The Strokes Sound

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goldanimals
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The Strokes Sound

Post by goldanimals » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:08 am

Just wondering if anyone had any info on how The Strokes managed to achieve the sound of their records. I know they didn't record themselves but you know what I mean. My band, Theodore & Leopold, is planning to record some demos(commercial if they sound good) soon and we are looking to go that lo-fi route a bit. We are on a tight budget but I just want some general tips on methods and gear. Anything you got, throw it my way. Thanks.

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Post by RoyMatthews » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:29 am

I didn't read it but this should help:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr02/a ... aphael.asp
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Re: The Strokes Sound

Post by roygbiv » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:58 am

RoyMatthews wrote:
I didn't read it but this should help:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr02/a ... aphael.asp
Nice article - thanks! Very inspiring.
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Post by drumsound » Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:00 am

Distort cheap gear, don't do too many overdubs--lather, rinse, repeat

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Post by watergunfight » Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:43 am

http://www.eqmag.com/article/gordon-raphael/Dec-03/2232
heres another good one. interesting that they don't like using tape

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Re: The Strokes Sound

Post by tubetapexfmr » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:14 am

goldanimals wrote:Anything you got, throw it my way. Thanks.
I'm assuming by saying lo-fi you're talking about the first Strokes record. If so, then Ewww! Why would you want to emulate that sorry excuse for a recording? If you want to make a record like that and make sure it sounds lo-fi then do what they did: hire a hack that works on cheap shit and doesn't know how to track vocals. Make sure your songs are boring and derivative, oh and make sure that your singer can't sing a note and don't try to cover it up with anything but distortion. Most importantly make sure the band is introduced at a time when people are starving for ANY new rock on the radio and then shove it down their throats.

Chances are your band is better than The Strokes (since 99.9% of all bands are), but chances are just as great that you don't have some wealthy relative to get you a record deal like they did. I say make your record clean and neutral at the tracking stage and then color it to taste later with something like Izotope's Trash plug-in, that way you can tune the lo-finess to where you really want it. Most of all don't try to emulate a shitty band's shitty recording. Do your own thing and let your own mind create original ideas. If you MUST emulate another band's recordings in this vein how about The Hives, The Raconteurs, or Louis XIV?

Sorry for the rant, but The Strokes are like the modern Sex Pistols, just as bullshit and untalented. Their fame comes from them selling a lot of records through label manipulation/payola and from ripping off unknown, better bands like The Makers.

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Post by tubetapexfmr » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:18 am

My band, Theodore & Leopold
Did you guys find a way to hack the profile views on your myspace page?: http://www.myspace.com/theodoreandleopold

If not then how did a band with no songs up and who played their first show a month ago have over 100,000 page views? It's pretty amazing. How'd you do it?

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Re: The Strokes Sound

Post by RoyMatthews » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:23 am

jessemesasavage wrote:
goldanimals wrote:Anything you got, throw it my way. Thanks.
I'm assuming by saying lo-fi you're talking about the first Strokes record. If so, then Ewww! Why would you want to emulate that sorry excuse for a recording? If you want to make a record like that and make sure it sounds lo-fi then do what they did: hire a hack that works on cheap shit and doesn't know how to track vocals. Make sure your songs are boring and derivative, oh and make sure that your singer can't sing a note and don't try to cover it up with anything but distortion. Most importantly make sure the band is introduced at a time when people are starving for ANY new rock on the radio and then shove it down their throats.

Chances are your band is better than The Strokes (since 99.9% of all bands are), but chances are just as great that you don't have some wealthy relative to get you a record deal like they did. I say make your record clean and neutral at the tracking stage and then color it to taste later with something like Izotope's Trash plug-in, that way you can tune the lo-finess to where you really want it. Most of all don't try to emulate a shitty band's shitty recording. Do your own thing and let your own mind create original ideas. If you MUST emulate another band's recordings in this vein how about The Hives, The Raconteurs, or Louis XIV?

Sorry for the rant, but The Strokes are like the modern Sex Pistols, just as bullshit and untalented. Their fame comes from them selling a lot of records through label manipulation/payola and from ripping off unknown, better bands like The Makers.
I'm sorry but how is this helpful? Personally I like the Strokes' first record and I like the way it sounds. I don't care how they got their contract. It's has nothing to do with the sound of the recording (OK maybe it does and they using 'LoFi' to cover something up). But for me it's enjoyable. I'm assuming the original poster feels the same way so why rain on his parade?
And why just run it through a plug in? Learning how to get different sounds right at the source is a valuable exercise.

Now I'm off to check out The Makers....
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Post by swelle » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:12 pm

Yeah, that post is seriously sour-grape flavored. Nobody knows why some records hit and most don't, but the Strokes debut was probably the most important debut album since Appetite for Destruction. ("Nevermind" was not a debut.) And the songs were pretty catchy, by and large.

(PS and the Makers' boat-missing status is legendary, they're about as lucky as Badfinger.)

