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muckie
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PostSubject: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:53 am

In regards to 70s vs 80s music recordings, I noticed that, although the sound recordings of the 70s were much more raw, they were also more crisp and clear. Alot of 80s recordings relied heavily on reverb and cave-like sound production that really irritates me about the music of that era. I love my share of new wave, synthpop, and related genres, but this is one thing that always bothers me about 80s music. Does anyone else feel this way?
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Boris2008
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:39 am

For me, there was a tipping point about 1983/84 where the '80s sound became too polished, too slick. With the exception of thrash.
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Glower
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:17 am

I'm with Boris - 1984 and lower - great magic of capturing -
!@#$% today's recordings -
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:04 am

There are lots of 80's albums that I listen to now and they sound so dated and over produced. I never noticed it back in the day (or maybe I did but it didn't bother me), but now it stands out like a sore thumb.

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stepcousin
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:45 pm

Boris2008 wrote:
For me, there was a tipping point about 1983/84 where the '80s sound became too polished, too slick. With the exception of thrash.

you are correct.
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:15 pm

I rather like the 80s production style, but that's because it's so artificial sounding. I think there's a use for that kind of sound, even if it was applied to EVERYTHING with or without reason.

That's kind of hitting on the idea that, because something new has come along, everyone should use it because it's so much better than the old thing. Then, you have musicians in the 21st century dusting off mellotrons and old plate reverbs, etc. It's a knee-jerk followed by another knee-jerk.

The truth is more in the middle. These sounds have uses, but you need to play to their strengths and use them where the material calls for it. I may enjoy gated reverb as much as the next 80s lover, but I'd be lying if I said there was never a song or album I heard where I just wondered WHY they thought it was necessary.
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mikeinfla
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:29 pm

I remember the 80's having a distinct "drum" sound too. All the drums sounded the same. Even in concert they had that over produced sound and everyone had huge drum kits. Now-a-days even the classic bands that tour have down-graded to a snare and a few toms with the exception of Rush, but Neil needs all that stuff because he uses it.
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brokentulsa
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:23 pm

Another thing about the mid to late 80s sound is the heavy reverb on everything..I saw that go away with grunge bands ..seems like they returned it to a more 70s hard rock sound...
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:55 pm

I tried to listen to some 80s Blue Oyster Cult last night and it was just painful. The Simmons electronic drums, the fairlight synth programming, the awful fake reverb, the compressed and nasally guitar sounds. BLECH!

Just horrid, plastic sounding, fake, garbage. Sad, because there are some songs from that era that are good, but I just can't listen to them.
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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:04 pm

I hate Alex VH's drums from 1984 on. Ruined everything for me.
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muckie
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:38 am

I can't really enjoy my copy of Depeche Mode's "People are People" and the related recordings from this album because they sound like they were done in a cave. That's an example of good music ruined by bad production.
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:58 am

Personally, I dig that old Depeche Mode sound, but that plays into my views on synthesizers pretty heavily. Far as I'm concerned, you use a synth because:

1.) You're broke and a synth is cheaper than hiring orchestral ensembles or specialist players of obscure instruments - i.e. it's a compositional tool and a compromise.

2.) You're looking to put sounds on a record that are unlike ANYTHING made in the natural world by any physical instrument.

With DM, those early records just sound sci-fi as hell. I feel the same way about Gary Numan's "Pleasure Principle" album (though that was late 70s). They just sound alien on the level of pure sonics.

Some of this I can imagine was just a reaction to the rote sounds of the 70s though. I was watching a doc on Genesis and it had Hugh Padgam (he of the "gated reverb" drums fame) talking about why he opted for the sounds he did. His main reason for using that huge and now somewhat reviled sound was that he hated how weak drums sounded on 70s records and wanted them to sound more like the real thing if you were standing next to them (you know, DEAFENING). It was more than a little bit of over-compensation, but at least you can see what the underlying idea was.

