Old 07-27-2018, 01:50 AM   #1
Tubeguy
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Default 50's compressors?

What were the 50's-60's compressors that were used at the time when they recorded Sun Records style music? I know of LA-2A, maybe a Fairchild. I know there were others but don't know the brands.
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Old 07-27-2018, 02:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tubeguy View Post
What were the 50's-60's compressors that were used at the time when they recorded Sun Records style music? I know of LA-2A, maybe a Fairchild. I know there were others but don't know the brands.
I think Sun itself had a Gates BA-39.

The really good sounding Gates Sta-Level used the same remote cutoff tubes (6386) made famous by the Fairchild.

There was a Collins (??) and an RCA (BA6?) that were pretty good too.
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:36 AM   #3
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I have a Gates Level Devil that does some magic on bass and vocals. I don't use it too often though, these days I mix ITB mostly.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:51 AM   #4
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Tube based Vari-Mu compressors Just like Geoff listed.

If you want those sounds ITB you could do alot worse than the Klanghelm MJUC. 3 Flavors of Vari-mu compression from the 50's through modern iterations.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:43 AM   #5
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I have a Gates Level Devil that does some magic on bass and vocals. I don't use it too often though, these days I mix ITB mostly.
Yeah, that was often used for radio station compression and used 6BA6/EF93/5749 remote cutoff pentodes.

It's getting harder every day to get matched pairs of low noise 6386's.

Manley vari-mu even has a "TBar" mod that subs 2 6BA6's for each 6386.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:08 AM   #6
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True, they mostly used Radio limiters but being slower tube they worked also as compressors. Later LA2A would be an example I guess. Not much info on the Net about the very early stuff or even plugins trying to emulate them.
I think they just weren't very versatile so no one bothers nowadays. But when you listen to some one the 50's recordings it's real magic. Has to do with tape machines of the day as well off course.
I've been taking big interest in that sound lately, it's a bit of a struggle in a DAW.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:18 AM   #7
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If you want those sounds ITB you could do alot worse than the Klanghelm MJUC. 3 Flavors of Vari-mu compression from the 50's through modern iterations.
I've tried it but to me it sounded artificially colored. I could tune it to my liking. Otherwise a good comp, maybe just not suitable for my taste.
I get decent result when running hardware comp through lightly driven tube preamp but it's too much pain in the .... to employ it in DAW on multiple tracks.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:51 AM   #8
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There's an RCA BA-6A amongst the FPGA effects on my Antelope interface. It's become one of my favourite vocal compressors.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:30 AM   #9
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PSP Old Timer currently $20:

https://www.jrrshop.com/psp-oldtimer


Supposed to sound like an old classic tube unit. No mention of what specific era they were going for. Try the demo version first.
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:07 AM   #10
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True, they mostly used Radio limiters but being slower tube they worked also as compressors. Later LA2A would be an example I guess. Not much info on the Net about the very early stuff or even plugins trying to emulate them.
I think they just weren't very versatile so no one bothers nowadays. But when you listen to some one the 50's recordings it's real magic. Has to do with tape machines of the day as well off course.
I've been taking big interest in that sound lately, it's a bit of a struggle in a DAW.
That magic was the players... the musicians were usually familiar with each other and had a vibe going.

That and they knew what a quarter note was.

Look at the old Stax crew
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stax_Records#House_band

Look at the Motown crew
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motown#The_Funk_Brothers
"...one of the major factors in the widespread appeal of Motown's music was Gordy's practice of using a highly-select and tight-knit group of studio musicians, collectively known as the Funk Brothers, to record the instrumental or "band" tracks of a majority of Motown recordings."

In fact - look at the Wrecking Crew that did all those old TV show themes and west coast hits:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wrecking_Crew_(music)

I got into a row about 20 years ago with Carol Kaye about tapping your foot in an orchestra (bad mojo). I did sound for the Pgh Symphony's Point State Park outdoor gigs and used some of the players for sessions at various studios. Irv Kaufmann, assoc prin cellist (crazy guy - see him at local clubs wearing Megadeath T-shirts) and when we were in the control room listening to playback he used to always chastise the "band" for that.

