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techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old
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mle
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:49 pm    Post subject: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

thoughts... ?

https://youtu.be/qiiyq2xrSI0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ny2pV-CCxQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sonLd-32ns4

besides recording to tape of course
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joninc
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

record mostly in mono - single mics per instrument.

limit the frequency range - not too much high freq "air" (above like 10k) and no sub - (below 100 hz).

mids!

spring or plate reverbs!

easy on the compression!

pan things more extremely.
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joninc
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

also - often on these tracks the instrumentation is "small" compared to the voice too. not too thick or rich. drums tap rather than thump. leave the center wide for that voice to loom large.
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A.David.MacKinnon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

Live band takes with vocals overdubbed (unless they are cut live). Players all together in the same room. Gobos not isolation. A good room and bleed are your friends.

Those things alone are a bigger part if the sound then the gear ever was. The other huge factor was arrangements. I think of arrangements as doing 75% of the job of mixing. If the arrangement is there the song should sound pretty good with the faders pushed up.
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A.David.MacKinnon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

joninc wrote:
record mostly in mono - single mics per instrument.

limit the frequency range - not too much high freq "air" (above like 10k) and no sub - (below 100 hz).

mids!

spring or plate reverbs!

easy on the compression!

pan things more extremely.


joninc wrote:
also - often on these tracks the instrumentation is "small" compared to the voice too. not too thick or rich. drums tap rather than thump. leave the center wide for that voice to loom large.


And a big +1 to both of these. Also remember that mix options were limited. Lots of the mix happened before tape - multiple mics were mixed to each channel (because you had limited track counts), compression was often implemented in tracking because of pre mixing and signal to noise issues (compressing from tape raises the noise floor more than compressing pre-tape) and outboard options were limited.
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vvv
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

Lotsa corn likker. Twisted Evil
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A.David.MacKinnon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:30 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other Reply with quote

mle wrote:
thoughts... ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ny2pV-CCxQ



Missed this one the first time around. The Shaggs....best worst band ever. No idea how you get this particular sound. Possibly record the band live without letting them hear or see each other.
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cgarges
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:58 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

I've had the best results doing these types of recordings by trying as best as possible to use similar equipment and techniques, including instruments, amps, and playing in general. None of that stuff is played very loudly, seemingly ever, and that makes a huge difference. A lot of the classic studios in the south and west tended to have "deader" rooms or made more use of gobos and close miking than, say, a lot of the stuff that was recorded in NY. But, you would occasionally have bleed on stuff that can add up to a certain type of ambience. I like recording these kind of ensembles live and I get the best results when I do, but sometimes you can make some interesting stuff happen if you apply the same kind of results to your individual recordings.

For example, if someone is going for a "classic country" type of vibe at my place, I'll use a single Coles 4038 on our extremely bright Yamaha grand piano (I'd use an RCA 77DX if I had one) and I'll usually use a "classic" signal path-- maybe an RCA tube preamp or a Langevin AM16, followed by either a Manley Vari MU or Altec 436C compressor. That will be the primary signal path for the piano, but at the same time, I'd probably track another mic somewhere else in the room, just to add as an ambient pairing to the primary piano mic. If the whole band was tracking live in the same room, you'd probably hear a bit of piano in, say, the acoustic guitar mic, which might be on the other side of the room and perhaps the other side of the stereo spectrum (if you're mixing in stereo) when you mix. So, I'll usually place another mic somewhere else in the room and record that. I'm not usually going for the same specific "ambient mic" sound that I might otherwise-- in this case, I'm trying to emulate what might happen if it were actual bleed. Maybe something dumb like a 57 would work for this. Maybe behind a gobo or at least facing away from the instrument.

