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Author Topic: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?  (Read 11986 times)

Bubba#$%Kron

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What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« on: December 20, 2010, 02:00:06 am »

I put on the 50's channel on sirius and every damn song just sounds so good. In the USA:  Were they using condensers or mostly ribbon?? u47's? which ones??   most importantly, what preamps? what compressors?    All tube reel to reels I assume, were they multi tracked or recorded all in one room mostly?

The sound of the echo chambers are obvious, but was plate common in the usa then?   Was the orchestra in the same room? they always put tons of reverb on the orchestra which sounds so sweet!!


songs like- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hrwJvdPtwI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX1mBpsWoMI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0iw89L6aFo



Ive looked online and every damn thing always leads into the beatles and the 60's!!

Thanks,Bryan
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"When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point."  -Alan Watts

tom eaton

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 02:06:00 am »

Big bands, big rooms, few mics, desks with few inputs.  Printed to two or three tracks at most.  Live takes with superb performers, and the best players playing the best arrangements.  Homework done in advance.  

We've come so far, huh?

t

Bubba#$%Kron

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 02:26:44 am »

Totally!! They just dont make em like they used to!!

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"When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point."  -Alan Watts

tom eaton

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2010, 02:32:29 am »

The thing that kicks my ass about that time period is this... when folks came back to the control room for playback... they heard THE MIX.  Done, no going back, no tweaking... the mix.  The engineer was performing live, too.

Love it.

t

Dominick

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2010, 07:40:01 am »

This Magic Moment by The Drifters is technically a little out of the norm for the day.
1" 8 track.
Tom Dowd engineering.

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Dominick Costanzo

compasspnt

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2010, 07:59:51 am »

For the most part, only the very best, most talented people were able to be in a recording studio back then, both as performers, or as facilitators.

The very best of what was recorded then is what is now played as an example of the era.

Ricky Nelson was done in LA using the best session musicians, in the best facilities. Pretty sure his final vocals were overdubbed. For one BIG thing, James Burton lived in the Nelson home, and was the guitarist (at 18 yrs old).

Ben E. King (formerly of The Drifters) was recorded in NYC, again using great session musicians in great facilities.

In both cases, virtually no "processing" was done to the sounds, just great mics (Ricky sang on a U47) through a simple desk, to the recorder.

(Couldn't open the third youtube, it is prohibited outside US).


Today, anyone who wants to can record the pile of garbage of their choice.
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PaulyD

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2010, 11:04:38 am »

Imagine being a musician before there was tape.

No rewinding, no redoing your part, no punching in, no overdubbing and no editing. Forget about eq and compression, let alone beat correcting and pitch correcting. If you made a major mistake, the media was wasted. Imagine being in an orchestra with that pressure.

Imagine just being a person before there was TV, stereo, home video, and video games. There was a time when having musical and live entertaining ability was a highly valued social skill. It's why you used to see stores that did nothing but sell, transport and service pianos. Lots of homes had them. That was your entertainment center.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't mean to drift OT. But yeah, more people participating, fewer of them being chosen.

Paul

drknob

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 11:17:13 am »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 20 December 2010 07:59

For the most part, only the very best, most talented people were able to be in a recording studio back then, both as performers, or as facilitators.

Amen, sir.
In the day, the process was so time and money intensive, there had to be a reasonable expectation of success. Add some technical constrictions into the process, and talent and preparation become essential ingredients.

If I buy QuarkXPress, it doesn't make me a book editor.
But if I buy Pro Tools.....
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Harold Kilianski
CIRMMT, McGill University

Wireline

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 12:00:52 pm »

Quote:

If I buy QuarkXPress, it doesn't make me a book editor.
But if I buy Pro Tools.....


Quote of the day...


I think most people played a whole lot quieter back then, too, as to hear what the other guys were playing.  Don't believe there were many 100 watt amps, dual kick drum 11 tom kits played with sticks the size of broom handles, etc.  Bleed was a good thing, as most things were mono anyway

Jes saying.  
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Ken Morgan
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Dominick

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2010, 01:39:20 pm »

Headphones during tracking was a very rare thing.
Rooms were designed so the musicians could hear each other.
Leakage was a good thing.
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Dominick Costanzo

rankus

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 09:18:10 pm »



And in the case of single mic recordings the MUSICIANS would strike the balance  Shocked

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jrmintz

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2010, 12:04:04 am »

PaulyD wrote on Mon, 20 December 2010 11:04

Imagine being a musician before there was tape.

No rewinding, no redoing your part, no punching in, no overdubbing and no editing. Forget about eq and compression, let alone beat correcting and pitch correcting. If you made a major mistake, the media was wasted. Imagine being in an orchestra with that pressure.

Imagine just being a person before there was TV, stereo, home video, and video games. There was a time when having musical and live entertaining ability was a highly valued social skill. It's why you used to see stores that did nothing but sell, transport and service pianos. Lots of homes had them. That was your entertainment center.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't mean to drift OT. But yeah, more people participating, fewer of them being chosen.

Paul


The pressure made you strong or crazy. It's almost impossible to acquire those skills now because there are so few places they're required that you can't hone them. There are, however, some people still around who grew up in that era, and many who learned from those people.
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Silvertone

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2010, 06:45:53 am »

Tube, tube , tube... and most of the audio path was... tubes!

Ribbon mics, tube mics, tube console, cut to disc with the best musicians, writers and arrangers. Look at the team alone, except for movie scores do you ever see the producer, writer and arranger watching over the band with top engineers (yes, more than one). In highly tuned rooms with a great staff.

Now talk about a nightmare, have 30 tube mics on the floor multed together down to say 4 or 8 console in's... now one tube goes bad and your the engineer who has to figure out which mic!  Fun.

That said, the sound... the wonderful sound. Some of my favorite records came out of the 50's and early 60's.

This is what I want to try to do with that Langevin tube console of mine.  Up here we still have many musicians that cut records together,  old school guys who have been doing it for 40+ years... I'm trying to get it together before they are gone... to document some of the stuff they do... and to try and capture a bit of the sound from a bygone era.  
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Larry DeVivo
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To see some of our work please click on any of the visual trailer montages located at... http://robertetoll.com/  (all music and sound effects were mastered by Silvertone Mastering).

Jim Williams

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2010, 11:31:04 am »

We were pros once.
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Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

faganking

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Re: What were they doing with 50's music in the US?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2010, 12:16:44 pm »

Adding to what Terry said above.

Upon hearing an old record and having the same thoughts as Ryan, I picked up the phone and called Al Schmitt.

Benjy: "Al. What's up with these old records? Why do they sound so damn good?"

Al: "A lot of talented people in the same room at the same time."

That's all he said.

That's all it takes.

That's almost all gone.
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Benjy King

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