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Recording sessions in the 60's/70's
Old 4 weeks ago
  #61
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Building from the basic rhythm track?

I couldn't tell you exactly when it began but you have your assumptions backwards.
Sure there are some things done because there are technical limitations involved in doing them any other way,
but most Recording techniques are the result of how musicians work together. Engineers designed their technology and techniques around the musicians to capture the best sound possible, not the other way around.

As far as limiting it to the 60's 70, you could easily go back farther then that. Buddy Holly for example is an ideal example how a small band circumvents how the record factories normally did things. Much of the record business up till then pretty much copied how things were done in the film industry where everyone had a specific job and it took an entire technical crew to produce a band whether large or small. Holly was able to dust off the music writers, and most of the technical staff and make the companies money with his tiny 3 piece band. That means fewer pay checks and more profit.

Many 50's bands began to build music around the rhythm but most simply copied what black bands were doing for quite awhile.
Where the rhythm machine really kicked into gear in my opinion was with Motown. They had mainly one band, the Funk Brothers write all those hit songs.
The vocal parts were mostly windows dressing placed over the backing musicians. They had many guest musicians and floaters come in over the years, but the main engine of the music all came from the local jazz and blues bands in Chicago. They'd often get the main theme of the song, and the melody from the singer, but the rest of the music was mostly Improvised, something that's been lost from music for a long time and in my opinion is where all the musical magic comes from.

Its hard to include all bands in the 60's and 70's because you still had studio factories turning out acts all through those years too. I see those as being an extension of my fathers generation where big bands ruled the music world. You'd have a band leader get most of the credit and profit from those acts and records. Most read music fluently and either adapted other bands music, bought songs from music writers, or had a band leader who often doubled as a composer. Given the number of instruments and the type of music, allot of it was improvised much like Jazz bands and other stuff was composed like the Great masters composed.

The whole structure of the bigger studios was to make money, not necessarily art. If a band was successful making money play live then recording was simply a way of cashing in on that fame that was already established. Within the umbrella of the studio you had the same types of jobs a movie studio would. You had studio musicians when needed, song writers and directors, you had your audio engineers for tracking, mixing and mastering, and most of those people all worked by the hour. You'd have rooms for recording bands, large and small, and you had smaller rooms for recording commercials and advertisements where allot of the cash flow came from.

Producers and managers had to pay for all those people whether they were needed or not in many cases because they were in union workers in most of the big cities. Studio owners and managers had an incentive to promote bands that could do allot of that work themselves or do recordings where it wasn't needed at all.
Jazz and Gospel lead to Rhythm and Blues and eventually rock and roll in the 50's which allowed smaller acts to have multiple singers instead of horn players imitating horn parts to be done by singers as Doo Wop. The 60s had the flood doors open on combining all types of music with a heavy doses of Folk, Blues, Jazz, Classical, country as well as all other types of music from around the world.

Again, building music off the rhythm is very common especially amongst uneducated musicians who have little skill in reading music or composing it. Not that that's bad, its just the more parts there are in a musical composition, the more complex things can get trying to capture it recording if you don't have enough players and have to multitrack it all.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #62
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by willem1958 View Post
I don't know about special issues of that song.
All I know is that the album was recorded on a 48 track deck.
There were some words written about the recording technique on the back of the record sleeve.
As far as I remeber it was an Ampex but it's so many years back I had vinyl in my house that I could be wrong about it.
I think that would be 2 time-locked 24-tracks.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #63
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Also, CSN suite: Judy blue eyes was built from the acoustic guitar track up. I think most of their first album was done that way, since Stephen Stills played most of the instruments.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #64
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiozzo View Post
Hello,
I want to ask some questions to all the experts of vintage recording sessions and techniques, mainy in the field of pop and rock music.
The fist one is: when did building the track from the basic rythmic section recording one instrument one at a time become the norm in the recording industry?
By listening to some unreleased takes by famous bands it seems to me that many of the elements you can hear in the released version are here in the first place and are not overdubbed later. I'm thinking about some Beatles' or Van Morrison's recordings you can hear on some Deluxe versions of famous albums.

