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Author Topic: The Stephen Desper Thread  (Read 296053 times)
RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #1875 on: March 30, 2017, 03:34:28 AM »

Mr. Desper, did you manage to resolve the matter of uploading pictures from your computer?
If you read Mr. Desper's recent posts, you'll see after Billy's answer he shared Carl's signature via photobucket.
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« Reply #1876 on: March 30, 2017, 03:35:28 AM »

Mr. Desper, did you manage to resolve the matter of uploading pictures from your computer?
If you read Mr. Desper's recent posts, you'll see after Billy's answer he shared Carl's signature via photobucket.

Okay, thanks! I'll delete the above.
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« Reply #1877 on: May 29, 2017, 02:58:48 PM »

Just  finished The study video  on recording Sunflower.   Man, the effort and complexity that went into the recording of it.   You really hear the complexity  -- and the explanations  of the micing  techniques  really show stuff  you'd not hear about in most  forums these days.   These are very dense mixes,  and a decision to mic the drums further back without compression vs.  regular
micing and limiting or whatever,  I can hear in the finished product why, but I'd never think of it.   Oh the time spent in layering, reverb choices,  as well as mic choices.  Do we compress? do we not?
A million decisions. its just amazing -- and drove up the cost I am sure vs. stick mics up and go and plaster reverb and eq later.

Some things that jumped out at me:

16:1 compression on mikes vocal (dang it, forgot the song)   Its not a loud screaming  Robert Plant vocal. Smiley  Yet, other vocals, light compression or none.   I have no concept how one would
decided to do that vs. lower the fader on mixdown .    Interesting.

mic 4 feet away from acoustic guitars vs. the mic a foot or so away.   You don't notice it, as apposed to the break on Breakaway where you hear the room in the vocals.   I only caught that
because  in my early days,  tried that -- not knowing any better (or worse). Smiley
Now (correct me) except in big studios ect.  People record stuff dry and then use the massive array of reverb and spatial plugins  to get what they want.  At least I do. 
I am sure there is a subtle difference in how it sounds. 

Plastic under the vibes, would never think of that.  I can see it getting more  reflections for the PZM.

Percussion on Our Sweet Love.  I was suprised the "The big boys" [top studio, expensive]  would be using makeshift things vs. having a drum set there.   Course it works. Smiley

That off-the beat drums on Slip On Through, still kill me.  My guess is that was a mistake that everyone liked. that and the ping noise --- very Brain.

On Cool Cool Water, so much work for the stream sound. Lol.   Maybe just call over to Capitol and check their sound effects library. Smiley Smiley Smiley

I really how great they were with the vocal arrangements and singing on  Sunflower from hearing it here.  I only had the first release of Sunflower on CD -- no BB's involvement and
no matrix.

All these years, I never got the "back to vinyl" movement.  Hearing Sunflower on this high level  turntable and pre-amps,  I get it. Smiley

Now If I could get sounds like the door knocking that sounds outside of your head effect I'd be very happy.   I am sure thats special equipment.   I hear this kind of thing in background noise
in movies/shows on TV.

Amazing work put into this. I just couldn't imagine the time (on the original recordings and the videos).

Thanks very much for the toil and effort!

Jay



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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1878 on: June 03, 2017, 06:50:18 AM »

Just  finished The study video  on recording Sunflower.   Man, the effort and complexity that went into the recording of it.   You really hear the complexity  -- and the explanations  of the micing  techniques  really show stuff  you'd not hear about in most  forums these days.   These are very dense mixes,  and a decision to mic the drums further back without compression vs.  regular
micing and limiting or whatever,  I can hear in the finished product why, but I'd never think of it.   Oh the time spent in layering, reverb choices,  as well as mic choices.  Do we compress? do we not?
A million decisions. its just amazing -- and drove up the cost I am sure vs. stick mics up and go and plaster reverb and eq later.

Some things that jumped out at me:

16:1 compression on mikes vocal (dang it, forgot the song)   Its not a loud screaming  Robert Plant vocal. Smiley  Yet, other vocals, light compression or none.   I have no concept how one would
decided to do that vs. lower the fader on mixdown .    Interesting.

mic 4 feet away from acoustic guitars vs. the mic a foot or so away.   You don't notice it, as apposed to the break on Breakaway where you hear the room in the vocals.   I only caught that
because  in my early days,  tried that -- not knowing any better (or worse). Smiley
Now (correct me) except in big studios ect.  People record stuff dry and then use the massive array of reverb and spatial plugins  to get what they want.  At least I do. 
I am sure there is a subtle difference in how it sounds. 

Plastic under the vibes, would never think of that.  I can see it getting more  reflections for the PZM.

Percussion on Our Sweet Love.  I was suprised the "The big boys" [top studio, expensive]  would be using makeshift things vs. having a drum set there.   Course it works. Smiley

That off-the beat drums on Slip On Through, still kill me.  My guess is that was a mistake that everyone liked. that and the ping noise --- very Brain.

On Cool Cool Water, so much work for the stream sound. Lol.   Maybe just call over to Capitol and check their sound effects library. Smiley Smiley Smiley

I really how great they were with the vocal arrangements and singing on  Sunflower from hearing it here.  I only had the first release of Sunflower on CD -- no BB's involvement and
no matrix.

All these years, I never got the "back to vinyl" movement.  Hearing Sunflower on this high level  turntable and pre-amps,  I get it. Smiley

Now If I could get sounds like the door knocking that sounds outside of your head effect I'd be very happy.   I am sure thats special equipment.   I hear this kind of thing in background noise
in movies/shows on TV.

Amazing work put into this. I just couldn't imagine the time (on the original recordings and the videos).

Thanks very much for the toil and effort!

Jay

COMMENT to Jay:  It's posts like yours that make the book-writing effort worthwhile.

The time spent on the stream sound (mike sings) was a left-over effort to obtain all the water sounds for the Cool, Cool Water Chamberlain project.

If you haven't already, check out the study-video on Cool, Cool Water.

As to adding effects to a dry sound vs recording it all at once -- it's really about stimulation, stimulating the artist.  Which approach do you think will give a better vocal performance. Standing in a vocal booth with headphones on and singing to a pre-recorded orchestral track OR standing in front of a live orchestra and singing as they play behind you? 

Comment on close miking vs far miking.  Given a quiet studio, moving the mics away from the source produces a natural dynamic whereas close miking is more dynamic, but then a limiter will be required to control the dynamic range in a complex mix or if drums, an envelope generator is used to shape the dynamic. There is no right way -- it's whatever works for the song.

AND speaking of close miking, have you noticed that the President changed the traditional microphone setup? Ever since Nixon, the dual mic arrangement was used. Two mics, in phase, blended equally. Did not block the face, but did not allow for any dynamic variation. Given Trump's entertainment background, he wanted to "play" the mic. Control the dynamics by his own movement. This for the dramatic effect only close miking can afford. So now a change. One mic, right up to the mouth, on a flexible gooseneck that anyone can easily adjust for themselves (and do).  This gives the talker the ability to stress certain words over others, speak very softly if a person-to-person type of speech is desired, and remove all feedback problems. I understand that the photographers are upset over this microphone change, as it makes getting a clean shot of the face almost impossible. I also noticed that the mic is suspended upside-down, that is, the shock mount is hanging from the gooseneck rather than perched above it, as is the conventional approach. The upside-down mounting looks strange, but it does uncover the face somewhat and gives the audience and camera a better view of the talker.  So closeup or far miking is all about what you are trying to accomplish. Both are viable.

The 16:1 compression ratio is useful for a singer such as Mike Love who can hit the lower notes, but at a reduced level. In effect, it makes him sound as if he can sing all those low notes with equal intensity. A 4:1 or 2:1 CR is useful to keep many voices from fighting for apparent gain, that is, it makes for a better blending of several voices.

Again, thanks for taking the time to write all your detailed comments. Most appreciated.  ~swd
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« Reply #1879 on: June 03, 2017, 01:05:03 PM »

Stephen,   Thanks so much for your kind comments! 
Its extremely rare you get to talk to someone who was there  on an album you grew up with.  I was fascinated  they did this "at home" as I recorded at home (4th grade an up). 
As a kid i always thought that would be so much fun,  hey have "the life", just hangin' out at home, doing songs  and they were putting out records, how could there not be problems? Smiley Smiley
Thats another reason this is so fascinating. 
Reading your  Sunflower,  I can fell the stress and fear  as they had to go back and re-do Sunflower, ug.  I am sure it was "now what?".    I think that happened with Holland too.  UG.
The equipment, rented and permanent came out of the BB's pockets.  I couldn't imagine that.  (vs, the Beatles where I thought you just got what you needed from the company).

And being an adult now, having all these people tramping through the house (as mentioned in your book) ug. 

I tried the 16:1 on my voice (I am doing it blindly as i almost know what I am doing)  as well as a gate, and  it solved  the problem of  always having to compress (in a plugin) on mixdown.
I forgot 16:1  doesn't mean a threshold of  minus 40 or whatever -- you don't have to scream to get a sound through.  So I am learning things from your book and here. I really appreciate
it.   
I didn't know Smiley Smile was recorded through a PA or radio broadcasting board.  (as was Joshua Tree with U2 i think)..   Just interesting little tidbits.   When the Smile box came out
I hear studio quality recordings of these songs. Never understood why they didn't just cut bait and use those vs. Go home, and record something  that didn't have the fidelity -- as much
of that is what makes Smiley Smile interesting to me.   

