Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Creating an Indie/Vintage sound.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    80
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Creating an Indie/Vintage sound.

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hey guys,
    I was wondering whether any of you could give me advice on creating an Indie/Vintage sound when recording and mixing.
    I am particularly interested in the sound of Bombay Bicycle Club's acoustic material (and electric), The Foals- Total Life Forever and Arcade Fire's sound.

    I know this is a vague question, its probably hard to answer.
    Just any tips maybe?

    Cheers,
    Jack

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    761
    Thanks
    86
    Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    When I think indie I think lo-fi and that is kind of the opposite of pristine digital recordings.

    I recommend you track as clean as possible then run them through some gear or plugins.

    Izotope Vinyl is a free vinyl record simulator.

    Boot EQ is a free and FANTASTIC channel strip with valve simulation.

    Then drown the whole thing in reverb...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,779
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    12771957
    Cool bands, and cool sound. Use a 'colorful' compressor/eq/pre for at least the vocals (or whatever combination of those that you have). You can also add a touch of distortion to the acoustic guitars, and I would also avoid compressing them too much, especially acoustics. I use a tube mic (NTK) for vocals to warm it up a bit. Also, I've just started using ribbon mics and they sound pretty old school too. The ribbons make the acoustic sound full and natural, so add a little distortion to that (tiny bit) and you'll have a super cool indie sound.

    These tips may not get you to sound just like the bands you mentioned, but if they all tried to sound like some other band we wouldn't like them so much.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    27
    Posts
    344
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    478375
    Hi,
    I record quite a lot of vintage sounding stuff. I think the main thing is to record as it would've been recorded i.e. don't use loads of mics on the drum kit and then try to make it sound vintage using processing and plugins etc.

    This is how I would record a 'vintage' sounding track (and I think I usually manage to make them sound pretty accurate)

    Miking:

    Drums:
    Three mics. One condenser (I use an Oktava MK-219) overhead about 6' in the air, above the drummer's head. One condenser (I use another Oktava MK-219) about 2' in front of the bass drum, pointing at the centre of the drum. An SM57 on the snare, pointing at the rim at about 45 degrees and 2" away.

    Bass: I usually DI the bass. Just straight into the desk via a DI box. No compression, EQ etc.

    Guitar: I get the right 'vintage' sound on the amplifier and then either mic using one SM57 about 2" from the centre of the cone, up against the grille, pointing at the centre. or I use an Oktava MK-219 condenser with the pad switched in about 8" away from the grille and half-way between the centre and the edge of the cone. Whichever you feel gives you the better sound.

    Acoustic Guitar:
    For that vintage acoustic sound I mic fairly close to the guitar (I mic further back for a modern sound). Put one condenser about 6" away from the neck-body join.

    Mixing:

    For a vintage sound I either use no compression on the drums or compress the whole lot (all three mics) about 4:1 soft knee. EQ to give you the sound you like. I don't compress the bass and apply EQ boost at about 100Hz. I usually don't compress or EQ the electric guitars at all. I give the acoustic guitars a slight treble boost to bring out the brightness. When mixing, keep the drums and bass fairly low, they were always seen as backing instruments. Drench everything in loads of reverb and you should have a pretty authentic vintage sound.

    Oooh, and record it to analogue tape

    That's just how I do it. I hope it'll be useful in some way

    Cheers
    James

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    80
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    9
    Wow thanks James,
    This is an amazing detailed explanation, I will definitely experiment with some of these ideas.
    A few questions:
    Would you always suggest mic-ing the amps rather than recording straight through the interface?
    Also to get the right 'vintage' sound on an amp, what would be a rough guide line on how to achieve that sound?
    And any recommendations for any not too expensive amps? (I have a Bogey acoustic amp but I reckon its cheap and crap)
    I have a Shure SM68 (dynamic) and an SE Electronics 2200a (condenser), will I get by ok?

    Many thanks,
    Jack

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,779
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    12771957
    For the Acoustic mic the guitar and forget the amp usually. Read the stickey in the recording forum on acoustic micing and that should be a good place to start. I'd try putting either mic about 12" away from the 12th fret and slightly angled toward the sound hole. That is one of the most common sweet spots. I don't do anything direct except bass sometimes.

    For electric micing the amp will go a long way for the vintage sound. Scoop the mids to get some of the more American sounds (fenders from 1960s and 1970's). I wouldn't put too much distortion/gain for that style. And mess with the reverb on the guitar to get the sound you want.

    Those mics should be fine to start with. Your gear should grow with your skills.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    27
    Posts
    344
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    478375
    Quote Originally Posted by aaronmcoleman View Post
    For the Acoustic mic the guitar and forget the amp usually. Read the stickey in the recording forum on acoustic micing and that should be a good place to start. I'd try putting either mic about 12" away from the 12th fret and slightly angled toward the sound hole. That is one of the most common sweet spots. I don't do anything direct except bass sometimes.

    For electric micing the amp will go a long way for the vintage sound. Scoop the mids to get some of the more American sounds (fenders from 1960s and 1970's). I wouldn't put too much distortion/gain for that style. And mess with the reverb on the guitar to get the sound you want.

    Those mics should be fine to start with. Your gear should grow with your skills.
    agreed.

    I'd just add that it'd be good to experiment with different distances for the acoustic mic. 12" as aaronmcoleman suggested is great for getting the nice, bright acoustic sound that most people are after though. If you want a more 60's bassy, slightly clangy and more percussive sound (like on the early Beatles tracks) then move it to about 6" away. But again, just experiment moving it about.

    Also, if you're looking for an English guitar sound rather than an american one, I think the sound is more middly so just dial in some more mids to the amp.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2,842
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
    Rep Power
    16472527
    Quote Originally Posted by JakJak View Post
    This is an amazing detailed explanation, I will definitely experiment with some of these ideas.
    +1

    Excellent post indeed, James.

    What do you think about using a SansAmp GT-2 as DI on electrics?

    Regards,
    Jim
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    One day I'll make it into somebody's signature line.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,779
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    12771957
    I've DIed electrics a lot using pod xt. Sounds decent but won't beat a real miced amp.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,779
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    12771957
    I've DIed electrics a lot using pod xt. Sounds decent but won't beat a real miced amp.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Creating Retro 60's sound - Belle and Sebastian
    By trojannate in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-28-2012, 17:28
  2. Creating this drum sound...
    By jonn in forum Drums and Percussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-01-2011, 12:03
  3. Please let me know how the drums sound on this indie band
    By clong89 in forum MP3 Mixing Clinic
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-20-2010, 11:56
  4. Creating a full stereo sound
    By leavings in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-05-2003, 12:41
  5. Need Help creating a audience live sound
    By Cal D in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-28-2002, 14:21

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •