb and an spx 90 chorus...now the oberheim obxa ? Nice.. Jupiter 6 fine, fairlight? had a sound..
Well..I will also say that guitar players in the 80swere also not the easiest persons to deal with..every established session player brought his supersized "Steve Lukather rig" with them(I did not had the money for this in these years) and to all the lexicons and Yamaha's you mentioned they tried to put their 2290s and (later) h3000 on their cleans and leads..really a nice mess..on the right side you had all the "lukathers" ...and on the other said all "the edges"..

Dont know why everyone was so obsessed in the 80s to make things so complicated.

Dx7
Rocktron 19" guitar preamps
Hughes & Kettner "cream machines"..and many other stuff..

I learned to hate quite a few hardware back then.But it was just the sound of this era.Anyway..just a few years later all of it was blown away by Nirvana & company.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #75
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Sigma's Avatar
My only guilty pleasure was string and horn dates..in R&B back then it was..Linn drum..midi Moog, DX7 , gtrs direct..I used to joke ....as an assistant in latter 70's I had to to mic drum kits and amps and as an engineer in the 80's I had a bunch of DI boxes and had to flip ground switches
Old 4 weeks ago
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
Yep, I concur.....It was always switching from 'main' speakers to Auratone, often with "How will it sound on radio or TV?" in mind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I'm just saying, absolutely NO ONE mixed with Walkman's in mind.
I sat in mix rooms right throughout the 80's. NS10's dominated, with the odd Auratone or boom box for a quick reference test.
You are both right, I know.

But I think that auratones and NS10 are the most walkman-ish sounding monitors systems in the world, compared to others.

So using NS10 (they arrived in 1978 and they are Japanese made, like the Sony Walkman is) as guidance speakers was infact preparing the sound to play well on that kind of portable and domestic japanese devices instead than focusing 100% of the time on the sound of high grade devices.

Maybe it's just a coincindence or just the spirit of the era.
But maybe there is a dual relationship between them (walkman and NS10 like speakers) in my opinion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #77
NS10 had more in common with average home hi-fi.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
My only guilty pleasure was string and horn dates..in R&B back then it was..Linn drum..midi Moog, DX7 , gtrs direct..I used to joke ....as an assistant in latter 70's I had to to mic drum kits and amps and as an engineer in the 80's I had a bunch of DI boxes and had to flip ground switches
Very true....and even more so today.
Drum kit is very seldom recorded by most audio engineers.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #79
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
My only guilty pleasure was string and horn dates..in R&B back then it was..Linn drum..midi Moog, DX7 , gtrs direct..I used to joke ....as an assistant in latter 70's I had to to mic drum kits and amps and as an engineer in the 80's I had a bunch of DI boxes and had to flip ground switches
Maybe the 80s just was the first decade which had great "technological promises" but only a few could use all this new stuff for its full potential?Maybe a little bit simplistic but a lot of technologies were so new in these 80s that most people did not want to hear that it was often not good and to far away from "warm","fat" and all the nice attributes of the 70s.The extensive use of the new reverbs(lexicons and spx) may be the best example for this.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #80
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Sigma's Avatar
Although 98% of the time I'm mixing or mastering it's nice to track bands 3 or 4 times a year with live drums
Old 4 weeks ago
  #81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegean Blue View Post
Maybe the 80s just was the first decade which had great "technological promises" but only a few could use all this new stuff for its full potential?
I think that's partly true and partly too simplistic.

First and main, one has to understand studios wanted/needed to keep up with latest technologies. Many oil the studios in London changed to SSL in the 1980's. Some enlightened studios kept vintage Neve or Api, but also record labels and producers demanded effective recall and SSL was the console that delivered.

Many studios were installing Lexicon and AMS reverbs too. When you booked a studio, you mainly used what the studio offered.

However yes, we were a bit brain washed by the newness and possibilities of new digital; which might arguably have not sounded as good as the previous gear.
So Akai samplers, early digital drum machines, DX7's instead of more basic, more cumbersome analog gear which might have sounded better.
The new possibilities trumped actual sound. Which is not all bad. We're all enjoying gear now which was pioneered by affordable digital recording, digital sampling, digital fx and digital synths.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #82
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Bart Nettle's Avatar
Many of the early/mid 80s Pop were straight off a sequencer with a vocal added. And. many smaller Studios recorded the vocal along with the sequence like a live take for the perfect take. This imparted the same sonic imprint and lacks depth. So on the grid sterile. Before CDs it was stringent to mix for narrower bandwidth.

