Older recordings= better sound?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
el_guitarrero
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Older recordings= better sound?

Post by el_guitarrero » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:00 pm

Hello,
Somehow I get the impression, that all the recordings made with a single microphone sound better than many modern approaches with two microphones.

If I listen to old recordings from Paco de Lucia or some Bream recordings they sound much better than what can be achieved with modern Microphone technique nowadays.

They have certain warmth and a little bit less detail, but sound phenomenal. No click noise from nails etc.

How did they record in those times?! If I look at the Tico Tico recording of Paco de Lucia on youtube it seems as if a single microphone was put in front of the sound hole. From a sound engineers point of view an absolute no-go, but it sounds great, however.

What was the recording chain used in those days ?

Regards

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Christopher Langley
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by Christopher Langley » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:20 pm

I too think modern recordings have gotten overly detailed. I'm in no rush to acquire a fancy mic.

Believe it or not. I'm real happy with my cell phone recordings.
Studying Jazz and Blues now.. So it goes friends. I might make a return to Classical at some point.

rwe
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by rwe » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:57 pm

Often contemporary producers use the old equipment (Neumann, Schoeps, ...) - but the ideas of Sound changed.

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tateharmann
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by tateharmann » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:15 pm

I also love the sound of old recordings. I'm not sure what was "standard" back then but I'm sure it varied a lot too. I've got some albums recorded in Spain in the 60's that sound quite different from similar recording made in the U.S. during the same time period.

I have a Jakob Lindberg (lutenist) solo lute album from the early 80's that used multiple (2 I think) Neumann mics. Sounds very similar to what we hear today.
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by Jack Douglas » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:03 pm

Could it be the difference between analog and digital recording equipment? Im no expert in either recording or hifi playback equipment but my ear prefers the older equipment over the contemporary. There’s a certain richness and gut feel to older analog recordings compared to the current metallic, crystalline quality of the new digital recordings.
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el_guitarrero
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by el_guitarrero » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:57 am

Hello Jack,

Your comment hits the nail on the head. Exact description of older recordings vs newer.
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RobMacKillop
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by RobMacKillop » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:47 am

Old analogue recordings on vinyl - sonic heaven!

el_guitarrero
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by el_guitarrero » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:57 am

Anyone an idea how to reproduce this sound with basic (read: homerecording) equipment?
Regards

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Julian Ward
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by Julian Ward » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:30 pm

el_guitarrero wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:57 am
Anyone an idea how to reproduce this sound with basic (read: homerecording) equipment?
Regards
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Tom Poore
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by Tom Poore » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:31 pm

This 2018 article from Classical Guitar Magazine sheds some light on the subject.

http://classicalguitarmagazine.com/reco ... rdo-marui/

Tom Poore
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sxedio
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by sxedio » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:31 pm

Tom Poore wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:31 pm
This 2018 article from Classical Guitar Magazine sheds some light on the subject.

http://classicalguitarmagazine.com/reco ... rdo-marui/

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Interesting but two of the three interviewees admit they have no experience with cheap consumer gear. As they say, the expensive professional microphone market hasn't radically changed for decades, many pros will use a 70s microphone or older. The consumer market on the other hand has changed vastly, we have mics and devices that were unthinkable at such low prices in the 80s and 90s.
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PeteJ
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by PeteJ » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:52 pm

There's also the issue of tape hiss and the noise floor. With digital the noise floor is so low it can seem unnatural. Thus often compressors with 'analogue' buttons do little but just add noise. The effect can be surprising.

Jussi
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by Jussi » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:44 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:52 pm
There's also the issue of tape hiss and the noise floor. With digital the noise floor is so low it can seem unnatural. Thus often compressors with 'analogue' buttons do little but just add noise. The effect can be surprising.
Hi PeteJ,

That's interesting, I'm not sure I understand though. Is the analogue button of these compressors intended to make a digital recording sound like an analogue recording? and it does that by adding some artificial noise?

On the topic more generally, I understand what people are getting at regarding the warmth of older recordings and that modern recordings can sound 'too detailed' and pick up every little breath and nail sound etc. I must say though, I'm hugely impressed by many if not most modern recordings: the clarity of the sound, the lack of self noise from recording equipment, the sensitivity to tone and articulation and dynamic and the accurate reproduction of the sound in the room have all improved enormously over the last few decades. I certainly prefer using the newest shiniest equipment I can get my hands on for recording :mrgreen:

Cheers,
Jussi

PeteJ
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by PeteJ » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:53 pm

Jussi wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:44 pm
Hi PeteJ,

That's interesting, I'm not sure I understand though. Is the analogue button of these compressors intended to make a digital recording sound like an analogue recording? and it does that by adding some artificial noise?
I'm not entirely sure how to answer this, Some compressors may have altered responses to mimic analogue gear but all I can hear is added noise. The odd thing is that while this seems pointless when the instrument is soloed it seems to have the effect of pinning the instrument better in the mix and improving audibility. For CG recording this is not an issue but for a busy pop-rock mix it can be a useful trick.

The danger is having five compressors on the the go each adding noise, so normally I would always switch out of analogue mode and double-check that I have.

I do feel that some noise helps the listener and makes the music more listenable. When notes appear out of silence the effct is unnatural and (I believe) subconsciously disturbing. In live situations engineers will record the empty venue and use this 'noise-space' to link the sections/tracks, but not usually in the studio. I think I could make a case for adding a little noise to CG recordings but would expect some arguments.


.

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guitarrista
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Re: Older recordings= better sound?

Post by guitarrista » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:03 pm

el_guitarrero wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:00 pm
Hello,
Somehow I get the impression, that all the recordings made with a single microphone sound better than many modern approaches with two microphones.
One (major) factor that I don't think has been mentioned yet, is that modern recordings are increasingly processed digitally in various ways before putting down the final result. That may involve dynamic compression, adding reverb, and other effects. This is regardless of the evolution or fashion in mic technology and usage. There's simply a lot more going on between the track as recorded off a mic and the track as you listen to it.

For the record (haha), I actively dislike a recording of guitar with excessive reverb (or whatever it is called these days - spatializer?) Ugh.. :-)
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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