Gerry Rafferty wonderful vocal production

Smithers XKR

Well-known member
He used the doubling and "stereo pair" technique. Every vocal track on Gerry's records were actually 4 vocal tracks going on. The stereo pair involved 2 condenser studio mikes set at a 90 degree angle. This allowed the engineer to pan the the 2 tracks to any position in the mix. Gerry then doubled the vocal with the same technique. With pre and post compression and expansion and the EQ on the final mix there was no need for any reverb on the vocal track. That is why the positioning of the vocal was so brilliant and a unique sound on Gerry's vocal. IMVHO ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘
 

You can hear the stereo pair and double tracking. It is actually 4 vocal tracks. That is what created his wonderful layered voice. Sorry I will shut up now ๐Ÿ˜…
 
This is very detailed information. This so called technique would never create 4 vocal tracks (with 2 as a stereo pair from a mono voice?) plus thereโ€™d be phasing issues. Which studios, what mics, were you on the sessions?

He used the doubling and "stereo pair" technique. Every vocal track on Gerry's records were actually 4 vocal tracks going on. The stereo pair involved 2 condenser studio mikes set at a 90 degree angle. This allowed the engineer to pan the the 2 tracks to any position in the mix. Gerry then doubled the vocal with the same technique. With pre and post compression and expansion and the EQ on the final mix there was no need for any reverb on the vocal track. That is why the positioning of the vocal was so brilliant and a unique sound on Gerry's vocal. IMVHO ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘
 
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Mic placement and multiple mics...whodathunk? Check out this article on the concept that goes a little deeper and this video ( that is also included in the link)

The article and video are 21st century, Rafferty recorded the tracks referred to way back in the last century, in this instance the 1970s.

OP states that all Gerry Raffertyโ€™s recordings were made using this โ€˜techniqueโ€™.

Perhaps the OP was a studio technician in those days and knows something, or is privy to information, that many people, me included, may not be.

Good for him if so :)
 
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I don't know Smithers so I can't say if "he was there" but damn you Cyberic for asking! Another Google rabbit hole down :P

So here's an article discussing the doubling but nothing mentioned about the stereo pair which totally could have been a part of it,,,I personally have two mics in front of me when I record all the time...but mine second is for adding harmonies on the fly ran through a TC helicon voice v2 with midi connected to the keyboard so I can manipulate the harmony chord notes. I also run it on all the time and fade in and out when I do my live one shots... All that said I plan on going back to multi tracking this year and I am very intrigued by the doubling and now this stereo pair thing.... I am a strong believer in getting it right when it is recorded and not trying to manipulate it after the fact...doing the one shot live things requires discipline.
 
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I suspect the answer will be in here but I have not had the time to watch the whole thing


Stealers wheel
where the doubling started
Boy has a killer voice

 
This is very detailed information. This so called technique would never create 4 vocal tracks (with 2 as a stereo pair from a mono voice?) plus thereโ€™d be phasing issues. Which studios, what mics, were you on the sessions?
I am only going on anecdotal and yes you are right but as I said Gerry used a stereo pair on two tracks with the mikes positioned at 90 degrees to give the spacial control for the engineer. But then the clever thing... he repeated the whole process with the stereo pair, singing along with his original vocal.. thereby creating 4 vocal tracks for the engineer to be able to play with in the mix. Doubling... ie singing along exactly with your lead vocal to created a layered sound... was a very common technique in the 70's.... it is all done digitally these days with horrible robotic Protools and autotune, but I never heard many bands or artists apart from Gerry using both methods together, maybe only ABBA and The Carpenters.
Cheers ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘
 
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I don't know Smithers so I can't say if "he was there" but damn you Cyberic for asking! Another Google rabbit down :P

So here's an article discussing the doubling but nothing mentioned about the stereo pair which totally could have been a part of it,,,I personally have two mics in front of me when I record all the time...but mine second is for adding harmonies on the fly ran through a TC helicon voice v2 with midi connected to the keyboard so I can manipulate the harmony chord notes. I also run it on all the time and fade in and out when I do my live one shots... All that said I plan on going back to multi tracking this year and I am very intrigued by the doubling and now this stereo pair thing.... I am a strong believer in getting it right when it is recorded and not trying to manipulate it after the fact...doing the one shot live things requires discipline.
Totally agree my friend. Not trying to be a know all but I learned the stereo pair technique at Music Production College back in the 90's. Its a quite simple but very effective acoustic audio theory using two mikes together that allows the engineer to place the vocal anywhere in the audio spectrum.. up, down, right, left, front or back ๐Ÿ‘
I am a musician first and a producer second and my technical abilities are way down the line (geddit ๐Ÿ˜…). I am hoping I can pick your brains sometime in respect of technical home studio set up issues...
Interface modules I need, the correct leads and power supplies, wiring proces etc etc.
Thanks friend....
Take care..
Smithers ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ‘
 
