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618833 Posts in 24939 Topics by 3548 Members - Latest Member: leafy October 21, 2017, 10:42:40 AM
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Author Topic: "Run James, Run" Streaming at P4K  (Read 6210 times)
HeyJude
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« Reply #100 on: September 28, 2017, 09:26:45 AM »

Ive been holding back with any new comments, but now i really feel that i need to inject my opinion . I love  RJR! Im disappointed in the overall CD. Greatest Hits? One For The Boys not on it? Your  Imagination ,the only top ten single Brian ever had as a solo artist not on it? Some Sweet Day  was the  record companies answer to what new fans like myself wanted to hear? Pretty sad. I still bought the CD!  On another front,This smushing conspiracy theory doesnt make any sense to me. Joe Thomas is the smusher from what im reading. He's not listed as the producer on TWGMTR yet  the theory is that he came in and while taking no credit caused all of the smashing? He  WAS credited on NPP and of course caused the smushing? And then even though he is credited with Brian as the co producer of RJR , which many of you admit sounds great, and i agree, he came in and  smushed one  line? The non smushed vocals were  taken from a session that he was  not in attendance ?  How do we know this? Or is this how it reads? Brian now  free this year finally  from the " shackles that were binding him down " ( Joe Thomas) un smushed a few new lines alone this year at the  session that Thomas was not part of!  Im just trying to get this all understood.  In the meantime i would prefer to  just sticking to the known facts. Im going to enjoy  the one new song that we all seem to agree is a step in the right direction! I  am happy that we have  an uptempo Rock Brian track with great guitar playing written by Brian and Thomas, and produced by Brian and Thomas, and sounding way more in line with what fans  my age ( 24 ) listen to, than the dated tracks that are being dusted off from the nineties. I do not care if  its Andy Paley , Joe Thomas, Mike Love or whomever Brian chooses to make new music with , I just want to hear NEW MUSIC from Brian. And I am sorry ,but I do not hear any smushing!

There's no conspiracy theory regarding the "smushing" vocal effect. It's just something we've noticed that is prevalent to varying degrees on a few recent projects. Nobody has said it's done by the hand of one person. It's impossible to know. I'm guessing both Brian and Joe Thomas wanted the stuff to sound that way.

Joe Thomas arguably had a *stronger* hand in the TWGMTR album than he did on NPP. The producer credits/non-credits are just a PR/political thing. I think they wanted "Produced by Brian Wilson" to be on the BB reunion album, so Thomas settled for a strange "Recorded by" credit (and I'm guessing traded an actual producer credit for a few "producer points" on the album).

Most accounts I've seen of NPP indicate Thomas was heavily involved to a similar degree as TWGMTR up to a point, and then later sessions didn't involve him as much (or maybe at all). Nevertheless, he surely warranted a co-producer credit given the work that he *did* do on it.

Regarding the Brian CD, it's not a "Greatest Hits" CD, because Brian hasn't really had any "hit" singles/songs as a solo artist. (I'm not sure which chart had "Your Imagination" in the Top 10, maybe it was the AC charts or something, but it certainly didn't hit Top 10 on the Billboard singles chart). The CD is an "anthology" of what he (apparently) feels is some of his best work. I think we'd all pick slightly different songs. Most of us agree "Your Imagination" was a no-brainer. I probably wouldn't have ever gone with "One for the Boys", which I think is okay but not among his best works of that type.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 09:28:03 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #101 on: September 28, 2017, 09:27:05 AM »

I don't see any conspiracy being suggested, or even real criticism. We're just discussing some interesting audible aspects of the song and wondering--yes, speculating--how it was done.

I enjoy RJR.

Thomas did work on both twgmtr and npp though.
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« Reply #102 on: September 28, 2017, 10:08:07 AM »

Here's what I don't understand, and it's just my opinion. Regarding the vocals on NPP, the engineer Wesley Seidman who sat elbow to elbow with Brian as they mixed the tracks for NPP described in detail with specifics what was done, down to which rooms at Ocean Way were used for which tracks, and also the specific types and models of mics and outboard gear that was used. I posted that several years ago, and will post it again. If there is any doubt about what was or wasn't done or used, I have a hard time thinking what more people would want to know short of a track-by-track dissection of the dozens of individual numbered tracks that were mixed together to make the NPP final mix.