Even that crew that Irv assembled had an almost telepathic thing going were with loose scores they just nailed it.


Fast forward to the 60's - 70's - Take a look a Led Zep - I'm not a big fan. But Page and Jones did hundreds, maybe thousands of sessions together for years.

That chemistry transcends the medium.
There's your magic...

Today? - Not so much...

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Old 07-29-2018, 07:37 AM   #11
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Also - I recall looking at an old 3M M56 Isoloop that Lenny Kravitz wanted to buy. Here's one listed:
https://www.odysseyprosound.com/16-t...3m-m56-2-inch/

This is the one from Wally's studio:
https://www.historyofrecording.com/3M_M56.html

Here's a archive of how that came about:
https://web.archive.org/web/20170326...audio-recorder

So supposedly that's how Kravitz got that sound... using "old iron" (borrowed that term from machinist lingo when they refer to old South Bend and such...).

I recall going over that machine, and when I saw the article about a decade later it brought back memories of how funky that thing was. The Isoloop motor looked like a furnace blower motor. All the old germanium xtors... wow.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:46 PM   #12
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Yes, off course I forgot to mention the players. That's how it all comes together. The wibe carries over to the production.
But talking about Kravitz, I always hear his music as a home recording done in 70's style. Same with Led Zep. I first came across Led Zep when a friend gave me used reel to reel tape so I have something to record on. But I've found this great music on it that sounded like it was recorded in a garage. Later I've learned it was Led Zep. Ok that was a while back but even today I still hear that garage signature in their production. Not a big fan of them now either but it's worth to mention how various recording techniques can produce completely different perceptions.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:28 AM   #13
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I've tried it but to me it sounded artificially colored. I could tune it to my liking. Otherwise a good comp, maybe just not suitable for my taste.
I get decent result when running hardware comp through lightly driven tube preamp but it's too much pain in the .... to employ it in DAW on multiple tracks.
Fair enough.

For free check out the Thrillseeker VBL (32 bit only) which is Bootsies take on a 50's broadcast limiter:
https://varietyofsound.wordpress.com...dcast-limiter/

Then theres the Sonimus Tuco which looks like a fine Vari-mu plugin for not alot of money. https://sonimus.com/products/tuco/
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:05 PM   #14
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For free check out the Thrillseeker VBL (32 bit only) which is Bootsies take on a 50's broadcast limiter:
Yeah I really like the concept of it. Had it for a long time now. Can sound a bit lifeless but depends what is used on.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:25 AM   #15
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Altec 436's and possibly an LA-2A. The plugin equivalent of the Altec 436 is the now-defunct Abbey Road RS-124 VST plugin. https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/abbey-road-rs124

Sugar Ray’s Vintage Recording Studio owner Dean Amos recreated Norman Petty's Clovis Studio (where Buddy Holly recorded nearly all of his catalogue from 1957-58) & Sun Studios (4:45 onward) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q-scxybnp0 . Lots of shots and info on the gear used and well worth watching. Soundtoys' Radiator plugin is in fact a recreation of the Altec 1567 mixer. https://www.soundtoys.com/product/radiator/





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Old 07-31-2018, 06:30 AM   #16
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That was awesome, thank you. I love the way they use figure 8 mics.

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Old 07-31-2018, 07:48 AM   #17
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Yes, off course I forgot to mention the players. That's how it all comes together. The wibe carries over to the production.
But talking about Kravitz, I always hear his music as a home recording done in 70's style. Same with Led Zep. I first came across Led Zep when a friend gave me used reel to reel tape so I have something to record on. But I've found this great music on it that sounded like it was recorded in a garage. Later I've learned it was Led Zep. Ok that was a while back but even today I still hear that garage signature in their production. Not a big fan of them now either but it's worth to mention how various recording techniques can produce completely different perceptions.

Funny you mention led zep and how bad some of it sounds - this may clarify some of why...

