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Author Topic: albini vocal chain  (Read 13685 times)

robingreen

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albini vocal chain
« on: February 09, 2006, 02:58:08 pm »

Hi guys.
I love Albini's touch on kurt cobain's vocals, much better than Butch vig's one.
I don't want to bore Steve with questions about in utero.
so : what is the vocal chain?


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crm0922

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 10:14:41 pm »

I normally wouldn't contribute to the bothering of steve about specific sessions, but that vocal sound is truly incredible.  

The beginning of Rape Me comes to mind.  It's one of the few vocal sounds that feels completely natural to me.  Most big budget records have pinched and crushed sounding vocals that make me ill.

Do tell.

Chris
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marcel

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 03:36:57 am »

FWIW...
Kurt Cobain would have sounded great thru a Radioshack mic into my mom's old dictaphone.  Probably has a lot to do with how he sounds on this record.  Or anywhere else (to varying degrees)...  
Kinda like the classic 'make my drums sound like John Bonham'.  Well, learn to tune your drums and play them like JB, and I can probably do it.
FWIW.

Best, Marcel
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Best, Marcel

robingreen

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2006, 01:53:13 pm »

please Marcel... no more dulness. be precise.

we are not talking about kurt, but about the way Albini works on vocals.
It's obvious that Kurt's voice sounds better in "in utero" than in "nevermind", and kurt did not changed his voice.
because of the producer.
so does anyone knows some albini's vocal chain?
or a way to obtain a similar result?
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Guest

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2006, 03:11:43 pm »

I have an idea. Why dont you try things to get that "sound" that you are seeking. I noticed that you posted the same question over at EA, and no-one is giving you an answer. Thats probably because of a few things.

One. Do you think that in the 1000's of records that Steve recorded that he *remembers* exactly what is vocal chain was?

Two. If you look at the Pachyderm website, they have a list of equipment that they have. You could start there with what the vocal chain was or what it consisted of.

Three. I'm sure that there was a microphone involved. A good one, I'll bet. And then a tape recorder, maybe 24 tracks, and some tape.

What more is there to know? That is the beauty of having all this good equipment at our disposal, one can experiment in trying to replicate a sound or whatever.
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Vertigo

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 04:26:54 pm »

Nice first post J.

...

Personally, I wouldn't mind hearing about the vocal chain involved either - because I find it interesting. I'm not one for trying to chase a sound from a record, but I do find it worthwhile to learn about techniques used in great recordings. And what better place to ask than on these forums?

And I'm sure Steve has forgotten volumes about the 1000's of albums he's recorded. But I'll bet he remembers a damn fair amount about the ones in platinum hanging on his wall...

-Lance
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Guest

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 04:45:52 pm »

Still, when someone asked him the same question over at EA, that was his response. Ill find it and post a link.
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Hallams

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2006, 09:56:31 pm »

Well this has nothing directly to do with the" albini vocal chain" but in the absence of direct info i will share something i discovered by accident the other week that has enabled me to capture more concistently  the vox sound i have been after. I purchased an old broadcast amp with germanium transistor preamps ( and nice input and output transformers) as in the early RCA broadcast amps, and this thing really does it. As i dial more level it distorts perfectly, adding the right ammount of furr to the sound.Its full sounding and up front etc. etc.
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Chris Hallam.
Melbourne, Australia.
 

robingreen

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2006, 01:53:04 pm »

thanks J.powers, but look :

albini said :"the Josephson e22 is the only mic I use in EVERY SESSION"
--->look at the pachyderm equipement list :
Microphones:
AKG C-12
AKG C-24 (Stereo)
AKG C-28 (Figure Cool
AKG 414 (4x)
AKG 451 (2x)
AKG 451 E (2x)
AKG 451 (Shotgun)
AKG D112 (2x)
AKG D12E
Oktava ML52 Ribbon Mics (2x)
Philips C-12A
B&K 4004 Omnis (2x)
Neumann CMV563 Omni (East German) (2x)
Neumann U47 FET
Neumann TLM 170 (2x)
Neumann M249
Neumann SM2 (Stereo)
Neumann KM54a (2x)
Neumann U64 (2x)
Sennheiser 421 (5x)
Electro-Voice ND 408B
Sennheiser MD504
Shure SM 57 (10x)
Shure SM7
--------->there is no josephson e22, right?
so how can you be sure albini used some mic above in "in utero"?
anyway the Electrical Audio list is not the same that the pachyderm's one.
I just hope someone who own for example a sennheiser 421, to tell us :"i think the mic used in IN UTERO is a sennheiser421, because I know so well its sound"

in my opinion i think it was a dynamic mic, but I don't know which one.
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Guest

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2006, 02:18:40 pm »

Goddammit, you completely missed the point. Therefore, forget it.
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robingreen

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2006, 02:56:44 pm »

why do u say that?
you told me to look at the equipement list of pachyderm studio, and I'm just telling you some of the favorite Albini's gear don't appear on that list.
why do you think i'm lost?
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Guest

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2006, 03:43:33 pm »

Look, Im not going to get into a discussion about what mic was where when Kurt Cobain was taking a dump on any given day, but the e-22 looks to me like a drum mic, with other uses like horns and guitar cabinets listed. So, on that note, we can only assume that Steve maybe took one or two along, or didnt use one at all, but who cares really? Besides, it was an Beta 57 and a Alesis 3630 compressor into a tape deck. That is all I have for you.
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carne_de_res

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2006, 05:09:46 pm »

look guys, if i'm not mistaken there's no way a Josephson e22 could have been used on the In Utero sessions.

i could be wrong (and maybe Steve could correct me on this one) but the first prototype of that mic was made at the end of the 90's.

however, there should be a thread somewhere on www.electrical.com (use the forum's search function) where Steve explains the vocal chain on In Utero.

ciao!
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marcel

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2006, 03:06:48 am »

robingreen wrote on Tue, 14 February 2006 10:53

please Marcel... no more dulness. be precise.

we are not talking about kurt, but about the way Albini works on vocals.
It's obvious that Kurt's voice sounds better in "in utero" than in "nevermind", and kurt did not changed his voice.
because of the producer.
so does anyone knows some albini's vocal chain?
or a way to obtain a similar result?


