how would you record a six piece doo wop group?

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I'm Painting Again
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Re: how would you record a six piece doo wop group?

Post by I'm Painting Again » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:54 pm

joninc wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:50 am
Sounds like a really fun project -

but I'm not sure a 512 is really from that era you are describing and might be a little too aggressive/hard souding for the smoother vintage vocal tones.

I'd go with a UA 610 or something a little "softer" that will not push the upper mids as much - especially with a bright mic like a C12.

My 2 cents - YMMV.
ya ya real good insight -thank you - I hear ya Joninc and Tony!

will be on the lookout for too hard sounding !!

I'm limited to what I personally have in my home for this one tho - aint about to rent anything

I do own a Fearn VT-2 ! tried it.. and the damn 512 through the altec sounds better to me for this - prob use the Fearn for the stereo pair at a distance

the chain I'm messing around with i.e. c12 clone - 512c - line to mic pad - Altec 1566a - Ampex @15ips is very different sounding than c12 to 512 to bits - the altec and the tape smooth out the upper mids and roll off the highs pretty nicely - the c12 is the only suitable omni for the task I have available if I go with the above described setup - that said ya a 610 or any dark soft thing would prob be a killer choice

why the 512c padded down through the altec ? I'm not sure besides it sounds better that way - whatever is going on there it sounds tighter in the bottom - has a little extra nice compression happening - the smoothed out dimensional mids n highs I assume is the altec's fingerprint - it's just way slower and the frequencies focus differently - add the tape and it sorta has the characteristics of a halfway point between syrupy smooth and fast n punchy and it's pretty cool - the best I can manage at least - I tried a lot of stuff - the tube mic def retains its HF fizzy signature over what a ribbon does - not really my favourite but I'll survive

I do have a couple of RIBBONS but they're totally not appropriate for the task - If I had a couple RCA or AEA mics of the proper variety I'd definitely give them a go - probably rather do that for sure as that sound is something i adore n I like recording a lil dark then brightening up down the line more than vice versa

seems like 50's design tube LDCs and the RCA classic ribbons were the ones they used on the old records so I think it'll be in line with authenticity

correct me if i'm wrong

here's word from South Side Glenn who is/was involved in actual doo wop sessions a while back for anyone searching this in the future looking for ideas
Isn't it nice for a change to have a question where an optional answer can not be to use eight mikes on one instrument, double-track them, compress the hell out of them, and hard-pan them to either side?

Yeah, keep the miking relatively simple and very clean. I like the variation of using two mikes in a stereo config and having the vocalists semi-circled around them in order to get a stereo image.

The tricky thing in this kind of recording - at least for me - is getting the verb right. You usually want the vocals to be on the close and dry side but too dry and the "feel" can evaporate. One (of many) possible techniques would be to have the dry vocals on one stereo stem, aux that out to some Motown-style parallel compression one one stereo return, and to a warm room verb on a second return. Bring the verb in behind (and possibly wider than) the vocals until it's just past consciously audible. Then pull in the comp return just slightly to pull the vocals forward a bit.

Just one possibility; it depends upon the room and the tracking as to what will work best.

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