As far as advice, I would suggest cassette four-tracking (or 8 track)... the cheapest, most sure-fired way to get the raw sound you're aiming for.

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Post by RoyMatthews » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:20 pm

swelle wrote: but the Strokes debut was probably the most important debut album since Appetite for Destruction.
Well, I wouldn't quite go that far but it is a catchy record.
"If there's one ironclad rule of pop history, it's this: The monkey types Hamlet only once."

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Re: The Strokes Sound

Post by fossiltooth » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:33 pm

RoyMatthews wrote:
jessemesasavage wrote:
I'm assuming by saying lo-fi you're talking about the first Strokes record. If so, then Ewww! Why would you want to emulate that sorry excuse for a recording? If you want to make a record like that and make sure it sounds lo-fi then do what they did: hire a hack that works on cheap shit and doesn't know how to track vocals. Make sure your songs are boring and derivative, oh and make sure that your singer can't sing a note and don't try to cover it up with anything but distortion. Most importantly make sure the band is introduced at a time when people are starving for ANY new rock on the radio and then shove it down their throats.

Chances are your band is better than The Strokes (since 99.9% of all bands are), but chances are just as great that you don't have some wealthy relative to get you a record deal like they did. I say make your record clean and neutral at the tracking stage and then color it to taste later with something like Izotope's Trash plug-in, that way you can tune the lo-finess to where you really want it. Most of all don't try to emulate a shitty band's shitty recording. Do your own thing and let your own mind create original ideas. If you MUST emulate another band's recordings in this vein how about The Hives, The Raconteurs, or Louis XIV?
I'm sorry but how is this helpful? Personally I like the Strokes' first record and I like the way it sounds. I don't care how they got their contract. It's has nothing to do with the sound of the recording (OK maybe it does and they using 'LoFi' to cover something up). But for me it's enjoyable. I'm assuming the original poster feels the same way so why rain on his parade?
I had the exact opposite reaction... Sure, it was a little much, but I though this post was priceless! I laughed my butt off.

But then again, I appreciate a good rant. I can sympathize with"jessemesasavage"s outlook, but personally, I don't think the Stokes are relevant enough to get all worked up about (especially these days). It's kinda like getting all hot under the collar about how Winger are killing metal, or because Loverboy sucks, or because Wham! are really annoying. I mean, what's the point?

You know... they do what they do, and some people were into it. They are a band that was built to be enjoyed by fairweather fans. To most people, this was obvious when they came out. It's even more obvious now that the weather's not so fair anymore. So why bother with the hate? What is this... 2001?

Then again, to anyone who isn't a fan, there's something that's genuinely annoying about the Strokes. To many people, they come across as pompous and privileged and self-important, and generally douchey. A lot of people find them pretty easy to get worked up about. They're nearly as much of a hot-button band for some people as Nickelback or Creed.

At this very moment, scores of people are trying to decide whether or not they should fight the urge to post: "Nickelback sucks giant %&#$^@&*@@#" just because their name appeared on this page.

Am I right or am I right?
Last edited by fossiltooth on Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by swelle » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:34 pm

Yeah, after I wrote that I remembered the Stone Roses first - but I'd say arguably the most important American debut album is accurate.

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Post by fossiltooth » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:44 pm

swelle wrote:Yeah, that post is seriously sour-grape flavored. Nobody knows why some records hit and most don't, but the Strokes debut was probably the most important debut album since Appetite for Destruction. ("Nevermind" was not a debut.) And the songs were pretty catchy, by and large.
Time will show you to be wrong about this.

There's a difference between helping to start a brief fad, and having an important and lasting impact on countless people's lives and/or tastes.

If I were to follow your logic, I could make a similar case for the Brian Setzer Orchestra!

I'd love to be able to disagree with you on Appetite for Destruction (because I personally can't stand it.) but unfortunately, I'm unable to do so in good conscience.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by swelle » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:51 pm

Time may prove me wrong, but I worked at a label and was on tour alot at that time - in both the US and UK - and the sense of change was palpable. I didn't say it's the greatest debut since GNR, but that album effectively buried the big 90's rock sound, and all the knucklehead rap-rock outfits suddenly got hip bangs haircuts and skinny ties, and playing 8th notes. In the fashion world and within the industry, the Strokes album was officially a phenom, and I can't think of any US debut albums that had that kind of impact (since GNR).

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Post by fossiltooth » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:59 pm

swelle wrote: but that album effectively buried the big 90's rock sound
Really? Last time I checked, The Foo Fighters were still very popular. In fact, the only mainstream "Modern Rock" station in the New York Metro area plays almost nothing but The Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Occasionally, they play other bands that wouldn't have been insanely popular if it wasn't for Nevermind.

So no, the Strokes have clearly had little effect on the sonic landscape of mass media. No more so than the Squirell Nut Zippers or Limp Bizkit.


swelle wrote:In the fashion world and within the industry, the Strokes album was officially a phenom


Yes...
















......For tools!














:wink:


I kid, I kid.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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