And ultimately, it comes down to using your own ears. This isn't meant to sound like it's talking down or trying to squash speculation, but if someone has worked for years with this gear and knows what an 1176 does to a track versus an LA-2A versus an Empirical Labs Distressor...that's part of knowing what certain gear sounds like, just like a guitarist can hear when a Fender Strat was recorded in the out-of-phase "in between" pickup position versus a Les Paul with humbuckers. It's part of knowing the tools of the trade.\

This "smooshing" or whatever it's being called? Anyone with Garage Band on a Mac product can try this. Sing "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on track 1. Sing the exact same thing over it on track 2. Then do the same thing again on track 3. Combine them all and listen to the effect it creates. That's manual double-tracking. Triple tracking. Quadruple tracking. That's what a lot of Brian's vocals had dating back to the 60's and all that stuff was bounced down to a mono track.

Now try this. Record "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on track 1. Copy and paste that exact track to track 2. Then copy and paste again to track 3. You have three exact copies of the same vocal playing together. There is no effect because it's exactly the same. Now...take the copy on track 2, and throw the pitch ever so slightly flat on that track. Then take the copy on track 3 and throw the pitch ever so slightly sharp. Now combine them together and listen. That is the effect of ADT/automatic double tracking as made famous by Abbey Road as done in the digital age with the most basic tools on any DAW.

Sound "smooshed"?

Ok...then listen to, oh, Mike Love's last few single releases. *That* is Autotune. Not "smooshing", not ADT, but Autotune. Listen to some of Mike's early 90's or even 80's solo attempts and demos. Do they sound "smooshed"? Consider there was a ubiquitous piece of gear called the Eventide Harmonizer in various incarnations that was used to create certain stacked and layered vocal effects, and to also in some cases hide pitchy vocal tracks. Sometimes it's easy to pick out and all kinds of engineers and producers kind of went mad with it throughout the 80's and 90's depending on the style and sound they were mixing for. It's on everything from Bon Jovi guitar solos to (insert artist name here) lead vocals on hit records.

So as someone with a half-decent ear and some experience twiddling the knobs and pushing all those little buttons "all in" on the old 1176...it's sometimes funny to see/read/hear the speculation still going on about Brian's vocals and NPP when the guy who actually mixed the majority of that record is on the record describing what was done.

And there are photos that showed up on social media not long ago showing Brian tracking vocals to Run James Run. Recent, not years ago.

My 2 cents. Happy listening!  Smiley
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 10:11:26 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #103 on: September 28, 2017, 10:08:33 AM »

For reference and refresh:

http://mixonline.com/recording/artists_engineers_producers/brian_wilson_and_friends_at_ocean_way_studios/

Between Brian Wilson and Ocean Way Studios, Hollywood, you’ve got a whole lot of history, and a lot of musical possibilities.

Wilson began his latest project—an upcoming album of solo performances and duets with famous guests—in the three-studio complex a year-and-a-half ago. Now, fans are waiting with baited breath to hear the tracks, which at press time were being mixed by Bob Clearmountain.

“When Brian finished that last Beach Boys record [That’s Why God Made the Radio, 2012], he soon after began work on this one,” says Ocean Way’s senior staff engineer, Wesley Seidman, who recorded the new tracks. “Brian never stops writing. He’ll come in with a vocal idea, a piano demo that he made on his Dictaphone at home or he will just sit at the piano in the live room, and quickly those ideas become a song.”

Seidman captured the performances to Pro Tools in all three of the studios at Ocean Way (A, B and D), but the engineer says Wilson prefers to do live band tracking and orchestral sections in Studio B, a room that has also hosted sessions for award-winning albums by Green Day, Radiohead, and Eric Clapton with B.B. King: “It’s just the sound and feel of the room itself, and the [custom 56-Input 8068/8088] Neve doesn’t hurt,” Seidman says. “He did almost all of the work on his solo records in there. But he also likes Studio A, where we cut a few tracks and is my favorite room for strings. We also cut a lot of the background vocals and guest vocals for the new album in D.”

