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What are we talking about and how to achieve devendra lowfi?

Member for

21 years
Well. if any of you people had listening to his first albums, then you´d noticed how low fi they are. but this kind of low-fi are necessary achieved by a low quality mics and interfaces? is something you can get using for ie a tascam us-144 with a standar shure sm57 or 58? is this worse or better for this?

sorry, i know i'm making a mess with those questions, but i can't find any further information around the net. so the question basically is:
- how can I achieve an early devendra banhart low-fi sound.
- and obviously, is the very low standar configuration like tascam us-144 (or whatever similar product) too much better or to much worse for my devendra´s requeriments.

thanks a lot. :D


Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Tue, 05/27/2008 - 19:38
Get yourself some Audio Technica BrandX Xm5's.
These are 100% guaranteed instant old-timey radio feel for about $25.

I have never heard anything that makes me want to rip the thing to bits so badly.

The tascam is probably too good to be lo-fi, but...
You can get plugins to make your audio lo-fi. Search for them, I think link removed has a few in their plugin database.

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Wed, 05/28/2008 - 18:50
You want low-fi? It sounds like that shouldn't be any problem for you? If you don't know what you're doing? You're there man. No special interfaces required. Just inexperience & stupidity is all that's necessary. So crank the gain on your microphone preamp too high. Use a side address microphone as if it was a front address microphone. Put the tape on inside out. Use Radio Shaft impedance matching transformers back-to-back. Crystal CB microphones & broken telephones. See how easy that was?? If you want a good fuzz guitar, I'd recommend using a blown up power supply's bridge rectifier across a 1176 cranked all the way up. It worked great for a country rock recording I did in 1978. We hadn't gotten our 16 track Ampex yet, so I had to do it on the TEAC 3340. Unfortunately, it still sounds good to this day. So I couldn't quite lower the bar as low as you are requesting, even back then.

Did I suggest a Radio Shaft battery-operated mono cassette recorder for your compressor?? Sorry. Forgot about that. You do realize that the most popular SSL Mike preamp & compressor is don't you? It's the console SA/talkback (SA = studio address) microphone preamp with compressor. Not the expensive built-in ones.

Zany but true
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

13 years 8 months

BrianaW Fri, 05/30/2008 - 05:22
Grugelizer is another plug that can make things sound like 78rpm records and anything post. I think it's made by Steinberg? There's also Voxengo's Analog Flux Suite, but it's not free. Buy a 4-track cassette machine, don't use noise reduction and follow Remy's advice and you'll be there without any effort. There is an art to a decent lo-fi sound, and a lot of it is just not paying any attention to what you are doing. :) Oh, I use PSP's Vintage Warmer to get digital stuff to break up too... that may be handy for you. Man or Astro-man?

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 05/30/2008 - 10:22
Uhm… i’d think i’m finally go with any ancient equipment. Now I’m trying with iZotope but they don’t convincing to me at all. I’ll try with those kvraudio and Grugelizer too.
RemyRAD, hahha, really funny (and useful tips indeed).

I up the pic of the mic i’m using right now, and a comparation of a devendra’s song against my own record of the same fragment. Take a look..
I’m curious because even with this crap-pc-mic i can’t get all the background noise in the original song. But other cons is that my songs seems really more PLAIN

Can anybody tellme whats are the differences between both examples? I mean, technically speaking...

Thanks again!

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Wed, 06/04/2008 - 01:09
Your links worked just fine for me.

Yup, an IBM/LONOVO laptop and a four dollar microphone, actually sounds good.

What makes you think that the noise you hear originated during the recording of that guitar track? You know, it might be a composite of a cleanly recorded guitar track with noise added. And most likely that's what it is. It's also possible that that particular guitar track may have actually originated on some type of cassette Port-o-studio? But I really don't think so. It's added later. That type of amplifier noise, sounds like an unterminated (i.e. nothing plugged in) microphone input, with gain cranked. And maybe from a tube preamp, to boot?

I actually get a kick out of folks who try to add noise and grunge to recordings. Something we have been trying to avoid most of our careers. Sort of like the grainy, scratched film plug-in I've had occasion to use when I want to duplicate old-style black-and-white film or television. Not something I use regularly. I do like certain kinds of gross distortions in audio as an effect. You'd think it would be easy to get good sounding gross overload? But it's not really. You first have to know what you want odd or even harmonic distortion. Even ordered distortions can actually sound good i.e. tube overload. Odd ordered distortions sound like car radios that are turned up too loud (standard car radios not deluxe ones). But if you want a rainstorm? Record a rainstorm. Then loop it and mix it in. Or just put a microphone on a guitar amplifier turned all the way up without a guitar plugged in. Record that and mix it in later. But you are really kidding us right??

Sounds like barefoot analog tape noise to me.
Ms. Remy Ann David