When mixing, I try not to do too much individual compression, but might do more across the whole mix. Slow stuff, too, not uber-fast, modern compression. Up until the very late 60s, the fastest compressors out there were vari MU designs, which aren't nearly as fast as FET or VCA compressors. I also tend to use fewer individual reverbs and delays on stuff. By pumping the whole band into one chamber or plate (and maybe another for the lead vocal and perhaps solo instruments), you'll achieve a more cohesive atmosphere, like you tend to hear on a lot of those classic records. And most of reverbs (plates, springs, limited-bandwidth playback speakers in a chamber) tended to be WAY darker than most modern digital reverbs, as well.

Whenever possible, I try to stay true to a locale, too. Most American studios in the early 60s were equipped with Altec and RCA equipment and most mics were either ribbons or American dynamics like Shures and EVs. Favorite bass drum mics were the Altec 633 and the EV 666. Aside from studios like Capital or Columbia, the only condenser mics around were Altecs like the M11 and M20/30. RCA 77s and 44s and mics like the Western Electric 639 were high-dollar mics of choice on most American sessions pre-1964 or so. In Europe, there would be more esoteric equipment from studio to studio and more condenser mics from Neumann, AKG, and Schoeps, as well.

At the same time, it's important not to get so hung up on this stuff that the results don't sound right. I tend to use this stuff as a starting point, but like, if I have to mic the toms, I'll mic the toms, you know? Or if I'm not getting enough definition in the kick drum, I'll put a mic on the batter side, although that wasn't common practice back then. It's all about the end result. The best thing you can do is listen to some of those records and think about the context in which they were made and how they likely got there. Another thing to consider is that most of those "classic" records like that were not labored over at all. Yeah, guys like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson took their time, but most of those hits were really crafted over a number of hours or maybe days, but not usually weeks or months.

Hope this helps.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
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cgarges
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

Also, The Shaggs record had the world's awesomest bass drum sound.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
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mle
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:18 am    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

chris, and everyone else - thanks for the info! i definitely try as much as my pocket is deep to get close to owning the "classic" gear. but of course ultimately believe in using your ears and being creative. i am just so interested in the evolution of recorded music and when you listen to a recording from the 50's or 60's, how it's almost just a completely different thing altogether than a modern song, in terms of the sound you hear. i just love learning about why that is!
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roscoenyc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

as said above the arrangement is so key.
that and a GREAT Song and a Great Singer.
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drumsound
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

I have nothing to add because the answers are already in the thread.
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dfuruta
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:35 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

cgarges wrote:
Also, The Shaggs record had the world's awesomest bass drum sound.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC


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playon
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 16 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

cgarges wrote:

Whenever possible, I try to stay true to a locale, too. Most American studios in the early 60s were equipped with Altec and RCA equipment and most mics were either ribbons or American dynamics like Shures and EVs. Favorite bass drum mics were the Altec 633 and the EV 666. Aside from studios like Capital or Columbia, the only condenser mics around were Altecs like the M11 and M20/30.


But, plenty of American studios had Neumann U47s, they are ubiquitous in studio photos from the 50s and 60s, especially used on vocals but for other things as well.
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cgarges
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: techniques for the "nashville sound" and other old Reply with quote

playon wrote:
But, plenty of American studios had Neumann U47s, they are ubiquitous in studio photos from the 50s and 60s, especially used on vocals but for other things as well.


It depends on your definition of "plenty." Yeah, the big studios in NY and LA and/or the studios owned by major labels did, but most of the other places didn't. Hell, Sun NEVER had mics like that when Sam Phillips ran it. Their condenser of choice was an Altec M11. It wasn't until he made a ton of money in the Holiday Inn investment that he decided to upgrade his mics at the request of "Cowboy Jack" Clemmons, at which point, he bought a pair of RCA 44s. And if a studio DID have a European condenser mic like that in their collection, they had one or maybe two. Again, stuff like that started turning up in more American studios by the mid 60s. The U47 wasn't even invented until 1949, and it's not like the very next year, everybody in the US went out and bought a dozen of them. A lot of things changed in the 60s.

Chris Garges
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