Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Forum Jump  
1920's string sound
Last post Sun, Jan 23 2005 by William, 24 replies.
Options
Go to last post
2 Pages12>
Posted on Fri, Sep 24 2004 02:47
by magates
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Los Angeles CA, Posts 484
Does anyone know a good way to get that classic golden age string sound from samples or real players or a mix? I am doing a film that calls for that sound (as both source music and then underscore).
Posted on Fri, Sep 24 2004 05:52
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
That would be the hot impassioned string sound.

Use of mid and upper ranged orchestration, chordal, octave based, no open voicings. Strings doubling with double-reeds. Timpani and piatti and cymbal swells. Woodblock at times. Triangle. Trumpets with Trombones. Horns with violas and never joined in with trumpets and trombones. Tuba.

Emphasis on melody and counterpoint. Variation of melody. Rarely a non-melodic bar. The use of musical techniques that were tried and true to create contrast, not orchestration so much. For example, moving from legato espressivo to staccato/spiccato.

The absolute fundamental key to the Golden Age sound is the use of trumpets in cardboard or fiberglass conical mutes, as well as unmuted, and using the horns only for melody or as texture joined with strings and/or woodwinds, BUT NOT the other brass.

Second most important is the use of Violas to double the 2nd violins, either in a 3rd octave, or in a tightly locked upper string harmonization that is not open.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Fri, Sep 24 2004 05:57
by dpcon
Joined on Sat, Oct 12 2002, Los Angeles, Posts 1646
If you cut the highs and even cut the lows a little that should help. That is make the sound sort of dull. The frequency response in those days wasn't nearly as wide and shimmering as it is today. Also use only room sounds with your reverb with very little (short) tail and make sure the tail is not wet at all. Any sort of close miked detailed sound should be avoided. If you're recording a string section you can mike them close but you have to set them back somehow.

As far as writing, you should listen to some examples from the era because the style is very important as well. I refer to chord voicing and or polyphony. I think it was very common then to divide the 1st and 2nd vlns into 7th chord type voicings. Also very common would be 1st vlns unison or octaves as melody above chordal textures in other strings. Also a very straght forward classical type of string writing would be used as well as Wagnerian sounding harmonies with sixth chords and 6/4 chords including the major 7th (the latter common in films music from the early 30's.) I know because I've replaced music from big Hollywood films of that era (for UCLA film preservation.) It's best to have an example to match. Sound films didn't begin untill 1927 so your best bet is films from the early thirties.

Dave Connor
Dave Connor
Posted on Fri, Sep 24 2004 18:01
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5513
That's an interesting question and great responses from Evan and Dave. On the sound Dave is right - it should be very dry. And the orchestra should sound small - the studio orchestras were tiny compared to today's mammoth romantic orchestras. In fact, if you used solo strings it might be just right, but mixed with just a few woodwinds and brass. You can also throw in a piano, which was often used to substitute for missing harmony.

One specific thing you could listen to for the style is what everybody at that time was imitating - Gilbert and Sullivan. One of the overtures to the operettas, like Pirates of Penzance or any of them. If you imitate that style you're right back in the 20s.
Posted on Fri, Sep 24 2004 18:55
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
Oh, I assumed he was talking about orchestration since he posted it in the orchestration forum. I do have some mixing tips, but I think Dave covered the lot of them.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Fri, Sep 24 2004 19:05
by Marc B
Joined on Sat, Aug 09 2003, Canada, Posts 109
Valuable notes here on the Golden Era sound. I will save those!
I will add one more pointer. Since they used smaller orchestras the bass section was usually only a couple guys. And since the microphones did not have very good frequency response the bass had to be boosted so they often double the 2 bass players with 2 Tubas. Anyway that's what they did on Max Steiner's King Kong 1933.

I don't have the Chamber strings but this could be useful for such project.

=m=a=r=c=
Posted on Fri, Sep 24 2004 23:34
by magates
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Los Angeles CA, Posts 484
Great tips. Thanks for replying. I did mean both orchestration and mixing. I have found taking both some of the high and low end of the sound with eq and then adding some light distortion gives it a pretty authetic sound.
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 02:33
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5513
Yes, Marc I was thinking that too - the Chamber Strings are EXACTLY what you need for this because they are the precise size of a studio orchestra of the time. One thing that you would always hear - in sharp distinction to today's scores - is a seemingly "symphonic" variety of instruments, but with very few players on each. For example about five violins, a couple violas and cellos, maybe only one bass, a piano, drumset with a lot of traps that could be handled by one guy, and then a flute, clarinet and oboe who might double on English Horn for an "exotic" variation.
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 11:43
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7429
If you're on a PC, you could try Izotope's "Vinyl" for proper sonic damage Devil ... at least as a part of the processing chain. BTW - it's a free plug-in!