Personally, I'd love to see what would happen if you gave multitracks of things like old Depeche Mode to engineers and let them try different sonic treatments (remix in "the style of" rather than going full deconstruction like most remixes tend to be) just for a fun "what if." It'd probably only appeal to nerds like me though. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:47 am

Drums sounded far more realistic in the 50s, 60s 70s and the first few years of the 80s, Hugh Padgam needs his hearing checked.
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:57 am

I think his drum production was "hyper real" in that it took the booming quality of real drums and made them well beyond what they were physically capable of and onward...

That said, I've heard enough rock and even metal albums in the 60s, 70s and 80s that sounded like wet cardboard. These weren't indies either - these were mainstream (now considered "classic") albums. Having been "in the room" with many different types of drummers, I can quite confidently say that the ringing in my ears serves as proof that drums don't realistically sound like that...
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:19 pm

It depends more on the room than the drums themselves. Listen to Zep IV, the sound had more to do with the giant stairwell they placed the drums in than the drums themselves. Drums are all about room sound. The less microphones you use the more realistic it sounds to standing in a room with a drum set. If you put a separate mic on every single drum and then mix and EQ them it sounds more "precise" from the recording aspect but they cease to sound like they do in the room.

4 mics are sufficient to get a decent drum sound from a realistically sized kit. 1 mic on the kick, 1 on the snare plus 2 overhead mics in stereo. Of course that's just my personal preference.
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:43 pm

There was a technique I'd always wanted to try but never had call to, which involved arranging a trio of mics in a rough triangle. One pointed down at the snare, the other was a sort-of overhead also pointed to the snare but actually situated above the floor tom and the third was placed in front of the kick drum, BUT at an exact distance (combine the distance from mic #1 and the snare, mic #2 and the snare and that was how far from the kick the third had to be if memory serves).

I'd heard recordings done this way (I think it was a technique credited to Gyln Johns) and thought it was a really nice room sound that still had precise "hits."
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:34 pm

Glyn Johns was the producer/engineer on Led Zeppelin's debut album.
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:37 pm

S.D. wrote:
I tried to listen to some 80s Blue Oyster Cult last night and it was just painful.  The Simmons electronic drums, the fairlight synth programming, the awful fake reverb, the compressed and nasally guitar sounds.  BLECH!  

Just horrid, plastic sounding, fake, garbage.  Sad, because there are some songs from that era that are good, but I just can't listen to them.  

Shooting Sharks comes to mind. Awesome song but I wouldnt be caught driving with the windows down blasting it hahaha

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Thelemech
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:05 pm

Phoenix Reign Drummer wrote:
S.D. wrote:
I tried to listen to some 80s Blue Oyster Cult last night and it was just painful.  The Simmons electronic drums, the fairlight synth programming, the awful fake reverb, the compressed and nasally guitar sounds.  BLECH!  

Just horrid, plastic sounding, fake, garbage.  Sad, because there are some songs from that era that are good, but I just can't listen to them.  

Shooting Sharks comes to mind. Awesome song but I wouldnt be caught driving with the windows down blasting it hahaha


I find that the only 80's BOC album that still stands up today is Cultosaurus Erectus.
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Glower
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:05 pm

When I think that the Beatles actually recorded on 4 track -
I really liked the 70's - all of it - fantastic studio recording -
but then we get into the arguement about ' remastered' CDs.
Boston s/t - Cars s/t - Van Halen s/t - all jumped out of the radio -
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: 70s vs 80s sound recordings   Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:40 am

I actually liked BOC's production because even when they were trying to jump trends, they were so out of time or just BAD at it that you got something rather unique in the bargain. Now, I will say the SONGWRITING on some of those 80s albums gets dodgy, but I even really dig Club Ninja and that one apparently makes most fans bleed from the eyes...

That's actually a common thread with a lot of bands I like - well, first, I tend to like the albums the "fans" tend to dismiss for whatever reason; but also that the "sell out" albums that most people single out for abuse tend to sound interesting to me just because the band in question, though obviously TRYING to sell out, was so bad at it that they still ended up churning out this mutant version of whatever they were aiming for to boost record sales.

As for Glyn Johns, that guys production credits have to be through the roof. I think he laid hands on recordings for MOST of the great bands of the 60s and 70s probably into the 80s. Wasn't he also the original engineer on Let It Be (when it was still called "Get Back")?
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