Here's a story that started out on Bob Lefzetz's page - There are links to a comparison vid that he published with my reply to one of his "mailbags".

There's also a link below to a vid of my remix and how it'd "kinda" looked coming off of the old Scully 8 Track they used. BTW i used to fix those old Scully 280's back in the day...

ALSO - my remix has the full, non-fade ending...

So below is the story of my WLL remix:

About a year and a half ago I was asked by a guy on one of my day-job forums (EDA tools for PCB design) to remix something. He'd heard what I did on the remix of Twisted Tower Dire for Remedy Records and wanted to know if I could fix up a tune.

So he sends me a link to some rar file archive.

When I first got it and imported it into Reaper I thought it was his kid's band doing a cover of Whole Lotta Love. - Only 8 tracks... The stereo pair of drums sounded so bad (see links later) I fig'd OK, what the hell; make his kid happy...

I come to realize it's the actual multitracks from a failed Guitar Hero release. Turns out it was done at Olympic only on 8 tracks - see the WSJ article -
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mak...ove-1401390281

Since wsj might require you to have an account - here's the same article reprinted at biz insider:
http://www.businessinsider.com/led-z...s-made-2016-12

So I remixed it... I had noticed years earlier that the original release - as well as later releases like the 2015 "mothership" remaster - sounded like crap; after reading the WSJ article I now know why...

So during my remix, I took the original 8 - here's a screenshot:


Full size image here:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/WLL...-FLAC-dump.jpg

and split it up to get it to mix as clean as possible:




Full size image here:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/lz-wll-mixsession.jpg

and added VU meters to try and mimic what it looked like to George (engineer - see the WSJ article) and crew...

Here's a link to a vid of the VU meters with my mix:

http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/lz-wll-vu1.mp4

There was no way to use the original 8 FLAC's for the VU's... on the original 8 tracks screenshot, note the extended space where the cursor is - this is what Kramer and Page must have razor bladed back then. The "yooouu neeeed... Ta Da" is off as compared to what you're used to hearing. The Ta Da is actually about 3 beats from where it lives in the released version since it was for the alternate vocal that was not used.

If you do the ol' Bill Fleming trick (Bill was the original "Mr Yuk" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqHxKVUG8cU - he'd look between the tracks) take a Fleming look at tracks 1-2 and track 4 (bass)

Look at how tight they play; esp on the verses... - nutz dead on...
All on just 8 tracks...

And regardless of what Kramer states in that WSJ article, the "pre-echo" is actually bleed into the guitar amp mic of a deleted vox guide track. It matches neither of the vocal tracks. You can see it on track 6 ( the lead guit/fluff/dive tracks).

And when I mention the drums sounding like poo - here's a link to some of that where you can hear Bonham groaning on almost every roll down the toms:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/groaningbonzo1.mp3
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/groaningbonzo2.mp3

When i first got the files I thought that the 2 drum tracks were Mid/Side, where one track is a mono L+R and the other is L-R (this is how stereo FM broadcast works). Nope, just fucked up stereo.

For what Page and Kramer did back on an old broadcast 12 channel (prob Gates) rotary stepped attenuator console (they didn't usually have pots) "Hats off to them..."

When I initially remixed it Bob Lefsetz (the pundit that Taylor Swift wrote the song "Mean" about) published a mailbag where I responded to his column about meeting Geoff Emerick and his opinion on Sir George Martin's kid remixing Sgt Peppers.

A reprint of the mailbag is here -
http://steve-marcus.blogspot.com/2017/09/mailbag.html
My comments are about half way down the page...

Here's a link to an MP4 of that comparison vid Lefsetz published:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/lzcompare_0006.mp4



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Old 07-31-2018, 07:58 AM   #18
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And you really want to watch/listen to that comparison vid:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/lzcompare_0006.mp4
and bonzo groaning raw drum things


And the Twisted Tower Dire remix I was talking about:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/ttdsamp/index.html

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Old 07-31-2018, 08:23 AM   #19
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And you really want to watch/listen to that comparison vid:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/lzcompare_0006.mp4
and bonzo groaning raw drum things
Wow. Amazing.
Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:23 AM   #20
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Wow. Amazing.
Thanks for sharing that.
Yea I got to actually correspond with an engineer that worked at Olympic during those years. Hearing the raw tracks, it's amazing they got it to sound as good as they did.

