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Dirtying / 'gritty'-ing up horns

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Dirtying / 'gritty'-ing up horns

Postby jimbobbley » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:51 pm

Hi all


I've got to mix a track with a horn section on it - recorded in proximity and also at distance with two lovely Coles mics. It sounds great, but the track itself has a bit of a 70s feel to it and I could do with making the brass sit better with the kit, which has a very nice tape-y, slightly gritty sound.

Obviously the best solution would have been to sort it at source but that's no longer an option - so I wondered if anyone had any tips for dirtying up a brass sound slightly? Maybe giving it a bit more rasp and just sounding a bit more like in the good old days. It just sounds a bit too polite at the moment, although the playing is great.

In terms of what's available to me, it's virtually all in the box but I do have the UAD plugins / can demo those I haven't bought yet.

Thanks in advance!

J
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Re: Dirtying / 'gritty'-ing up horns

Postby jrbcm » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:28 pm

Check out Gabriel Roth/Daptones....there are some good articles knocking about including this one:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun08/a ... aptone.htm

Having just recorded an album full of vintage horn sections, what I did was use a Ribbon (Royer 121) as my primary mic, but also stick an SM57 further away for room sound. I would say be EXTREMELY careful with EQ on brass as it's a very fine adjustment if you're gonna take a tiny bit of top off a trumpet for example. Generally I have found horns don't respond well to overprocessing. Tape plugins can be good and you could check out mic modelling like this:

http://www.waves.com/plugins/the-king-s-microphones?gclid=CMWAmKL0nMACFcsJwwodIzQAbA

I have also recorded brass off to cassette which can blend it quite well and take a little top off. In honesty though, as is so often the case, having tried stuff like speakerphone many times on horns, 90% of the time I have ended up taking it off and just blending in some SM57.
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Re: Dirtying / 'gritty'-ing up horns

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:53 pm

Hi J, 8-) fairly sure that a tape plug in just slightly over driven would be fairly authentic and "bed it in" will also thicken slightly, you will get some gentle mush on the loudest sections. I rate VTM but needs iLok which is not everyones cup of tea (or sometimes not practical), I succumb to iLok cause for mix duties it is hard to go wrong with Slates offerings price vs sound.

Maybe the Ampex jobby from UAD ? Also Check out U-he Satin demo.(no dongle copy protection) PSP old timer might be worth a demo under GR it mushes things up somewhat, though you might not it squashed simultaneously.



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Re: Dirtying / 'gritty'-ing up horns

Postby Jeraldo » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:04 pm

jimbobbley wrote:

so I wondered if anyone had any tips for dirtying up a brass sound slightly? Maybe giving it a bit more rasp and just sounding a bit more like in the good old days. It just sounds a bit too polite at the moment, although the playing is great.


Try RX3->Deconstruct->Noisy Gain+

That will do exactly what you need! In spades.

There's a trial available, though I'm not sure how limited the trial version is.

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Re: Dirtying / 'gritty'-ing up horns

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:32 pm

jimbobbley wrote:
Obviously the best solution would have been to sort it at source

J


Well...not really. Thing is that as you've pointed out, horn sections quite often sound better with a bit of distortion. It's not so much a mic choice or placement issue (not that those aren't important when recording horn sections). You can overload a mic pre or some outboard, distort tape if that's the medium you're using, but it's all quite destructive and you can't go back.

I tend to steer towards things like Massey Tape Head *which isn't tapey at all incidentally* and Decapitator for things like that. I'd have a play with the distortion/saturation plug ins you have or those that are available for free or very cheaply before you spend a lot of cash. If it sounds good it is good.

J
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