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Re: [ARSCLIST] fwd: Everything Louder Than Everything Else : Have the loudness wars reached their final battle?
Tom Fine wrote:
>I'm sure Bob Ohlsson can give exact instructions on it because Motown knew hot
>to loud up mixes
>without making them unpleasant -- it's a great device to make songs stand out
>on the radio.
As it happened Berry Gordy HATED the sound of compressors! We had them but often used them in parallel with the uncompressed signal to bring up the low level stuff. Feeding only the uncompressed signal to the chamber gave you the dynamic effect.
Broadcast limiters had much more powerful line stages than most consoles so it was common to drive the tape machine with one however I'm told it was also common to yank out the tube that made the limiting happen. You cranked up the gain on the limiter so you'd be running the board with even more headroom.
We recorded Bettye LaVette this afternoon for a compilation. Did it in the piano booth of a studio with Miss. LaVette and the upright bass player right in the booth with the pianist. No headphones on anybody but my co-producer who was with them for communication with the control room.
We used ZERO compression on anything. It sounds huge and even reaches a competitive CD level with 3-6 dB of peak limiting on just the loudest peaks across the mix buss.
Lots of mythology about "vintage" out there. When people can hear the entire arrangement live, acoustically, and can respond to each other, they'll play and sing with the right dynamics and in tune. Vintage production techniques are the real secret.
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!