I've been repairing pro-audio gear for about 40 years now; lot's of radio/broadcast, lot of studio gear. And built lots of studios.

Around that time I was invited to meet Rupert Neve at AES in 1996 (all he wanted to talk about was my IoT thing see this link - http://www.ajawamnet.com/amnet/index.html ). I recall at the AES show he had a hideous migraine...

A year or so later, I was on a conf call with him.

He was still under Harmon/Amek at the time working with the guy from Mercenary I believe. . I had just done an install of one of the Rembrandt's; interesting story of that place here:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawamnet/studiohum.html
and asked how he liked living in Wimberley TX.

"Oh it's beautiful - always so sunny compared to dreary old England"

So I ask what he was doing, and was he repairing all those old modules from his old consoles that people seem so enamored with - make rack units out of them...

"I don't know what anyone would do that - that stuff is just God-Awful. Wayne, you're a hardware engineer, you know how far semiconductors and passives have come along?"

God, I wish i would recorded that phone call.

I guess he's now up there in age (they now keep showing people standing with life-sized cardboard cut-outs of him) and Josh (from the old Amek) seems to be running the place.

Hope he's doing well. I recall him telling me on another call of his dealings with Ray Dolby; talking about how engineers usually make bad business men (himself as compared to Ray). I also recall him telling me of how the beloved TDA opamps started out with his new-boss at AMS making him begrudgingly meet with Philips, where he mentioned, "I didn't trust Philips as far as I could throw them uphill..." and how the spinoff Signetics refused to sell AMS these opamps they derived from that meeting.

From what I've been told - also by him during that call - that the TDA1034 was the precursor to the NE553x series - see this:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid...io-amp-11.html
"Dear Bonsai, AS far as I understood Neve didn't designed the silicon indeed, but the first TDA1034 was based on a Neve op-amp design. The TDA1034 was followed up by the NE5534."

So that conf call I had may clear that up a bit...

He further mentioned something to the effect that, "I was ready to take out a full page ad in the WSJ and tell the world. My boss came up to me and mentioned ' ... might not have been such a great idea to give them those designs...' "

Rupert then told me he said, " ... it's your problem now..."

Again - I really wish I would have recorded that conf call...

BTW - if you ever get a chance to talk with him - don't swear. He's a very proper Englishman. The guy I was on the call with would MF this and that, and Rupert would exclaim "Billy... stop that..."

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Old 07-31-2018, 09:40 AM   #21
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I have to say - looking back on that, I should have told those ex-NSA guys to F-off and moved me and the fam to Texas, and camped out on his front porch until he hired me.

The IoT thing died [long story that involves breast implants] and I was invited here to DC to work at NETSEC - now part of Verizon. If I'd have been single I'd probably done it.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:34 AM   #22
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And I know - my VU meter vid
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/lz-wll-vu1.mp4
is NOT what a Scully 280-8 looked like - I just quickly did it with mvMeter.

An old Scully like they used:


I did a lot more repairs on the newer 280's:


Those used an LDR for bringing bias up to prevent popping during punch in.

Still do some design with those old LDR's...



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Old 07-31-2018, 12:05 PM   #23
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That was awesome, thank you. I love the way they use figure 8 mics.

Cheers,
Jennifer
You're welcome. It's a great vid of an area of recording that's not touched upon often enough, for my liking.
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:47 AM   #24
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I noticed the moniker "Tubeguy"
Here's a pic of the kinda tubes I used to play with


Goes in here:

There's two xmitters - I'm guessing one's for hot standby (via coax switch or separate antenna) but he maybe combining them (tho I really doubt it - the pic of his antennas looked like he was using multiple bays)

And feeds this coax:

Those copper pipes in the background are the rigid version of the flex coax.

Not me in the pics - it's the engineer from some station in LA.

