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What makes up that "70s sound"?
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #91
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It was a case of a very successful middle class of musicians. Musicians who were not famous could easily earn a working class living without even thinking about having a "day job." Music was a path out of poverty into the middle class.

For this reason the full time musical talent pool was considerably larger than today.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #92
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➡️
So, is it a case of "concentration of wealth"?
For a New York perspective.

In the 70s, a talented non-famous Jazz musician could make enough money to live in Manhattan and support a family just by gigging.

The equivalent player today is lucky to get paid at all for a gig, works 2-3 part time jobs and lives alone in remote part of Queens, or is dependent on their spouse / parents..
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #93
Lives for gear
 
play/record's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
They were writing, performing and capturing a true rock and roll vibe back then.
Life was different back then. Social issues, interests and priorities were different...
things that spur the artistic process.

The point was raised earlier that the engineers gave much consideration to all that took place "before the tape." Great point. I'm considering also what took place before even the rehearsal room, the intangible part. Kind of like a handshake of sorts, between art and a generation's vibe.
There is/was a vibe among other generations, just not that vibe.

The gear and techniques they used had a lot to do with it too.

And they all had long hair.

Ymmv.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #94
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke ➡️
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.
8 tracks digital or 8 tracks analog? And analog tape with an op amp machine or a fully discrete oldie or a studer c37 valve machine ?

a friend has a c37 and the machine just sounds fantastic and almost noise free in relation to a op amp tascam you cant really use without its dbx.

the c37 is probably rather the sound of the 60´s but there are huge sound differences between different tapemachine types and generations.

That the musicans was better players is an argument that might add to that 70´s sound you are talking about but lets look at electronic bands from the 70´s ..Kraftwerk for example. Theire 70´s stuff has that 70´s sound too.. and there is no playing involved really..

a fully discrete build transformer coupled analog production chain has a very different sound than a todays ITB production regardless how many tape saturation plug ins you might use. Each machine in the chain a mojo device. warm sounding desks..warm sounding tape machines.. and this with real musicans in a real big recording room.. not drowned in 9 second lexicon reverb.. gives the 70´s sound..

add op amp transformerless amps, overdubs in small dead recording rooms, the 9 second lex verb and cocaine abuse, and you are in the 80´s..

add digital conversion and substract the real musicans, you are in the 90´s
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #95
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
and one thing worth to note.. in the 70´s there was no homerecording gear really. underground low budget music production? probably here and there..
The german band Can for example or other krautrockers did "home" recording.

But in general the big records was produced in big studios by qualified people.

In the 80´s there is a much wider varity in production quality and way more output from small studios.. Its not really like that there was no good sounding productions from the 80´s.. just many not so good ones brought the standard down...

i remember that i bought a few actual charts cd´s in the late 80´s to test my new studio monitor system.. michael jacksons thriller was in between them.. and i was a bit puzzled that this one wasnt sounding really good at all there..almost wondered wether i got a faked copy..but looked perfectly legal.. And other cd´s was even worse from the sound.. teh michael jackson one was the best of theese not so nice sounding CD´s i had there.. Exept of one CD. the only one that shined was the first public enemy album.. That had dimension ans structure and power..i wonder how the studio was equiped they used.. In that test they was the only ones that had at least an impressive sound. But None was able to match with vinyl albums from the 70´s or later...

The CD player used was most likely part of the bad sound ... these consumer digital audio devices at that time really sucked big time.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #96
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robot gigante's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Some of the 70's gear I use is not exactly colored in the way that you will get from a saturation plugin, it's a lot cleaner. Tube, transformers and tape... those things add can color yes, but they also preserve or emphasize certain details in the sound to my ears that you might not get otherwise.

Arrangements, instruments, talent, rooms, recording techniques, there is a lot to the sound of that decade.