Though the final track list wasn’t available at press time, Seidman reveals that guests who cut with Wilson for this upcoming album include musician/producer/label exec Don Was on bass; guitarist Dean Parks; drummers Jim Keltner and Kenny Aronoff; and in-demand vocalists such as Zooey Deschanel, country star Kacey Musgraves, Nate Ruess of Fun., and popular singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey.

Wilson’s vocals were recorded in all three rooms with a Neumann U 47. In Studio A, his voice went through the modified Focusrite console to a Teletronix LA-2A. “In D, we would go through the remote Neve pre’s into an [Universal Audio] 1176, and then toward the last third of the record, I purchased a modified API mic pre, which has amazing bandwidth, and sent the 47 through that, into an 1176. And this is all flat—Brian EQs himself by moving around the mic, which he does naturally. We also used a plethora of [UAD] reverb and delay plug-ins. This enabled us to automate the delay and reverb times for each section of the songs where desired. Brian and I both like the FX to be just right.

“It’s always a pleasure to record such a talented and professional artist like Brian,” Seidman continues. “He also is actually a very funny person. He’s one of the few people able to make me laugh out loud on a regular basis.”

One of the advantages of working in a studio with Ocean Way’s history and reputation is the opportunity to audition new equipment, alongside the vintage. On Wilson’s sessions, Seidman tried out a batch of brand-new Sanken microphones.

“Jim Pace brought us these super-high-fidelity mics—the C0-100Ks,” says Seidman whose nine years and counting at Ocean Way were preceded by stints with Nathaniel Kunkel and Conway Studios. “We tried them on drum overheads, orchestra and horn rooms—they were really amazing. We also used them on a mandolin and acoustic lap steel. Another mic they gave us was the CU-55, which is my new favorite acoustic guitar and banjo mic. It really captures the instrument as it is. It complements the dynamics, so there was no need for a compressor. It’s one of my future purchases for sure.

“Ocean Way is one of only a handful of studios left where you get the opportunity to try the latest things in a controlled environment,” Seidman says. “I also think that musicians actually play differently when they’re there. I’ve worked with a lot of these same players in other places and they’re always amazing, but it’s almost like they get into a different zone when recording in these rooms. There is something very unique about the way the rooms sound and feel at Ocean Way, to the point where I’ve had friends call me up and ask, ‘Was this done at Ocean Way?’ They can tell. They’re getting some kind of overall picture of the rooms themselves and the way people play when they record in them.”
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« Reply #104 on: September 28, 2017, 10:20:35 AM »

doubling, tripling, etc isn't what we've been talking about, but as always your patronizing tone is appreciated.

And for the record, it's "smushed." I've posted at length before. Feel free to go read it again. (Not really, I'm just being a dick here.)
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« Reply #105 on: September 28, 2017, 10:28:42 AM »

doubling, tripling, etc isn't what we've been talking about, but as always your patronizing tone is appreciated.

And for the record, it's "smushed." I've posted at length before. Feel free to go read it again. (Not really, I'm just being a dick here.)

Yes, you are being a dick. I agree. If you take it as patronizing, that's your bag. At some point if there are people who actually did the work on the album/tracks saying how things were done, and other people who have experience with recording and mixing giving their 2-cents as in hands on experience, consider listening to them.

If some fans don't know what manual versus digital doubletracking sounds like on vocals, the recipe is given above for them to try on their own setups. Then see how much of this abhorrent, overused "processing" people complain about is actually that more than someone smearing digital rackmount or plugin effects on Brian's (or whoever else's) vocal tracks like putting globs of butter on a hot dinner roll.

Patronizing? Sure.
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« Reply #106 on: September 28, 2017, 10:30:33 AM »

You forgot to reference the attempted coups and banned members.
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« Reply #107 on: September 28, 2017, 10:32:41 AM »

You forgot to reference the attempted coups and banned members.

You mean failed coups? There, I just mentioned them. Banned members? You know where to rub elbows with them if you choose. That's past history, sport.
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"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #108 on: September 28, 2017, 10:36:53 AM »

I actually appreciate the response! Its becoming clearer to me.

