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Old 23rd February 2003
Gear Addict
Bernd G's Avatar
Lightbulb "It Sound so 80s"

After multitrack, would some of the most significant changes to the recording process have happened through the 80's ?

Lovely comments everyone I have been trying to get to the bottom of this "80s sound", if there ever was one... . It would be great to start a new thread, but I do not wish to bore you gentlemen. One can see Trevor Horn's "vision" on things like "Owner of a Lonely Heart". I just listened to this again and really think it pointed to the future at the time.
Early digital era 8-bit vs. early 16-bit quantization noise, distortions, low sampling rates etc. (I believe this is what Al described as lack of transients in digital). Drummachines ! Linn, MPCs - distorted and quantized sounds. But what I think is most fascinating is the crass polarity in complexity between synthsounds and "real sounds" (i.e. sounds recorded with microphones) , a theme that seems to run throughout the 80s (FM anyone?). BTW, what kind of stuff did SAW produce?
Of course a marked difference in London vs. NY sound. Could it be that U.K. producers never so much cared about the "fidelity" of the production, but rather about finding new and interesting sounds? This, of course, is not to slag off the talents on the other side of the Atlantic (B. Swedien, Quincy Jones etc.)
BTW. When did it first become so popular to use electro-compressors?