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the killers, vocal signal chain, what is it? anyone know?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by bobbo, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    I love the gain/compressed/flavor/color on the vocals on the whole album, mostly this song.

    anyone have any inside info on this album? the breakup sounds like this mccurdy preamp that i have access to at my bigger facility I use, but every time I hear this song, I just love the grit they got.
     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    It would be good if you could post this song? You're talking about something that's not there.

    Come out come out wherever you are?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  3. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    this version you can't hear as much of the detail of the grit on the vocals. and i'm aware there's delay on it. I'm interested in the grit.

    [video]http://youtu.be/4oaOQ1cQwt4[/video]
     
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    API mic pre (maybe) and a great mic with the gains pushed. As well as a singer who knows how to work the mic. I hear a high level compressor on there too. That mic could be a Brauner. I dont think its a dynamic but I've been wrong already once today .......
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Wow, can/ are you guys and gals actually able to hear what kind of mic and preamp someone is using in a mix?
     
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    No, not really. But given the level of the band and its very successful career its a safe bet to assume that everything being used is high end. If I was producing them I'd be all over that wooly clarity you get from an API and a very very clear rich sounding mic like a Brauner. Heck for all I know he could be singing into a 57 through an RNP. But I doubt it. To narrow the choice down, the OP should look up the studio it was recorded in and then look at their gear list. Might be a clue in there.
     
  7. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I don't know if anyone can tell you what vocal chain someone uses by listening to a YouTube video...(I guess it's possible to guess)....seems like waaay too many options to accurately determine something like that....
    The Killers (and TBH I've never heard them before) have recorded at Battle Born Studios based on interviews from Google...so look at the gear list for whatever studio they recorded the particular song your interested in...

    Battle Born Studios, Las Vegas recording studio

    Of course that doesn't tell you the exact chain used but it might give you some clues...
    I would also like to say IMHO and not that it matters....I didn't hear anything spectacular in the vocal sound....just saying..

    Davedog beat to the punchline!
     
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good to know I'm not missing some astonishing ability there (smile) ... Looks like the dog gets a point for API. The studio link that djmukilteo gave up shows they are using API all over the place. I'm with djmukilteo vocal opinion as well but it suits the bands sound and that is what makes it all gel.

    I've never used API gear and have a feeling I would love that wooly sound.
     
  9. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    Cool, I'm not really trying to replicate it, just love how it came out, tons of color. And I love the tone and flavor of the whole album, had a very renowned engineer worked on it. So I didn't know if that person, or someone that knew of that session, had any knowledge of what was used. It was their first album, and I actually enjoy the tones and sounds more than their two later albums. I could look up the original studio, but who knows if they still have the same gear, I did do a wiki search of that album to see who worked on it. But last thing I want to do is creep around trying to contact some dude that worked on this years ago, to have a random guy ask the signal chain for one song, haha.

    I really enjoy that "pushed" sound. I have a 512c, but never really get that pushed sound for vocals. My purple biz, is the closest I can get to that type of sound, and it's pretty easy especially in dual mode.

    Plus I like to put a signal chain in my head of what was used while I listen to it, a little nerdiness never hurt. Plus I want to talk less about "which mic is 'better', or what does this and that sound like" and someone doing a shootout to post online, is cool, but in reality, meaningless. I want to hear what was used on well known albums, albums I hear everyday, someone's buying all this expensive $*^t, why can't I know who? and what they used it on?

    in a perfect world, every album should have a sheet, like on mercenary audio's site, for a session they filmed, wrote the signal path, what and why they chose what they did, even shared a trick for less bleed. and I was able to listen to it. What I listened to may have been the un mastered version, but still, it's an explanation of what was used, and why, and how it sounded for that band type, etc, you fill in the rest. Anyone else feel me? Reading the session info in the common recording magazines are tight, just wish there were more of them, or wish that the engineers that work on really large or famous projects, would lurk on these forums... hahaha obviously asking too much, but who knows, one may be lurking around.
     
  10. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I'm going to throw out a guess with the SM7B into the D.W. Fearn VT-1!!
    There's reverb or delay (or both) on that vocal part in the posted YouTube song...I'll guess that was added ITB in Protools?
    My guess is the appeal for this song is in the lyrics...
     
  11. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    I emailed the studio. Who knows, maybe I'll get either a "**** off" or a "contact so and so". We'll see, at the end of the day, it's just a curious inquiry. And the compression in the youtube prob masks a bit of the clarity of the sound I'm referring to on the vocals, but it's very very colored, I've listened to this song/album for years in headphones, various cars, and at least 3 different sets of my studio monitors.
     
  12. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    I don't know what the appeal is, I didn't even get into this band when this album came out, but damn it's got a ton of songs on it that I love listening to.
     