1) With respect to my previous statement I do stand corrected, according to Wikipedia, Your Imagination was Top Twenty on the Billboard AC Charts. My point is that it still should be on this anthology

2) I love the explanation by Seidman as to how HE recorded Brian. No mention of Joe Thomas smooshing though. So if Seidman is the guy recording this, Why isn't he accused of being the smoosher?

3) I am a bigger Stevie Nicks fan than Brian. A Joe Thomas is listed as a producer or co producer on several of her releases. Is this the same guy?

4) A Bob Clearmountan is listed as mixer on NPP. If Seidman was mixing elbow to elbow with Brian on NPP, why wasn't Clearmountain mentioned in the Seidman article? Why isn't Seidman listed as mixer?

5) When you read about NPP on Wikipedia, there are accusations that Thomas auto tuned the album. If Seidman mixed or Clearmountain mixed, did Thomas steal the tapes and Auto tune and smoosh them while all of these other guys weren't looking?

Joe Thomas must have the worst publicist in the world.  Or he just doesn't care or realize what people are saying about him. Andy Paley is listed on the Imagination WIKI page as bashing him. To me Paley  really comes off as pretty jealous. So do a couple of other people on that WIKI page. On the NPP page they reference other bashers. Yet we never or almost never hear from Thomas. Or do we and Im to new to have noticed?

If i were this guy I would say something.
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« Reply #109 on: September 28, 2017, 10:41:20 AM »

Attempted would imply failed or I'd have just said coup.

But really, smushing: what I've described and meant by this isn't just doubling or otherwise multitracking vocals. It has been what seems to be often seamless blending of lines across people. A Brian-into-Matt that's suddenly Brian again, for example, especially when it's not as easy to detect because of numerous parts going on to distract. Or in RJR, in the refrain, hints of different people's voices (based on timbre, pronunciation) without it being obvious throughout that they're both/all there or obvious edits/break points. That's explicitly what I've been talking about (in a complimentary way, by the way). Your parachuting in to condescend about doubling, how we should have memorized your irrelevant previous NPP post, and the implication that we were being negative, is pretty annoying. So yeah, I'm not above being sarcastic in return.

I hope you now know the glory of the smush. All hail King Smush.
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« Reply #110 on: September 28, 2017, 10:43:30 AM »

Or he just doesn't care


I'd guess that's the case.
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« Reply #111 on: September 28, 2017, 10:49:39 AM »

Actually, the first time I was aware of this in a Brian Wilson solo recording was on "Wonderful" from BWPS, where the lead is a combination of Brian vocal tracks (at least a couple) and at least one of Jeff, mixed so it's like a third voice.
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« Reply #112 on: September 28, 2017, 10:54:27 AM »

Actually, the first time I was aware of this in a Brian Wilson solo recording was on "Wonderful" from BWPS, where the lead is a combination of Brian vocal tracks (at least a couple) and at least one of Jeff, mixed so it's like a third voice.
To me, that was the more standard idea of a stronger singer doubling the weaker one with the stronger one emphasized and then more or less solo when out of the weaker one's range. What really turned me on more recently was how it began feeling like a magic trick full of misdirection, or where the transition seemed unnoticeable until after it had happened.
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« Reply #113 on: September 28, 2017, 10:55:59 AM »

I actually appreciate the response! Its becoming clearer to me.

1) With respect to my previous statement I do stand corrected, according to Wikipedia, Your Imagination was Top Twenty on the Billboard AC Charts. My point is that it still should be on this anthology

2) I love the explanation by Seidman as to how HE recorded Brian. No mention of Joe Thomas smooshing though. So if Seidman is the guy recording this, Why isn't he accused of being the smoosher?

3) I am a bigger Stevie Nicks fan than Brian. A Joe Thomas is listed as a producer or co producer on several of her releases. Is this the same guy?

4) A Bob Clearmountan is listed as mixer on NPP. If Seidman was mixing elbow to elbow with Brian on NPP, why wasn't Clearmountain mentioned in the Seidman article? Why isn't Seidman listed as mixer?

5) When you read about NPP on Wikipedia, there are accusations that Thomas auto tuned the album. If Seidman mixed or Clearmountain mixed, did Thomas steal the tapes and Auto tune and smoosh them while all of these other guys weren't looking?