Datasheet for the J series tube in the pic:
http://www.g8wrb.org/data/Eimac/4CX10000J.pdf

Note the Svetlana version of the 15K states : " air cooled power tetrode designed for audio and radio frequency applications."
http://www.g8wrb.org/data/Svetlana/pdf/4CX15000R.pdf

Would make one hell of guitar/audiophile amp...

A bit about Eimac https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eimac
Now part of Varian - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varian_Associates
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:54 AM   #25
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Wow. Amazing.
Thanks for sharing that.
seconded, that was great. It's crazy how much the reverb pops out so much more, and the clarity is night and day.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:26 AM   #26
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seconded, that was great. It's crazy how much the reverb pops out so much more, and the clarity is night and day.
Thanks. As I mention in the post above describing how I ended up doing that, it took breaking the original 8 tracks into about 30.

I just wish Page would get Kramer or some other engineer to do what I did to some of that back catalog to get it sounding a bit better.

Just remasters of the same old mix ain't cutting it in my opinion. And if I can do it I'm sure someone a lot better than I can make it sound even better.

When the guy I mentioned sent me that, and I realized it was the actual multitrack FLAC dump of Whole Lotta Love, I was ready to tell him no. But then I thought about it and listened to the raw tracks, and how well they played that; how tight Jones is with Bonham.

One thing in my mix is you can really hear some of the amazing stuff Bonham was doing to groove with Jones' bass. Especially after the lead part.

And I really want Plant to actually hear his vocals. Just an amazing performance. And yea the alt vox is funky - I can see why they chose the lead vox take that they did back then.

John Paul Jones' bass I did very little to. Same with the Page's rhy guitar track.

Plant's vox tracks were great too - requiring very little tweaking.

The center fluffy, orgasm part was the tough part. Trying to mimic Kramer and Page's "... going nuts on the knobs..." was interesting. All the little boops and bips and crap. Getting some sort of phasing ring mod plugin was nearly impossible, so I just went for a more ballsy theremin sound that hopefully still captures the essence of what they were doing on that old 12 channel rotary console they say they used to mix it back then.

And I added nothing to that part - all that is on the fluff and guitar track.

Then i got to the "you need.... .... Ta Da" and realized that the multitrack must have been cut and spliced by Page and Kramer back then. That intrigued me; I recall reading about Offord having to do that with most of the Yes sessions - it was all done in sections. Having done that myself back in the day with 2" it was nerve racking. Nowadays it's so easy.

So I gave it a try - glad I did. Especially hearing that ending. As a kid you always wonder what happened after the fade.

Now we know - and Plant's wail - just amazing. That and the "... and that's the end..." is really cool to hear - never would have guessed that existed. Kinda humanizes the whole thing.

And kudos to my wife - she hates Led Zep. For her to have put up with hearing it over and over and over... she's a real trooper. She said if it would have been Fairies Wear Boots or War Pigs she'd have been ok with it. I told her that the mix of that stuff isn't distorted like the original mix of this was.

-

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Old 08-01-2018, 10:04 AM   #27
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Simply Amazing, fourth listen right now. Did they really re-master it like that? Wow. I have the retro studio bookmarked sisnce it was uploaded first. So cool.

Oh PS Warpigs seconded. Are the tracks out there?
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:12 AM   #28
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Simply Amazing, fourth listen right now. Did they really re-master it like that? Wow. I have the retro studio bookmarked sisnce it was uploaded first. So cool.
If you mean what I'm comparing my remix to - yea the continual remasters are just louder versions of the distorted mix done way back when. As i mentioned I still don't know why Page has not had someone remix that like I did.

It's possible. I did it. Begrudgingly at first. But my curiosity of whether the distortion was in the mix or on the actual multitracks got the best of me. Yea, the FLAC dump of the original 8 had it's issues, but not as bad as what they keep releasing. When I compare it to older releases, you can still hear that nasty distortion and all those level increases. I guess Kramer and Page got a bit excited and didn't really keep an eye on things - and back in the day the equipment was quite limited.

