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Recording 50's Style

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Nightcleaner, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Well-Known Member

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    I'm finding this interesting Guys have set up a 50's recording studio

     

     

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  2. Jayrosc

    Jayrosc Super Member

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    Holy smokes. Have not watched the whole vid yet, but this looks spectacular.
     
  3. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    This is awesome! Tube recording gear has so much to offer. Everytime I hear the soundtrack from Vertigo (1958), I am amazed with how much depth and clarity is on offer. Some of the tube flavor comes through on solid state gear.
     
  4. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Well-Known Member

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  5. Marine0811

    Marine0811 I love it loud! Subscriber

    I think that’s awesome that these guys hunted down all this old equipment, had it fixed and put it to use doing exactly what it was intended to do
     
  6. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In the first 30 seconds two things were said that cracked me up.

    1 "There is something honest about this equipment". Ummm ok like new equipment is dishonest?

    2 "Most of this equipment has been abandoned by the 60s with good reason".

    I understand about keeping recording simple like he was talking about but like he also said, the equipment was severely limited in performance.


    I like both modern and vintage equipment but some equipment is just too vintage.
     

     

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  7. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Well-Known Member

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  8. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

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    Well, the best soundmen were out Hollywood in the picture business, not in the music business. Modern hi fidelity sound is an outgrowth of motion picture sound.

    Funny thing about Vertigo is that in the 1950s Paramount developed a visually superb film system, VistaVision, but stuck with monophonic optical sound while Fox was going to 4 channel magnetic sound with Cinemascope (and later 6 channel with Todd-AO) and MGM went to 6 channel magnetic with Camera 65. However Paramount recorded the music for both The 10 Commandments and Vertigo in multi track magnetic for mixdown to mono optical and these tapes were subsequently used for the restored versions of these pictures. So they sound better now than upon original release.

    Though some Vertigo fans think some of the sonic sweetening done during restoration is too much, such as the gunshots in the opening rooftop chase scene which were fiddled with to sound “better”.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    SoCal Sam likes this.
  9. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    I've seen Vertigo a dozen times and still marvel at the artistry and analog storytelling. Beautiful cinematography, no CGI, no screen tinting, flawless writing with no plot holes, and characters with...character. The best Hitchcock is totally immersive, totally enthralling. Contrast with today's movies which are gimmicky, orange, blue, or grey tinted, and full of politics. Perfection was achieved long ago and inexplicably forgotten.
     
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  10. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    In that era, musicians had to know how to play, singers needed to know how to sing. Engineers had to know how to work live with simpler equipment, and know how to home brew or modify that equipment. No fix it in the mix, after the fact. Tape editing but not much else could be done.
     
    sdw54, SoCal Sam and Wildcat like this.
  11. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    Impressive stuff! Altec, Ampex and Collins were the giants of the recording industry in those days, and their equipment is still highly sought-after today. The "honesty" discussed in the video likely refers to the fact that there were few technological "band-aids" available in those days than we have now. "Effects" in those days were fairly simple; larger recording studios had a "reverberation room", but smaller ones had to get by with spring reverb tanks (when available) or tape echo, as seen in the video. Compression was available, but very simplistic compared to what we have now. And autotune was right out. :p It was up to the singer to stay in tune.

    I wish I had half the talent required to wrangle and use the sorts of old-fashioned recording gear shown in that video when it comes to my own music. I use no mics, except when I employ vocals. All my keyboard instruments are hooked into a small Realistic mixing board, and the output from that is fed into a small Fostex multi-track cassette recorder, the results of which are fed into a computer for uploading. I haven't bothered much with multitracking of any sort, preferring to record 'live' (and largely in mono). I'm hoping to step up my recording talent and equipment at some point, but would prefer to keep things fairly simple overall.
    -Adam
     

     

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  12. tom3

    tom3 Super Member

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    I remember reading about a guitar player (Les Paul?) that used to go around and try different stairwells for just the right reverb sound. Ahh, those guitar players......
     
  13. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Collins was not marketed to the recording industry, they sold to broadcast stations. A lot of broadcast gear was modified in the early days of recording, because there wasn't consoles built for recording studios which you could buy. You built or modified equipment.
     
  14. Numistrek09

    Numistrek09 Super Member

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    That video was just awesome. I want to go to a malt shop now.
     
  15. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    Sure, Collins mixers weren't originally intended for recording use, but became a defacto standard in them for reasons you describe. Similar things happened all the time in the music industry; just look at the Mellotron, which was originally intended to be used in people's homes as a home entertainment instrument. Once it was discovered by musicians like The Beatles and Mike Pinder, however, it was repurposed as an orchestra substitute by groups throughout the music industry like King Crimson and Black Sabbath.
    -Adam
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  16. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

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    I'm diggin' it!
     

     

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  17. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    How do you suppose those fantastic '50s recordings were made?

    Time travel? ;)

    Autotune is dishonest.
     
  18. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hardly....autotune is an effect, nothing else. I have heard a lot of 50s recordings that were not fantastic actually. Modern equipment sounds better. The old stuff is interesting but does not work as well. Just like 50s cars.
     
    DaveVoorhis likes this.
  19. ducati_EL34

    ducati_EL34 Super Member

    Well bad recordings can be made in any decade, regardless of equipment used.

    Modern equipment may sound better to you, but someone else may be after a particular sound, that this older equipment can give.
     
  20. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    Is a guitar processed with a flanger or distortion dishonest?

    It's not. It's an effect, just like Auto-Tune.
     

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