The second one is: how often did recording engineers use to edit or punch in recordings made with all the members of the band playing simultaneously?
Building a track one instrument at a time wasn't the norm in 60's or 70's. Or 80's, except for some dance beat stuff.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adampaulson1217 View Post
Also, CSN suite: Judy blue eyes was built from the acoustic guitar track up. I think most of their first album was done that way, since Stephen Stills played most of the instruments.
Dallas was there too doing marachas or cabasa or something as well as the sporadic tom fills at the 1969 basic tracks session. The final section was a more conventional piece edited on seven weeks before the mix.

In March-April 1968, Steve also played everything but drums on the buildouts for the last Buffalo album songs "Special Care", "4 days gone" and "Questions". "Questions" is the one and only time I'm aware of where a clavinet was lying around....and he made great use if it.

Those three tracks are also the ones I learned my fav marshall technique...put the dual 412s out in the studio, the jtm head in the control room, banana-plug 50ft of speaker cable to run to the cabs, crank the jtm to 11, and then do the overdub from the control room. Noisy as hell when you listen to spots on the multi where the lead gtr stops...but gating/muting and overall edit cleanups took care of that at mix. I think jim came up with the idea, but maybe it was steve.

When i would go see buffalo springfield play after steve bought his lpc and marshall in sept of 67, he was always losing control of it with everything feeding back all the time on every other song. While the band used feedback extensively at shows, the new marshall was just aching to feedback at all times. The guild and 412 bandmaster had been much more tame imo.

To get the feedback on Special Care, steve moved the head to the studio and simply stood in front of the stack...which when I would do, would leave my ears ringing for a long time, so I've always limited where I do that. He did a similar overdub on uno-mundo.

Steve was on a roll with doing things himself with buildouts and comps by feb of 67. Lots of artists were doing it and I would get with as many enginneers as I could/listen to as many multis as guys would let me hear....and absorb (steal ) as many ideas as i could that jazzed me.

Steve's buildout/comp work was always top-of-the-heap stuff to me in 67.... he was at the top of his game at 22 and I thought Buffalo Springfield was gonna take the world by storm there by the end of 67.

Oh well....at least the production ideas survived.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Building a track one instrument at a time wasn't the norm in 60's or 70's. Or 80's, except for some dance beat stuff.
Define "the norm". Is 1967's "wake up wake up" a dance beat stuff track? Is 1966's "mr. Diengly sad" a dance beat stuff track? The are built out 1-2 tracks at a time but I don't recall anyone dancing to either.

One sorta can dance to the 1, 2trk at a time built out/heavily edited march 1967 "Girl I knew somewhere" or may 1967 "For Pete's Sake". But I don't exactly remember the term "dance beat stuff" in the spring of 1967.

The 1966/67 one-trk-at-a-time buildout of Surf's Up" is real hard to dance to.

I can't remember anyone dancing to "penny lane" and that's one/two tracks at a time.

I presume your term "the norm" is based on 123,856 charting singles/albums between 1960-79 being cut all-at-once-basic-track style while 115,642 sessions were done one or two tracks at a time, then built out. But that's a guess.....perhaps you can define who "the norm" guys are in the bigger picture of the entire universe.

As I often do in these types of threads, I counter ideas of a norm for 1950s-1970s sessions because .....there were no norms. Saying "there were norms" is as much a dis-service to production history as the idea of saying "that tape sound" is a thing rather than part of what can be a very complicated "process".
Old 3 weeks ago
  #67
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Define "the norm". Is 1967's "wake up wake up" a dance beat stuff track? Is 1966's "mr. Diengly sad" a dance beat stuff track? The are built out 1-2 tracks at a time but I don't recall anyone dancing to either.

One sorta can dance to the 1, 2trk at a time built out/heavily edited march 1967 "Girl I knew somewhere" or may 1967 "For Pete's Sake". But I don't exactly remember the term "dance beat stuff" in the spring of 1967.

The 1966/67 one-trk-at-a-time buildout of Surf's Up" is real hard to dance to.

I can't remember anyone dancing to "penny lane" and that's one/two tracks at a time.

I presume your term "the norm" is based on 123,856 charting singles/albums between 1960-79 being cut all-at-once-basic-track style while 115,642 sessions were done one or two tracks at a time, then built out. But that's a guess.....perhaps you can define who "the norm" guys are in the bigger picture of the entire universe.