Man, I haate the Daptone productions. Whatever they are doing, it doesn't sound right- not at all like the 70's productions I like.
(got crates and crates of 70's soul records, you can never stop crate digging, there is always more more more).
****ty is not pretty... more like wannabe retro suckage, with all due respect.
Old 22nd September 2012
  #97
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult ➡️
and one thing worth to note.. in the 70´s there was no homerecording gear really.
There certainly was! Sony and Teac both made 4 tracks and Teac/Tascam made an 8 track. I made a number of albums with that gear and had Doug Sax and Bernie Grundman master them.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #98
Quote:
Originally Posted by sctt_stone ➡️
I have an old 8 channel mixer from 1982
Just curious, which mixer is that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult ➡️
8 tracks digital or 8 tracks analog? And analog tape with an op amp machine or a fully discrete oldie or a studer c37 valve machine ?

a friend has a c37 and the machine just sounds fantastic and almost noise free in relation to a op amp tascam you cant really use without its dbx.

the c37 is probably rather the sound of the 60´s but there are huge sound differences between different tapemachine types and generations.

That the musicans was better players is an argument that might add to that 70´s sound you are talking about but lets look at electronic bands from the 70´s ..Kraftwerk for example. Theire 70´s stuff has that 70´s sound too.. and there is no playing involved really..

a fully discrete build transformer coupled analog production chain has a very different sound than a todays ITB production regardless how many tape saturation plug ins you might use. Each machine in the chain a mojo device. warm sounding desks..warm sounding tape machines.. and this with real musicans in a real big recording room.. not drowned in 9 second lexicon reverb.. gives the 70´s sound..

add op amp transformerless amps, overdubs in small dead recording rooms, the 9 second lex verb and cocaine abuse, and you are in the 80´s..

add digital conversion and substract the real musicans, you are in the 90´s
All good info, thanks.

I'd actually be curious if you could come relatively close to "that" sound completely ITB. I mean if you took a well known producer from the 70s and let him choose any plugins he wants, whether he could come at least somewhat close to recreating the sound (given the proper musicians of course). Would be interesting to hear the techniques and plugins he'd use to get close to the sound.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #99
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➡️
There certainly was! Sony and Teac both made 4 tracks and Teac/Tascam made an 8 track. I made a number of albums with that gear and had Doug Sax and Bernie Grundman master them.
Sure you are right.. but the homerecording, indy label, small studio thing was defenitly booming in the 80´s. So when was the time it has really started? the whole 70´s or is that studio gear for the masses thing more a late 70´s into the 80´s nintys thing that found its peak with all the ultra cheap chineese made behringer and alike stuff in the late 90´s.. ??

do you know in which year theese old teac 4 track came out?

was my first multitrack tape machine ..but second hand in the early 80´s and it looked pretty used at that point allready..

was this 4 track teak and associated mini mixers the first real home recording gear?
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #100
Gear Maniac
 
Silas Holmes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult ➡️
Or someone that is into revolutionary new music is doing some weard electronic stuff today but is not into coverband retro stuff.. so the guys that do now 70´s style are the ones that did in the 70´s rock a billy stuff..or actually 1930´s songs...how many of these 70´s rocka billy bands or 30´s song style bands you have heard of? Maybe none of them was good enough to be mentioned because theire frame of mind was not into being exiting?
Well, I could argue that the guys who were into rockabilly in the 70's created a new and exciting genre of music called punk rock. I think the first Misfits EP came out in 1978. It wasn't purely retro, though.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #101
ozy
Lives for gear
 
ozy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by perform/record ➡️
They were writing, performing and capturing a true rock and roll vibe back then. There is/was a vibe among other generations, just not that vibe.
who or what is a "vibe"?
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #102
Lives for gear
 
play/record's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy ➡️
who or what is a "vibe"?
Yeah, i know it's a vague description, but it's hard to find a word that describes it. I suppose "artistic pulse" or "artistic soul" of the generation could attempt to describe it. The dynamic relationship between creative expression and the state of society and technology at an era in time... and the music that results.

40+ years ago were very pivotal and volatile times for our society and culture. There was a great push by the people to be heard and to stand up for causes of all sorts. Many artists were part of movements and a lot of the music and other art reflected it. The music to a large extent was shaped by the times. And, dare i say, the times were in part shaped by the music.