The VU meter video (with my mix - http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawam2/lz-wll-vu1.mp4 ) shows how limited it really was with regard to tracking.

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Old 08-01-2018, 10:13 AM   #29
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And I sent this to someone involved with the band and they mentioned they couldn't hear the difference. Kinda cool, since I was trying to stay true to the original.

But most people that I've played it for mention the improvement. Even non-musicians. My old boss at the sound company I used to work for thanked me over and over for it. A DJ in Pittsburgh - been on the air since Led Zep was a new band - loved it.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:45 AM   #30
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And I sent this to someone involved with the band and they mentioned they couldn't hear the difference. Kinda cool, since I was trying to stay true to the original.

But most people that I've played it for mention the improvement. Even non-musicians. My old boss at the sound company I used to work for thanked me over and over for it. A DJ in Pittsburgh - been on the air since Led Zep was a new band - loved it.
Couldn't hear the difference? After 30 years of distortion I'm not surprised, that or, he was afraid of losing his job?? I called my son to have a listen, needless to say he was blown away!

And btw, I use MV Meter on every track. I was a little worried at first with the +29 on the Bass, but all was good I don't think it went over +4

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Old 08-01-2018, 01:11 PM   #31
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Couldn't hear the difference? After 30 years of distortion I'm not surprised, that or, he was afraid of losing his job?? I called my son to have a listen, needless to say he was blown away!

And btw, I use MV Meter on every track. I was a little worried at first with the +29 on the Bass, but all was good I don't think it went over +4
For this vid, the mvMeters are on sends that don't get rendered - they're on sends/channels that are just for metering - you'll see that in the screenshot above. I had to do that since I broke up the original 8 tracks into 30. I wanted to get the parts on the meters that matched the track whence they came. That was my error when I was deriving the meter vid project - if you notice, the MvMeter gain control was all the way up on just track 4 - it's right under the meter movement; just like the little mechanical zeroize screw-head is on a real VU. When I copy-pasted it somehow it went max just on the mvMeter on the bass track mvMeter sub. And the send feeding it was turned down. Right before I made the vid it pegged when I was assigning stuff. MvMeter will hold that max until you reset it or reopen.

And to get the meters synchronized as close to nutz dead on as possible for the vid, I brought just the screen grab vid of the meters into the video editor and used the actual mix audio I made from what was the VU meter's parent project. It's exactly the same minus the mvMeter subs/sends.

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Old 08-01-2018, 01:44 PM   #32
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For this vid, the mvMeters are on sends that don't get rendered...
Cool. I figured something like that. I'm a Reset junkie myself! Sabs next huh?

I almost forgot again, Rick Beato put up a Bonham Drum video recently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjSgXZHBkhg

Pity he doesn't actually play.

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Old 08-01-2018, 02:13 PM   #33
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What a pity this thread has gone completely off-topic. 50's music tech is fascinating; was hoping to see some interesting stuff...
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:29 PM   #34
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On the other hand, what a joy to see a thread where 12 Kw ceramic transmitting tubes are discussed alongside amazing remixes and old tape machines as well as those fabulous remote cut-off compressors of yore.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:47 PM   #35
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@Retro - yeah sorry about that, I'll shut up now!
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:41 PM   #36
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To get it back on track - there's some great stuff on Reeve's page
http://www.reevesaudio.com/studiothree.html

Some great photos of the old gear and a schematic, simple as it was. They mention the Pultec setup they had and some info on how all that was wired up... - a pic from that page:



There's a section on that page:

"The Daven pots provided calibrated attenuation to the meters in 1 decibel steps to allow adjustments to an average program level to be set to "0"dbVU and a reference for calibration to the recording deck was thereby achieved. It allowed you to get closer to absolute "0" level of the console's buss which is common in today's digital "Brick Wall" threshold. At this point the volume control of the tape deck would be re adjusted to match the recalibrated meters."

