100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:21 am

Naive Teen Idol wrote:Do folks have any suggestions for reverbs and delays? I find that running delays through phasers go a long way toward gooping things up and making it all less crispy...
Analogue delay, tape delay, digital delay with filtering in the feedback path. The most used things in my studio are the E1010 and the Timefactor, they're fantastic for grunging stuff up just the right amount. As for reverbs, run stuff out through amps or speakers and then record the room sound. Just don't do it in a shitty sounding room unless you want a shitty sounding reverb.
space6oy wrote:
GeneralBigbag wrote:Am I the only person in the world who only uses their Behringer to allow them to listen to multiple instruments at once, but has never recorded through one?
i have one i've just used for live shows. running a bunch of gear to whatever PA manned by whoever, might as well stick w/ the cheap solution to boil things down to two direct lines. i'd like to switch to one w/ built in reverb eventually, another sacrifice but i'll probably stick w/ another behringer.
Do yourself a favour and pick up a Yamaha MG series instead. Not the most amazing thing ever but the EQ is usable and build quality is much better. Also the ethics of the company are less questionable.

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by GeneralBigbag » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:24 am

The Soundtoys bundle is quite fantastic. It's something that I'm finding requires a fair bit of learning (it was a little underwhelming at first), but the options that you get for subtle tone sculpting is just amazing.
virb.com/ookpikk

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by space6oy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:47 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Do yourself a favour and pick up a Yamaha MG series instead. Not the most amazing thing ever but the EQ is usable and build quality is much better. Also the ethics of the company are less questionable.
thanks for the suggestion... but are you talking instead of the behringer or the roland? regardless, the MG's are a lot more expensive... in comparison to the M-24e though, the MG24's stereo tracks don't have individual sends, do they?

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:31 am

I was thinking instead of the Behringer, I'm not familiar with the Roland. What do you mean by individual sends? Being able to send to the auxes from the right and left channels separately or direct outs?

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by space6oy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:52 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:I was thinking instead of the Behringer, I'm not familiar with the Roland. What do you mean by individual sends? Being able to send to the auxes from the right and left channels separately or direct outs?
yeah an MG would cost like 4x the price of a behringer.
i meant direct outs, and was thinking of how individual sends can be used for that, but they're pre-fader so that'd scrap my intention. will have to look up the M-24e's manual again, bet those are pre-fader sends. hmph.

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by zmd » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:55 pm

the art tube mp. what a great "secret weapon" on the cheap! they make a usb interface one also, so, you can have those subtle tubes right before the conversion...and they are what, a hundred bux?
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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by Pilot352 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:07 pm

tallowwaters wrote:My best advice is to quit worrying about bullshit marketing tags like warmth, fat, or whatever and make music. Any type of music that requires a particular instrument is a ripe piece of s**t needing to be blown out of the water. Rules in art are for people that not just need spoonfed answers, but are foolish enough to look for answers in the first place. Make as much music while you can whenever you can and quit worrying about technique, which you will learn as keep going. You live in a world of information overload and still keep asking the same f**k questions, so what is that telling you? Getting this s**t out of your mind and out in the air (doesn't always have to be documented/recorded, keep that in mind) is far more cathartic than leaning forward into the screen and f**k twiddling away until you forgot whatever muse you had to begin with...
Admittedly TW, I'm not one of your biggest fans... but, this is one of your best and most profound statements to date!!! Bravo!!! =D> =D>
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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:36 pm

zmd wrote:the art tube mp...those subtle tubes
I wouldn't call starved plate tube subtle....which is the point of those boxes I guess.

Disclaimer: I use an ART TubePAC myself
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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:02 pm

Pilot352 wrote:
Admittedly TW, I'm not one of your biggest fans
Dude, don't lie. :lol:

Thanks anyways, I guess..... :^o
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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:41 am

meatballfulton wrote:
zmd wrote:the art tube mp...those subtle tubes
I wouldn't call starved plate tube subtle....which is the point of those boxes I guess.

Disclaimer: I use an ART TubePAC myself
I have a Tube MP and I can confirm they are anything but subtle.

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:12 am

Disclaimer:
In my opinion, the 1980s synths with their purity and cleanliness and stereo sound and etc. are probably less difficult to emulate with software. They, to me, are less distinctive in comparison with modern synths because of a lot of "improvements" like pitch stability (DCOs, I'm looking in your direction), precision, stereo sound, reduced noise, more ICs, etc. While they still have a great sound, they're just too damned improved to generate the sort of aural differences older synths do in comparison to software, emulators, etc.
So: all of the suggestions I am about to type are in regard to making your computer sound vintage vintage, not just 1980s vintage.

1. Let go of stereo. Most analog synths weren't in stereo. Recording a supercool pad patch in stereo is a bit of a giveaway. Record in mono. If you want to pan your synth in the stereo field, that's okay.

2. Make your oscillators misbehave. That desirable analog sound comes from drifty or imprecise (or both) oscillators. Do something to make your oscs drift... like a very very slight very slow pitch LFO.