That's what i just tried to call "a true rock and roll vibe."
It's probably still vague and poorly described,
but hopefully you caught my drift and you can dig it.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #103
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Holmes ➡️
Well, I could argue that the guys who were into rockabilly in the 70's created a new and exciting genre of music called punk rock. I think the first Misfits EP came out in 1978. It wasn't purely retro, though.
or the stray cats was´nt boring at all.. and had a good sound.
But i was talking about retro cover bands that dont write own songs. I doubt that punkrock emerged from cover band musicans.. Its actually quite the opposite attitude to rehearsing other peoples songs and try to get the santana solos right...
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #104
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play/record's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My apologies if I killed the thread.
I shouldn't have interjected your conversation with embelished ramblings.
I'll try not to do that anymore.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #105
Lives for gear
 
ttown23's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by perform/record ➡️
My apologies if I killed the thread.
I shouldn't have interjected your conversation with embelished ramblings.
I'll try not to do that anymore.
Yeah, please refrain from adding anything useful to this thread

I just have to LOL that audioconsult (formerly audioinsult ) has apparently legitimized himself here on GS.

@ audioconsult, job well-done my friend
Old 23rd October 2012 | Show parent
  #106
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa ➡️
There's a thread on this subject every month or so..

1. everything was tracked thru consoles and onto tape
2. studios were often acoustically dead
3. production was relatively unsophisticated; you didn't parallel compress every single track, with surgical EQ, etc. that people do now
4. drum kits were treated with muffling
5. there was pretty much only one reverb in use (EMT 140)
6. people didn't use room mics (compressed or otherwise) like they do now, so the stereo image on the kit was generally narrower, and often in mono early in the 70s, and instruments were seldom double tracked like people do now as a rule. When was the last time you heard a contemporary rock record where a single guitar appeared without a double tracked copy in the other ear? Never.
7. Guitar overdrive & distortion wasn't as refined as it is today.
8. no perfect time-aligning.
9. there were certain fashionable styles of music playing in the 70s that define the sound

I don't think the specific musicians matter that much. Bernard Purdie is still alive, yet people still only listen to the recordings that he made in the 70s. Why? Because of the quality of those recordings--the production and the melodic/harmonic/rhythmic qualities. The reason why contemporary music doesn't share those same qualities is because they were already done before in the 70s, and people don't want to completely retread the past.



WORD!



Another factor - because the sounds were so much more flattering in the '70s, players were so much more inspired. The performances are so inextricably linked to the sound, and the sound is so inextricably linked to the performances. It created a huge positive feedback loop of vibe, and that is always at the root of great sounding music.




Old 23rd October 2012
  #107
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It was two things.

One was the caliber of the musicians and the other was the fact that they couldn't possibly go back and fix anything. They simply needed to rise to the occasion and perform as an ensemble.
Old 23rd October 2012 | Show parent
  #108
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ttown23's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➡️
It was two things.

One was the caliber of the musicians and the other was the fact that they couldn't possibly go back and fix anything. They simply needed to rise to the occasion and perform as an ensemble.
There's a lot to be said for that. On a much smaller scale, it reminds me of when I was doing 'home recordings' 20 years ago, which consisted of a cheezy mixer and doing 'live in the studio' style recordings.

A real skill builder!
Old 23rd October 2012 | Show parent
  #109
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttown23 ➡️
... A real skill builder!
And how we hated the stress! A friend of mine has been recording jazz albums with leading musicians from the '50s and '60s. I asked him about having the freedom to move the mikes back and get rid of the headphones. He told me that today they almost all refuse to play without the ability to punch in fixes. I'm sure that's what probably happened with Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
Old 25th October 2012
  #110
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➡️
I'm sure that's what probably happened with Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
My sentiments exactly!
Old 13th January 2017
  #111
Here for the gear
 
Same thing that makes an old film or a photo look old.. THE GEAR AND METHOD OF PRODUCTION! Old instruments, amps, OLD MICROPHONES MAINLY and old mixing consoles..
8 tracks only came out in 1965.. So you can see how a lot of the recording would have been done..
Old 23rd September 2018
  #112
Here for the gear
 
The 70's sound was, from Robert Plant and Jimmy Page stated was different for them, because they were to a great degree left to make their art while the business was left to those that did the business...

