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Thread: Reproducing that 80s sound

  1. #21
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    I think our confusion is just that we can’t quite put our finger on what it is that you’re using to sort of date video. You seem very convinced of this difference but we can’t quite get our heads around it. I listened to the links and am even more confused. I’m not even really sure about the ‘feeling’ I get a feeling the music we produce matches the era a product is set in but I can’t really do it with the audio quality. I think I can tell roughly the age of a recording from the audio quality but after the mid 50’s quality started to get really good and then audio quality changes became locked to smaller and smaller parameters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    I think our confusion is just that we can’t quite put our finger on what it is that you’re using to sort of date video. You seem very convinced of this difference but we can’t quite get our heads around it. I listened to the links and am even more confused. I’m not even really sure about the ‘feeling’ I get a feeling the music we produce matches the era a product is set in but I can’t really do it with the audio quality. I think I can tell roughly the age of a recording from the audio quality but after the mid 50’s quality started to get really good and then audio quality changes became locked to smaller and smaller parameters.
    Weird. Maybe I'm overly sensitive. Which would mean it's pointless for me to pursue this in the first place.

  3. #23
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    to be honest - no, it isn't pointless. From an odd perspective though. I've always found that when people hear things in reproduced audio, what they are hearing is real. There is something that you like or hate, or hear, or even annoys - but it's a tangible thing you hear and want sorting! the usual issue is that sound is so difficult to put into words. in audio, some things are doable, some aren't so we can't advise till we work out what it is you hear and we don't. I've found a few different versions of the Knight Rider music, and they do range in quality - but what I hear is slight distortion and reduction in dynamic range, plus the top and bottom being gone in some. What I cannot get is the notion that this kind of mangling dates it. Perhaps it's that you have associated this kind of mangling with the date, working in the assumption that this 'quality' or 'sound' is typical of the period - and that is just not right. Some movie sound from the 70s was phenomenal - Star Wars, for example. The movie theatres/cinemas were piling in sub-bass speakers and higher power speaker systems by the bucket load and wow was it good. for many people, used to the tiny 3x5' speakers in TV sets, this was their first taste of quality audio. I can't put that in text, but I known exactly what it sounded like. on the other hand we have spoken word recordings from that time that hold up well now. See if you can track down Alan parson's tales of mystery and imagination with orson well's voiceover, or Rick Wakeman's King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table that has a voice over. they're good examples of how good the 70s/80s managed audio. What we n' do is explain audio sound quality in words that everyone understands exactly the same.

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  5. #24
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    Try to learn from youtube videos

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpan28 View Post
    Try to learn from youtube videos
    Trust me, I would if they existed.

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    Why?
    Does your client want that. Or is this just for you.
    If you show it to anyone else will they care? Or only you.

    Just what do you mean by warmth and resonance?
    What is so unique to the 80s that you can't do it too?

    For voices you need to start with the same formants and other voice characteristics.
    You won't duplicate them with f/x, unless you know the target you are aiming at.

    I did not hear anything special from the Beuller movie Breakfast Club.
    Could it be what you are listening with?

    Have you measured all the characteristics of the sound from then?
    Freq response of the mikes used will matter as do the voices.
    There may be slight compression from tape.
    After that I suspect that they tried to make the best quality recording possible.

    While of interest academically is this really worth the effort to duplicate?




    Quote Originally Posted by johndotpizza View Post
    I'm working on a video project where I'd like to reproduce the sound of 80s movies and tv. There's a certain warmth and resonance in that old material that I can't seem to reproduce, despite my hours of applying different effects, equalizing, compressing, and trying many plugins.

    A good example of what I'm talking about is the Knight Rider intro (I'm not allowed to post links, just YouTube "Knight Rider intro", first result). The dialogue has a very colorful sound to it. Although Knight Rider is an extreme example, everything produced back that seemed to have that quality, to an extent. When I listen to the audio in movies like Ferris Bueller and The Breakfast Club I hear a similar warmth and depth that modern productions don't have.

    Though I'm sure this boils down to the source material being recorded and mastered on tape, analog compression, and etc., there has to be a way to recreate it digitally.

    I hope someone can shed some light on this for me!

  8. #27
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    Sometimes I don't know what planet I'm living on.

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndotpizza View Post
    Sometimes I don't know what planet I'm living on.
    I don't always remember what year it is

    Or where I put my glasses.

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  11. #29
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    Johndot,

    Earlier I mentioned trying bandwidth limiting and compression. I tried to look at spectrum of a couple of the things you mentioned (Knight Rider, Breakfast Club) and both seemed to have a couple of things in common. One was a rolloff of most everything below about 150Hz and above about 5kHz. There also seemed to be a bump around 300-500Hz. This makes sense for dialog as male and female voice fundamentals and first harmonics are in that range.

    I suggest trying an EQ curve something like this. Play around with the low and high pass filter and the bump to try to achieve the sound you want.

    80s-bandwidth-jpg

    Give it a try. It might get you started on the right path.

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  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalismanRich View Post
    Johndot,

    Earlier I mentioned trying bandwidth limiting and compression. I tried to look at spectrum of a couple of the things you mentioned (Knight Rider, Breakfast Club) and both seemed to have a couple of things in common. One was a rolloff of most everything below about 150Hz and above about 5kHz. There also seemed to be a bump around 300-500Hz. This makes sense for dialog as male and female voice fundamentals and first harmonics are in that range.

    I suggest trying an EQ curve something like this. Play around with the low and high pass filter and the bump to try to achieve the sound you want.

    80s-bandwidth-jpg

    Give it a try. It might get you started on the right path.
    Thank you! This is quite helpful. I'm getting pretty good results with the EQ, however there's still a distorted quality to it that will require more than equalizing to achieve. Still trying to figure that out. I suspect once I join the audio to the video that it won't be as critical as I'm making it out to be though.

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