1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

1950s and 1960s Voiceovers

Discussion in 'Recording' started by mikecornett, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. mikecornett

    mikecornett Guest

    I'd love to capture that 1950s/60s Voiceover sound you hear on all the old short films. You know...the old documentaries, or instructional videos. Plenty on archive.org to sift through. They always begin with the heavy orchestra, then comes Mr. Voiceover.

    It's a very distinct sound, other than just the vocal styling itself. Does anyone happen to know how to recreate such a thing?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Roll off the highs and lows. Mostly highs, its a result of age, they didnt sound like that in the 50s and 60s!!!
     
  3. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    Actually I believe they did sound like that back in the 1950's and 1960's due to the fact that speakers/microphones/production was not quite to the par it is today. You don't see many people seeking vintage 50's/60's microphones much........that's just my thought on it
     
  4. mikecornett

    mikecornett Guest

    ??? I'd say it's just about the opposite...The Neumann's and Telefunkens of that era would destroy most modern production mics.
     
  5. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Actually, I was around then!!!
    Speakers, and microphones were just as good then, production was even better!!
    I just played a 1955 45 RPM, Decca recording of Bill Haley and the Comets
    just to remind myself, and yup, sounds great !!

    All these old shorts digitized from old decaying cellulose acetate film, and optical, thats what gives it the 50s 60s sound!!!


    See you later alligator!!!
     
  6. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    Haha I wasn't sure I only know what I have heard from experiencing that sound, I mean I like a lot of that old sound but when it comes down to it I don't like the overall mixes and maybe that's why I don't like that sound, I can't say I've ever heard something just by itself from the 50's that i can think of off hand. And yeah i had a feeling i'd get destroyed on that reply lol
     
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Actually, when you think about it, all of those old voiceovers, especially for industrial/educational/Government films, weren't necessarily narrated on Neumann condenser microphones, it was too soon after World War II. I was also around during those times and I can confidently say, many of those voiceovers were done on Electro Voice dynamic microphones or RCA ribbons not to mention an Altec or Shure. I'm sure you are also aware that the preamps were in all probability, tubes and no equalization was used, other than high pass and low pass filtering which isn't exactly equalization but filtering.

    When going to film, you would be dealing with an optical soundtrack. Optical soundtracks generally did not have much in the way of decent frequency response, dynamic range and were extremely susceptible to "sibelance" and high frequency distortion and "splatter". As a result, lots of high frequency limiters and older generation "De-essers" were utilized to carefully contain and control these terrible artifacts from optical film sound tracks. That coupled with the "wow & flutter" one gets with sprocketed magnetic film/tape gives you that wonderful "history film before lunchtime" effect.

    Are you gargeling with Listerine? Or just watching a film?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  8. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    I didn't think Neumann would be very popular in the 50's and early 60's especially not in America. And since quality material wasn't necessarily available to the micrphone industry (due to the war department taking control of certain materials "spruce goose anyone") sound quality suffered.......but then again I don't like that old sound but i like the fact I can pinpoint right around when it was recorded and that's useful.
    It's like taking a picture with today's film on a 1950's camera. It won't look like it was taken in the 1950's because film is not made like it was back then and you cannot buy it because im sure some of the material is now illegal today!

    So same with microphones, even if you wanted a microphone from the 40's and 50's ( i wouldn't maybe the mid-60's sure), it wouldn't give you the same sound because preamps, cables, and the technology just doesn't exist and if it does it doesn't work anymore.
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    multoc, Tecumseh, Michigan? I like those power mower motors better than the Briggs and Stratton's. Much better sound and definition. It made everything sound green! Beautiful vintage power mower engines with incredible low-frequency resonance and a high frequency response that would rival any cicadas bug.

    I think you will find that a lot of recordings in United States, were being done in the 1950s and sixties with the Neumann's but not necessarily voiceover studios. The big studios and labels got them soon after World War II. But Nobody wanted to spend $300 on a new Neumann U47 microphone for voiceovers. Too expensive.

    I hope I can sell my old used U67's for $2.5k each?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Remy:
    Let's get something straight here. Tecumseh engines might have been fine up north on lawn mowers that worked all of 3 months out of the year.
    But the ones on Toro mowers used in the hot, humid South on thick St. Augustine grass sucked. They constantly stalled out and were a bitch to restart. Those B & S engines cranked, and the 5hp ones we'd strap to go-carts and mini-bikes RULED !!! I know, 'cause I bought my first Fender with my lawn-mowing business and from there the rest is history...:)
     
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    So you purchased a fender from the money made mowing the grass and purchased yourself a Briggs and Stratton guitar?? Why didn't you get the whole car?? It would be much better than a heavy metal lawnmower guitar.

    Tweezing the fur off my tennis balls.
    Ms. Dominatrix :twisted:
     
  12. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Crack that whip, baby!
     

Share This Page