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That 70s Vocal

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I was recently listening to my vinyl copy of Steve Miller Band's Book of Dreams the other night, and I was reminded of how I loved how vocals were produced in that era of music. I don't know what it is. They were very mid-present and warm, and it's definitely something that defines the sound of albums from that era of music. If you've heard that album, you know what I'm talking about.

    What was it about vocals from that era of music that made them so unique in their production qualities?
  2. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    the vocalists?
  3. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    In addition to vocalists who could actually sing and didn't rely on the engineer's ability to comp a perfect take from more than a couple takes (if that), or auto tune, things tended not to be as compressed as they are now, and recording to analog tape probably helped more than a little bit in getting the sound you're talking about.
  4. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011

    BUT it took a lot of people to maintain all that expensive mechanical-based equipment. Not only does hardly anyone know how to properly use all that equipment of days gone by- even fewer know how to maintain it. But yeah, you just don't hear those lush vocals like from that era. Analog recording was at it peak.
  5. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Vocalists could actually sing both live and on recordings without being doctored up with effects and autotune.
  6. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I'm talking about vocal production.
  7. Perhaps related, perhaps not: I read or was told once that when listening to a finished recording, it's good to play it through a small, cheap pair of speakers(or one, I suppose)- the idea being that if the tune is well-done(strictly talking production values, mix, levels, not so-called *taste*)it will sound good through an iffy setup. OTOH, if a song requires high-end equipment for the details & nuances to show up, perhaps it's not all that great. In the era described, much of the music would certainly be played through a lesser quality than the average current stuff, so the vocals needed to be strong(auto-tune comments are well-covered, & I agree).
    I very much agree that the *old stuff* had a vibe and certain *slightly-lower-than-nowadays* tone that is very attractive to my ears.
  8. I occasionally hear a song that comes fairly close(to my bad ears)to capturing that overall sound quality, for lack of a better term- Adele(I'll need to spit now; don't really hate the woman but she is SO overplayed), that one *somebody that you used to know* schlock...

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