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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
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Clarity and depth of the 70's vs DAW and hard drive: Is it possible...

What is the recipe of the great clarity and 3-dimensional sound of the 70's? Modern recordings with big budgets sound muddy and shallow and when you crank up the volume...it gets even worse...you know what I mean!

Some producers say it is the musicians...no I don't think so, there are many great musicians all over the world now days. Some say it is the vintage analog consoles and gear, however, many big studios still use them. So what the heck is it?

1. Is it the tape

2. The analog consoles and gear

3. The engineers and the mix methods

4. Something else?

Can we get this sound with the best converters, preamps, a Daw a drive?

Is it possible?
Old 9th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

what particular records are you talking about ?
Old 9th November 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

There are soooo many? Let's stick to rock and don't go to jazz and blues. What about Floyd, Police, Led Zep, Queen, for starters.
Old 9th November 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
What is the recipe of the great clarity and 3-dimensional sound of the 70's?
Aphex Exciter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
... you know what I mean!
Actually, I don't.
Old 9th November 2009
  #5
Gear Nut
 

The Aphex is a great piece of gear! What I mean is that when you listen to modern recordings very loud they get muddy with harsh highs.
Old 9th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Which modern recordings?
Old 9th November 2009
  #7
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5down1up's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
What about Floyd, Police, Led Zep, Queen, for starters.
oh those, .... we never really talked about them heh

have fun
Old 9th November 2009
  #8
Gear Nut
 

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...
Old 9th November 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
JoaT's Avatar
For one, they didn't use analog gear back then to have "that analog warmth" on their records.

They use the best equipment they had, and tried to make the most out of it in terms of clarity.

If you add "muddyizer" to your plug-in chain, what do you expect to get? Clarity?
Old 9th November 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
DJamesGoody's Avatar
Any professional engineer working regularly in the 70's probably had 10x the skill level of the average working engineer today - and I personally feel that's an understatement.

To me, the skill level of that era far exceeds now, and that's the reason we still talk about their techniques, etc......
Old 9th November 2009
  #11
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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.
Old 9th November 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 

There's no magic in tape. If there was any key to the old bands you mentioned, it's this-- Big live rooms. Lots of time. Lots of money.

For example, IIRC, Queen's A Night at the Opera was the most expensive record made at that time.
Old 9th November 2009
  #13
Gear Nut
 

We don't use any plugins, just using the DAW for tracking. We are recording only real instruments and micing cabinets, not even DIs. We have a studio but also using other studios for our recordings, for example for piano or just to get a different flavor.

My question is simple...

Anybody out there to save us from buing a tape machine?!!
Old 9th November 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
I am an artist trying to record my music with what I have and I am looking for opinions.
today, everythings just a project and everyones real busy with keeping the ego rolling.

people make the difference, nothing has changed the last few thousand years imo.
doesnt really matter if you use a pencil or an 8core, still, you got to come up with the story you want to write down. but thats nothing new
Old 9th November 2009
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Marvindog,

The huge budgets are a huge factor!

But I think you should watch the BBC Documentary on Bohemian Rhapsody and check out the small studio they recorded the album. Check it out on you tube it is very interesting in general!
Old 9th November 2009
  #16
Gear Nut
 

5down1up

I agree 100 per cent, but in the music industry composing a great song just isn't enough! It has to arrive to the ears of the audience as a very well finished and polished...not product, music. When I hear great productions they move me, half of it is the sound!

A great producer and engineer can make this difference! I am just a song writer and play with a band. We record with Neves and API and Great River, and Tube preamps and good mics and bad mics...just trying to do our best.
Old 9th November 2009
  #17
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

It's true that albums were expensive mostly because things needed to be done over rather than just fixed. Most folks today aren't willing to spend that kind of money.
Old 9th November 2009
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post

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.
Agreed. Recording tools are as good as ever, abuse of those tools, though common these days, is not mandatory.

The ability to capture the performance is certainly there, assuming the performance is worthy. And there in lies the problem.
Old 9th November 2009
  #19
Gear Nut
 

DJGOODY,

I believe that! I can feel it!

