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Why were vocal recordings so much better in the 1950s?
Old 1 week ago
  #1321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Omni mics plus steep hpf and always-working compression. In this case they seem to let the levels work themselves out and not ride gain -- when Andy can't quite get down there for the "it's all rights" they don't try to chase it. As opposed to the example below where the capture on Johnny is a way-high boom that's always out of the shot -- notice how when he sings "Daddy sang bass" (and also can't quite get down there) they cut to a tight shot so you don't see the mic plummeting to mere inches over his head. That boom guy probably needed a drink after.



And here's another really nice example of omni (I think) where they left in a bit more of the low end.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xnTlAmqfSM
Yeah, I didn’t really think it was mimed - it’s just the clarity on the guitars as much as anything. I suspect on better speakers it’d sound a bit less impressive. But the point remains, the performances are pretty spot on.

The best guys can still do this - we have Human Nature who do (did!) a show in Vegas that’s been sold out for years - and those guys are pitch perfect round one mic...but there’s so many MORE artists of renown now, and they’re not all that great!

But some are
Old 1 week ago
  #1322
Gear Addict
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Wait a minute. Why the Sony C800G is for Rap and Hip Hop. The 44 ribbon is for Crooners.
And a Hipster's licence to be Hip, is in serious jeopardy if they ever sell that SM7 (and get found out).

So why can't an EV 635a, be the quintessential BGV microphone?
Because the 635A is specifically for game show hosts.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #1323
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
Because the 635A is specifically for game show hosts.
--scott
OK. Question about Late Night hosts and the ubiquitous setup with the mic between the host and the guest. Is that live or just a prop? And which one seems to be the most popular?
Old 1 week ago
  #1324
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
OK. Question about Late Night hosts and the ubiquitous setup with the mic between the host and the guest. Is that live or just a prop? And which one seems to be the most popular?
Johnny Carson had an unusual mic, it was a Shure ribbon with a cardioid pattern. When his show (The Tonight Show) moved from NY to LA, he brought it with him.

Guests were mic'ed with a boom.

I think current hosts are likely using props, but I'll defer to someone who's researched
Old 1 week ago
  #1325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Johnny Carson [. . .]
Per favore! Johnny Carson sounded so much better when filling in for Jack Paar [1958] - more, I don't know. . .non so cosa? Maybe before Ed Shaughnessy brought two much kick.

Steve Allen was above paar and Jack Paar sounded superior, but Dick Cavett ['60s sound] was overtaken by a culture war.

Iron Jay suffered comb filtering from his chin. Everybody could see that.

As previously stated, I've not watched much TV in years, so I can't intelligently comment with respect to Conan O'Brien or Jimmy Fallon.


Grazie,

Ray H.

My Italian needs work - going to have to review that list of musical terms.

There was an incident in my high school where La Maestra was explaining the musical term vivace to an overly excitable juvenile delinquent. She said to him: You're vivace!. . .but then she was pressed to further explain that it wasn't dirty - it simply meant vivacious. . . Parlare italiano non è così difficile.

Coda: True story, very small music theory class, and yes I was in the room at the time. . .but wasn’t a delinquent then. Also worth noting that ‘delinquent’ is of Latin origin. . .so the Italian is likely going to be close. . .delinquente. fine

Last edited by RayHeath; 1 week ago at 06:58 AM.. Reason: Spelling. Just can't recall if par has one 'a' or two? Added Coda later.
Old 1 week ago
  #1326
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Johnny Carson had an unusual mic, it was a Shure ribbon with a cardioid pattern. When his show (The Tonight Show) moved from NY to LA, he brought it with him.
It was an SM33, which is actually a great mike. However, on later shows he also had a lav mike and most of the guests did as well.

There is one show in which Penn Jilette squirts Johnny with water. There is a popping sound and his lav mike goes dead, and the mixer immediately rebalances everything around the SM33. The change in sound character is very evident (but the SM33 doesn't sound bad at all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
I think current hosts are likely using props, but I'll defer to someone who's researched
I think a 441 on the desk is hard to beat, personally.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #1327
Lives for gear
Scott [ @ kludgeaudio ] -

Looks like that ship finally came in - along with the book you recommended. . .

Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers

Thumbing through, I am indeed impressed by the density and quality of its content. It is clearly going to be a very fun read. . .and well worth the wait.


Very exciting - thanks much!

Ray H.

Old 1 week ago
  #1328
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WiZKiD's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjogo View Post


What you hear on this Vid has NO AUTO TUNE, no fancy studio tricks, just note-perfect singing by 4 total pros. Done with class & heart, simple & beautiful. Proof once again that Tonal Quality trumps volume any day..
Peter, Paul, and Mary was my first concert. I was twelve years old, in 1995 (give or take a year). They were still doing theater tours, and my mom knew i loved to sing and play their songs. Everyone there had grey hair. After every song I (as 12 year olds did in 1995) did the Arsenio Hall "WOOT WOOT WOOT" as loud as possible. I was the only one standing the whole time. After they show they came and got me and we hung out for about two hours. We even jammed a little. Hands down one of my best memories to this day with my Mom. Not only were they incredible performers, they were FIRST CLASS people.
Old 1 week ago
  #1329
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
I disagree. Yes, recording has become more convenient, but is the music better? Take synthesizers as an example. These were originally a substitute for the mellotron which in turn was a substitute for the orchestra. Each "advance" (quotation marks charged with irony!) was more convenient than the previous one - the orchestra was expensive and difficult to record, the mellotron was heavy, fragile, and went out of tune - and so the synthesizer took their place. And to be honest, it is not only not a perfect substitute, but it is a horrible travesty of what it replaced.At least the mellotron had character; the synthesizer is the blandest of the bland. It doesn't even sound particularly "futuristic"; compared to the ondes martinot or even the theremin, it sounds like a bad virtual-reality version of the future or the present. As for sampling, God! God! God! Oh yes, it gives some guy in his cellar "access" to a myriad of sounds, all uniformly depressing and unreal. Learn to play something solid - preferably made out of wood. Oh, and what about multi-track recording? Don't get me started! Bring back two-track! Somebody!

Does this qualify as a "rant"?
You forgot to rail about the biggest, most vulgar of the imitative instruments, you might say the king of the fake instruments: the pipe organ.

For centuries western music has been dragged further into the gutter by this misshapen bastard child of noisemaking contraptions trying to imitate the orchestra.

Old 1 week ago
  #1330
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Quote:
Iron Jay suffered comb filtering from his chin. Everybody could see that.
Old 1 week ago
  #1331
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WiZKiD View Post
Peter, Paul, and Mary was my first concert. I was twelve years old, in 1995 (give or take a year). They were still doing theater tours, and my mom knew i loved to sing and play their songs. Everyone there had grey hair. After every song I (as 12 year olds did in 1995) did the Arsenio Hall "WOOT WOOT WOOT" as loud as possible. I was the only one standing the whole time. After they show they came and got me and we hung out for about two hours. We even jammed a little. Hands down one of my best memories to this day with my Mom. Not only were they incredible performers, they were FIRST CLASS people.
Mary was my neighbor here in CT for much of the first 15 years or so we lived in our small town. Her house was right on the road and featured a huge "M" on the gable facing the street.

She was known to be very active in the community, but I always respected her privacy, so sadly, never got to meet her.
Old 1 week ago
  #1332
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Quite a Hottie, back in the day! One of my Pre-Teen (before 10) crushes...
Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #1333
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Johnny Carson had an unusual mic, it was a Shure ribbon with a cardioid pattern. When his show (The Tonight Show) moved from NY to LA, he brought it with him.

Guests were mic'ed with a boom.

I think current hosts are likely using props, but I'll defer to someone who's researched
there are a number of threads on this subject here at GS.

on one the mixer from the Conan show chimed in and said the mic was 'mostly' a prop but that it was connected just in case it was needed for backup. I think a lot of them are like that.