As I often do in these types of threads, I counter ideas of a norm for 1950s-1970s sessions because .....there were no norms. Saying "there were norms" is as much a dis-service to production history as the idea of saying "that tape sound" is a thing rather than part of what can be a very complicated "process".
I was just answering the OP's question, and tracks were recorded drums, bass and guitars on almost everything back then.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #68
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Define "the norm". Is 1967's "wake up wake up" a dance beat stuff track? Is 1966's "mr. Diengly sad" a dance beat stuff track? The are built out 1-2 tracks at a time but I don't recall anyone dancing to either.

One sorta can dance to the 1, 2trk at a time built out/heavily edited march 1967 "Girl I knew somewhere" or may 1967 "For Pete's Sake". But I don't exactly remember the term "dance beat stuff" in the spring of 1967.

The 1966/67 one-trk-at-a-time buildout of Surf's Up" is real hard to dance to.

I can't remember anyone dancing to "penny lane" and that's one/two tracks at a time.

I presume your term "the norm" is based on 123,856 charting singles/albums between 1960-79 being cut all-at-once-basic-track style while 115,642 sessions were done one or two tracks at a time, then built out. But that's a guess.....perhaps you can define who "the norm" guys are in the bigger picture of the entire universe.

As I often do in these types of threads, I counter ideas of a norm for 1950s-1970s sessions because .....there were no norms. Saying "there were norms" is as much a dis-service to production history as the idea of saying "that tape sound" is a thing rather than part of what can be a very complicated "process".

But there weren't many Beatles, Monkees or Beach Boys tracks recorded that way, so surely even for them it wasn't really 'the norm' ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
As I often do in these types of threads, I counter ideas of a norm for 1950s-1970s sessions because .....there were no norms. Saying "there were norms" is as much a dis-service to production history as the idea of saying "that tape sound" is a thing rather than part of what can be a very complicated "process".
Clearly, most bands were NOT recording one instrument at a time in the 60s and 70s. Most bands and orchestras recorded live to tape...mono or stereo, comparatively few bands used the one instrument at a time method.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #70
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I counter with this......

Records.....charting records....regional/cashbox/billboard.... 1956-1979..... in any particular week you choose to analyze during that timeframe...you will discover records that were tracked and built-out one element at a time.

And imo, some of those records are the absolute best mojo-wise.

The craft of making records has always been wide open with no rules or preconceptions necessary in order to chart.

I'm not seeing a question of math in the op post.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #71
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I counter with this......

Records.....charting records....regional/cashbox/billboard.... 1956-1979..... in any particular week you choose to analyze during that timeframe...you will discover records that were tracked and built-out one element at a time.

And imo, some of those records are the absolute best mojo-wise.

The craft of making records has always been wide open with no rules or preconceptions necessary in order to chart.

I'm not seeing a question of math in the op post.
Personally I'm not disputing it was done during the 60s or that some of those records were great, but it does appear to be the exception rather than 'the norm.' I'm also genuinely curious for examples and how exactly they were done. Some of the ones you referred to still seem to have been laid down as a live track of some sort, be it drums plus at least one other instrument (piano, gtr etc) and rarely, if ever to a click.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Some of the ones you referred to still seem to have been laid down as a live track of some sort, be it drums plus at least one other instrument (piano, gtr etc) and rarely, if ever to a click.
To hear him tell it, he's the Forrest Gump of 60's record-making. I'd love to hear more detailed anecdotes. Don't care if they're true.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
To hear him tell it, he's the Forrest Gump of 60's record-making. I'd love to hear more detailed anecdotes. Don't care if they're true.
Pure gold!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #74
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I always enjoy thenoodle's posts and he often confirms things that I've suspected just from listening but that you don't see people talk about much. @ thenoodle are your initials A.B. by any chance?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #75
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Somebody had to do the dirty work, on that Steely Dan album. (rimshot please drummer)
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #76
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Sigma's Avatar
lol "smartass"
Old 3 weeks ago
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I think that would be 2 time-locked 24-tracks.
It's very long ago I read the back of the record sleeve.
I looked upon it on the internet and found the back sleeve and it says "Steely Dan uses a specially constructed 24 channel tape recorder, a state of the art 36 input computerized mixdown console and some very expensive German micrphones.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7087/...8f161cd0_b.jpg
Old 3 weeks ago
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willem1958 View Post
It's very long ago I read the back of the record sleeve.
I looked upon it on the internet and found the back sleeve and it says "Steely Dan uses a specially constructed 24 channel tape recorder, a state of the art 36 input computerized mixdown console and some very expensive German micrphones.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7087/...8f161cd0_b.jpg
Cool. Pretty interesting that there are pictures of Roger Nichols and Gary Katz on the back of the record.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willem1958 View Post
It's very long ago I read the back of the record sleeve.
I looked upon it on the internet and found the back sleeve and it says "Steely Dan uses a specially constructed 24 channel tape recorder, a state of the art 36 input computerized mixdown console and some very expensive German micrphones.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7087/...8f161cd0_b.jpg
What the fork is a Dorophone?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #80
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But this reflects how the making of music was changing at that time.

