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Any great rock albums that are extremely dynamic and uncompressed?
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #31
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andyfreeman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecode ➡️
Don't know if this counts. There is this Joe Satriani record that Glyn Johns produced that I thought had lots of dynamics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2fExyjlG7Q
I play this record for skeptical clients all the time. Manu Katche absolutely plays his butt off on this record. Even if one can’t stand Satriani (I don’t prefer him, myself) this record has something special. It has groove and tones for days. Just listen past the guitar…

Also, they made a documentary of it that’s on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYmI_Wvsf70

Wanna see Glyn Johns using Glyn Johns mic’ing technique on a drum kit played by one of the all time greatest drummers? I recommend a viewing.

Also, for those who enjoy the more psychological side of producing, there is a nice low-key argument in there between Glyn and Joe. Anybody who has dealt with demo-itis will enjoy it quite a bit.

Anyway, nice to see the Satriani self-titled record get a mention on GS!
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #32
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TheLoud1Please's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That is my favorite Satriani record! Been listening to it in awe since the 1990s... Great that it was mentioned here, but this would be the place!
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #33
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambiguous signal ➡️
There are quite a few classic rock albums that had good dynamic range on vinyl releases ... but were remastered for loudness on CD releases.
True.
And until the SSL boards offered a good compressor on every channel, compressors were relatively rare beasts in most west coast studios. I think most audio people who weren’t actually there have a completely wrong impression of how hits were made in the seventies, at least it seems so from certain threads on GS.
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  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat ➡️
Ha! I was getting ready to post... wtf is tap compression... didn't even think that it was supposed to have meant tape.

The early Zep stuff is very uncompressed.
How much tape compression was there back in the day though, for real? I mean, most engineers of that era were striving for fidelity and would've watched levels carefully, and aligned/maintained machines regularly, with tape ops who's sole purpose was to drop-in and watch for this kind of thing...

... from my experience (I had an Otari MTR 90 for a while, and lots of lower-headroom cassette multi-trackers and a Fostex R8), you need to be hitting the tape/electronics pretty hard to compress audibly.
Old 2 days ago
  #35
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Sigma's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Savoy Brown --Raw Sienna
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #36
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
... with tape ops who's sole purpose was to drop-in and watch for this kind of thing...
Having been one, I was also the receptionist, janitor, coffee-maker, taker of lunch orders, cartage-guys-helper, lightbulb-changer and cashier.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #37
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Having been one, I was also the receptionist, janitor, coffee-maker, taker of lunch orders, cartage-guys-helper, lightbulb-changer and cashier.
Now the engineer wears all those hats.

Do you recall tape compression as a given back then?
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #38
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Al Rogers's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Neil Young's 'Harvest' album was mixed without compression. Here is a quote from an interview with Elliot Mazer:

"There were no compressors or limiters on Harvest, although I love compressors and use them when it is appropriate. There was no compression on the overall mix — that is something I never do. A lot of people process their output buss, which mostly leads to disastrous results. There is an wonderful concept called a mastering engineer. They are not analogue Finalizers, they are real people who can make a huge difference to the way things sound. Mastering engineers are a very important part of the food chain. Like most everything I have produced, I just gave the Harvest tapes to Sterling Sound, Lee Hulco and they did their thing. We listened to test pressings. That is how I work today. On the DVD-A of Harvest [see box, right], I sent the tapes to Denny Purcell at Georgetown and he sent me a disc."

Here is a link to the full interview: https://www.soundonsound.com/people/elliot-mazer
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #39
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" LP is pretty dynamic. When I worked at a hi-fi store we'd use "Bloody Well Right" to demo the expensive stuff. Fade in on the little Wurly intro at a "reasonable" listening level, and then when those first full-band chords hit, the customer gets his head blown off. That record sold a lot of stereos. The remastered versions I've heard are more reined-in, which is too bad.
Good shout. Supertramp came to mind when i read the thread title. Not strictly rock, but some of their stuff can be quite heavy.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #40
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
Now the engineer wears all those hats.

Do you recall tape compression as a given back then?
Mostly no. Once in a while an engineer would have the drummer play and listen to repro while in record to set toasty levels. But there's a fine line when it comes to that, and drummers usually play harder on actual takes than they do while getting sounds. It always seemed to me like a good idea in theory but not in practice.

And with lead guitar overdubs people would sometimes go for that super-saturated Brian May thing. But that's more about the recorder electronics caving in than tape saturation. It actually works better on an MCI than it does on an Ampex or a Studer.

But the place I worked at most of the time was about 90% movie/TV music and ads, and maybe 10% records. So it was mostly 15ips Dolby A. Doing that, with most source material you wanted to track very, very cool so you never got within a mile of saturating the tape.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 1 day ago at 04:54 PM..
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #41
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
Do you recall tape compression as a given back then?
Absolutely not a common practice.
First, if things were recorded using Dolby A or DBX noise reduction, which were fairly common in the 70s, tape compression would cause the noise reduction to mis-track on playback.
Second, many first engineers I worked with were very obsessive about staying well under zero VU on any percussive tracks. They knew that the VU meter ballistics were too slow to show transient peaks accurately. They very deliberately avoided the tape changing the sound sent to it.
Third, I was told (can’t prove) that some of the mainstream Country music in the 70s was recorded at a studio in Nashville which required the house engineers to re-record any tracks where the meters went into the red even a bit.
Fourth, in fifteen years in pro studios in LA, I only saw exactly two engineer-producers who deliberately drove multitrack tape into noticeable compression. They were both successful, so their methods may have caught on after I left major studios in the late 80s.
So, not a given.

Last edited by Bushman; 1 day ago at 05:21 PM..
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #42
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gravyface's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Mostly no. Once in a while an engineer would have the drummer play and listen to repro while in record to set toasty levels. But there's a fine line when it comes to that, and drummers usually play harder on actual takes than they do while getting sounds. It always seemed to me like a good idea in theory but not in practice.

And with lead guitar overdubs people would sometimes go for that super-saturated Brian May thing. But that's more about the recorder electronics caving in than tape saturation. It actually works better on an MCI than it does on an Ampex or a Studer.

But the place I worked at most of the time was about 90% movie/TV music and ads, and maybe 10% records. So it was mostly 15ips Dolby A. Doing that, with most source material you wanted to track very, very cool so you never got within a mile of saturating the tape.
I wonder if you could strap a Dolby A noise reduction unit across a mix bus on a modern DAW and how much closer you'd get to the sound of the 70s that everyone talks about.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Absolutely not a common practice.
First, if things were recorded using Dolby A or DBX noise reduction, which were fairly common in the 70s, tape compression would cause the noise reduction to mis-track on playback.
Second, many first engineers I worked with were very obsessive about staying well under zero VU on any percussive tracks. They knew that the VU meter ballistics were too slow to show transient peaks accurately. They very deliberately avoided the tape changing the sound sent to it.
Third, I was told (can’t prove) that some of the mainstream Country music in the 70s was recorded at a studio in Nashville which required the house engineers to re-record any tracks where the meters went into the red even a bit.
Third, in fifteen years in pro studios in LA, I only saw exactly two engineer-producers who deliberately drove multitrack tape into noticeable compression. They were both successful, so their methods may have caught on after I left major studios in the late 80s.
So, not a given.
That seems inline with the massive amount of memoirs and books I've been reading over the last couple of years... much to the dismay of audio gear marketers everywhere.

It's the same with preamps. For every Beatles' Revolution there were thousands of guitars tracked within the nominal range of the preamps of the day, but I see dozens of threads on the reg on here with synth guys buying mic preamps to saturate, or even voice-over guys looking for transformers to drive.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #44
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
I wonder if you could strap a Dolby A noise reduction unit across a mix bus on a modern DAW and how much closer you'd get to the sound of the 70s that everyone talks about.
That is a creative thought!
Go from the mix bus at an appropriate level to Dolby A record, loop back through Dolby A playback, and see what you get.
To be absolutely authentic, you’d use the one of the original Dolby rack units (301) if you can find one in good shape. But any genuine Dolby A units should allow you to hear the flavor, if there is a discernible flavor.

Last edited by Bushman; 1 day ago at 12:00 AM.. Reason: A poster gave me the correct Dolby#
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #45
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🎧 15 years
Hold on, fellas. Let's put this Dolby thing to rest before anyone gets carried away. If Dolby A is working right, you're not hearing it at all. And for it to work right, you have to have very conservative levels going in and out. So if you're hunting for "that 70's sound," that's not where to look.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #46
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Hold on, fellas. Let's put this Dolby thing to rest before anyone gets carried away. If Dolby A is working right, you're not hearing it at all. And for it to work right, you have to have very conservative levels going in and out. So if you're hunting for "that 70's sound," that's not where to look.
Then why was it such a hotly-contested debate whether to use it or not?

I've read of several prominent engineers of the day making a point of not using it.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #47
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
Then why was it such a hotly-contested debate whether to use it or not?

I've read of several prominent engineers of the day making a point of not using it.
Well... even when it was current, Dolby A was a bitch to align properly. It was kind of a miracle when all 24 tracks were working perfectly. And if you lived with it all the time (as I did) you got pretty good at hearing it not working 100% perfectly. Especially when you were working on tapes that originated elsewhere. Plus, there were certain things that were guaranteed to make it misbehave, like really quiet string passages where the sound was mostly rosin.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #48
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Well... even when it was current, Dolby A was a bitch to align properly. It was kind of a miracle when all 24 tracks were working perfectly. And if you lived with it all the time (as I did) you got pretty good at hearing it not working 100% perfectly. Especially when you were working on tapes that originated elsewhere. Plus, there were certain things that were guaranteed to make it misbehave, like really quiet string passages where the sound was mostly rosin.
Is there a chance that some seminal records didn't have "conservative levels" going into and out of it?
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #49
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bkbirge's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Well... even when it was current, Dolby A was a bitch to align properly. It was kind of a miracle when all 24 tracks were working perfectly. And if you lived with it all the time (as I did) you got pretty good at hearing it not working 100% perfectly. Especially when you were working on tapes that originated elsewhere. Plus, there were certain things that were guaranteed to make it misbehave, like really quiet string passages where the sound was mostly rosin.
My memory is very similar to Brent's. Pain to work with. To the point that when I was running my own sessions I just wouldn't use it, except on the 2 track.