  13. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    I'm not really concerned with the delay or verb on there.
     
  14. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I used to love doing that with albums...in the old days album liners would list a lot of that info...and I would pour over the fine print somewhere down in the far corner of the liner notes looking for the little gems of info. But of course most of the technical stuff wasn't that important to the majority of people buying or listening...only us sound "nerds"...LOL
    Studying studio equipment and the different combinations they might use and who the engineer was and how he/she works is always a good thing to delve into. It is more valuable and honest than gear forum hype or even gear reviews...
    You'll never replicate it anyway because sound is completely random...once something is captured on tape (or digital bits now)...it's over, it's done! Your not ever going to get that same take...maybe close but never the exact same thing.
    Almost anyone will learn something by doing that with artists and recordings you love and know. Dissecting the sound yourself and hearing the nuances that appeal to you is truly the way to learn something that can't be taught. You can understand better what the magic was that got them to that sound...sometimes those things are completely obscure or random but when it works, it works and if you've ever had that happen and get this "feel" while mixing or tracking something...you know it's a one time magical thing!
    But then that's what makes it fun and exciting...
    One more thing to remember in all of this endeavor....every human is different were not all alike...every person is unique down to our DNA. You have your own sound in you and that is the goal...find your "sound"....experiment everyday and refine your sound and use whatever it takes to make it your own!
     
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Its true that this studio is their personal place and the first record wasnt recorded there at all. The SM7 and Fearn is interesting. After looking at their gear list, and knowing this isnt where they made the first record, I'm going to guess that the Gefell M92.1s is a mic that the singer has used from other studios in the past and he's used it through the Avalon 2022. That is a signal chain for vocals in the Indie production of the early 2000's that had become popular. The 2022 can be pushed hard and makes a nice smooth clipped sound without bad artifacts. Something Avalon seems to have lost in subsequent releases of newer gear.
     
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I just had the opportunity this Wednesday afternoon to take a listen to this. Just like djmukilteo , when we hear something that we are curious about, we frequently try to investigate the source from which it originated from. Being an old-school folk, this was much easier back in the day since there were far less choices in the professional realm. And many of us had the opportunity early on to cut our teeth on consoles like old API & NEVE, even RCA, Fairchild, Norelco/Philips, desks. Not that any of us could afford that stuff ourselves back then. Even today, much of this is impractical from a sensible financial standpoint. And it was relatively unheard-of to find single preamps in anybody's studio. You had a console or you didn't. You had a reel tape recorder or a toy tape recorder. And those were our choices. From there you grow.

    In a similar for instance, API's have been fairly consistent in their basic circuit layout since the Melcor 1731/API 2520. Whereas the NEVE's have all changed greatly over time. We have fun pushing the earlier all transistor versions where you can't quite get away with that, the same way, with the later IC chip input, transistor output versions. That can cause us a great deal of inconsistency in our aural perceptions. Is that to say that some people knew to leave well enough alone? Where as others just as valid continued to push the envelope? This is where my analogy of, if you could afford to purchase a Stradivarius (Violin), would you then have it modified to make it better? That really makes it come into play. Again, boxers or jockeys?

    As was pointed out here, while you love the vocal sound, it wasn't something I was impressed enough to write home about. While their equipment list indicates all the good stuff that I also own, I've gotten a sound, quite a bit like that (on a vocal). I didn't like the sound I got because I felt I had done something wrong and had kind of overblown it. I was thinking the top end on the vocal could be a condenser microphone & it probably went into the API? But it could've been an SM 7 into that DW Fern? Since I felt it had a very heavy second harmonic push to it? And my API's don't quite sound like that when I just push those. At the same time however, I really felt the vocal had been rather ProTooled around with. I found it to be an appropriately aggressive sound but not necessarily an appropriately desirable sound. They of course in this production have pulled out all the stops, in their engineering chops. And I really think overall it's that over-the-top feel that you enjoy. Something not necessarily just specific to the vocal itself.

    And yes, audiokid, some of us can "see" what we believe we are hearing. Even if we are not correct in our observations, auarlly, many of us can reproduce what we are hearing even if the ingredients are completely different. That's how all good cooks work. Maybe it should have read, "that's how all of us old rigid fogies flush stuff out"?

    Ex-Lax AFLAC!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  17. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    cool info everyone. was just looking to nerd out with fellow nerds.:wink:
     
  18. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Well...I think you came to the right place! LOL
     
  19. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    I know it may not be everyone's desired sound, but I dig it. some people like hardcore gangsta rap, I like indie/alt music...
     
  20. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Being the old school Beatles Stones Floyd I am I certainly prefer that indie tune to gangsta rap!
    Each to his own!
    There is no wrong answer!

    Maybe that's a good band name!
    BeatleStoneFloyd Hehe
     

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