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The Strokes vocals
Old 16th February 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
The Strokes vocals

Does anyone know how the strokes get that dirty distorted sound on the vocals. For a while Julian even used it live, but I really don't know how they got that sound. For one thing I know he smushed the mic up against his face when he sings which i'm sure adds something
Old 16th February 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
mizzle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A while back I heard something about overdriving the tube pre's on a TLA valve desk.
I've never seen them live, so I can't comment there.
Old 16th February 2007
  #3
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
LOL heh

there's a thread on here somewhere about this.

they actually used a Peavey guitar amp (practice amp i believe). (or something similar) for a lot of "that" sound

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...kes+amp+vocals

Check out post #25!
Old 16th February 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
bradb's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think I read in tapeop that they used an AT4033...
Old 16th February 2007 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
hey, AT 4033. pretty sure thats the mic they used
Old 16th February 2007 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
To answer the question...

There was an interview with Gordon Raphael in EQ mag a few years ago - according to him Julian mostly sang through an AT 4033A into a solid state Peavey amp, which was mic'ed up with a U47. I can't seem to find the article online anywhere, but here's an excerpt from a SoundOnSound interview with Gordon from 2002 (there seem to be some discrepancies in the information - in EQ mag Gordon said it was a U47 on the amp, SoundOnSound said it was a TLM103):

"One of the most distinctive features of Is This It is the sound of Julian Casablancas' vocals, which are curiously distorted and compressed from beginning to end. "There were two techniques," explains Gordon. "One consisted of an Audio-Technica 4033A mic going through the Avalon 737, and I would usually work with Julian for an hour just to get the voice tone. Until the final result was achieved he would be extremely suspicious and unhappy, and invariably the final result would have some kind of messiness or not-quite-rightness about it, at which point he would smile and say, 'This is great.' So, that was one technique, and then the second technique was something that Julian had discovered on his own at home while making the demos. He liked to sing through his Peavey practice amp, which is about eight inches tall, and I'd mike that with a Neumann TLM103, so he'd still be singing into the Audio-Technica (Julian found the Neumann distasteful!), but I'd be Neumanning it in order to get the exact details of what this horrible little amp sounded like. "

The link to the whole article is here:

DIFFERENT STROKES

"Is This It" is a great record - it's a shame that some of the members on this forum can't see past The Strokes' lo-fi aesthetic to appreciate truly great songwriting. Sure, they've been influenced by The Stooges, Velvet Underground etc, but there are worse bands out there to reference ;^)

Cheerio,
Bent
Old 16th February 2007 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
jeff deff's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
When they played in Chicago, they rented a bunch of Avalon 737s for their live sound rig. I suppose they were used to recreate that vocal sound.
Old 16th February 2007
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Any small guitar amp should do it. Guitar dirt-boxes would probably get there too.
Old 16th February 2007 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
4033

I know someone who did demos or something with them.
He said for his session it was a 4033cl into a GR 2NV merc with the input gain all the way up, squaking clip. output gain cranked back directly into converters.
Old 16th February 2007 | Show parent
  #10
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drumzealot's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bent sounds ➡️

"Is This It" is a great record - it's a shame that some of the members on this forum can't see past The Strokes' lo-fi aesthetic to appreciate truly great songwriting. Sure, they've been influenced by The Stooges, Velvet Underground etc, but there are worse bands out there to reference ;^)

Cheerio,
Bent
Being influenced by The Stooges and The Velvets is a good thing and should be taken as a compliment. Those were great bands who wrote some great songs and made important artistic contributions. The Strokes do not even close to making an important or even positive contribution, as time will tell. In fact, it was the sheer mediocrity of their songs that befuggled me. When they first broke, I was intregued and bought their CD. After 2-3 times through the CD I wondered what I was missing. After a few additional, painful listening sessions, I realized that I wasn't missing anything because there was nothing there. Then I felt like a ****** for being duped by the marketing. They "got" me. I spent my money expecting to eat fine caviar, only to come to the horrible realization that I had just purchased and taken a big bite of a sh*t sandwich.