Yes, the production value of 'in utero' is very different from 'nevermind'.  That wasn't really my point.
Albini's often stated approach to recording is to (totally paraphrasing, apologies) make an accurate portrayal of the way a band sounds.  The more you attempt to do this, rather than relying on artificial production techniques, the more emphasis will be placed on the performance and the performer(s).
My point is, I believe that what you are responding to when you say that Kurt Cobain's voice 'sounds better' when recorded by Albini has way more to do with Kurt Cobain's voice than Albini's vocal chain.  Delivery, timbre, emotional content, communication, that kind of stuff.  I really believe it is Kurt Cobain that sounds so good.  
Do I know of a way to obtain a similar result?  I know the theory.  Listen to what you are going to record, with your own ears, before you record it.  Listen to it again as you record it, and again when you play it back.  Does it sound the same?  If it's different, how is it different?  Beyond the obvious things like frequency fidelity and dynamics, is it conveying the important parts of what the performer(s) wanted it to convey?  Now backtrack and see how the decisions you made while recording may have impacted the outcome.  Make adjustments and evaluate their effectiveness.  
I would be willing to bet that Steve Albini could tell you exactly what vocal chain he used on this record if he were interested in doing so.  If he does not specifically remember, I bet he or someone working for him took very detailed and, yes, precise, notes.
Sorry if this is dull.

Best, Marcel
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chrisj

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2006, 02:42:03 pm »

I think it's a legitimate question. For instance, I've always wondered what makes the vocal sound on Dr. John's "Gris-Gris" because it's so aggressively present, but not 'clean' exactly. It always makes me think of a crystal harp mic or something, there's a wildness to it that's all upper-midrange.

I'd love to hear what made that vocal sound out of Dr. John's voice, so what is so wrong with someone wanting to hear what made the vocal sound out of Kurt's voice? We can assume that it started with a voice, THEN what?

Fenris Wulf

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2006, 04:29:21 pm »

The vocals have a slight room reverb on every song, which sounds like a Princeton 2016. It also sounds like Kurt is a decent distance off the mic, not eating it.
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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2006, 04:13:10 pm »

I wouldn't really say his voice sounds 'better' as such. Comparing In Utero to Nevermind is an impossibility, their aims are vastly different, one is a clear (and excellently produced) pop album and the other more artistically driven.

His voice certainly sounds more natural on In Utero, and this suits the album perfectly, whilst on Nevermind it's more cutting and polished, again suiting the aims of the project.

I find the point about the main goal being to create an accurate interpretation of a bands true sound interesting, in a way i do agree but i've always considered production an art in itself that can really bring a bands songs up to their full potential for the specific aims of the recording, but i suppose this depends on a number of things in reality.
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Werewolf10

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2006, 07:47:33 pm »

You guys find it a little odd that Steve has not posted anything at all in this thread?  What is that telling you??
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chrisj

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2006, 01:37:46 am »

That he's busy actually recording stuff for people?  Very Happy

giraffe

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2006, 05:46:11 pm »

i don't think i recall him ever directly (or indirectly actually) answering a nirvana question.
i may be wrong, i'd love to know everything about those sessions my self, so if anyone knows where i can read about them let me know.....
love the sound of that cd.
but i'm not sure Steve likes talking about them.
(conjecture)
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andy bishop
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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2006, 09:07:13 pm »

He uses pop filters on EVERYTHING.
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robingreen

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2006, 08:34:00 am »

j.powers, please stop polluting this forum.
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robingreen

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2006, 06:00:07 pm »

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electrical

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2006, 11:54:50 am »

Mics used: EV RE20, Lomo 19a9. Sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both in stereo. Ambient mic was a Neumann CMV563 w/N55k capsule. The mic preamps were Neve 1073s. The vocal compressor was an LA4. The overload effect on a few moments of a few songs was a Lydkraft mic preamp used as an insert distortion.

I think what people like about Kurt's singing is Kurt, not the microphones.
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steve albini
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www.electrical.com

Vertigo

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2006, 12:28:12 pm »

Wow - thanks Steve!! Although it's Kurt's singing that people like the most, it's still interesting to hear your methods in getting his voice onto tape.

I always wondered about the ambient mic'ing technique used. From what I know of your methodology I doubted it was an effect. I've tried ambient mic'ing on vocals before, but never had much luck in getting them to sit in the mix. I'd love to know where you placed the Neumann and what type of room you used.

Thanks again Smile

-Lance
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robingreen

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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2006, 06:09:06 pm »

thank you Steve for your generosity and your integrity.
all the best
****************************************************
Robin Green
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Re: albini vocal chain
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2006, 08:39:07 pm »

Vertigo wrote on Thu, 23 February 2006 17:28

Wow - thanks Steve!! Although it's Kurt's singing that people like the most, it's still interesting to hear your methods in getting his voice onto tape.

I always wondered about the ambient mic'ing technique used. From what I know of your methodology I doubted it was an effect. I've tried ambient mic'ing on vocals before, but never had much luck in getting them to sit in the mix. I'd love to know where you placed the Neumann and what type of room you used.

Thanks again Smile

-Lance



I also wouldn't mind some information on this
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