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 12:48
by Peter Roos
Joined on Tue, Jan 07 2003, The Netherlands, Posts 477
Tape saturation plugin with a slow speed setting may also help?
Peter Emanuel Roos
www.PeterRoos.com (music)
www.Samplicity.com (IR libs)
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 15:33
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7429
Saturation might help, yes.

For me, the most important aspect of an "old" sound is the fact that the amplifiers back than were much slower that the state-of-the-art gear we use today. Attacks and transients got smeard, giving the signal that "indirect" appearance that we perceive. To simulate this typical slow slew-rate is not easy once the record has the pristine modern sound. Tools like Waves' Trans-X or other envelope-following dynamic processors might be worth a try to achieve this goal.

Just a thought.

/Dietz
/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 16:56
by magates
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Los Angeles CA, Posts 484
Trans X and the vinyl plugin are helping alot. What settings would you use on trans x besides the record loop. Also who do you simulate tape saturatiion?
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 17:26
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7429
This depends on the platform I'm working on.

For VST, there is the "Magneto", which is capable of even rough effects in the newest version (comes with SX2 and Nuendo 2), or the VintigeWarmer from PSP - a very nice tool in any case.

For TDM, there is the Analog-Channel from McDSP, or even better, the Phoenix from CraneSong.

As a hardware-solution, there would be the great HEDD-192 from CraneSong (which does nice tube-emulation, too), or the MachineHead from SPL (which is not built any longer). - The "real thing" rules, nevertheless, so look around for a nice (old) Studer or Otari for best results! :-]

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 17:38
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5513
I love this kind of stuff and would really like to hear the end product if possible.

A more radical solution would be doing an optical sound dub of your original audio. Of course it would be a little expensive, but to put it on optical film with a galvanometer would be a wonderful distortion - especially 16mm for an accompanying sea of optical noise.
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 19:50
by mathis
Joined on Sat, Feb 07 2004, Munich, Germany, Posts 1137
Yes, great thread. If you can, please post your results!

I might add the wow and flutter issues. The old machines were quite shaky in speed. So add some random varyspeed.

And, I agree, probably you wont be able to beat the results you can get with a real old machine, although an optical print might come out a *little* expensive Wink
But if you use a reel to reel machine you can even mechanically influence your result. Scratch the magnetic surface and you´ll get some very beautiful breakups and distortions you probably won´t get with digital simulation.
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 20:40
by magates
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Los Angeles CA, Posts 484
If you want to hear what I am doing give me an instant message to magates5432 on AIM.
Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2004 21:44
by fredproggh
Joined on Thu, Aug 19 2004, Posts 14
Why not run it lightly through a de-noise plug-in like Sonic Foudry's a couple times. if you did it right you would ruin the presence of the note attacks and add some mild cruddy artifacts. Then EQ out everything below 500hz and above 5Khz and you're done!!
Posted on Sun, Sep 26 2004 18:54
by Nick Batzdorf
Joined on Tue, Apr 29 2003, Los Angeles, Posts 2546
Didn't they use Strohviols a lot for solo parts in those days? It was a fiddle with a horn attached.
Mac Pro 5,1 12-core 3.46 GHz, 64MB RAM, latest macOS available. Metric Halo 2882 interface.

VisionDAW Windows 7 Pro i7 950 3.07 4-core, 24GB RAM. Has an RME Hammerfall HDSP9632, but I just use VE Pro. Also several ancient P4 XP slaves, rarely used.
Posted on Mon, Sep 27 2004 06:08
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5513
I wonder why is it so interesting to re-create the "sound" of that past time?

Is it because there is no sound to our time? Just ... "realism" ?

What an accomplishment the people of today have created:

nothingness.
Posted on Mon, Sep 27 2004 09:24
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7429
William - the "realism" of today is always the vintage sound of tomorrow ...

/Dietz
/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
2 Pages12>
You cannot post new threads in this forum.
You cannot reply to threads in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.