WHat?Huh Smiley  The president isn't using the holy sm57?  DAMN IT.   Smiley      I am sure the other candidate would of used sm57's!     lol.      Its not about who is president, its about the mic
they use. Smiley Smiley

THANKS very much.
Jay

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« Reply #1880 on: June 03, 2017, 01:20:05 PM »

Oh I forgot to ask you, what equipment do you need to get those knocks in your study video to sound outside your head? that is great.

Probably sound even better through my Spatializer.   Yup, I still use it. Smiley  Especially for orchestra/reberby  ambient stuff. I  do my mixdowns of wave files on the PC (I record the tracks on a multi-track recorder), otherwise It would be fun to route everything through that on some types of music.

Jay
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« Reply #1881 on: June 03, 2017, 09:45:24 PM »

I could listen to Mr. Desper talk all day...
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1882 on: June 04, 2017, 06:53:31 AM »

Oh I forgot to ask you, what equipment do you need to get those knocks in your study video to sound outside your head? that is great.

Probably sound even better through my Spatializer.   Yup, I still use it. Smiley  Especially for orchestra/reberby  ambient stuff. I  do my mixdowns of wave files on the PC (I record the tracks on a multi-track recorder), otherwise It would be fun to route everything through that on some types of music.

Jay

Jay, If you're still using that little "fire cracker" Spatializer(R) I offered with my book a long time ago, here's how to hook it up for your mixes.

Simply connect Spatializer to the output of your mixer and before your recorder.  Doesn't matter if your mixer is virtual or real, digital or analog. Convert the digital output of a computer-mixer to analog and send that stereo signal through Spatializer. Now each input on your mixer that has a "balance" or panning control -- Left to Right -- will now have an extended left or right panning control. That is, a mono source inputted to one input and panned to the extreme left or right will image beyond the speakers left or right by about 30 degrees. The actual left will be about 30 degrees  from the extreme setting. You'll find it as you listen. No matter how many inputs you use, each panning control for each input will be capable of extended panning. If using a stereo source into two inputs (left and right), setting the panning controls to opposite sides (left -- right) will give you an expanded stereo image. You can size the image by decreasing the position of the panning controls. Less panning will give you a narrower image. You can also pan a stereo image to just left (or right) by placing one input panning control to the extreme left and the other input to center. In this case the image will be stereo-left. This can be combined with a stereo-right image to give you a broader panorama. You can input as many stereo sources, combined with mono sources, and pan them as required. No matter how many inputs you use, each panning control will have the extended action giving you an expanded image. This will give you much more control over the overall stereo image of your mix. Try it. Have fun! 
   ~swd
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« Reply #1883 on: June 04, 2017, 10:51:40 AM »

Thank you very much for your time in explaining this.  I am going to try it.   Its all about learning AND FUN.
This will be a whole new avenue of fun and  "research".   As time permits,  I am going to try it, and post  the results.  Other folks here might be interested.
I have isolated instrument tracks from Wild Honey, that I got on this site,  and I have figured out how to hook this up.  So my OCD can run wild.

again,  thanks so much for being involved here.  I don't mean to kiss up, but its a lot of joy.   Learned so much. already.   

Best regards
Jay
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« Reply #1884 on: June 04, 2017, 11:11:51 AM »

Oh, I went and looked at my stereo system I have the HTML  2510.   In case anyone is interested. 

  I remember I only knew about it from  Stereo Review  review.   A magazine sadly gone.  Well, much like  quality stereo ect
equipment for the masses.  DAMNED WHIPPERSNAPPERS! Smiley   



The other   Jay. (in this forum) Smiley 


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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1885 on: June 04, 2017, 05:27:49 PM »

Oh, I went and looked at my stereo system I have the HTML  2510.   In case anyone is interested. 

  I remember I only knew about it from  Stereo Review  review.   A magazine sadly gone.  Well, much like  quality stereo ect
equipment for the masses.  DAMNED WHIPPERSNAPPERS! Smiley   



The other   Jay. (in this forum) Smiley

COMMENT:  Don't confuse me with multiple personalities, I'm confused enough.

Set the HTML on max, and use the same way as described with the "firecracker" Spatializer. Hook up the same way to your mixer.
~swd 



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« Reply #1886 on: June 04, 2017, 05:55:07 PM »

Smiley Smiley    I can't confuse you with multiple personalities,   I am crazy (otherwise I'd go insane).

anyway, thanks. going to test this.   

again, thanks.
Jay   
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« Reply #1887 on: June 26, 2017, 10:08:31 PM »

Hello Mr. Desper,

I just wanted to say thanks for the amazing work you did with the Beach Boys. I got into them around 2004 and the first time I heard "All I Wanna Do", I was taken to another dimension of music that I've never returned from. It has remained my favorite recording of all time throughout all of the experiences I've had over the last decade of my musical journeys, and I'm sure it has just as much to do with your touch on the engineering as it does the song's composition. Your work on that song has given me an ethereal ideal that has permanently influenced my approach to recording music.

I also discovered your extra notes about the recording on your website and thoroughly enjoyed the effort you put into your commentary. Thanks again.
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