Got floss?
Old 17th February 2007 | Show parent
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodsuga ➡️
Does anyone know how the strokes get that dirty distorted sound on the vocals. For a while Julian even used it live, but I really don't know how they got that sound. For one thing I know he smushed the mic up against his face when he sings which i'm sure adds something
We worked with them a few times during a couple of live performances and a studio video shoot...

Each time was a little different.
One time we over driven a Juice Box DI.
Another time we took an aux send and sent it into a console channel strip and over loaded it and EQ'd it until it sounded right.

Each time we blended it with the clean vocal.
Old 18th February 2007 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
But to address the question, use a guitar amp, a POD, Amplitude, Amp Farm, a $30 Boss distortion pedal or a Neve with the input gain cranked. Distortion is not a tough thing to create, and the grittier the better (especially if you can't sing).
Old 19th February 2007 | Show parent
  #13
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodsuga ➡️
Does anyone know how the strokes get that dirty distorted sound on the vocals. For a while Julian even used it live, but I really don't know how they got that sound. For one thing I know he smushed the mic up against his face when he sings which i'm sure adds something
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness ➡️
Back to the original topic...


We worked with them a few times during a couple of live performances and a studio video shoot...

Each time was a little different.
One time we over driven a Juice Box DI.
Another time we took an aux send and sent it into a console channel strip and over loaded it and EQ'd it until it sounded right.

Each time we blended it with the clean vocal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodsuga ➡️
I don't post much on these boards and I don't think I will anymore. Everyone here has such bad attitudes about everything and thinks they know more than the next guy. I ask a simple question and it starts a whole lame off-topic conversation that I even find myself being sucked into. I'm going to get busy tuning my drums and tweaking my pre-amps. Thanks to anyone who ACTUALLY contributed to the question at hand. Everyone else, chill out and make some good music.

You're welcome! As you know, that's not what I'm about, and the forum I run (on this website) is nothing like this thread. I answered your question the best I could.

IMO, people should post a link to their work so we can all truly know where they're coming from.
Then we can put it in context.

Not everyone is like this, but it's easy to say someone or something is good or bad when you're hiding behind an internet name.

Furthermore, I would take what you read online with a grain of salt unless you know the author of the post or blog.

Enjoy your day!
Old 19th February 2007 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
mizzle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"Furthermore, I would take what you read online with a grain of salt unless you know the author of the post or blog."

I agree.

bloogsuga- There's all kinds of people that participate in this forum, from people who just picked up an m-box and a laptop to respected industry vets. You could have a classical engineer, a crunk producer, and an indie aritist all sharing thoughts on micing an acoustic guitar. The conversation gets muddled sometimes because it's hard to get perpective on so many different methods, or because people show up to rain on your parade. I've had my share of "hazing" where someone comes in to take a dump all over your idea, and tell you why it's not worth pursuing, but there is a great amount of information to be found on this site.

My advice is to stick with it and pay attention to who is saying what. If you like what a certain poster has to say, look to see where else they have contributed (check the search function- very handy), and address them personally if you think their advice can be handy. Two people I keep my ears open for in particular are Bob Olhsson and Bob Katz. Both are very open concerning tastes, and both have loads of experience.
Old 29th August 2011
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I read that the strokes recorded the vocals for 'is this it' through a 10 watt marshal amp, perhaps if it gets dull results you could experiment with a splitter and to find a good balance between the clean and the grit, also to brighten the outcome it might be an idea to wap it through a harmonic exciter
Old 14th November 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
lol. I know you wrote this 5 years ago, it's sounds like talking to my dead grandpa... but you do realize that "hard to explain" was the best song of the decade? do you realize that strokes invented "indie" as a music style? I'm not even trying to convince that their songs are good, or anything, but they are sure the most important and influential band of the post 2000s until now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumzealot ➡️
Being influenced by The Stooges and The Velvets is a good thing and should be taken as a compliment. Those were great bands who wrote some great songs and made important artistic contributions. The Strokes do not even close to making an important or even positive contribution, as time will tell. In fact, it was the sheer mediocrity of their songs that befuggled me. When they first broke, I was intregued and bought their CD. After 2-3 times through the CD I wondered what I was missing. After a few additional, painful listening sessions, I realized that I wasn't missing anything because there was nothing there. Then I felt like a ****** for being duped by the marketing. They "got" me. I spent my money expecting to eat fine caviar, only to come to the horrible realization that I had just purchased and taken a big bite of a sh*t sandwich.

