Make today's music sound old

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by nazmac21, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
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    Digital World
    #1
    I want to make some classical songs that were made in our era (Caruso by Andrea Bocelli and Un Armore Per Sampre by Josh Groban) sound like they were from 1900's-1910's. I have GarageBand and Audacity. My friend has Soundtrack Pro (if this helps).
     
  2. SRSound macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #2
    izotope vinyl is the first thing that comes to mind - a record simulation effect that allows you to pick the era a recording was made (really an EQ cutoff). Not sure if it works with your software
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    1. use EQ to chop off the top and bottom
    2. use a limiter to reduce the dynamic range
    3. make it mono
    4. add some noisefloor (hiss, for example)
    5. add pops and scratches if you want that effect
     
  4. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    Feb 25, 2007
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    #4
    Could you tell the exact numbers of the ranges and equalizers and how to do this step-by-step in either GarageBand or Audacity.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
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    toronto
    #5
    do it by ear.

    i also cook w/o recipes.
     
  6. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #6
    If you really want the gory details, this page has a table of the capabilities for old recording technology. The big jump in 1925 is from the introduction of microphones.

    The pre-electric recordings also used specially designed instruments, and singers had to use different voicing, to compensate for the limits of the early equipment, so don't expect miracles.
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
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    toronto
    #7
    cool table. so it seems an upper limit of 2k is right for 1900-1910. that's quite a rolloff.
     
  8. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

    Joined:
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    #8
    I messed in Audacity and used EQ to lower the quality sound of the songs, it sounded alright. Anything else I could do?
     
  9. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #9
    Over the weekend I was at my parent's. My dad has a load of Musical Fidelity equipment and Kimber cables.

    We were playing with some sound analysis software on my PB. Using a test tone cd we found his Monitor Audio speakers had a frequency range of 14Hz to 22KHz. Yet 95% of the music we played rolled off at 3.5KHz. We listened to everything from Classical through to Noise bands.
    Most rock music is so heavily compressed it didn't get beyond 2KHz!!!

    It was very interesting. My dad was most happy as we discovered what frequencies the room reinforced and which it subdued.
     
  10. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #10
    There are limits to what you can do. It might help to have a mental image of how the acoustic recordings were made, so that you can figure out what kinds of tweaks might help.

    First, none of the things that would be taken for granted today were practical. This rules out stereo, overdubs, even basic editing as we now think of it. It was possible to carefully hack and splice by hand, using carefully timed disc-to-disc transfers, but even this procedure wouldn't give satisfactory results until amplifiers were available. So, all the recorded performances were essentially live.

    The physical spaces where the recordings were made wouldn't much resemble their current counterparts. The rooms would be as small as could fit the performers, and would be designed to reflect sound rather than absorb it. Kind of like a bathroom :) Natural acoustic energy had to do all the work of cutting the groove, so it was a good thing to let as much as possible reflect back into the horn.

    On those old records, the singers sound like they are shouting. This isn't some kind of distortion, they actually were shouting. [This is why the crooners, mumblers and talkers only gained popularity after the 1920s, this kind of performance simply wasn't practical in a hall or on record before amplifiers.] Not only did they need to sing loud enough to be heard over musicians who were crowded side by side with them, but if they didn't holler the stylus wouldn't wiggle enough to record their voices.

    Small spaces again: you aren't going to have that big hall kind of reverb/echo so common in modern recordings.

    You may not be able to "fix" these characteristics on a finished track, but maybe some of these tidbits will help you pick out source material that might respond well to "antiquing" treatment.
     

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