Also, Dolby A was a lot of fun though to process bkg vox or string sections through the encoder part and not decode them, at least for certain things. Dolby SR was a revolution in my neck of the woods when it came out but wasn't as fun for tricks.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #50
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
If Dolby A is working right, you're not hearing it at all.
I understand what you’re saying, but if you think of how complicated Dolby A is, I wonder whether we would hear it.
After all, (from memory, so my details might be off) Dolby A splits the full range original signal into four (?) bands. Each band is compressed on a level variable scale per specification and then the four compressed bands are recombined to mono before going to tape. On playback, the full range mono signal coming off of tape is split into the same four bands and expanded per specification to “reverse mirror” the multi-band recording compression. The bands are then recombined into a full range mono signal.
This very complex system is entirely analog. I agree that if aligned correctly, it SEEMED to be invisible at the time, but I wonder how we would hear it now.
Brent, I am curious how you would hear it. You might be right, but there’s a whole lot of machinery making this reconstituted sausage.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #51
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
I understand what you’re saying, but if you think of how complicated Dolby A is, I wonder whether we would hear it.
After all, (from memory, so my details might be off) Dolby A splits the full range original signal into four (?) bands. Each band is compressed on a level variable scale per specification and then the four compressed bands are recombined to mono before going to tape. On playback, the full range mono signal coming off of tape is split into the same four bands and expanded per specification to “reverse mirror” the multi-band recording compression. The bands are then recombined into a full range mono signal.
This very complex system is entirely analog. I agree that if aligned correctly, it SEEMED to be invisible at the time, but I wonder how we would hear it now.
Brent, I am curious how you would hear it. You might be right, but there’s a whole lot of machinery making this reconstituted sausage.
I am already combing through the eBay bargain bin

The most 70s-ish thing I can't reproduce is the super quiet hi-hats in the mix.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #52
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
The most 70s-ish thing I can't reproduce is the super quiet hi-hats in the mix.
Until you get to the era of the disco hi-hat, when the hats got their own mic.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #53
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🎧 15 years
Dolbies

Bushman:
the first Dolby was the A301. 360 and 361 was 2nd generation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Hold on, fellas. Let's put this Dolby thing to rest before anyone gets carried away. If Dolby A is working right, you're not hearing it at all. And for it to work right, you have to have very conservative levels going in and out. So if you're hunting for "that 70's sound," that's not where to look.
exactly.
when Columbia auditioned the A301's,
several units were lined up, encode---decode, and listened to the "loop".
they were suitably impressed.

all those early Dolbies have fairly sharp input low pass filters, arguably a benefit for PCM.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #54
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A301, right. Thank you!
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #55
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathode ➡️
Bushman:
the first Dolby was the A301. 360 and 361 was 2nd generation.


exactly.
when Columbia auditioned the A301's,
several units were lined up, encode---decode, and listened to the "loop".
they were suitably impressed.

all those early Dolbies have fairly sharp input low pass filters, arguably a benefit for PCM.
So Dolby A doesn’t have a sound?
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #56
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
So Dolby A doesn’t have a sound?
Not according to some people at Columbia fifty-some years ago. Which might be true as reported, but what people in what room listening to what speakers? And I would bet it was not a blind test.
I’m almost inspired to do a test, since I have a dual Dolby A unit. But other work and being lazy are getting in the way.
Old 1 day ago
  #57
Gear Maniac
 
Whatever you do, 99 times out of 100, you're better off not getting anything that was remastered. Remastering simply means LOUD AS F*CK as far as I can tell. I purchased a gentle folk collection on CD years ago (guitar and vocal) it was VERY LOUD. That's all I can say about it. Absolutely destroyed.
Old 1 day ago
  #58
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antstudio's Avatar
Queen excelled at rock with very dynamic arrangements. "It's Late" and "Teo Torriatte" are good examples.

..ant
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #59
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLoud1Please ➡️
That is my favorite Satriani record! Been listening to it in awe since the 1990s... Great that it was mentioned here, but this would be the place!
About 91, a friend of mine took me to see a guitar player I had never heard of. Surfing with an Alien had just come out. Was at a bowling ally in Omaha. We were able to get drinks, and move a table so it was touching the small stage. 10' away from them. I was blown away by both him and the bass player, Stew ham.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #60
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
How much tape compression was there back in the day though, for real? I mean, most engineers of that era were striving for fidelity and would've watched levels carefully, and aligned/maintained machines regularly, with tape ops who's sole purpose was to drop-in and watch for this kind of thing...

... from my experience (I had an Otari MTR 90 for a while, and lots of lower-headroom cassette multi-trackers and a Fostex R8), you need to be hitting the tape/electronics pretty hard to compress audibly.
MTR 90 was a much quieter and much less compressed sounding deck than what was used in the 60s and 70s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
So Dolby A doesn’t have a sound?
it very much did
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