Progressively more midi sinc'd gear triggered more channels and as the Studio's tape tracks went up, the mix could expand sound palate wise and better FX applied.
Live instruments were added to these sequenced hits to sound and feel less sterile.
There was a move away from anything old. The stories of what is classic today sold off for peanuts.
Digital was king.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #83
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Sigma's Avatar
I got copies of maddona's track sheets from the first album we did in our NY studio..you'd laugh at the all machine tracks

Last edited by Sigma; 4 weeks ago at 03:36 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
I hated the DX7 Rhodes sound ...
In general, when the DX7 came out (and the D50 soon after) it quickly became the tail that wagged the dog, tonewise. It was brighter and clearer and "modern-er" than anything else on the tape. So as an engineer, dealing with clients who were chasing the trends, did you dull down and plump up the DX to fit everything else, or the other way around? I think those of us who were there remember the answer to that question. That's sorta yer early 80's sound right there.

I say "early" because Q and Swedien were aware of the trends, too, but I can see them sitting in a control room together and hearing some twinkly DX pad and looking at each other and going... "uh... really?" Their stuff was heftier. Not just Michael Jackson, but way before that check out their Donna Summer record.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #85
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
NS10 had more in common with average home hi-fi.
Especially since they were released for the home market but picked up by a few of the top mixers. Then everybody ran out and started buying them.

I always had them in my studio for other engineers but personally I only mixed on our Westlake Audio speakers. I hated the sound of the NS10’s... later released as the NS10M’s when they changed the tweeter. Remember the tissue paper over the tweeters with the originals. lol
Old 4 weeks ago
  #86
Yes, I didn't like them either.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #87
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Silvertone's Avatar
I leased gear in the 80’s, the real gear you needed to run a commercial studio. If you wanted to be competitive that’s what you had to do back then. I did start buying gear in the later part of the decade and from there out... but it wasn’t uncommon to be paying 20kmor more a month in lease payments back then... of course you billed 30; to 40k a month so things worked out. Not so much anymore. lol
Old 4 weeks ago
  #88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I say "early" because Q and Swedien were aware of the trends, too, but I can see them sitting in a control room together and hearing some twinkly DX pad and looking at each other and going... "uh... really?" Their stuff was heftier.
It has always been that way, and every innovation takes time to bed in.
From Geoff Emerick:
Quote:
George Martin booked the Beatles in EMI Studios for the months of July and August. Returning to the control room of the facility’s Number Two studio, Emerick got a surprise. In recent months, EMI had updated the room with the studio’s first transistorized mixing console expressly built for recording, the TG 12345. (It was preceded by the RS147, a small solid-state mixer installed in a room used for remixes.) Previously, every electronic recording made at EMI Studios had been made with tube consoles and decks. But by 1969, tubes were out and transistors—then state-of-the-art technology—were in. Unlike tubes, transistors could be cheaply mass-produced and within reasonably similar tolerances. They offered other advantages too, mostly of a technical nature. But whatever their benefits, they didn’t sound like tubes. And for a group that had spent the better part of its career crafting its sounds with tube recorders and consoles, the new mixer was an unwelcome modernization.

“We had trouble getting the same kind of sounds they were used to,” Emerick says. “So there were a lot of long faces for the first few days. But there was no way the old mixing console could be brought in, so we went along with it.”

Once Emerick and the Beatles adjusted to the new sounds, however, the results were simply stunning. Though the sound of the transistorized console lacked the fullness, richness and depth of tube equipment, it was smooth, airy and transparent. And those qualities worked out brilliantly for Abbey Road.

Emerick says, “The new recording console, that specific one, gave the original rhythm tracks a certain texture that wasn’t as aggressive and upfront and hard as the tube desk would have given us. And that sound was well suited to a lot of the songs they brought in for the album. In addition, because the original rhythm tracks were sort of more subdued, the overdubs were a little softer and less harsh as well. Everything sat together a little easier in the mix. So to me that’s why that album has got the texture it’s got. Had we done it through that tube desk, I think it would have sounded a lot different.”
I think Geoff didn't like the sound of the TG console, especially compared to what he was used to. I've recorded drums through a couple of TG consoles and they sound amazing! So it just depends what you are used to.

I was in a studio in 1988 when Trevor Horn plugged in a new D50 and started playing a pre-set on a song we were working on. It sounded amazing. No one remotely thought it was a compromise and a Memory Moog would have done it better. You were just enthused by this new instrument.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #89
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think Geoff didn't like the sound of the TG console, especially compared to what he was used to.
When Abbey Road came out, the sound of that record sure wasn't what I was used to, either. Although I was 15 and had no idea what it was I had been used to.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
I hated the DX7 Rhodes sound.
It's the 'standard pop electric piano sound'. It came from a modified Rhodes. I began doing that for Stevie Wonder back in 1979/80, long before the DX7 came about.

Hard, wood tipped hammers were installed. At middle C the hard rubber was used. You can hear that on 1980's "Hotter Than July". I believe I was the first to patch a 910 Harmonizer into it with a 99 cent detune setting. (I got the idea from Frank Zappa that did that on live bass tracks).

That is the original chorus/bell sound Rhodes. I used it on some vinyl records back in 1982/3. It still sounds incredible.
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