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625273 Posts in 25124 Topics by 3574 Members - Latest Member: Saxapahaw January 20, 2018, 03:09:33 PM
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Author Topic: Getting a 60s stacked vocal sound  (Read 360 times)
DC310
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« on: December 04, 2017, 09:20:18 AM »

Anyone have tips which in box plugins help you closer approximate a 60s style Brian Wilson stack of vocals (after singing great parts and doubling them)?  Just purchased the Waves Abbey Road reverb set and am finding some success with that, but curious what works for others. Thanks!
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willmansell
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 07:30:11 AM »

Anyone have tips which in box plugins help you closer approximate a 60s style Brian Wilson stack of vocals (after singing great parts and doubling them)?  Just purchased the Waves Abbey Road reverb set and am finding some success with that, but curious what works for others. Thanks!

I think you have to take into account more than just ITB plugins to get really there with the Bri sound, but I suppose you can get pretty close.

Reverb-wise: A guy called Joel Koster uploaded a set of IR for the echo chambers at Western and Gold Star which you can run in most reverb plug ins. I think he got them from the reverb tail of the talkback mic being turned on and off, they sound like the real deal (especially on vocals and percussion!) I can send you a copy of them if you want. I set up an aux channel with some of said reverb and then EQ/compress it to taste.

Definitely get a tape machine emulator - the Slate ones seem pretty decent to me. I don't think the preamps used for Pet Sounds had much headroom, so don't be afraid to let the signal distort slightly.

Compression-wise you wouldn't be going too far wrong with an 1176 emulator. I think Waves have one. If you sum all your vocals through the tape saturation and compression with some reverb you should be on the way.

Best way to get close is whilst recording. As you say, nail the takes. Brian was never off pitch (at least back then). And double or even triple everything, with lots of close and interweaving melodic lines with sevenths. Think barbershop harmony. The Pet Sounds Sessions has a Don't Talk vocal demo on it that is a great way to pick apart Brian's technique. And for me also, as soon as you add in high falsetto and low bass parts to a vocal harmony you're immediately on a one way train to Beach Boy City.

There's loads of posts out there on the signal chain Brian used back in the Sixties if you really want to get into it. Although I think it's less important than the performance it's worth taking into account. Microphone-wise Shure 545's go pretty cheap on eBay and they're what he used for the lead vocals on most of Pet Sounds apparently. Then you have the Putnam 610 console in Studio 3, and the Scully 34 tape machines. Oh, and the beautiful sounding room.

But, if you can get the singing spot on and you play around with plugins you can definitely get a convincing Beach Boys sound.

 
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