Topic: Motown Sound

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1.Motown Sound Copy to clipboard
Posted by: ImDED
Posted on: Nov 9, 2007 5:07 PM

I love that Detroit era Motown drum sound. Does anyone have any bass drum and snare drum head recommendations? and any other tips to get that sound?

2.Re:Motown Sound [Re: ImDED] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Crusher
Posted on: Nov 9, 2007 5:27 PM

well that sound would be hard to duplicate. They had vintage drums with different mics then what we have today, and way different recording methods and hardware. As for heads hmm maybe coated ambassadors over clear ambassadors may be what you are looking for. However the Renaissance heads may be right up your alley.

3.Re:Motown Sound [Re: ImDED] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: JD1
Posted on: Nov 9, 2007 6:10 PM

The drums, the mics, the heads are still all around from the
vintage Motown (if your talking) Spinners, Tops, Smokey, Supremes etc
Every thing is still the same - BUT
your probabaly going to want to find an older "Analog" studio
good old reel to reel tape.

Also keep in mind - The tradition of mic'ing back then
Not a lot of mic's were dedicated to the drum set.
and many traditional songs, albums were recorded in a single
room setting -
The instruments might have had only 1 mic, dedicted to the
kit. good ol nuemann or the traditional ribbon mics on many
instruments & vocals.

Anther big thing was compression was really starting to be used
in the motown late 50s to mid 60s - The hit them tracks or
final mixes pretty hard.
I was reading an article about the use of doubling compressors
as it (that technique) was started in Motown music studios.

Id say the biggest thing - Find an anolog studio
*although via tube pre's using digital these days - You can fake
good quality anolog recording techniques.
* double up (do not clone) lead vocals = motown!
*Also of importance: Use a vintage mohagony kit -
Do NOT over emphise the attack on kick.
I'll see if i can find that "motown sound" article on compression
Really interesting read - If you understand compression.

But really - All the mics, the drums, techniques are still available
to obtain a vintage golden eara of Motown recodings

Edited to add:

http://www.recordinginstitute.com/R2KREQ/excomp.htm

http://www.prosoundweb.com/recording/tapeop/olmo/olmo.php

These are both good articles although,
neither is the EXACT of what i was looking for orinianly.
I know it's out there because i re-posted it on my recording
engineers forum i frequent about 2years ago. Oh i'll find it!

Plenty of good articles - or if your really interested I can
point you in few good resource directions.
If your only interested in~ Drum heads for motown...i'll just say
Don't stress the "what type of head" should i use? crap
It's really *if your trying to achive vintage Motown glory -
It's about old school room & mic techniques and mixing
...and your "feel" (how you play) more than heads

4.Re:Motown Sound [Re: JD1] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: Nov 9, 2007 6:59 PM

JD1 wrote:
The drums, the mics, the heads are still all around from the
vintage Motown (if your talking) Spinners, Tops, Smokey, Supremes etc
Every thing is still the same - BUT
your probabaly going to want to find an older "Analog" studio
good old reel to reel tape.

Also keep in mind - The tradition of mic'ing back then
Not a lot of mic's were dedicated to the drum set.
and many traditional songs, albums were recorded in a single
room setting -
The instruments might have had only 1 mic, dedicted to the
kit. good ol nuemann or the traditional ribbon mics on many
instruments & vocals.



Also JD,

Many photos of recording sessions back in the day show either one of two things happening, too. Namely : No Bass Reso at all ~ or ~ Fully intact Bass Reso. Porting the Reso head for close mic'ing wasn't happening regularly until the 1970's ( I'm guessing mid-70's ).

Pictures of Desktop mic stands set out front of the Bass Reso are around on the 'Net. They didn't isolate the drums very much. A lot of three-panel baffles, but not much in the way of a booth.

Phil Specter, of course, did his leakage thing for everybody he worked with. The Righteous Brothers and the girl groups - maybe his stuff was more on the fringe, and not so squarely Motown as such.

I wondered how they got such good snare sound with just a couple of mics on the drum kit. If you listen carefully, you can hear some cool ghost notes and really nice snare timbre.

OldFart

5.Re:Motown Sound [Re: ImDED] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: ktzj
Posted on: Nov 10, 2007 4:34 AM

I think JD got the most important point : Find an old school analog studio.

It's just almost impossible to replicate that old tape sound with all the digital equipment at our disposal today.

The drum sound that you hear on motown records probably isnt the same as it is live as well with all the compression.

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