Joe Thomas must have the worst publicist in the world.  Or he just doesn't care or realize what people are saying about him. Andy Paley is listed on the Imagination WIKI page as bashing him. To me Paley  really comes off as pretty jealous. So do a couple of other people on that WIKI page. On the NPP page they reference other bashers. Yet we never or almost never hear from Thomas. Or do we and Im to new to have noticed?

If i were this guy I would say something.


Produced by Brian Wilson and Joe Thomas
Bonus Tracks Produced by Brian Wilson
Arranged by Brian Wilson

Mixed by Bob Clearmountain at Mix This! Los Angeles, CA
Recorded by Frank Pappalardo, Wesley M. Seidman, Bill Hare
Additional Mixing by Brian Wilson, Frank Pappalardo, Wesley M. Seidman, Bill Hare, Joe Thomas, Mark Linett
Additional Engineers: Sergio Ruelas, Jr., Larry Millas, Mike Czaszwicz, Gary Griffin, Nick Rowe, Andrew Twiss, Nick Walusko, Darian Sahanaja, Mark Linett, Steve Desper
Assistant Engineers: Mickey Evelyn, Rouble Kapoor, Leslie Richter, Patrick DeWitte, Tyler Parkinson
Studios: Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA; Grand Victor Sound Recording, Nashville, TN; Behind The Car Wash, St. Charles, IL; Legacy Studio, Burr Ridge, IL; CRC, Chicago, IL; Tomorrow Labs Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Rax Trax Recording, Chicago, IL; Wet Dog Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Sebu's Vocals Recorded at Stereotrain Studios


It would be helpful if there is a question about credits to hear from Bob Clearmountain himself what he did or didn't do regarding the NPP album. But if the names of the people are known to fans reading those credits, it's pretty easy to piece together who did what on the various tracks. And also, despite some grumbling from various fans and banned members of this forum a few years ago, it's also relatively easy to see why there were so many listings for recording locations and engineers considering how some of the tracks were assembled from existing recordings, how guest artists like Sebu or Peter Hollens may have cut certain tracks on their own, why multiple studios based in Illinois are cited, etc. It all makes sense.

And if Wes Seidman describes adding specific reverbs and whatnot to the tracks, with Brian working next to him, that's part of the mixing process too, I'd say. Which is why they get credited, perhaps. As far as Bob's credits, having a fresh set of ears do a final mix and/or mastering is standard practice. Nothing clandestine or shifty going on, and nothing outside the norm especially with a major label release.
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"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #114 on: September 28, 2017, 11:14:14 AM »

If multiple voices or vocalists are singing the same line, the same phrase and melody notes, and it's doubling an existing part or vocal, the same effect will be created as ADT or "doubling" as in manual double tracking. If it's in the same range, same octave, same line, the same swirling/chorusing effect will happen. Not exactly like the same voice doing the double, but the same effects will happen. Brian was doing this technique in the 60's as we all know.

It is funny to see the various conspiracies of clandestine mixing, adding effects in secret mix sessions, somehow hijacking the tapes and adding things after the fact forgetting that any final mixing and mastering would get approval before going to the pressing stage...and it's even more hilarious to see some between the lines implications through the years suggesting Brian himself was merely a passenger on the train and had little input into how the final product actually sounded. Had that happened in the past? To some degree, yes it did. And where that seemed to be the case, I think it's a bit easier to pick out given the surroundings and circumstances. But on NPP? No, this was not the case no matter what the internet says. Unless Brian, Wesley, and others who were actually there and involved are all lying to perpetrate a mythology and hide the truth.  LOL

The real shame is that the NPP album to my ears sounds amazing, and on audiophile terms alone it is a fantastic sounding, pure mix considering how many instruments and vocals some of the tracks feature. The mix breathes, it has depth and definition, and very little of the layered sounds and tracks get buried in washes of sound and effects as could easily happen with this many tracks. It's an audiophile quality mix. It's a shame various political influences combined with sheer ignorance clouded the fact that the album sounds terrific and is a great high-quality listen on purely audiophile terms.
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

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"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #115 on: September 28, 2017, 11:17:07 AM »

Who is talking conspiracies or diminishing Brian?