Bob Olhsson

Also believe that but I also know that for many productions, there were endless studio hours, takes and patching up of tape. I just cant believe that musicians were that much better!
Old 9th November 2009
  #20
If it was only tape that made the difference, then actually maybe Led Zepplin sounded like Nickelback or The Jonas Brothers in the studio as they were playing, but then it went into the tape and came out sounding like what we hear on the albums. Hey, you never know....

Personally I think it was the really tight jeans.
Old 9th November 2009
  #21
Here for the gear
 

when people talk about the glory of analog recordings they seem to skip the 90s. tape was being used a lot more than digital in the 90s, but people usually talk about recordings from the 60s and 70s if not earlier. i think a big part must be approach.
Old 9th November 2009
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
FarWestWrenchCo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
We don't use any plugins, just using the DAW for tracking. We are recording only real instruments and micing cabinets, not even DIs. We have a studio but also using other studios for our recordings, for example for piano or just to get a different flavor.

My question is simple...

Anybody out there to save us from buing a tape machine?!!
So are you actually seeking to compare 70s classics with contemporary productions in general, or yours in particular?
I doubt that buying a tape machine will solve the problems you perceive, having worked with both mediums in the past. How truly constructive you all can be during the phases of composition, preproduction, tracking and mixdown is where real quality is generated I reckon. Of course, YMMV
Working with a genuinely experienced producer who can have proper input on arrangements and performances could be hugely beneficial IMHO. Maybe you could post some work?
Old 9th November 2009
  #23
Gear Nut
 

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?
Old 9th November 2009
  #24
Gear Nut
 
p_bro's Avatar
 

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.
.
THERE!! YOU NAILED IT!!!
For me, that's why on some specific project I like to work on tape with no DAW involved. To force the musician and engineer to give their best right now... So everyone gets into the song more deeply, cause we wont fix it later.
A drum track can be edited to death, but "GUTS", it's there or it's not.
Old 9th November 2009
  #25
Gear Nut
 
p_bro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I Personally I think it was the really tight jeans.
Oh yeah, and that too!
Old 9th November 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJGoody View Post
Any professional engineer working regularly in the 70's probably had 10x the skill level of the average working engineer today - and I personally feel that's an understatement.

To me, the skill level of that era far exceeds now, and that's the reason we still talk about their techniques, etc......
I agree to an extent. we still have some great engineers around today. But today there are so many that learn on their own in their own project studio/bedroom, or learn from forums like this.

I learned, like so many in the past, from interning and working under real professional engineers in real professional studios. Hands on apprenticeship has gone away in this industry.

I think alot of the sound of today's music has to do with that above and with experienced analog engineers switching over to DAW/Digital and still using their all analog techniques. Some which have to be altered for DAW/Digital- I was there too.
Old 9th November 2009
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe
We don't use any plugins, just using the DAW for tracking. We are recording only real instruments and micing cabinets, not even DIs. We have a studio but also using other studios for our recordings, for example for piano or just to get a different flavor.

My question is simple...

Anybody out there to save us from buing a tape machine?!!

So are you actually seeking to compare 70s classics with contemporary productions in general, or yours in particular?
I doubt that buying a tape machine will solve the problems you perceive, having worked with both mediums in the past. How truly constructive you all can be during the phases of composition, preproduction, tracking and mixdown is where real quality is generated I reckon. Of course, YMMV
Working with a genuinely experienced producer who can have proper input on arrangements and performances could be hugely beneficial IMHO. Maybe you could post some work?
Not trying to compare asnything, it was my answer to the muddy plugin comment! I wish we had an engineer who can add dimension to our recordings...
Old 9th November 2009
  #28
Here for the gear
 

I think a big part of it is just simply a different production philosophy. For example, if you listen to Queen, they had a lot of stuff mixed more background than they would be in a modern day production. Not everything needed to be in your face, thus creating more depht and sense of space.
Old 9th November 2009
  #29
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The '70s were a transition period. We were still influenced by the standard of performance required for live, no fixes recording but we had a lot more flexibility.

The musicians were probably no more talented than today but a great deal more was expected of them. We recorded in ensembles. Musicians and engineers were expected to stop the take if they made a mistake. If it happened too often, you lost your job. If the producer found a problem later on, you didn't get called again.

Recording was a very stressful way of life. I hated it but 20-20 hindsight tells me that it did get better results.
Old 9th November 2009
  #30
Gear Nut
 

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...
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