Need some help with mastering/recording for Old 80's Demo sound

Isivaa Sanaru

Sep 7, 2011
Hey :)

My name's Isi and I'm a musician and a beginner at home studio recording. Trying to keep the budget my band is recording at my place with my cheaper gear. We get the songs to sound pretty good and modern, but this is my issue:

1) We want our songs to sound more like demos, like 80's Sleaze scene. Bands like Guns N' Roses have the sound we wanna achieve.

If anyone knows anything about this, if there is any plug-ins or mastering ways/recording ways to make the records sound more old and vinyl I'd be SO grateful if you could help me out here! I'm really begging anyone for ideas since I've ran out of all mine.

I'm using Wavelab to master currently, I am a total newbie in mastering so please take that into considerations when you post :) I'm very willing to learn though!

I'm posting an example on how we'd like our songs to sound (approximately). Doesn't have to be exact but something in this direction.

[=""]Guns N' Roses - November Rain Acoustic Demo (Very Rare) - YouTube[/]
Please take a moment to understand what I'm looking for by clicking that link.

We basically wanna sound old demo with the bad quality and all that lol.

I appreciate any help very much! :)




Real guitars are for old people.
Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2010
Boulder, Colorado
Most of that sound is from the tracking and mixing stages, not the mastering. Start with a room with little or no treatment, get a bunch of Unisphere mics, a cassette multitracker and some old reverbs with 12 bit converters and go for it. Overdrive the vocals a little during tracking and mix the whole thing down to cassette using too much reverb.


Mar 20, 2000
Nanaimo BC, Canada

Rent a semi truck wash. Example: a cinder block bay type space and you're set. You can also find one of these and set the vocals to Early Reflection [=""]REV7 - Processors - Live Sound - Products - Yamaha United States[/]
[=""]yamaha rev 7 - Google Search[/]

or use any reverb plugin with that preset.

On final mix, use both HPF and LPF to make up for not having a tape deck.

Getting this sound should be easy. Please share what you come up with, we'd love to hear your songs and what you come up . Glad to help when we can!