And again, I explicitly excluded simple doubling (whether with the same or multiple singers).

I think you're playing defense against an imaginary offense.
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« Reply #116 on: September 28, 2017, 11:17:41 AM »

In addition to what GF said above...heavy compression on top of the tracking techniques, mixed with liberal use of a de-esser, can create a "warbly" sound (or "smushing") . Having used this effect many many times over the years, on outside productions  I can personally attest to it. I've done this on sessions some years ago when the artist wanted the , ahem, "Cher" effect on his vocals, and I didn't have access to the unit (this was before the Autotune VDI plug in). But I tricked him into thinking it was used!
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« Reply #117 on: September 28, 2017, 11:31:36 AM »

Gotta be pedantic with you billy: the warble isn't the smush (at least as I've been describing it). But yes, the warble is easier to explain. (Anyone who has ever tuned a guitar by tuning one string to another understands how that works.) I didn't know about the heavy compression and de-essing method though.
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« Reply #118 on: September 28, 2017, 11:37:55 AM »

Gotta be pedantic with you billy: the warble isn't the smush (at least as I've been describing it). But yes, the warble is easier to explain. (Anyone who has ever tuned a guitar by tuning one string to another understands how that works.) I didn't know about the heavy compression and de-essing method though.

Good point.  I couldn't think of the exact term to use.

I spend a lot of time experimenting with trying to recreate effects manually.  It's fun for me actually, creating my own effects.  Much better than using presets!
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« Reply #119 on: September 28, 2017, 11:40:39 AM »

No one is saying anything clandestine happened or without Brian's knowledge.

We're simply noting something that is audible on TWGMTR and NPP, which is that bits of other singers' vocals are sometimes mixed in -- smushed -- with Brian's chorused leads. I didn't think this was controversial, or something that we needed to have an inquisition about.

Obviously, this doesn't happen on something like "One Kind of Love" or other barer, single-tracked style lead vocals. But Brian is doubling up with Al and Matt and Jeff all over NPP. And I don't see why it wasn't his conscious decision -- even Ray Lawlor once noted how great it sounded when Brian and Al sang a lead in unison. It wouldn't be odd to then favor one track or another while mixing.
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« Reply #120 on: September 28, 2017, 11:41:03 AM »

Yeah, I think part of the problem here is:

1. The "smushing" discussion took place, at least on my part, in a different thread concerning the TWGMTR album.

2. Nobody made any accusations, or floated conspiracy theories, or even really questioned how or why it was done. It was really truly just a case of "that record sounds like several voices smushed together", along with in some cases people saying they didn't prefer that sound, or did prefer that sound, or were ambivalent about it.

For instance, I'm not a big fan of it in general. I prefer clear, upfront, often dry lead vocals. The "smush" we talked about is more than just double-tracking (or ADT, etc.). As Wirestone mentioned, it's more the mixing of multiple voices together (two, or sometimes more) to create a "voice" that sounds like a *third* voice.

This isn't the same as Lennon and McCartney uncannily singing in unison on early Beatles records, or individual Beatles or whomever double tracking their own voice.

The "smush" effect may be functionally done in the same fashion in the literal sense of combining multiple vocal passes. But it ends up as Wirestone mentioned, "smushed' together where the individual components aren't easily discernible and often creates a sort of "new" voice. I have no doubt everything in the performance and recording chain contribute to this sound.

On some of the "lead" vocals on TWGMTR, for instance the title track, there are times during the lead where it's clearly several voices, but it ends up sounding a bit cluttered or muddy in my opinion. It starts sounding like two Brians, then two Als, then one of each, then a weird sort of third voice. Compare the verse lines in "That's Why God Made the Radio" to the opening lines of, say, "This Beautiful Day." Those are the two extremes we're talking about.

I'm not questioning *how* they did this; I know how. I suppose I don't specifically know why, though "it's what Brian and Joe wanted" is as good an answer as any, and sufficient for me.

Even describing the "smushing" effect was only undertaken so folks could understand what we're talking about.

I dig double tracking vocals in certain circumstances, where it's still clear and fresh and not super processed. Listen to the final lines of Al's recording of "California Feelin'." That's some old school double tracking. It's still very clear. You can hear Al doubled up.

