How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

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KermitPickle
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How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by KermitPickle » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:17 am

Hi all...

I've been working on a track made up entirely of samples from 1930s-40s shellac 78s, which has been fun, but then I decided to add a newly-recorded vocal on top. Unsurprisingly I'm having a little trouble getting the vocal to work with samples from scratchy 70- & 80-year-old records--my vocal doesn't really match the sound of the 78s. I even tried using a ribbon mic thru an old tube preamp (which is as close as I can get to being period-correct) but it still sounds too hi-fi.

I tried rolling off a bunch of hi end and it more or less works, but it still doesn't sound quite right to me, like I'm just karaoke-ing over old records. I'm not trying to make it sound like it's a REAL vocal sampled from some old 78, but I'd like it to sit a little better with the sources, like they inhabit more or less the same world if that makes sense.

Any thoughts/suggestions? Thanks.


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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by losthighway » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:37 am

Most of those really old recordings have a pronounced mid frequency element in it, that nasal quality. I imagine in addition to what you're doing, high passing it pretty radically and maybe boosting a pretty narrow (maybe an octave) mid frequency (maybe somewhere between 750 hz and 1.5k) might give it some of that pinched sound. Also maybe a little bit of extra saturation, like an overdrive pedal not truly distorting it, but warping it just a little.

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by KermitPickle » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:47 am

Thanks -- that 'gramophone' IR looks interesting, I'll check it out.

I did try chopping off the lows/highs & boosting the mids, yeah, but I think I overdid it...it sounded too telephone-y/carbon mic-y. More of a 1920s sound, but I'll revisit that. I like the idea of adding some saturation, yeah, I'll try that. Thanks!

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by losthighway » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:54 am

KermitPickle wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:47 am
Thanks -- that 'gramophone' IR looks interesting, I'll check it out.

I did try chopping off the lows/highs & boosting the mids, yeah, but I think I overdid it...it sounded too telephone-y/carbon mic-y. More of a 1920s sound, but I'll revisit that. I like the idea of adding some saturation, yeah, I'll try that. Thanks!
Totally. With that stuff I find I have to do it too far, and then back it up. When I go looking I usually overdo those flavors, and then after a break from listening I dial it back.

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:07 pm

maybe try running the vocal through a small guitar amp (champ, pignose, etc.) and re-recording it?
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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by kslight » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:09 pm

Maybe parallel processing? Or maybe the band passed track BW main, and make the full frequency 100% wet on a reverb? Vice Versa?

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by drumsound » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:12 pm

Make a cone out of some posterboard at either sing through it, or use a speaker of some sort on a send and put the small opening by the speaker and an inexpensive mic in the horn.

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:19 pm

Maybe also try a bit reducing plug in.

They can work wonders on this type of stuff, where you need to degrade the signal in a different way than just EQ and grit.

Here is the Wiki on these:

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/78rp ... ack_curves
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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by KermitPickle » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:59 pm

Ok cool, all good suggestions here. I'll tinker around and see what works.
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:19 pm
Here is the Wiki on these:

https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/78rp ... ack_curves
Wow, there's a lot to digest here. Is the suggestion basically to boost at 300 Hz and roll off everything above 10 kHz? I already did the treble cut...

It also just occurs to me I should maybe work the mic closer and get more bass/proximity effect.

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by KermitPickle » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:17 pm

drumsound wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:12 pm
Make a cone out of some posterboard at either sing through it, or use a speaker of some sort on a send and put the small opening by the speaker and an inexpensive mic in the horn.
That would be be fun -- I actually own an acoustic megaphone that I found in the gutter on my street. It says "Eagles Varsity Cheer '89" and "Maria" on it, I'll try that.

I also like the bit reducer idea a lot too, I should have thought of that.

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by drumsound » Fri Dec 18, 2020 4:23 pm

KermitPickle wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:17 pm
drumsound wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:12 pm
Make a cone out of some posterboard at either sing through it, or use a speaker of some sort on a send and put the small opening by the speaker and an inexpensive mic in the horn.
That would be be fun -- I actually own an acoustic megaphone that I found in the gutter on my street. It says "Eagles Varsity Cheer '89" and "Maria" on it, I'll try that.

I also like the bit reducer idea a lot too, I should have thought of that.
Years ago I made one from a Willie Nelson poster that I still have.

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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by Scodiddly » Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:34 pm

Are you looking to make the vocals sound like the 78's... or are you maybe looking to make the vocals sound equally lo-fi?

Because I'm wondering if maybe you could just make the vocals lo-fi but in a little different way that makes them fit into the space *not* used by the 78's.


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Re: How to get a newly-recorded vocal to sit with samples from shellac 78s?

Post by analogika » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:50 am

What are people's thoughts on iZotope's Vinyl plugin? It's free…

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/vinyl.html

Though I rather like the idea of mixing the new vocals into the space where the old 78 RPM material isn't.

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