A while before that it really was more of engineers in lab coats setting up microphones and hitting the record button. And while the Beatles and others innovators were hard at work manipulating sounds into something new, the majority of music was still pretty straight forward and produced as such. That really changed at the end of the 60's, and into the 70's.

When Nichols, Katz, Parsons, Scott, Clarke (and so many others) started really becoming a part of the sound in addition to the bands themselves, I think all were becoming aware of how integral they were to the finished record. So good for Steely Dan recognizing this and giving them their Kudos way back then.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #81
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The one thing you can't punch is is a drum set. Cymbal ring being cut off and re-started in a track sounds really bad. Hence, you can't punch in an entire band.

There are exceptions, and they do get used. Like when the drums stop for 2 measures...then you can punch them in.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #82
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
The one thing you can't punch is is a drum set. Cymbal ring being cut off and re-started in a track sounds really bad. Hence, you can't punch in an entire band.

There are exceptions, and they do get used. Like when the drums stop for 2 measures...then you can punch them in.
I've done it. Just get them to play along and drop them in. Quite garagey stuff, but no one ever noticed once there were some guitars on top.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #83
I cut in drums quite frequently with no issues that me or anyone notices. Does the player change what they are playing to cause the cut in issues? Give them some preroll, let them to play through, and find a clean in and out works here. Takes a good drummer and a completed song but seems pretty easy on a daw. Just curious.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #84
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One thig to stay mindful of ...bands with super great feel ..Little Richard, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen . .and opossibly others - recorded basic tracks (( as a band )).
Old 3 weeks ago
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
One thig to stay mindful of ...bands with super great feel ..Little Richard, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen . .and opossibly others - recorded basic tracks (( as a band )).
I love the feel of "Stayin' Alive."
Old 3 weeks ago
  #86
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Check out the guy who does the remixes/extended versions on songs like that, on YouTube sometime. You can find them, if you put in "Disco Purrfection" and the song.

Brilliant stuff-if you like that sort of thing. Chris

P.S. Found my BG's CD today, and just listened to that song-before I saw your post!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #87
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
The one thing you can't punch is is a drum set. Cymbal ring being cut off and re-started in a track sounds really bad. Hence, you can't punch in an entire band.

There are exceptions, and they do get used. Like when the drums stop for 2 measures...then you can punch them in.
There are ways to deal with this. I've had drummers make sure they re hitting the same cymbals during pre-roll, or sometimes punching on 2 or 3 instead of 1. Even one time when I wanted to edit a new ending on to a take (on 2"), I played the ending of the take with the bad ending, as a tempo reference and had the drummer count the band back in using his crashes, because the ending was after a hold where the cymbals rang.

In a DAW you can experiment with crossfades to make it smooth. You can even move the "handles" in different places on different tracks to make each one it's most smooth and unnoticed.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #88
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by matherne View Post
I cut in drums quite frequently with no issues that me or anyone notices. Does the player change what they are playing to cause the cut in issues? Give them some preroll, let them to play through, and find a clean in and out works here. Takes a good drummer and a completed song but seems pretty easy on a daw. Just curious.
Yup did it often on tape and just did it last week in protools..play along ..dump In and out..ya need a good drummer is about it
Old 3 weeks ago
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
The one thing you can't punch is is a drum set. Cymbal ring being cut off and re-started in a track sounds really bad. Hence, you can't punch in an entire band.

There are exceptions, and they do get used. Like when the drums stop for 2 measures...then you can punch them in.
But...I've done this before...even on tape.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #90
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
The one thing you can't punch is is a drum set. Cymbal ring being cut off and re-started in a track sounds really bad. Hence, you can't punch in an entire band.

There are exceptions, and they do get used. Like when the drums stop for 2 measures...then you can punch them in.
Much bigger problem, attempting to gate individual drum tracks, like tom’s, cymbals, etc. Horrible!
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