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Old 08-02-2018, 01:15 AM   #37
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Funny you mention led zep and how bad some of it sounds
I didn't say bad, I said garage or home recording. These are actually great recordings and I would include Jeff Lynn style in it as well. These aren't regular run of the Mill productions. They're made to evoke certain emotions, stage, space, natural feel, what ever. When I say garage I mean they give it that feel so it's sounds natural unprocessed, down to earth.
Kravitz - evokes 70's style production we were used to hear from players and HiFi of the day. Productions of the day didn't actually sound like that.
Jeff Lynne - evokes feeling of huge rooms, natural feel and fat powerful sound.
And than we have band like The Sweet from the era - Just plain bold pop uncolored pop music production not much different to today.
All this through my ears though, many might not agree and that's ok.

As for the remastered Led Zep track, sorry I'm not a fan. To me it looses the magic. The magic many of us are trying now to recreate.
Not everything needs to be fully audible, compressed or in phase. It looses it's inner mystery. That's why I can't stand remastered Beatles. Can only hear it once and than there is nothing else to discover later so I would never buy remastered.

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Old 08-02-2018, 06:58 AM   #38
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As for the remastered Led Zep track, sorry I'm not a fan. To me it looses the magic. The magic many of us are trying now to recreate.
Not everything needs to be fully audible, compressed or in phase. It looses it's inner mystery. That's why I can't stand remastered Beatles. Can only hear it once and than there is nothing else to discover later so I would never buy remastered.
I did that remix - not remaster; a full remix - and tried to stay as close to the original intent as I could. Which wasn't easy...

Cymbals that end up sounding like wet farts to me is not adding to the "Magic" and hearing the amazing playing of Bonham - as I mentioned listen to the snare kick things he does that's totally lost in the original mix.

That and hearing an undistorted Plant is nice too.

And again - the magic wasn't in the sound equipment used - it was in the players - the session, the day, the vibe.

That and as Quincy Jones mentioned in George Martin's book Making Music,
"No matter how much you do your homework, leave enough room for the Lord to walk through" And I'm not religious - but I know what he means.

One of my rants about this:
http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawamnet/B...ake_Music.html

There's another great quote from Quincy in the forward to the book, Temples Of Sound. He mentions things like regardless of how good or bad a studio is, and how you go in thinking it'll be this and walk out with something different. And you know 'cause you see it in everyone's eyes. And how it was the players, the engineers, the vibe.

I was doing 20 hour days in studios and recall a lot of schlock. Occassionaly I'd come across a band that had some magic in them. I'd produce these bands on my nickel. One was the backup band for the Debarges. After one (El I think - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_DeBarge ) was thrown in jail, they had to bum bus fair to get to the studio. Someone at some label wanted the band to do some recordings, I recall Samson from Samson and Delilah was producing; and an engineer that worked with some major label stuff was at the desk.

Later in the week I was asked to come in and get a mix up at midnight before they got there. So I went over there with some girl I was dating at the time load up the 2" (before anyone else says it "...that's what she said").

I bring up the bass, drums, rhy guit. Then these three tracks of keys.

We're in tears. I was like wow... and I'm not a big R&B fan.

So Frank the leader shows up. He exclaims - "My rough mix don't sound like that!! What'd you do?"

I said. "uh... just brought up tracks 2-12..." (it was an old Allison style automation were you bounced updated automation data between tracks 1 and 24)

So I leave as the actual engineer and the rest of the band showed up. It's now about 2AM.

I had a session at 4PM the next day. I show up to people laying all over the lobby, hallway sleeping. Frank runs up to me and mentions, "...we lost what you did!!!..."

So I go in, ask the engineer, who appeared to be pretty trashed (he was known to partake in heroin) to hit the autolocator to the head.

Oh my God. Now I know what was on the other tracks. What a waste of time.

So I mention to Frank that the studio owner owes me cash for helping build the place and doing sessions; I can trade time to mix it - just yenz gotta leave (yea, I'm from Pittsburgh)

Couple of days later, I fig's I'd put it up on the machine. I'm alone this time, so I put the 2" up, did the same thing with the first 12 and I'm in tears again. "Damn this is amazing stuff..." I thought to myself.

