Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 39

Thread: Reproducing that 80s sound

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Reproducing that 80s sound

    Sign in to disable this ad
    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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    2,744
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 380 Times in 347 Posts
    Rep Power
    3912800
    In rather have to disagree. Source material from that era was analogue and digital, and my firm view is that we just mixed differently. I've no idea what you mean by warmth and resonance. It doesn't ring bells with me at all. The transition from 70s to 80s really just widened frequency response and increased dynamic range. Frequency response curves were gentle and favoured the smiley face. Sub bass was reserved for the movies. We had synths for the first time that sounded better than they had done just a few years back. The first thing I'd do is replicate what was possible. Eq certainly, but compression was reserved for heavy rock and punchy vocals. I really think you need to go back to basic sound sources, apply quite gentle and bland eq, reserve compression for the things that need it badly and be gentle. In the past year or so I've done 60s and 79s music that's realistic with all digital production and it's fine. Look at 80s loudspeakers and go back to basics. Reverbs were different and the first electronic ones were surfacing. You need to copy how they recorded and not try to do a 2019 recording and then dirty it up. They were trying to be clean and open.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    In rather have to disagree. Source material from that era was analogue and digital, and my firm view is that we just mixed differently. I've no idea what you mean by warmth and resonance. It doesn't ring bells with me at all. The transition from 70s to 80s really just widened frequency response and increased dynamic range. Frequency response curves were gentle and favoured the smiley face. Sub bass was reserved for the movies. We had synths for the first time that sounded better than they had done just a few years back. The first thing I'd do is replicate what was possible. Eq certainly, but compression was reserved for heavy rock and punchy vocals. I really think you need to go back to basic sound sources, apply quite gentle and bland eq, reserve compression for the things that need it badly and be gentle. In the past year or so I've done 60s and 79s music that's realistic with all digital production and it's fine. Look at 80s loudspeakers and go back to basics. Reverbs were different and the first electronic ones were surfacing. You need to copy how they recorded and not try to do a 2019 recording and then dirty it up. They were trying to be clean and open.
    Did you take a listen to the Knight Rider intro I referenced? There's nothing clean about that voice to my ears. It sounds really cool, but I wouldn't call it clean. Audio in movies now is what I would describe as clean. It has a lot of dynamic range but it feels bland and flat compared to the old stuff because it has no texture. It's almost too perfect.

    I should specify that this project is a film project. Not music specific. I want my dialogue to have a similar sound to that Knight Rider guy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    The Derby City
    Posts
    104
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 19 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    24147
    I think if you want the "Knight Rider" sound, first you need Richard Basehart's voice. The "dirt" came from Basehart's somewhat gravelly voice. Then drop out all the highs and deep lows because it was going to be played through a 3 or 4 inch TV speaker which couldn't handle "full range". I suspect you will need a fair amount of compression because you want all the dialogue to be easily heard. Ride gain on the background music to lesson the interference.

    In the 70s and early 80s most people didn't have stereo on their TVs, much less surround sound systems. TV sound was more akin to a table radio than a stereo, although that started to change as VCRs became common. They had true audio outputs which could be easily hooked to a stereo.