3. Let go of resonance When all the great synth players were famous for playing all the great synths, they (in comparison to now) didn't really crank on the resonance and worship the filter sweep. Synths in the 70s were mostly NOT resonancy. Learn to embrace the delight of a filter envelope which ISN'T sounding like a TB-303. Discover a time when resonance was a subtle effect and not the ON OR OFF effect it is now.

4. Distort The delightful frothy yumminess often called "fat" has to do with distortion... it is equally present when the resonance is off, and the notes aren't deep. You get it by slightly overdriving your oscillators or filters (or, at least, that's where Moog is getting it from) It's a difficult thing to fake unless you're a programmer unless your softsynth has the ability to modulate oscillators and filters with HFOs (or, audio-range oscillators). If your softsynth has that capability, use it! Apply HFO modulation to your filters or oscillators or both... but judiciously. The point where it becomes distinctly noticeable is too much!

5. Learn to live with noise. Or, "Distort, Part 2." A good way to add fat is to run your synth through a tube amp or tube preamp. Find an overdrive setting where it doesn't sound overdriven, but isn't NOT overdriven, either. Yes, this will add noise... but you WANT noise. Vintage synths were noisy and hissy and hummy. If you want vintage, you WANT noise.

6. I know you want to beat me for this, but don't sequence. Was sequencing occurring in the 70s? You betcha. However, sequencing overtook the world in the 80s... and has continued up until today. As a result, a sequenced synth sounds modern, even if it is a Moog modular. Try to avoid sequencing if you can... your (hopefully) slight imprecisions will trick your listener's ears. (by sequencing, I primarily mean quantizing)

7. Listen to vintage synths. Do NOT listen to recordings of vintage synths buried in with lots of more modern synths played in modern genres... it will not help you get a vintage sound. Listen to vintage synths in their natural vintage habitat... even if that means you have to listen to music you're not into. It will help you understand the differences between what vintage synths sounded like when they earned their following, as opposed to what they sound like now.

8. Avoid using functionality not found on vintage synths. Research the functionality found on your favourite vintage synth, and don't do anything with your softsynth which that synth couldn't do.
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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:13 am

meatballfulton wrote:Disclaimer: I use an ART TubePAC myself
I do too!
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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by widdly » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:04 am

Some great suggestions here. For vintage sounds I like to roll off the high end and add a tiny little of pitch modulation (random if available).

Another idea that I guess is not really vintage (more realistic or non-sterile) is to mix in a little bit of ambient noise. Setup an omni mic in the biggest room of you house and record a few minutes of silence then layer it with your tracks at a low level. It adds a subtle space to the recording.

A lot of PC based distortions and overdrives don't sound so hot so it is nice to try running them through real guitar pedals. However you can get genuine analog distortion on any track on your pc without any external gear except a cable. Route an output on your soundcard into an input and overdrive the input a little (or a lot). You need to think about your monitoring setup here so you don't get crazy feedback. You can eq the re-recorded track,time shift it to compensate for the soundcard latency and try blending it with the clean signal.

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by ned-ryarson » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:16 pm

widdly wrote:Another idea that I guess is not really vintage (more realistic or non-sterile) is to mix in a little bit of ambient noise. Setup an omni mic in the biggest room of you house and record a few minutes of silence then layer it with your tracks at a low level. It adds a subtle space to the recording.
must try that

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Re: 100 Ways to Make Vintage Sounds on a Computer

Post by Naive Teen Idol » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:23 pm

AG, great, great suggestions. Agree on all counts. I love the ultimate hardware vintage guy here giving ideas to us software heads! You got us 8% of the way there!
Automatic Gainsay wrote:4. Distort The delightful frothy yumminess often called "fat" has to do with distortion... it is equally present when the resonance is off, and the notes aren't deep. You get it by slightly overdriving your oscillators or filters (or, at least, that's where Moog is getting it from) It's a difficult thing to fake unless you're a programmer unless your softsynth has the ability to modulate oscillators and filters with HFOs (or, audio-range oscillators). If your softsynth has that capability, use it! Apply HFO modulation to your filters or oscillators or both... but judiciously. The point where it becomes distinctly noticeable is too much!
I like this one in particular. The TimewARP 2600 has HFO -- I use it regularly on the filter, but I should try more w/ the oscillators.

One small point to add:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Disclaimer:
6. I know you want to beat me for this, but don't sequence. Was sequencing occurring in the 70s? You betcha. However, sequencing overtook the world in the 80s... and has continued up until today. As a result, a sequenced synth sounds modern, even if it is a Moog modular. Try to avoid sequencing if you can... your (hopefully) slight imprecisions will trick your listener's ears. (by sequencing, I primarily mean quantizing)
I would include your delays in that -- don't sync them to MIDI. Analog tape delay was neither precise nor consistent -- in the 1970's, you'd frequently hear delay times that were approximately sync'd to tempo drift as the tape speed wobbled. It makes a difference.

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