Got floss?
Old 14th November 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fael097 ➡️
do you realize that strokes invented "indie" as a music style?
What ????

The music press term Indie genre was around in the 80's like C86 etc..
Old 14th November 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fael097 ➡️
lol. I know you wrote this 5 years ago, it's sounds like talking to my dead grandpa... but you do realize that "hard to explain" was the best song of the decade? do you realize that strokes invented "indie" as a music style? .
Do you actually believe this? Only wondering because it's so very wrong

What does Indie stand for?
Old 14th November 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fael097 ➡️
do you realize that strokes invented "indie" as a music style? I'm not even trying to convince that their songs are good, or anything, but they are sure the most important and influential band of the post 2000s until now.

Invented indie as a style?


Tell that to REM, the Smiths, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, the Replacements and all of the countless other bands that were actually inventing indie back in the halcyon days of the 1980s. You know, when Julian was of the age that he still thought the girls at his exclusive private school had the cooties.

Signed,
Your dead grandpa
Old 14th November 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spelunker ➡️
Invented indie as a style?


Tell that to REM, the Smiths, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, the Replacements and all of the countless other bands that were actually inventing indie back in the halcyon days of the 1980s. You know, when Julian was of the age that he still thought the girls at his exclusive private school had the cooties.

Signed,
Your dead grandpa
Thing is they weren't even inventing it, they were just doing their thing and just so happened to be signed to independants, of course you know that but indie was originally just a lazy journos name for these bands

The strokes were probably the last decent band of that ilk but to me American Indie always sounds more garage rock wheras UK indie is often more whimsical
Old 14th November 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
guitarboy94's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Recording vocals through a practice guitar amp? Meeh...no wonder that dude's vocals sound so irritating to listen to.
Old 14th November 2012
  #22
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Thing is they weren't even inventing it, they were just doing their thing and just so happened to be signed to independants, of course you know that but indie was originally just a lazy journos name for these bands

The strokes were probably the last decent band of that ilk but to me American Indie always sounds more garage rock wheras UK indie is often more whimsical
Oh, I know that they were just doing their thing, but as you said they were some of the first ones the press called indie. Those bands, among many others from that era, were the ones who invented what is regarded as the "indie" sound these days.
Old 6th May 2020
  #23
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drumzealot ➡️
Quote:
Originally Posted by bent sounds ➡️

"Is This It" is a great record - it's a shame that some of the members on this forum can't see past The Strokes' lo-fi aesthetic to appreciate truly great songwriting. Sure, they've been influenced by The Stooges, Velvet Underground etc, but there are worse bands out there to reference ;^)

Cheerio,
Bent
Being influenced by The Stooges and The Velvets is a good thing and should be taken as a compliment. Those were great bands who wrote some great songs and made important artistic contributions. The Strokes do not even close to making an important or even positive contribution, as time will tell. In fact, it was the sheer mediocrity of their songs that befuggled me. When they first broke, I was intregued and bought their CD. After 2-3 times through the CD I wondered what I was missing. After a few additional, painful listening sessions, I realized that I wasn't missing anything because there was nothing there. Then I felt like a ****** for being duped by the marketing. They "got" me. I spent my money expecting to eat fine caviar, only to come to the horrible realization that I had just purchased and taken a big bite of a sh*t sandwich.

Got floss?
How do you feel about this now?
Old 7th May 2020
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
also, it was a keyboard amp, not a guitar amp -- so not the same amp eqing. That was direct from the man who recorded their first demos here in NY.
Old 8th May 2020 | Show parent
  #25
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Like I stated back in February of 2007, my team and I worked with them a few times during a couple of live performances and a studio video shoot...

Each time was a little different.
One time we over driven a Juice Box DI.
Another time we took an aux send and sent it into a console channel strip and over loaded it and EQ'd it until it sounded right.

Each time we blended it with the clean vocal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carabinerx ➡️
also, it was a keyboard amp, not a guitar amp -- so not the same amp eqing. That was direct from the man who recorded their first demos here in NY.
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