    As for movie audio having no texture, I REALLY don't understand what you are talking about here. Movies today have soundtracks that are VERY high quality since they expect to be played over THX or Dolby digital surround sound system.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by TalismanRich View Post
    As for movie audio having no texture, I REALLY don't understand what you are talking about here. Movies today have soundtracks that are VERY high quality since they expect to be played over THX or Dolby digital surround sound system.
    I agree! It's very clear and clean, unlike the audio from older films which had a certain "texture" to them that was introduced by the imperfections of the recording media.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    2,744
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 380 Times in 347 Posts
    Rep Power
    3912800
    Imperfections in the recording media? You're using descriptive words in a context we simply don't recognise. My mixes from the 70s sound old, my mixes from the 90s sound somehow richer and my contemporary mixes sound to my old ears more natural. Just the sound of the times and nothing to do with the technology. This is proven to my satisfaction by the inability to tell recording dates from some kinds of music that has not changed over the years. 1970/80s big band recordings as a good one. Once they sorted out the proper stereo field for accuracy to the real layout, the popular bands can swap eras one one album and not have people talking about recording differences at all. Same with classical. Popular music, and movie music is a created product. It's manufactured to fit specifics. Stick a few tracks auto an analyser and look at how it's been squashed and band limited. Stop all this talk about 'texture' and use technical terms that have the same meaning to everyone. The hifi brigade do this all the time and everyone laughs at their daft use of language that says so little. Sonic coherence, openness, truthfulness, depth, enhanced reality and so many other meaningless terms. We tend to use things that can be quantified. Dynamics, frequency response, noise, distortion, polarity, phase, and proper use of them! I think I understand what you mean by 'warmth' but no idea on 'resonance'. I would use the term to mean something bad, like there was a strange resonance at 550Hz, probably cause by the panel behind the mixing desk vibrating?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Imperfections in the recording media? You're using descriptive words in a context we simply don't recognise. My mixes from the 70s sound old, my mixes from the 90s sound somehow richer and my contemporary mixes sound to my old ears more natural. Just the sound of the times and nothing to do with the technology. This is proven to my satisfaction by the inability to tell recording dates from some kinds of music that has not changed over the years. 1970/80s big band recordings as a good one. Once they sorted out the proper stereo field for accuracy to the real layout, the popular bands can swap eras one one album and not have people talking about recording differences at all. Same with classical. Popular music, and movie music is a created product. It's manufactured to fit specifics. Stick a few tracks auto an analyser and look at how it's been squashed and band limited. Stop all this talk about 'texture' and use technical terms that have the same meaning to everyone. The hifi brigade do this all the time and everyone laughs at their daft use of language that says so little. Sonic coherence, openness, truthfulness, depth, enhanced reality and so many other meaningless terms. We tend to use things that can be quantified. Dynamics, frequency response, noise, distortion, polarity, phase, and proper use of them! I think I understand what you mean by 'warmth' but no idea on 'resonance'. I would use the term to mean something bad, like there was a strange resonance at 550Hz, probably cause by the panel behind the mixing desk vibrating?
    I apologize for using the wrong terminology. I don't know much about audio, just trying to figure something out for a video project.

    It appears I've come to the wrong forum. Sorry for wasting your time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    1,003
    Thanks
    188
    Thanked 118 Times in 111 Posts
    Rep Power
    2383180
    johndotpizza......you don't know much about audio but yet you seem to be sure that the "sound" you're looking for was specifically created by analog tape and a sort of diminished quality to the technology back then. I'm going to guess here....but I'll bet you've read on line that tape and other analog components created a "warm" sound as opposed to digital. And....there are plenty of people who will agree with that overall view. Essentially......though......there are many elements that go into the final sound of course......far too many to mention.

    You might want to rethink that analog "warmth" vs digital "clean" thing. It certainly exists...to some extent.....but may not be the cause and cure of your dilemma. And yes.....you're certainly in the right spot here.
    Just A Song Writer..........

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickster View Post
    johndotpizza......you don't know much about audio but yet you seem to be sure that the "sound" you're looking for was specifically created by analog tape and a sort of diminished quality to the technology back then. I'm going to guess here....but I'll bet you've read on line that tape and other analog components created a "warm" sound as opposed to digital. And....there are plenty of people who will agree with that overall view. Essentially......though......there are many elements that go into the final sound of course......far too many to mention.

    You might want to rethink that analog "warmth" vs digital "clean" thing. It certainly exists...to some extent.....but may not be the cause and cure of your dilemma. And yes.....you're certainly in the right spot here.
    All I really know is what I've heard. I haven't studied much, but I do listen, and I can hear a very clear difference between films produced in the 80s and films produced now. I don't know how to describe it without upsetting people but it's very obvious to me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    1,003
    Thanks
    188
    Thanked 118 Times in 111 Posts
    Rep Power
    2383180
    johndotpizza........we get that for sure........and we understand that you're lack of experience (and terminology) will make the detective job for us a little more time consuming........but that's no big deal.......and we'll get the answers you need I think. So....to begin with....we'll need more examples of what you're hearing that sounds differently between then and now. If you need more posts to upload examples....then make more posts. An A and B example with specific questions or references to differences is best.

    You're not upsetting anyone here. Just remember to keep an open mind about the cause and effect of the "sound" you want to achieve. The answer may not be what you think.
    Just A Song Writer..........

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. Reproducing tracks with Ableton
    By cogerer in forum Newbies
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-26-2012, 15:06
  2. reproducing loops live
    By planet9 in forum Drums and Percussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-16-2000, 00:55
  3. reproducing loops live
    By planet9 in forum MIDI Mania
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-12-2000, 19:08
  4. reproducing loops live
    By planet9 in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-09-2000, 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
  •