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What makes up that "70s sound"?
Old 19th September 2012
  #61
ozy
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ozy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
For once, I will post a dead serious answer:

read THIS:

Bitches Brew: Genesis de la obra maestra de Miles Davis (Spanish Edition): Enrico Merlin,Veniero Rizzardi: 9788499420813: Amazon.com: Books

seriously.

Here's the THOUGHT, ideas, plans, theories of one the best producers of the 70s, a great innovator,

including his diaries,

the machines he used, the orchestration, the human relations
.

This is where many things started.

Read it.

A treasure
Old 19th September 2012
  #62
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enossified's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Go listen to some early Al Green records. One mike on the drum kit, legend has it that Willie Mitchell refused to let people into the studio to see how he did it.

Go listen to some 50s Blue Notes recorded in mono by Rudy Van Gelder in his mother's living room.





That's still the gold standard for mainstream jazz production today. Rudy built his own studio in 1959, he now has multitracking and digital but he still gets that sound.

So it's no secret at all: golden ears and a clear idea of what constitutes a good sound.
Old 19th September 2012
  #63
Gear Maniac
 
Kelly Cameron's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknobeam ➑️
Now it's Steely Dan's "Katie Lied" Transistor and a large sum of money to spend.

Bad sneakers and a pina colada my friend.

Ha! Laughfin at the frozen rain
Steely Dan: EPIC songwriting, playing and production


Sent from my MB860
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #64
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Cameron ➑️
Steely Dan: EPIC songwriting, playing and production


Sent from my MB860
Oh yes. I marvel at that stuff every time Iisten to it. "Pretzel Logic" is in my top 5 favorite albums of all time.
Old 20th September 2012
  #65
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Here's a band from the 70's and not to shabby at that. A ballad,, the song writing is world class, and the guitar solo...well.. it was the 70's and this guy is a virtuoso on his worst day

Old 20th September 2012
  #66
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🎧 10 years
Ahh OK.. just one more... The front man for this band was actually an extremely charismatic performer. he had that special something. It';s very rare. You know it when you see it.

Old 20th September 2012
  #67
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🎧 10 years
OK...I lied





"With only fear and good judgement holding us back" Ha!...that line alone is worth the entry fee.
Old 20th September 2012
  #68
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Damn it Jim..."I'm an elctronic musician"...Yeah,, and that's right. I am. But this thread was bout the 70's. some people would say " in never looked back"..I think looking back is huge, especially though a different lens. As long as you don't attempt to live there. The recordings that were made in the 70's....into the 80's and back to the 60's were often extremly magical gems that were the result of masters working with the best tools on the planet, but also great skills and talent. Lot's of talented musicians....but also lots of talented guys in the studio. It was a confluence of disciplines. lot's of serendipity, and decisions.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #69
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tjporter's Avatar
Just replace "The Simpsons" with "The Seventies"...


Get in your time machine, go back to 1973 & imagine hearing this for the first time...


The Seventies: A perfect storm of imagination, experimentation & innovation.
Old 20th September 2012
  #70
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well...the last Trooper offering (I promise, cross my heart and hope to die). This guys voice and this arrangement is the epitome of what a perfect song is. Might not resonate today or this very second... but if you listen to it and it doesn;t make the little fuzzy hairs on the back of your neck stand up and give you a goose bump or two.. you might want to check to see if you are still alive.




Did you catch that raspy Solina string machine on the extro? That's what people used live in those days.. A solina.. Hammond and an EP. ....

Fast forward to the Stranglers "Black and White" same gear...but a Minimoog parked on top of it all , and a genius at the controls. That early Stranglers music was organic magic. ( hate that term organic),,
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #71
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🎧 10 years
I'd like to look at this again from the other angle:

Why do recordings NOT sound like back then? That's the question we have to ask. Because things were simpler and more direct back then.

I think we are lying to ourselves, if we think that recording and mixing in the modern way, is LESS difficult than what they did back then. We're just so used to doing it! We're so used to music on the radio sounding sharp and bass heavy and limited to a squash.

Take an acoustic drumkit, analog synths, a Jazz bass, some tube amped guitars and record it on 8 tracks. It won't sound like on the radio 2012, at all! It might not sound like the famous records from the 70ies either, true, but it'll sounds much closer.

