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60/70ies and mixing bass and bd
Old 7th July 2008
  #1
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miqer's Avatar
 

60/70ies and mixing bass and bd

Hi,

60ies songs, you know Sly Stone, James Brown, The Band, Staple Singers, Beatles, Dylan, Al Green (beautiful bass sound)... the way the bass and lows are mixed is somewhat different then it is today.

You know, the bassdrums sit above 150hz, sometimes above 200. While a modern production will have it around 80 or 90. Right? There is some info in the lows, it's there, but not as much.

When I listen to these records at home, I don't miss anything. I don't think: I wish Kramer would have given me that 80hz bassdrum for mitch mitchell (on say Electric Ladyland).

So I'm recording and mixing this band that wants an old sound.

I'm mixing on Focal Twins, and listening to these old records as reverence I do miss something, they seem to lack some of the bass sound... Perhaps cause these are modern monitors, that expect a modern mix (modern hiphop/rock sounds great on them)?

So, yeah... I end up mixing it a bit more heavy. And the singer of the band that I am mixing has an old stereo from the 70ies. Really nice vintage stuff. Everything old sounds great on this setup. But my mixes sound way too bass heavy. He has to take the bass out, all the way. So I played a cd of Lanois, Bill Laswell and the new Palmer record (deep bass there) and they also sound like **** over his system. Also at my moms house, same story. She playes everything mono, on one old boss speaker, with a 70ies amp. Modern music does not work on these old setups?

So, perhaps this is not an issue to anyone but me...

Has anyone else experienced this? Or are these cases of these speakers just unique?

I just think sometimes I wish monitors can be set to 70ies mode.

I could get older monitors sure. And go that road. I read a thread about it here not so long ago. I would like that... but perhaps just adding some bass on the focals on the back will solve some of my problems. Plus mixing the lows so they are in the 200hz region rather than 150hz below that.

I don't know. Any comments?

miqer
Old 8th July 2008
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I think it's that they did not care so much that it sounded deep in the bass. The vocal and the melody, groove was important, not that it sounded phatter than what was on the radio. Light and funky. Of cource there was some mastering to vinyl.

I just listened to Ike and Tina, and the bassdrum does plok plok, somewhere at 200hz, or even higher. And not loud. The bass is a bit lower. But it works. It's more pleasant than modern funk records. Well, and nobody sings like Tina did in those early days.
Old 8th July 2008
  #3
Gear Addict
 
MickeySmid's Avatar
 

I'm sure that with the setup they had back then mixing, it sounded deep, just like it does at your mama's place in mono. So, it's a matter of having the right monitor setup. Something has changed I think so too. We can go a bit lower today.

You could also dial in extra bass on your focals, and use a pretty high lowpass on the master buss. I don't know. Experiment.
Old 8th July 2008
  #4
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vernier's Avatar
I love sixties kick.
'
Old 8th July 2008
  #5
Gear Head
 

Consider, too, the tuning of the bass drum. Motown basses were tuned higher than modern kicks. I watched "Standing in the shadows of Motown" (documentary on the Funk Brothers, Motown "house" band guys), and they specifically pointed this out: When they hit the kick, it was a hummable pitch. "Toooom". Not like todays deep quick thud. So I just wanted to point that out; if you want those higher frequencies in the tone of the drum, be sure the kick heads aren't really loose like you see a lot today. And take out any internal muffling. Maybe use only a felt strip on the outer head at most.

Now, 70s kick, that's another matter. Take the front head off.

Hope this helps! Best,
Ed
Old 8th July 2008
  #6
Gear Nut
 

This thread is also nice:
sound of the 70ies
Old 9th July 2008
  #7
Gear Nut
 
Spencypants's Avatar
 

Geoff Emerick and Alan Parsons are known to mix the kick and bass last. I really like this method because the bottom end glues everything and doesn't get lost in the mix. It's actually a bit more prominent in the mix yet not over powering.
Old 9th July 2008
  #8
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miqer View Post
I just think sometimes I wish monitors can be set to 70ies mode.

funny you should mention that... i recently rolled back the hi and low trim on my twins all the way. then i stuck an nad preamp inline and rolled the hi and low tone controls back another 30% or so.

instant 70's mid focus on the focals. when i hit tone bypass on the nad, it's like hearing the mix with the typical smiley eq added.

i was worried all that monitoring eq would cause the balances or spectral extremes to be wonky. turns out i had nothing to worry about, the mix is amazing.

i'm leaving them set up that way.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 9th July 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
skythemusic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by miqer View Post
Hi,

60ies songs, you know Sly Stone, James Brown, The Band, Staple Singers, Beatles, Dylan, Al Green (beautiful bass sound)... the way the bass and lows are mixed is somewhat different then it is today.

You know, the bassdrums sit above 150hz, sometimes above 200. While a modern production will have it around 80 or 90. Right? There is some info in the lows, it's there, but not as much.

When I listen to these records at home, I don't miss anything. I don't think: I wish Kramer would have given me that 80hz bassdrum for mitch mitchell (on say Electric Ladyland).

So I'm recording and mixing this band that wants an old sound.

I'm mixing on Focal Twins, and listening to these old records as reverence I do miss something, they seem to lack some of the bass sound... Perhaps cause these are modern monitors, that expect a modern mix (modern hiphop/rock sounds great on them)?

So, yeah... I end up mixing it a bit more heavy. And the singer of the band that I am mixing has an old stereo from the 70ies. Really nice vintage stuff. Everything old sounds great on this setup. But my mixes sound way too bass heavy. He has to take the bass out, all the way. So I played a cd of Lanois, Bill Laswell and the new Palmer record (deep bass there) and they also sound like **** over his system. Also at my moms house, same story. She playes everything mono, on one old boss speaker, with a 70ies amp. Modern music does not work on these old setups?

So, perhaps this is not an issue to anyone but me...

Has anyone else experienced this? Or are these cases of these speakers just unique?

I just think sometimes I wish monitors can be set to 70ies mode.

I could get older monitors sure. And go that road. I read a thread about it here not so long ago. I would like that... but perhaps just adding some bass on the focals on the back will solve some of my problems. Plus mixing the lows so they are in the 200hz region rather than 150hz below that.

I don't know. Any comments?

miqer

I listen on a vintage restored modified Fisher setup. Good modern recordings still sound good on it, though rarely on cd. Recordings in general just sounded way better back then. The mids are where the magic is. Uber-low end and gnarly high end don't sound good to me and most new recordings are rife with it. Especially when turned up you can really hear all that nasty high end and over-compression and digital sterility. Those vintage systems are more revealing and true to me than most mastering studio setups. I check everything on the Fisher. I'm working on a mix now that has the same problem. I always want to add all this bass because my ears are trained via myspace and clubs and modern recordings for craploads of low end. I do a mix, check it on cd on the Fisher and then try again making adjustments. So much more revealing than my "recording studio" setup.
Old 10th July 2008
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Spencypants's Avatar
 

A front of Kick mic that is about 6 inches to a foot away seems to capture a tone rather than a thud sometimes. Tuning is also a factor. Tune the beater head higher than the front head and make sure there is no hole in the front head, alot of older kits didn't have the hole and sound very different.

Here's a thread about how Ryan Hewitt recorded the drums on "The Will To Death". It's a very good drum sound that sound modern yet old. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...-death-jf.html It's probably my favourite drum sound of this century.
Old 10th July 2008
  #11
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miqer View Post
So I'm recording and mixing this band that wants an old sound.
Simple... run everything through a tape machine.

Quote:
And the singer of the band that I am mixing has an old stereo from the 70ies. Really nice vintage stuff. Everything old sounds great on this setup. But my mixes sound way too bass heavy. He has to take the bass out, all the way. So I played a cd of Lanois, Bill Laswell and the new Palmer record (deep bass there) and they also sound like **** over his system. Also at my moms house, same story. She playes everything mono, on one old boss speaker, with a 70ies amp. Modern music does not work on these old setups?
Anyway... just EQ your monitors to get you through this project and keep the low end under control. It really is about pleasing the client, and while it's not technically the right way to go, try it and see what happens.

If that's the sound he wants then give it to him.
Old 10th July 2008
  #12
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Keep in mind...

They were mixing for vinyl, which had pretty strict limitations for low end, it's grooves and skipping, all sorts of concerns that were just assumed and media related.

-andrews
Old 10th July 2008
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

+1 for tape. Especially for the type of bass sounds you mention. Won't happen without tape. Sly Stone bass without tape? Nah...........
Old 10th July 2008
  #14
Gear Head
 

Probably the mics back then had a narrower frequency pick-up, so it was simply impossible to record anything at 80hz or 90hz. Maybe.
Old 10th July 2008
  #15
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Froombosch's Avatar
 

A47, 67, 87 D12 go deeper then 80-90 Hz
Old 10th July 2008
  #16
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

You really have to decide if you want the bass above or below the kick and then tune the drum and eq. accordingly. In rock the kick is often the bottom of the mix. In R&B the bass is often the bottom because it evolved out of using an acoustic bass where most of the energy was an octave lower and it had to be the bottom.
Old 23rd July 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOFT View Post
I think it's that they did not care so much that it sounded deep in the bass. The vocal and the melody, groove was important, not that it sounded phatter than what was on the radio. Light and funky. Of cource there was some mastering to vinyl.

I just listened to Ike and Tina, and the bassdrum does plok plok, somewhere at 200hz, or even higher. And not loud. The bass is a bit lower. But it works. It's more pleasant than modern funk records. Well, and nobody sings like Tina did in those early days.
Its more likely they eq'd the low end out because it made records skip. Records that skipped got returned causing the retailers a lot of grief
Old 24th July 2008
  #18
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miqer's Avatar
 

Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
funny you should mention that... i recently rolled back the hi and low trim on my twins all the way. then i stuck an nad preamp inline and rolled the hi and low tone controls back another 30% or so.

instant 70's mid focus on the focals. when i hit tone bypass on the nad, it's like hearing the mix with the typical smiley eq added.


.
UBK... that sounds grear.

The NAD EQ, is that only for listening (are you recording the mix before that eq), or you record the eq-ed signal?

Does seem strange to take bass out of the focals, that would make you mix a lot more bass-heavy no?

I just took some highs off, and added some bass on the focals, so my old records sound big on them.

miqer
Old 24th July 2008
  #19
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Sigma's Avatar
70's kicks had 1.8 k out the wahhzooti on pop, R&B and disco stuff

the arrangement, beat and tone wise.. plus the instuments set up made the sound

the 60's early 70's had an airy feel because bleed was not seen as bad but "cohesive"

by the time people saw the "control" they had with tight miking and dead rooms funneled into seperate mulitrack channels, the sound changed profoundly and got smaller

in the box rooms, delays and chambers ala Lexicon224, AMS, Eventide etc tried to fill the space that was lost

we move more sideways than forward in our march
Old 24th July 2008
  #20
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
we move more sideways than forward in our march
I think you are being charitable!
Old 24th July 2008
  #21
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miqer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
70's kicks had 1.8 k out the wahhzooti
What does wahhzooti mean?
Old 24th July 2008
  #22
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by miqer View Post
What does wahhzooti mean?
alot... out the azz [and in the 60's stuff it was the whole kit at 600- 1.8 middy ..alot of times the kick diassapeared as the 633 was an "overhead" mic..some people added a kick mic to the drums later and made that distintive "sound"] im the 70's disco stuff 1.8 was the "nail" on the kick drum

ya gotta understand ..the 60's

no FM..mono AM..GE portable turntables..apparent ..yes very important.."hot" mixes because lot's of 3k thru pultecs in mastering and things like an Altec 633A carbon graphite mic [with a usable freq response of about 100hz-6k] being the singular "drums" mic..an ev 666 on a bass amp or guitar etc etc

they mixed with what they had for the medium that the music would be played on .. just like we do now for squashed mp3's

the biggest difference was they had major BALLS [not becuase they necesarrily wanted to ..becasuse they had to ] ..people today are so fearfull of bleed but then bow down in reverence to the "old school" ..spending hours upon hours trying to take choke miked tracks and giving them the life of a song with minimal tracks cut live where once spill [and err CHOPS] were king
Old 24th July 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Don't overlook the arrangements and dynamics of the era.
The records you mention were sparse, almost stark in comparison. Lots o' sonic real estate, no need for anything to be too big.

Now you have quadruple tracked guitars, layers of drum samples, 40 bgv and all compressors set to "flail", there's not a hope in hell that the kick/bass sound of "Music from Big Pink" is going to work unless your song/arrangement are similar.
Old 24th July 2008
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Well I think a lot of people (80% of everybody) out there are desperate for some music that sounds like "Music from The Big Pink" or Ike and Tina or the Staple singer etc. They don't buy cd's, heck they don't even download anything. Cause they don't like the sound, arrangements etc. So that sound will work... It might even be very commercial.

Well let's not get into this. I sound like my dad.

Yeah, I think with great singing and guitar like Ike and Tina, or Sly and his voices and horn section, who needs a lot of bass. Some bass yeah. But not too much.

Yeah and balls.
Old 25th July 2008
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Balls.....and chops....and some more balls......decent tones.....mix it heh
Old 24th February 2012
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miqer View Post
What does wahhzooti mean?
Ah Yes .. The Infamous Wahhzooti !!!
Old 24th February 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 

RE: the 80hz vs. 160hz thing on kicks... that's probably just the difference of placing the kick mic all the way inside the drum (as people would start to do in the early/mid-70s) where the fundamental is most prominent, versus on the outside of the drum.

I would be careful re: what was said above about kick drum tuning. Ringo's kick was tuned to the point where the lugs were very loose. Listen to "Come Together". When people hear higher pitched kicks they're thinking of drum recordings where the front head is left on and creates extra resonance.

Geoff Emerick was triple compressing DI'd bass guitar tracks in 1967. If you listen to the multitracks from "Sgt Pepper" you will hear all of this low end information that did not make it onto the final mixes. They were mixing for vinyl and for the radio.
Old 24th February 2012
  #28
Gear Addict
 
jayson_p's Avatar
 

I think the importance of radio is just as significant - possibly even more so- in the sound of recordings from that era as the considerations of vinyl. Vinyl was certainly the distribution medium in those days but radio was the sole marketing medium. AM radio in particular. Vinyl had mechanical considerations with regard to dynamic range and frequency response that have already been mentioned. FM radio, with it's lower static, stereo capability and expanded frequency response and dynamic range really wasn't that much of a consideration until the mid to late 70's. An FM radio in a car in 1972 was pretty much unheard of. At best it was an aftermarket product you had to install yourself (it often had an 8 track tape player too!).

I'm sure there were some audiophiles that had FM at that point, but records were being produced for the masses who were, for the most part, listening to AM on cheap transistor radios. It was important for the fader jockeys of the day to mix recordings that sounded good on AM radio which meant cramming as much as you reasonably could into a very limited frequency spectrum that offered little room for extended lows and radios that couldn't reproduce them anyway.
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