Carson used to drum on his desk with his double-erasered pencils and every now and then he would hit the mic and there would be no sound. Someone said on one show the mic was on but low in the mix just for some ambience.

There are more, these are just a few I could find quickly:

Conan's mic

Tonight Show microphone

Old 1 week ago
  #1334
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since ray pointed at a potential new field of research, i'm more interested in the 'acoustic properties' of the show masters than in the mics: was jay also the most efficient bass absorber?
Old 1 week ago
  #1335
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donnylang's Avatar
If I ever find myself perusing through Bandcamp, I am immediately struck by recordings that inevitably turn out to be analog productions - even lo-fi cassette stuff. The rest tends to sound fairly run of the mill in terms of sonic character, with a few exceptions. I wonder if this has to with folks using fake drums, samples, plug-ins, etc, or possibly something to do with the process of creating it (i.e., painting on canvass w/ a brush and paint vs. editing a photograph in your laptop). Sure, the end result of the photo in your laptop might look more "real" or "professional", but the flawed painting holds more interest.

My personal conclusion is analog-recorded music tends to be more compelling, all other things created equal (which they rarely are).
Old 1 week ago
  #1336
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Mary was my neighbor here in CT for much of the first 15 years or so we lived in our small town. Her house was right on the road and featured a huge "M" on the gable facing the street.

She was known to be very active in the community, but I always respected her privacy, so sadly, never got to meet her.
A friend of mine met her while on jury duty. He did not recognize her and they were talking about what he did, he said he was a musician. She said "Oh, I am in music too". Even at that, it still took a few more back and forths before he realized who he was talking to. But he said she was super cool,
Old 1 week ago
  #1337
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiZKiD View Post
Peter, Paul, and Mary was my first concert. I was twelve years old, in 1995 (give or take a year). They were still doing theater tours, and my mom knew i loved to sing and play their songs. Everyone there had grey hair. After every song I (as 12 year olds did in 1995) did the Arsenio Hall "WOOT WOOT WOOT" as loud as possible. I was the only one standing the whole time. After they show they came and got me and we hung out for about two hours. We even jammed a little. Hands down one of my best memories to this day with my Mom. Not only were they incredible performers, they were FIRST CLASS people.
Peter Paul & Mary ..the most powerful and dynamic band I ever saw.
Old 1 week ago
  #1338
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
there are a number of threads on this subject here at GS.

on one the mixer from the Conan show chimed in and said the mic was 'mostly' a prop but that it was connected just in case it was needed for backup. I think a lot of them are like that.

Carson used to drum on his desk with his double-erasered pencils and every now and then he would hit the mic and there would be no sound. Someone said on one show the mic was on but low in the mix just for some ambience.

There are more, these are just a few I could find quickly:

Conan's mic

Tonight Show microphone
Thanks for the rabbit hole - love it!
Old 1 week ago
  #1339
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
I think you confuse your opinions for facts. More important, some of your subjective comments lack context, and most important, knowledge, like this one.

This is an extraordinarily simplistic , ignorant and narrow view of the role of "synthesis" in music, not really worthy of debate - it reminds of the kinds of arguments I heard at the local musicians union hall, before the sandwiches came out, circa late 70s.
Well, I think EVERYTHING is worthy of debate, even extraordinarily simplistic opinions like mine. I'm always willing to learn from people more au fait with the "facts". If you have time, could you let me know precisely where I'm going wrong?
Old 1 week ago
  #1340
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Hey if Frank were a Brit, he would have been Knighted too!
Sir Frank? Has quite a ring to it.
Old 1 week ago
  #1341
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
When we think of a musical artist, we think of someone delivering a message in a song. Now sometimes it's perfectly acceptable that this message might have been written by someone else - but in many genres, it isn't. Many genres are about authenticity, and a professional songwriter ruins that.
May I once again undermine my credibility by stating that I think "authenticity" is - from a strictly aesthetic vantage point - overrated? In fact, I think the entire notion of "authenticity" stems from the encroachment of a non-aesthetic perspective, derived from socio/political norms, to a field that has NOTHING to do with everyday, run-of-the-mill, kitchen-sink, existence. Oh, and another word that is immaterial aesthetically - relevance.

In other words, art for art's sake, money fer chrissake.....
Old 1 week ago
  #1342
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopypants View Post
Some guy who uses "John Galt" as a screen name, telling us how it is... the internet really, really sucks.
But "John Galt" is my real name.
Old 1 week ago
  #1343
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
As to what is "bland" and what is " a horrible travesty " of the instrument it replaced, these are entirely subjective assessments. Andrés Segovia famously decried the electric guitar as an "abomination."
I do wish people wouldn't brandish the word "subjective"(much less "entirely subjective") as though it's some catch-all method of disposing of all contrary arguments. According to this, EVERYTHING is subjective unless it can be measured, peer-reviewed, and published in The New England Journal Of Medicine. So, if I say that the melody I just made up is aesthetically superior to The St Mathew Passion, it has the same epistemological validity as any statement to the contrary. Why bother talking if everything except bare measurement is "subjective"? Discussion presupposes objectivity.
Old 1 week ago
  #1344
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The Brill Building stuff (and the GAS songs before that) had to work for a variety of artists, while a rock band's songs had to fit the band. Not that there wasn't some crossover -- the Music Machine did a cover of Neil Diamond's "Cherry Cherry" (probably at gunpoint) that you might have thought was better than okay if you hadn't heard "Talk Talk."
Or "The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly".
Old 1 week ago
  #1345
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Talk Talk ..I remember that one! ..Keith Olsen's band.
I think Sean Bonniwell may have disagreed with your characterization.
Old 1 week ago
  #1346
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
May I once again undermine my credibility by stating that I think "authenticity" is - from a strictly aesthetic vantage point - overrated? In fact, I think the entire notion of "authenticity" stems from the encroachment of a non-aesthetic perspective, derived from socio/political norms, to a field that has NOTHING to do with everyday, run-of-the-mill, kitchen-sink, existence. Oh, and another word that is immaterial aesthetically - relevance.

In other words, art for art's sake, money fer chrissake.....
I think it depends on what kind of music you're into.

Some music is more about authenticity than others.

I know what you're saying - if it's an amazing song performed with emotional dexterity, it shouldn't matter than it's a song about oppression and hardship sung by middle class kids who've never struggled a day in their lives, or that it was written and produced for them, and they're just pop puppets doing what they're told.

In a way it doesn't. But in many ways, it does. Certainly as far as an artistic journey goes, it's more fulfilling as a listener to invest in someone who's at least partially in control of their own destiny - you're more likely to enjoy all their music that way, rather than a given song.

But I do get what you're saying. I just don't think music is any better or worse for bands writing for themselves overall.
Old 1 week ago
  #1347
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Quote:
May I once again undermine my credibility by stating that I think "authenticity" is - from a strictly aesthetic vantage point - overrated? In fact, I think the entire notion of "authenticity" stems from the encroachment of a non-aesthetic perspective, derived from socio/political norms, to a field that has NOTHING to do with everyday, run-of-the-mill, kitchen-sink, existence. Oh, and another word that is immaterial aesthetically - relevance.

In other words, art for art's sake, money fer chrissake....
.
Quote:
I think it depends on what kind of music you're into.

Some music is more about authenticity than others.

I know what you're saying - if it's an amazing song performed with emotional dexterity, it shouldn't matter than it's a song about oppression and hardship sung by middle class kids who've never struggled a day in their lives, or that it was written and produced for them, and they're just pop puppets doing what they're told.

In a way it doesn't. But in many ways, it does. Certainly as far as an artistic journey goes, it's more fulfilling as a listener to invest in someone who's at least partially in control of their own destiny - you're more likely to enjoy all their music that way, rather than a given song.

But I do get what you're saying. I just don't think music is any better or worse for bands writing for themselves overall.

both valuable assumptions/observations...

...and there's probably no way around dealing with appropriated or merely imitated 'authenticy' as we have to identify with artists we're working with to some degree (do we?)...

however, i have been experiencing vast differences between cultures: some (folks) almost force you to fully dive into their world, others are much more liberal, to the point that you become suspect if you're aligning too much!

i enjoy working with (almost) all of them - which cannot hide the fact that I myself am also in a tradition that I cannot (or do not want to) completely withdraw from at any time; as a 'representative' of the old world, i often seem to be closer to supposedly more distant traditions/people from distant cultural areas than those from the new world - not musically but in other cultural, sociological and political terms...
Old 1 week ago
  #1348
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
I do wish people wouldn't brandish the word "subjective"(much less "entirely subjective") as though it's some catch-all method of disposing of all contrary arguments. According to this, EVERYTHING is subjective unless it can be measured, peer-reviewed, and published in The New England Journal Of Medicine. So, if I say that the melody I just made up is aesthetically superior to The St Mathew Passion, it has the same epistemological validity as any statement to the contrary. Why bother talking if everything except bare measurement is "subjective"? Discussion presupposes objectivity.
I think you are over simplifying the concept of subjectivity and objectivity if you truly believe that objectivity requires a statement to be "measured, peer-reviewed, and published in The New England Journal Of Medicine."

By the most general understanding, subjective statements are based on or heavily influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions; Objective statements are that that attempt to express facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations. You seem to feel that classifying subjective assessment as "subjective" somehow discounts the expression. It dose not. It properly defines the expression.

The fact that opinions are usually subjective does not, of course, render them useless or unsuitable for discussion, as you appear to think I implied. A million pubs and bars would close if opinions were not discussed. However, outside the type of mass validation I noted above, they carry only the weight than an individual listener assigns to them. And individual listeners invariably assign greater weight to opinions that agree with their own.


Without a large amount of extra information as to how you arrived at your conclusions that synthesizer are "bland" and produce " a horrible travesty " of sound, they are entirely subjective. Art criticism is, of course, a subjective field. Objectivity in such fields is only achieved by the general consensus of numerous subjective opinions. Hence, one white canvas with a splash of red paint on it can be worth $1M, while another is worth less than the materials expended.


Stating that synthesizers re "bland" and produce " a horrible travesty " of sound seem no more like to spark a useful debate than my stating that the violin is a hideous shrill anachronism that should have disappeared years ago. We all live in world of subjective realities, and each person consider their own to be the most objective.

My subjective evaluation of the merits of the synthesizer differs from yours. But both are subjective.

PS: I agree with you on "Authenticity." The most "objective" way to asses music is without any information other than what is coming out of the loudspeakers.
Old 1 week ago
  #1349
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I think it depends on what kind of music you're into.

Some music is more about authenticity than others.

I know what you're saying - if it's an amazing song performed with emotional dexterity, it shouldn't matter than it's a song about oppression and hardship sung by middle class kids who've never struggled a day in their lives, or that it was written and produced for them, and they're just pop puppets doing what they're told.

ll.
Oh but what a can of worms that becomes.

Take me: I was born in the upstairs bedroom of a rural public housing unit (Council House, as we called them in the UK). We had no water boiler no bathtub, and an outside toilet. We had a tin bath that hung on the wall outside, and was filled with hot water by boiling kettles. I went to secondary modern ( school for the bottom 50%). left school at age 16 to take on a full time job. My first assignment was helping dig holes for telephone poles in spots where it was too difficult to use the machine. I used the money to fund my first Japanese Les Paul copy at $3 a week on credit.

I now also have Bachelors and Masters degrees, a Jd, and an LLM in law from the University of California Berkeley, I work for a State appeals court researching and drafting judicial opinions. I live in a 3000 sq ft house with my own low-end home studio and a over a dozen expensive basses/guitars

What (or which) expression of mine would be "authentic?"
Old 1 week ago
  #1350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
[. . .] What (or which) expression of mine would be "authentic?"
that the violin is a hideous shrill anachronism that should have disappeared years ago
I love violin [and fiddle], but there are players who 'force me to fully dive into your world' from time to time. . .very authentic!


Please - no letters from the string section,

Ray H.
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