The question is only if we are willing/interested in doing it that way imo. It's not a mystery, but I think we are (perhaps unconsciously) afraid of sounding out-dated.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #72
Lives for gear
 
Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke ➑️
I'd like to look at this again from the other angle:

Why do recordings NOT sound like back then? That's the question we have to ask. Because things were simpler and more direct back then.

I think we are lying to ourselves, if we think that recording and mixing in the modern way, is LESS difficult than what they did back then. We're just so used to doing it! We're so used to music on the radio sounding sharp and bass heavy and limited to a squash.

Take an acoustic drumkit, analog synths, a Jazz bass, some tube amped guitars and record it on 8 tracks. It won't sound like on the radio 2012, at all! It might not sound like the famous records from the 70ies either, true, but it'll sounds much closer.

The question is only if we are willing/interested in doing it that way imo. It's not a mystery, but I think we are (perhaps unconsciously) afraid of sounding out-dated.
Your logic and reasoning is in order. I recorded some music that reached a lot of people.. Let's call it commercial music. I also recorded and produced some music that reached a selective audience. 100 or 200 people each night. both different standards. But I also emerged from a pop music career that took me into some real recording studios,,, I experienced the process of laying down my tracks and then watching my contribution evolve into something completely different . (the engineer and the producer conspired to mutate it and they did).... Really seasoned people don't let that happen without a fight... but hey... I wasn't a really seasoned person..... However.....what those people did to my tracks was difficult to argue with. I guess the point is.... you can think that you know it all.... and then someone shows you that you don't
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #73
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke ➑️
I'd like to look at this again from the other angle:

Why do recordings NOT sound like back then? That's the question we have to ask. Because things were simpler and more direct back then.
I spent some time listening really carefully to some 70's music last night, and to me, the biggest single difference is the drum kit, especially the metal parts of it, sound like they speak with a lisp. I suppose that's the transients mentioned up thread. Not one of the 70's recordings I listened to has a clear, sparkly, cymbal (or snare) sound.
Old 20th September 2012
  #74
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Talent.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #75
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by piper ➑️
I spent some time listening really carefully to some 70's music last night, and to me, the biggest single difference is the drum kit, especially the metal parts of it, sound like they speak with a lisp. I suppose that's the transients mentioned up thread. Not one of the 70's recordings I listened to has a clear, sparkly, cymbal (or snare) sound.
Yes, that's also what I notice most clearly.

So, I guess you could say that's not a 'direct' take of reality, as eg. a hi-hat can be rather sharp in reality. I guess the mellow sound was caused by the damping of the drums, which someone mentioned in another post, along with the transient-dampening transformers, tubes and tape and lack of use hi-freq eq's to hype the top-end.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #76
ozy
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jspitza ➑️
Talent.
As Yogi Berra said:

80% is talent, the remaining 80% is hard work
Old 20th September 2012
  #77
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hardly any use of reverb. Tight sound. Natural tape compression. Warm EQ. More emphasis on bass frequencies, smoother mids and highs.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #78
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jspitza ➑️
Talent.
The musicians in Foo Fighters aren't any less talented than the musicians were in Grank Funk Railroad. And yet their music doesn't sound like the 70s.

Questions like these offer us a great opportunity to examine how we apply logic and reason.
Old 20th September 2012
  #79
ozy
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🎧 5 years
Another detail (not closing the discussion, just adding another point of view)

In the 70s you had WAY more selection.

It was harder to publish your music.

producing a demo was expensive.

there was selection: only the best got to survive and publish.

We just never heard the pile of junk which was probably conceived in the 70s but never made it to vynil.

There was a filter. We just heard and hear and remember the "best of 70s".

How many records consititute "the 70s?"

My "70s" amount to maybe, say, 80 records.

Today, I can choose among 80 videoclips a DAY.

today the first draft of anything is "demoed" around.

And the AVERAGE quality is of course lower.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #80
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➑️
...there was selection: only the best got to survive and publish...
This was true but there was also an abundance of live gigs people could earn a living from while one honed one's chops. When I think about what's changed since then, what musicians get paid is the elephant in the room.
Old 20th September 2012
  #81
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa ➑️
The musicians in Foo Fighters aren't any less talented than the musicians were in Grank Funk Railroad. And yet their music doesn't sound like the 70s.

Questions like these offer us a great opportunity to examine how we apply logic and reason.
Absolutely agree. When I look back into the decade I see and read a lot about engineering and fabricating custom instruments, signal processing and mixing equipment ect One instance is of Wolfgang Palm designing and implementing DCO's for Tangerine Dream. Another is the recording studio used simultaneously by Led Zeppelin (Zeppelin III) and Jethro Tull (Aqua Lung) . According to Ian Anderson the studio was in its final finishing stage and was plagued with technical issues resulting in both albums having a very dark audio quality about them.
Old 20th September 2012
  #82
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➑️
As Yogi Berra said:

80% is talent, the remaining 80% is hard work
So very very true.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #83
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rompetigo ➑️
My question is why throwback bands that record solely to tape in analog studios with vintage outboard still don't sound like the 70s, they usually just sound bad.
i believe gabe roth has massively suceeded with ALL of the daptone productions
[sharon jones for instance]
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #84
Gear Nut
 
offshore's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
that's also what i had to think of: gabe roth really excels at that vintage/70s sound. his key notion is that '****ty is pretty'.
an immensely interesting article in which he talks about his recording techniques can be found here.

oh, and part one of it is here...
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #85
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by offshore ➑️
that's also what i had to think of: gabe roth really excels at that vintage/70s sound. his key notion is that '****ty is pretty'.
an immensely interesting article in which he talks about his recording techniques can be found here.

oh, and part one of it is here...
Thanks for posting these... an awesome read.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #86
Quote:
Originally Posted by piper ➑️
I spent some time listening really carefully to some 70's music last night, and to me, the biggest single difference is the drum kit, especially the metal parts of it, sound like they speak with a lisp. I suppose that's the transients mentioned up thread. Not one of the 70's recordings I listened to has a clear, sparkly, cymbal (or snare) sound.
Very true. You can barely hear hihats or cymbals and when you do they are very "mid-rangy". Also the kick and snare are mostly dry and tight (short decay).

I love the sound of 70s drums. Those snares.. mmm
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #87
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Bitches brew is one of the greatest works with a Rhodes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➑️
For once, I will post a dead serious answer:

read THIS:

Bitches Brew: Genesis de la obra maestra de Miles Davis (Spanish Edition): Enrico Merlin,Veniero Rizzardi: 9788499420813: Amazon.com: Books

seriously.

Here's the THOUGHT, ideas, plans, theories of one the best producers of the 70s, a great innovator,

including his diaries,

the machines he used, the orchestration, the human relations
.

This is where many things started.

Read it.

A treasure
Old 21st September 2012
  #88
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
16 track was brand new. Most artists had been signed based on being able to pull off a stunning 4 or 8 track album in a week or less. Most artists had also been supporting themselves playing music for several years before getting signed and had chops at a level seldom seen today due to that staggering amount of performing experience.

It had almost nothing to do with tape.
This was my first thought.
They nailed their performance because they were used to playing, not just dropping by the studio for a 45 minute session to lay down some riffs.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #89
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I am sure it has been mentioned aready but the noise floor and bandwidth of recording gear is a lot differant now. I have an old 8 channel mixer from 1982 and when I record my DRM MK II through it it comes out sounding like an old recording. The mids get smeared, the bass gets grainy and the highs are rounded off. Every input on the board is transformer coupled as are the outputs. It has a vinyl like quality to the sound.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #90
ozy
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ozy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
there was also an abundance of live gigs people could earn a living from while one honed one's chops.
+1


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
what musicians get paid is the elephant in the room.
not sure about how this really works (I am not a pro musician, just a good amateur, paying for music with his "real" job. "Gig at a loss, who cares as far as I've fun...").

It is probably true that the struggling newcomer earns less today,

but I think that Roger Waters in the 70s (to mention a smart manager of himself AND a legendary musician) never earned as much as Shakira (he may probably have totaled more in the decades, he has more franchising value than the Pope, but I am just thinking of PF records and gigs at the time now)

top musician of the 70s --> less paid than ---> top musician today

rank-and-file musician of the 70s --> more paid than ---> same musician today


Is that true? (By "true" I don't mean "believable", or "easy to accept", or "good". I mean "real").

So, is it a case of "concentration of wealth"?

That would also entail:

since most of the money is made "at the very top",

production is more important because corporate strategy, image, standardization, ready-for-the-media optimization matter most


Serious, insider, analysis would be welcome.
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