#1January 11th, 2009 · 04:36 AM
28 threads / 20 songs
255 posts
vintage reverbs and recording techniques
Got a 8 track reel to reel recorder recently, mainly because I'm interested in recording the band using older, analog techniques rather than software.

Apart from the warmth and depth I hear in older analog recordings, I really like the reverb effect used in older recordings especially psychedelic era recordings.

I'm really just on the hunt to learn a bit about these older techniques from some of you folks here on bandamp because I know you guys got the knowledge about this sort of stuff. Did studios have the technology of digital reverbs back in the 70's? Obviously not software ones but outboard units? Is this how they added reverb to recordings?
I know from some friends that in the 60's, popular bands recorded in very large rooms that had an excellent sound and with the best microphones available to get the exact reverberations and character of the room onto tape. Clearly some recordings in 60's and 70's (especially vocals) had extra reverb added to them? was this simply using tape techniques such as tape delay and cabinet speaker effects?

I read about cabinet speaker reverb effect earlier today and it really got me interested in these vintage techniques.
#2January 11th, 2009 · 04:42 AM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,965 posts
United States of America
yes there was some every expensive digital reverbs. back then, mostly though they used high end plate reverbs (analog)  they were fragile and very expensive. