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Clarity and depth of the 70's vs DAW and hard drive: Is it possible... Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 9th November 2009
  #31
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"Clarity and depth of the 70s" is too vague to speculate on. But if it's "analog tape sound of the 70s" you're after, tape is still the only way you'll get it.
Old 9th November 2009
  #32
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5down1up's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
Ok, it is not the tape...I will stick to my Apogee and with the cross on my back will try to climp the mountain...
Anybody knows if back then they were using some extreme gating and frequency chopping?
i think its very GOOD to keep searching
you really should ask the people who you think that are able to do what your looking for and what your missing. i guess its really hard to figure out everything yourself. it can be anything.

maybe show some of your work, and it gets a lot clearer what your talking about. a starter in the music store can ask the same questions as luke skywalker. very hard to know what you need to hear of if i even have an idea how to help you out.

thumbsup
Old 9th November 2009
  #33
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A LaMere's Avatar
 

I think one thing that adds 3d-depth to recordings is a combination of clean and saturated sounds... A lot of modern records that I hear don't really have a mixture of both... We're talking only 'sounds' here.. to say nothing about arrangements, songs, performances, etc...

I will say... although I love tape...
and have thought about switching to an all-tape setup...

The sound of great records/great recordings isn't created by Tape or by the DAW..

it's certainly more about the engineer, arrangement and musicians..
Old 9th November 2009
  #34
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I think mike bleed was a whole lot more of it.
Old 9th November 2009
  #35
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lagavulin16's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
We are talking in general terms, we don't want to make a list of recordings and artists! Many producers say that tape and vinyl has another depth and presence...I am an artist trying to record my music with what I have and I am looking for opinions.

Record to a big studio with a Neve or Api into PT( I have already done it) isn't enough. Something else is missing...
I've heard Jack White (White Stripes) refuses to use any gear made after 1972 for recording. He won't even have it in the studio because then an engineer or producer might be tempted to use it.

Give that a try and see if it gives that sound you're after... Or check out one of his albums.
Old 9th November 2009
  #36
Gear Nut
 

"Clarity and depth of the 70s" is too vague to speculate on. But if it's "analog tape sound of the 70s" you're after, tape is still the only way you'll get it.That is what i am asking, is it? I used to listen to vinyl then changed to cds, now i listen to vinyl and I get goosebumps, ok the cd is still good but usually from back then when it was from tape. Now with the mp3s...forget it!!!

I am listening to my Dynaudio hi fi speakers drinking a whiskey and enjoy the music, I wish someone esle will feel the same when they will listen to my songs (if ever)

(Right now I am listening to Tracy Chapman "New Beginning", nice album by the way and not so old) heh
Old 9th November 2009
  #37
Lives for gear
you can get lots of depth with a DAW the same way they did it in the old days. ambience and a good console/preamp. Distant micing is a big thing. Large room sounds open everything up. Back in the early 70's
16 track 2 in was huge but high end converters @ 24 bit 96khz can be really wide too. It's not just one thing. It's not just a console/pre or just a converter/deck it's the micing and how you place things in a mix.
Determining what instruments and where and how to place them.

The 70's had a certain sound for sure because of analog tape and all the analog outboard gear they used but as far as depth goes that can be attained these days too.

You see people argue all the time about sample rates and nyquist theory and all that stuff but 96 is wider sounding than 48. Even when you have to mix down later to 44. It don't think it's a myth. But I think distant micing and room mics are also an important aspect of getting a big 3d sound.

But listen to how wide an open live records sound? It's the ambience. Even newer digital live recordings
recorded on not so great gear.
Old 9th November 2009
  #38
Gear Nut
 
p_bro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
p_bro

Working on tape to force the artists to give their best...isn't giving your best! I understand where you're coming from but nothing should be "forced". I mean if using tape only for that reason is kind of silly...
Of course, when I use tape, it's not only for this reason, I like the way it sounds too... And as I said, it depends on the project, I do work on protools 80% of the time! I'm not talking about "forcing" really, but more about creating a moment, a focus.
But still I do strongly beleive that when an artist comes in the room with the idea that we can fix anything later, he's not giving me the best of him...

The other thing that is important for this 70's sound I think is to record the basic tracks as "live" as possible. Then you can go crazy on overdubs... Mic bleed and the interaction beetween the musicians have a MAJOR influence on the final sound (much more than tape if you ask me). Instant 3d.
But of course, for that, the most important piece of gear is a nice room!
Old 9th November 2009
  #39
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5down1up View Post
i think its very GOOD to keep searching
you really should ask the people who you think that are able to do what your looking for and what your missing. i guess its really hard to figure out everything yourself. it can be anything.

maybe show some of your work, and it gets a lot clearer what your talking about. a starter in the music store can ask the same questions as luke skywalker. very hard to know what you need to hear of if i even have an idea how to help you out.

thumbsup
Tnanks, What i have in my mind is not what i have recorded...up to now at least. It is not as easy to describe sound, I think. If tape, ribbon mics, analog consoles play a role compare to what I have and what I am using is what I am trying to find out! I just don't want to compromise!

Do I have the big budget?? NO!!! The question is do i need it? What I have is the energy and the will to expirement and maybe then I can learn something.
Old 9th November 2009
  #40
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
That is what i am asking, is it? I used to listen to vinyl then changed to cds, now i listen to vinyl and I get goosebumps, ok the cd is still good but usually from back then when it was from tape. Now with the mp3s...forget it!!!

I am listening to my Dynaudio hi fi speakers drinking a whiskey and enjoy the music, I wish someone esle will feel the same when they will listen to my songs (if ever)
Vinyl is not CD is not MP3. They are very different musical experiences.

Similarly DAW is not tape. Yes, if you are interested in capturing the 70s, you need to have your bases covered - good dedicated musicians, strong songwriting, careful arrangements, solid engineering, big rooms, nice mics (not too close-miced), and great instruments.

But if you are pursuing all that already and are still not attaining your goal, you may be attempting the impossible. Again, DAW is not tape. Tape has a very characteristic sonic signature. There is still no way to get it realistically ITB. If it's that sonic signature you desire, there's a good chance you won't be happy without the real thing.

Or, at most, you'll be as happy as you are with a CD, relative to vinyl. Both are good, but one is not the other.
Old 9th November 2009
  #41
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carllock's Avatar
 

Every so far EVERYONE has missed the magic that was the 70's...go rent SCARFACE then report back.
Old 9th November 2009
  #42
Gear Maniac
 
Fastermouse's Avatar
 

I think, too, that the over all experience of both the band and the studio staff was much higher. Because of the extremely high cost of studios and equipment, not just anyone was given the opportunity to make records. Both musicians and again, studio staff. Nick Mason's/Roger Taylor's drums sounded great because Nick Mason/RT had great ears for buying, tuning and playing drums. The same is true of Alan Parsons/ Roy Thomas Baker mic placement and choice. These talents were developed through experience, and by mentoring with talented peers, and these people were given the chance to use very expensive equipment made by very experienced engineers on tools made by..etc,
We can make albums that sound this good. On many different pieces of gear, even some cheap gear. But it will take time. The musicians must practice, the engineer must practice, the equipment must be tested and all of that must be used to the service of the music.
With this in mind, we can not only make albums that sound as good as the best, we can make albums that sound even better.
Old 9th November 2009
  #43
Gear Nut
 

robertshaw

So 96 is not only just eating our disk space, cause we don't mind we still have a lot more!

Actually that is what we are trying to do, play with the space and the mics, we have found a nice church-kind of hall to record some instruments. But drums sounded very "distant" there. Trying to find a nice hammond sound at the moment...
Old 9th November 2009
  #44
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Isn't anybody working with multitrack DSD? I would think that you could get a pretty good vibe going on that format, probably closer to tape with the added ability of first generation back up.
Old 9th November 2009
  #45
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5down1up's Avatar
 

alcohol, heroin, cocaine, weed, lsd ... having sex with every*thing* that couldnt escape ???

oh ... and the tape machine
Old 9th November 2009
  #46
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastermouse View Post
I think, too, that the over all experience of both the band and the studio staff was much higher. Because of the extremely high cost of studios and equipment, not just anyone was given the opportunity to make records. Both musicians and again, studio staff. Nick Mason's/Roger Taylor's drums sounded great because Nick Mason/RT had great ears for buying, tuning and playing drums. The same is true of Alan Parsons/ Roy Thomas Baker mic placement and choice. These talents were developed through experience, and by mentoring with talented peers, and these people were given the chance to use very expensive equipment made by very experienced engineers on tools made by..etc,
We can make albums that sound this good. On many different pieces of gear, even some cheap gear. But it will take time. The musicians must practice, the engineer must practice, the equipment must be tested and all of that must be used to the service of the music.
With this in mind, we can not only make albums that sound as good as the best, we can make albums that sound even better.
That's the spirit!
Old 9th November 2009
  #47
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

People keep talking about experience but most of us weren't all that experienced. We did stand on the shoulders of the generation before us because nobody could afford anybody who was self taught. Still a whole lot more was being demanded of everybody.
Old 9th November 2009
  #48
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by carllock View Post
Every so far EVERYONE has missed the magic that was the 70's...go rent SCARFACE then report back.
Scarface came out in 1983 or 1933 depending on which version?
Old 9th November 2009
  #49
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5down1up View Post
alcohol, heroin, cocaine, weed, lsd ... having sex with every*thing* that couldnt escape ???

oh ... and the tape machine
All that still happens...exept the tape machine. Anyway, how can you be be a 70's musician that has to be so "perfect" and be high all the time!? Drugs came with Stardom...and their myths.
Old 9th November 2009
  #50
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DJamesGoody's Avatar
Skill and experience don't always have to be said in the same sentence.......

It was ALL skill. Period. There is no question that there was a superior level of skill and craftsmanship in EVERY job from the very first note written, to the last note transferred from a lathe. Musician to runner. Jobs were quite simply, performed at a higher level around every turn.

You put the same people in a room and it happens. It happens all the time, in fact. When skilled people make records, there is virtue.
Old 9th November 2009
  #51
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FireMoon's Avatar
One thing they didn't do, was use NS chuffin 10s, dons flame suit....

Let me explain a little further.. There are, basically, two camps of audio design forever trying to reach a third state. Those camps can be classified, for ease of reference as this.

Those that see timing and the leading edge of a note and it's decay as paramount importance and those who look past that and try to capture the, again for ease of reference, the 3 dimensional imagery as well as the attack and decay. However the timing systems often lack some sense of depth and the 3d systems can sound a little *slow*, timing wise and well, ponderous, killing the drive of the music. Not really a good thing for anything that is rhythm driven,

I'm going to generalise again for clarity, but we talking say, the difference between, SSL mixed through NS10s and Neve mixed through AR18s..

Thing is, neither is right, neither is wrong, they are personal preferences. On the whole those using the SSL/NS10 style will be those who favour timing and the attack of a note cutting through, over those in the Neve/Ar18 camp who prefer something , maybe a little less *exciting sounding* but aurally more complete..

Now you can quote all the damn figures you like to say it aint so, but truth is, CDs just dont seem to have the sense sense of depth perspective as the old vinyl albums did. However, with better and better converters that has changed and the contemporary digital system does have some real depth, if you choose to use it.

However, that presupposes that. You want to and that, your ears are searching for it in the first place Now to further muddy the waters, as it were, you have to take into account the brain itself. The brain seeks to position everything it hears, with a pinpoint precision. OK, so what happens if you do, as many do in today's productions and have the main voice not simply as a *single source, maybe double tracked ontop of itself, but. Spread pretty wide, left and right, across the image.. The brain says.. ahh ok... one voice but, no longer a single source so it sums them together as one mass across the sound stage in front of you...

In doing that, is gives the brain a false perspective and makes the backing seem to recede and sound smaller. Nothing wrong with that, for pop it was always the way, pretty much. However with rock and other forms it sounds bloody weird.

In short, where possible, keep the sound stage as uncluttered as you can both sonically and in terms of imagery. If you stack guitar parts to thicken up a sound, don't spread them right across the picture you are trying to create. Where possible make them have specific locations in space, ie , a single point source...

Drums... narrow the soundfield a little bring the kit back into itself so when the drummer does a roll it doesn't splatter right across the image but actually seems to be a kit in real space.. If you mix in a DAW use the dual panners on a stereo channel.. Ie with my snares i have the dual pan set one centre one just slightly offset, the hi-hat set to the outside of edge of the snare and kept in a very tight field.. That gives it a pinpoint source, the overheads really then, only serve to give it a sense of depth within the room.

The best gear does two things, it can convey the rhythmic dynamics, leading edge of notes and decay well AS WELL AS retaining a genuine sense of 3 dimensional sound.

At a more reasonably cost level, go for THE MOST neutral speakers you can find to monitor on. Clue, they ain't NS10s. Don't flood your sonic picture with detail, keep it as simple as possible, the black spaces between the instruments are the key to depth.

I agree, to some extent, with what others have said here. The amount of people working today, who can get a 3 d sound from a really busy mix is...not many at all. To some extent that is the fault of digital systems until recently. They weren't that conducive to that whole sort of mixing so the NS10 party have had a field day because they have, so far, rendered the best compromise..

Don't forget this... In the 70s people, often, made music aimed at the highest end of the consumer chain, as much as possible. Today, music is made for the lowest common denominator, the chuffin Ipod and phones. The only people who can change that and let me state, there are those who refuse to subscribe to this mantra, I'm not tarring everyone with the same brush, are the people making recordings ..

Now, before i kept dumped on, from a great height, i know i have grossly exaggerate here , but it was for effect, to illustrate the points boldly for the purposes of a forum...
Old 9th November 2009
  #52
Gear Maniac
 
Fastermouse's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
People keep talking about experience but most of us weren't all that experienced. We did stand on the shoulders of the generation before us because nobody could afford anybody who was self taught. Still a whole lot more was being demanded of everybody.
Well, Bob my point is that there was experience behind your work, even if that experience was shared with the ones before you. If i manage to ever make a great record it will be because I have listened to your work and your words. (and many others).
Old 9th November 2009
  #53
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Nice post FireMoon.
Old 9th November 2009
  #54
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
One thing they didn't do, was use NS chuffin 10s, dons flame suit....

Let me explain a little further.. There are, basically, two camps of audio design forever trying to reach a third state. Those camps can be classified, for ease of reference as this.

Those that see timing and the leading edge of a note and it's decay as paramount importance and those who look past that and try to capture the, again for ease of reference, the 3 dimensional imagery as well as the attack and decay. However the timing systems often lack some sense of depth and the 3d systems can sound a little *slow*, timing wise and well, ponderous, killing the drive of the music. Not really a good thing for anything that is rhythm driven,

I'm going to generalise again for clarity, but we talking say, the difference between, SSL mixed through NS10s and Neve mixed through AR18s..

Thing is, neither is right, neither is wrong, they are personal preferences. On the whole those using the SSL/NS10 style will be those who favour timing and the attack of a note cutting through, over those in the Neve/Ar18 camp who prefer something , maybe a little less *exciting sounding* but aurally more complete..

Now you can quote all the damn figures you like to say it aint so, but truth is, CDs just dont seem to have the sense sense of depth perspective as the old vinyl albums did. However, with better and better converters that has changed and the contemporary digital system does have some real depth, if you choose to use it.

However, that presupposes that. You want to and that, your ears are searching for it in the first place Now to further muddy the waters, as it were, you have to take into account the brain itself. The brain seeks to position everything it hears, with a pinpoint precision. OK, so what happens if you do, as many do in today's productions and have the main voice not simply as a *single source, maybe double tracked ontop of itself, but. Spread pretty wide, left and right, across the image.. The brain says.. ahh ok... one voice but, no longer a single source so it sums them together as one mass across the sound stage in front of you...

In doing that, is gives the brain a false perspective and makes the backing seem to recede and sound smaller. Nothing wrong with that, for pop it was always the way, pretty much. However with rock and other forms it sounds bloody weird.

In short, where possible, keep the sound stage as uncluttered as you can both sonically and in terms of imagery. If you stack guitar parts to thicken up a sound, don't spread them right across the picture you are trying to create. Where possible make them have specific locations in space, ie , a single point source...

Drums... narrow the soundfield a little bring the kit back into itself so when the drummer does a roll it doesn't splatter right across the image but actually seems to be a kit in real space.. If you mix in a DAW use the dual panners on a stereo channel.. Ie with my snares i have the dual pan set one centre one just slightly offset, the hi-hat set to the outside of edge of the snare and kept in a very tight field.. That gives it a pinpoint source, the overheads really then, only serve to give it a sense of depth within the room.

The best gear does two things, it can convey the rhythmic dynamics, leading edge of notes and decay well AS WELL AS retaining a genuine sense of 3 dimensional sound.

At a more reasonably cost level, go for THE MOST neutral speakers you can find to monitor on. Clue, they ain't NS10s. Don't flood your sonic picture with detail, keep it as simple as possible, the black spaces between the instruments are the key to depth.

I agree, to some extent, with what others have said here. The amount of people working today, who can get a 3 d sound from a really busy mix is...not many at all. To some extent that is the fault of digital systems until recently. They weren't that conducive to that whole sort of mixing so the NS10 party have had a field day because they have, so far, rendered the best compromise..

Don't forget this... In the 70s people, often, made music aimed at the highest end of the consumer chain, as much as possible. Today, music is made for the lowest common denominator, the chuffin Ipod and phones. The only people who can change that and let me state, there are those who refuse to subscribe to this mantra, I'm not tarring everyone with the same brush, are the people making recordings ..

Now, before i kept dumped on, from a great height, i know i have grossly exaggerate here , but it was for effect, to illustrate the points boldly for the purposes of a forum...
Thank you very much for your post!

We are trying to keep things simple without a busy mix. On the the other hand we do exactly the opposite of what yousuggested: we stack and doubletrack a lot and open the tracks a lot. We will follow your advise. At our studio we have Adams P11. I hope we are on the good track heh
Old 9th November 2009
  #55
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
...go for THE MOST neutral speakers you can find to monitor on. Clue, they ain't NS10s. Don't flood your sonic picture with detail, keep it as simple as possible, the black spaces between the instruments are the key to depth...
Well, to be honest, Altec 604s, JBL 4311s and Auratones weren't exactly what I'd call neutral speakers! Most of us DID have something pretty neutral at home and that made a difference. Today's practice of going between NS-10s and the car player probably isn't helping at all.
Old 9th November 2009
  #56
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FireMoon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Well, to be honest, Altec 604s, JBL 4311s and Auratones weren't exactly what I'd call neutral speakers! Most of us DID have something pretty neutral at home and that made a difference. Today's practice of going between NS-10s and the car player probably isn't helping at all.
I agree, but I am alone in noticing that.. as Cds became the main source of listening people went from mixing on the main monitors to checking on the grot boxes.. to mixing on the grot boxes and then checking from time time on the main monitors.?

To an extent what I'm saying is this..A brilliant song is brilliant song, you can almost slaughter it sonically and people will still love it and it will last the years..

However, i find myself listening to albums with decent songs well recorded, with a real sense of perspective and depth over ones i might marginally prefer the material on from my aging collection , just for *listening pleasure*...

For instance. I adore Kate Bush's The hounds of love... but Never Forever kicks it's ass sonically into a cocked hat... If i want to impress someone with how good a recording can sound, that's the one that gets stuck on the turntable.. The Hounds of Love was her first album mixed with CD in mind, i think that speaks volumes?..
Old 9th November 2009
  #57
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I certainly agree about the sound quality. A favorite of mine was Pete Townsend and Ronnie Lane's "Rough Mix." Absolutely stunning.

Part of the story is that we knew we were flying somewhat blind with our control room monitors and tried to not do stuff that was dumb.
Old 9th November 2009
  #58
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FireMoon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I certainly agree about the sound quality. A favorite of mine was Pete Townsend and Ronnie Lane's "Rough Mix." Absolutely stunning.

Part of the story is that we knew we were flying somewhat blind with our control room monitors and tried to not do stuff that was dumb.
One of the Johns brother producing at Olympic Studios..so through a Helios desk?

That a rather large "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" factor when i comes to sound? heh
Old 9th November 2009
  #59
Gear Nut
 
eusagc's Avatar
 

I guess any of that clarity and depth of the 70's will be totally obliterated when those same albums are smash-mastered today...

Talk about spatial imagery painstakingly toiled at by the mixer for hours... Only to be crushed in minutes by overdriving A/D's followed by a ton of brickwall limiters in the mastering... Clarity turns into digital crunch... How do you get clarity with 4dB of dynamic range? And where is all that depth now???
Old 9th November 2009
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
First off, great arrangers have been MIA for over 30 years especially since MIDI became common.

Recording also made much greater demands on musicians when you didn't have all of the fix it technology. It meant people simply needed to perform better. As a result, they got good takes faster with a lot more of a gut response to the song involved instead of the amount of conceptual over-thinking that has become common.

I honestly believe that you could hook a DAW up to a console in 1972 and make just as good of a recording so long as you used the same performers, arrangers and decisive production procedure.
your more than right... as usual
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