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Thread: Reproducing that 80s sound

  1. #31
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    The key is to use it sparingly. With audio, more is not always better.

    There's a big difference from recording +5dB on a reel of tape and +5dB on a digital system. On a digital system, it will get raspy and scratchy REALLY fast. On tape it won't really get to a full squared off wave due to limitations in HF recording ability and the ability of the heads to handle the slew rate being thrown at it.

    Assuming that the recordings were done via tape in the 80s (not necessarily true as Soundstream digital recordings were starting to come online around 1980, especially with classical recordings), then you need to imitate that tape limitation. The way to make the volume more constant is to compress the signal, and magnetic tape will do some of that automatically.

    I threw out those plugins because they are free, so you can play around with them without forking over hundreds of $$ just to find out that they are trying to imitate a Marshall stack at full song, not an overdriven mic preamp in a Trident console driving a 24 track Studer chewing up 2 inch tape at 30ips. (ok, if it was a low budget film, they probably ran it at 15ips )

    You might also do some research into film based audio. Search out "Academy Curve" and you might understand why the EQ curve I posted is starting to sound like what you want. Remember that in the 80s, most movies still used optical audio tracks which are limited compared to CD/DVD audio capabilities. The advent of THX, Dolby DTS and the like have changed the audio portion of movies. Now that film has been replaced with digital prints, things have changed, although there are still some remaining standards for theater audio reproduction.
    Last edited by TalismanRich; 07-01-2019 at 15:09.

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  3. #32
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    Great. This is all very helpful!

    I'll try compressing the signal, then adding a bit of saturation.

  4. #33
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    I wonder if the knight rider sic is a bad choice because it sounds simply bad. Are we trying to recreate a mistake that is not a blueprint for 80s sound but just a really awful recording? Perhaps good as an effect but not something that is a kind of forensic fingerprint for e decade?

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndotpizza View Post
    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.
    Most 80s songs are full of synths and loud, metallic, gated drums that cut off while still sounding. Add a ton of reverb and you got the 80s sound. Think of Take My Breath away. Thats loaded with 80s sounds. Danger Zone from Top Gun is in your face digital sounding. Crazy For You by Madonna is as warm as i can think of.

    When i think of the 80s, i dont think of warmth. I think of shrill and digital sounding.

  6. #35
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    I use Waves abbey Road plug in's J37 tape and REDD mixer and get great results for an 80's sound.

  7. #36
    BisquikNation Guest
    There are a number of transformers that when loaded up have a nice grindhouse movie announcer sound. If you ran a mix through different transformers, like Sowter, cinemag, RCA, Etc. you would hear some interesting changes.

    Look at the equipment they used at the time.

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    There are some decent plugins that can add a vinyl or tape sound to a track, which will in turn give it what it seems like you are talking about wanting. It will cut the frequencies to sound more like the media you are wanting as well.

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    I'm no expert - and no one here should listen to what I have to say. But I just couldn't get that old school vibe with software. Not the way I was hearing it in my head.... comparing to truly more vintage source material. Like albums from the 70's.

    So - I built my own "channel strip".

    Warm Audio TB12 preamp----> Warm Audio EQP Pultec clone EQ-----> Warm Audio WA2A leveling amplifier.

    The setup is new - but so far I couldn't be happier. Now I just have to create something of quality.

  10. #39
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    That's pretty enterprising.

  11. #40
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    The band I was in back then used VOCODERS. They are tricky. You tune in white noise with he voice and remix less than 100% wet.

    For all that power chorus and 80's hair band screams.

    Lemmesee if I got any clips..

    A NUMB linkn park clip will work..This will give you an idea. I left the voice in at 50/50 I am only firmly speaking words. The Keyboard is making the scream replacing my voices tonal information.

    Get it mixed right and it sounds amazing!
    Attached Files Attached Files

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