So I mix it. Going thru the other tracks I ended muting most of what they did. So I give them the mix.

They're floored. They send it off to whomever.

So then I get a call from the studio owner. His brother was in a major cover band in the 'burgh. His party buddy was the original engineer. With disgust on his face he mentioned getting a call from someone (I'm guessing at the label) and telling me that they want me to take over the sessions.

So even tho this was turning into a political nightmare I did it. When I got in there with them, I just asked them to go into the main room and play me a tune.

My god that sound... that magic. Amazing. So they mention OK we'll cut the individual parts and I'm like "no f'ing way..." just hold on a sec, let me load some tape and roll.

We were done with all the tracking, o-dubs and vox in two days. It basically mixed itself. I recall smiles everywhere.

Recall the forward from Quincy in that Temple of Sound book? Read that.

So later I'm with another band at Graffiti - a showcase club that had a lot of soon-to-be famous bands as well as local. The Police did one of their first tours there - the one they mention being in a van and eating Spaghetti-0's.

So I mention to the owner what had happened with the Debarge guys as well as the band I was there with (Deadly by Desire) that I also produced gratis with a bit of financing help from the head band guy's dad. I asked why some things sound so contrived and others just glow with something well beyond this mortal coil. Also should mention he's pretty religious.

"Oh, you can tell things touched by the hand of man, and those touched by the hand of God..."

Ya know Jim Chapin said something in a video that stuck with me - similar idea but not gear so much as players. Jim was Harry's dad (Cat's in the Cradle, Taxi).



Yea... that's the magic. Not some kinda gear.

That's what's missing a lot nowadays ...

And ya know - back in the day we'd have killed for this type of tech. Good lord!!! But we would not have allowed it to get in the way of the vibe - the magic. Just like they did back then with what they had.

Look at Roger Nichols. 5 Grammys. Yea all the audiophiles love Steely Dan playing on their Riga equipped Thorens tables.

He HATED analog... His studio was called Digital Atomics. When they used a 1/2" 30 ips safety for the gold CD of Gaucho instead of the 1610 U-matic/Apogee (what we used back in the day for CD mastering) he was pissed.

It's in his book... and here - https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=5605.0

And sitting here at my dayjob I started thinking - this whole thing with equipment, I'm wondering if it's not an extension of wanting to control art by engineers and producers - same sort of thing that happens when musicians get in their own way - kinda like some sort of justification, some wanting to be God-like. Ever see a FOH guy with his hands constantly on the faders? Like he's some sort of wizard? "It's all me man..."

I recall doing monitors at the Carnegie Music Hall at the Carnegie Museum in PGH - I usually did monitors. We were doing the Pitt Jzzz thing with Nathan Davis and that year Grover Washington Jr. I recall I was asked to do a 1/2" 8tk so I'm stage left in the cove sitting on the floor against the wall - the band's running thru some stuff. First year Nathan had an electronic keyboardist.

So I'm sitting there and Grover's manager at the time, Paul Silverhorn asks why I don't sit at the console with my hands on the faders.

"I get them their mix, they ask for this and that, and once they start, it's in their hands - not mine. And if they're real good it's in a lot higher power's hands than even theirs" I state.

"And you get blamed for their f-ups..." I add. Right then there's this hideous "Bwahhhh" low end thing. Bands stops. Nathan with his soprano sax under his arm looks at me and say's "You hear that?"

I look at this kid playing the DX7's. "What did you just play?"

"You mean this?" comping chords with his right hand. "No, the other hand..." I ask. "Bwahhh" "Uh Nathan...." I stammer. He gets it. Right before the show we're in the backstage stairwell and he says "...and yea man I got that kid not do that low end stuff..."

I mean don't get me wrong - as Quincy states in that forward it's all of the human elements that make that work. But you have to know that when the magic occurs it's usually in spite of, not because of. Just like love and hate - you love in spite, hate because of. Love takes more effort.

And as stated in one of my favorite Futurama episodes:
"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."
~~ God, in Futurama episode "Godfellas"




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