I am only going on anecdotal and yes you are right but as I said Gerry used a stereo pair on two tracks with the mikes positioned at 90 degrees to give the spacial control for the engineer. But then the clever thing... he repeated the whole process with the stereo pair, singing along with his original vocal.. thereby creating 4 vocal tracks for the engineer to be able to play with in the mix. Doubling... ie singing along exactly with your lead vocal to created a layered sound... was a very common technique in the 70's.... it is all done digitally these days with horrible robotic Protools and autotune, but I never heard many bands or artists apart from Gerry using both methods together, maybe only ABBA and The Carpenters.
Cheers ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘
Actually it is documented that John Lennon was incredibly good at doing the double tracked vocal thing.....What Gerry did with the stereo paired mics was the next level up and like Lennon he was a master at duplicating the doubled vocal.
 
I don't know Smithers so I can't say if "he was there" but damn you Cyberic for asking! Another Google rabbit hole down :P

So here's an article discussing the doubling but nothing mentioned about the stereo pair which totally could have been a part of it,,,I personally have two mics in front of me when I record all the time...but mine second is for adding harmonies on the fly ran through a TC helicon voice v2 with midi connected to the keyboard so I can manipulate the harmony chord notes. I also run it on all the time and fade in and out when I do my live one shots... All that said I plan on going back to multi tracking this year and I am very intrigued by the doubling and now this stereo pair thing.... I am a strong believer in getting it right when it is recorded and not trying to manipulate it after the fact...doing the one shot live things requires discipline.
I agree about getting it right first time (groan). If it does not sound right pre production then it will not sound right post production, totally agreed IMVHO ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ‘
 
Actually it is documented that John Lennon was incredibly good at doing the double tracked vocal thing.....What Gerry did with the stereo paired mics was the next level up and like Lennon he was a master at duplicating the doubled vocal.
Yes Double Fantasy album was a great example. All of Johns vocal were doubled all the way through every song. With other artists back in the day normally, single tracking lead vocal was used on the verse, then the chorus was double tracked to give more depth and layer but Lennon used it all the way through the songs. Also you might notice he used a slapback reverb/echo technique on his voice as I think a tribute to the early Sun Studios Elvis type sound for his love of the 50s rock and roll recordings, well that is my take on it ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ‘
 
Oh well, thatโ€™s all answered then. We can all part company as friends :)
We dont need to part buddy, just getting started! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ‘Not trying to be a know all, just my humble opinions and hoping to get some good tech advice from you guys here.
As I said, I am a musician first and producer second and hopeless with tech stuff!
Kind Regards Cyber thanks ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฅฐ
 
I don't know Smithers so I can't say if "he was there" but damn you Cyberic for asking! Another Google rabbit hole down :P

So here's an article discussing the doubling but nothing mentioned about the stereo pair which totally could have been a part of it,,,I personally have two mics in front of me when I record all the time...but mine second is for adding harmonies on the fly ran through a TC helicon voice v2 with midi connected to the keyboard so I can manipulate the harmony chord notes. I also run it on all the time and fade in and out when I do my live one shots... All that said I plan on going back to multi tracking this year and I am very intrigued by the doubling and now this stereo pair thing.... I am a strong believer in getting it right when it is recorded and not trying to manipulate it after the fact...doing the one shot live things requires discipline.
This is really interesting stuff, I would like to discuss and learn a bit more sometime. I am running an old Atari system with an early HDD and Cubase and my keyboards and outboard rack... into an 8 track analogue Yamaha MT8X recorder. I have an SMPTE code stripe machine but really struggling to get it all MIDI'd and syncd up. So would love any help sometime mate. I think I might need a MIDI interface module to get the rack outboard stuff linked up....
Thanks chief ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘
 
This is very detailed information. This so called technique would never create 4 vocal tracks (with 2 as a stereo pair from a mono voice?) plus thereโ€™d be phasing issues. Which studios, what mics, were you on the sessions?
I totally get what you are saying about "phasing issues". If you double the stereo pair then each side of the doubled mikes needs to be set in phase pre production otherwise the mix would be out.
Yes the doubling would have to be mixed together pre production on both the versions of the left mike and both versions of the right mike. So in essence the engineer would have to sync the doubling of either side before doing the spacial position of the overall vocal mix.
Good point ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‰
 
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