As well from my perspective, the layering and amount of melody was different, as with the way the Beatles sounded in contrast to other bands...
Old 23rd September 2018
  #113
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
I look upon the late 70s as the pinnicle of analog sound production (Bee Gees, Abba etc). The equipment was just warmer than the newer stuff that started to replace it. Also as has been mentioned, you had lots of players who could really play and groove with a lot of tone and feel.
Old 23rd September 2018
  #114
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enossified's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Old 27th September 2018
  #115
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
It's not an answer to your question, but if you get the DVD Music an Lyrics, there is a great "extra" segment on 1980s music. The composer for the movie spent time figuring out what makes 80s music sound like 80s music so that he could write new music that was convincingly 80s. The extra feature talks about the process of discovery.
Old 27th September 2018
  #116
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodsample ➡️
We all know music from the 70s has a distinct sound (much like music from any decade really). What do you think are the key ingredients for the 70s sound? Is it tape machines? The instruments used? The studios? The engineers? The musicians? The music? The drugs? All of the above?

I've been listening to English 70s rock bands non stop today and they all share this velvet crunchy smoothness. I especially noticed it on the drums, this nice soft kick and snare but that still punches through. The basses are draped in velvet, the guitars are crunchy yet clean. The volume seems generally lower compared to today, and I noticed the reverbs they use sound much different than rock recordings of today. They also use much more obvious panning I noticed (eg hard panning the drums left and vocals right). Perhaps this has something to do with it?

I mention rock here, but electronic music of that decade share similar characteristics.

Part of me wants it to be a simple answer, but I know the reality is probably more complex and involves interaction between multiple different factors.

Has anyone else given some thought to this? I'd be curious to hear what you think (especially those of you who were actually alive during the time to witness it first hand haha).
Cocaine and hookers paid for by the label...
Old 28th May 2020
  #117
Here for the gear
 
Question - we watched a movie set in the '70s today (The Nice Guys), and the intro song had this very specifically '70s sound. We're searched high and low to find out what sort of instrument makes that bom chicka bom sound. Is it a synthesizer? A guitar technique? Some instrument you never see anymore? If someone knows, I'd love to hear. Thanks!
Old 28th May 2020 | Show parent
  #118
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristin ➡️
Question - we watched a movie set in the '70s today (The Nice Guys), and the intro song had this very specifically '70s sound. We're searched high and low to find out what sort of instrument makes that bom chicka bom sound. Is it a synthesizer? A guitar technique? Some instrument you never see anymore? If someone knows, I'd love to hear. Thanks!
You mean the Envelope Filter/Wah-wah pedal? Look up Mu-Tron or Meatball pedal demos, I think that might be the sound you mean. Wah-wah pedal does the same thing, but you control it with your foot instead of playing dynamics. It's usually a guitar or clavinet or bass or a Minimoog playing through them, but you can run any instrument you want through one.

If you meant a different sound, well... at least it's not totally OT. It's definitely a 70s signifier.

EDIT: I couldn't find a wacka-chicka Mu-tron demo that wasn't mostly talking. So I'll link an envelope phaser commercial instead

Last edited by PuggaMahone; 28th May 2020 at 09:07 PM.. Reason: add video
Old 29th May 2020
  #119
Lives for gear
 
Musicncars's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodsample ➡️
We all know music from the 70s has a distinct sound (much like music from any decade really). What do you think are the key ingredients for the 70s sound? Is it tape machines? The instruments used? The studios? The engineers? The musicians? The music? The drugs? All of the above?

I've been listening to English 70s rock bands non stop today and they all share this velvet crunchy smoothness. I especially noticed it on the drums, this nice soft kick and snare but that still punches through. The basses are draped in velvet, the guitars are crunchy yet clean. The volume seems generally lower compared to today, and I noticed the reverbs they use sound much different than rock recordings of today. They also use much more obvious panning I noticed (eg hard panning the drums left and vocals right). Perhaps this has something to do with it?

I mention rock here, but electronic music of that decade share similar characteristics.

Part of me wants it to be a simple answer, but I know the reality is probably more complex and involves interaction between multiple different factors.

Has anyone else given some thought to this? I'd be curious to hear what you think (especially those of you who were actually alive during the time to witness it first hand haha).
No MIDI, computers, or digital.
Old 29th May 2020
  #120
Deleted 4d80fd1
Guest
I know we are talking about the sound of the 70s however Reverb recently posted this recreation of the Motown sound. I thought they got really close and it would be interesting if they could make a stab at that 70s sound.

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