Wirestone's citing of the '04 version of "Wonderful" is a *perfect* example of the "third voice" effect. Another good example would be the final lines of "Free As A Bird", where McCartney's voice and Lennon's demo vocal have been combined and do a pretty effective of job of sounding more like one beefed-up voice. McCartney actually shadowed that lead through most of the song, though how much his vocal peeks through depends on which mix you listen to (there are at least four to choose from).
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« Reply #121 on: September 28, 2017, 11:41:43 AM »

In addition to what GF said above...heavy compression on top of the tracking techniques, mixed with liberal use of a de-esser, can create a "warbly" sound (or "smushing") . Having used this effect many many times over the years, on outside productions  I can personally attest to it. I've done this on sessions some years ago when the artist wanted the , ahem, "Cher" effect on his vocals, and I didn't have access to the unit (this was before the Autotune VDI plug in). But I tricked him into thinking it was used!

That's one of the main issues I think - not just in these cases but with some of the reactions and theories behind NPP - A lot of very musical, very experienced musicians and people in general might hear something like a compressor pumping hard and various filters and gates and EQ applications without knowing what is creating those sounds and think it's something akin to Autotune. If someone wants Autotune on a track and can be convinced that a chain of other effects is Autotune, or the sounds satisfy their requests and they're happy as a studio client, then that's a good result all around. If someone hears compression and doubling and chorusing and gating and whatnot as "Autotune" and wants to use it as a knock against the engineer/mixer or artist in general for using such an abhorrent effect...then they simply are talking sh*t on something they don't comprehend. There is a difference.

But the fact that doubling effects and other uses of effect chains can be misheard as Autotune says a lot.
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« Reply #122 on: September 28, 2017, 11:44:03 AM »

Listen to the Heroes And Villains mix where Mike and Brian share leads on the verses. 1967, 50 years ago. Precedent much? Or some Pet Sounds vocals too. Same deal.
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« Reply #123 on: September 28, 2017, 11:45:52 AM »

No one is saying anything clandestine happened or without Brian's knowledge.

We're simply noting something that is audible on TWGMTR and NPP, which is that bits of other singers' vocals are sometimes mixed in -- smushed -- with Brian's chorused leads. I didn't think this was controversial, or something that we needed to have an inquisition about.

Obviously, this doesn't happen on something like "One Kind of Love" or other barer, single-tracked style lead vocals. But Brian is doubling up with Al and Matt and Jeff all over NPP. And I don't see why it wasn't his conscious decision -- even Ray Lawlor once noted how great it sounded when Brian and Al sang a lead in unison. It wouldn't be odd to then favor one track or another while mixing.

My reference was to a narrative that existed before common sense took over, and a narrative that still exists in some circles. Not specifically here. But relative to the same points.
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"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #124 on: September 28, 2017, 11:46:40 AM »

No one is saying anything clandestine happened or without Brian's knowledge.

We're simply noting something that is audible on TWGMTR and NPP, which is that bits of other singers' vocals are sometimes mixed in -- smushed -- with Brian's chorused leads. I didn't think this was controversial, or something that we needed to have an inquisition about.

Obviously, this doesn't happen on something like "One Kind of Love" or other barer, single-tracked style lead vocals. But Brian is doubling up with Al and Matt and Jeff all over NPP. And I don't see why it wasn't his conscious decision -- even Ray Lawlor once noted how great it sounded when Brian and Al sang a lead in unison. It wouldn't be odd to then favor one track or another while mixing.

Another good point; while I'm not a big fan of the "smush", I do think Brian and Al singing together (even in a bit of a "smush") sounds good, and I think it's pretty remarkable how Al could sound uncannily like Brian back in the 60s and I the present day, despite their voices in many ways sounding quite different from each other, can still once again lock in and sound quite similar.

I remember first listening to the TWGMTR album, and hearing the clear Al "doo-doo-doo" backgrounds on "Think About the Days",  and then thinking I was hearing Al doing similar background vocalizations on another track, and then realizing it was actually Brian kind of sounding like Al (or vice versa, depending on how you look at it).
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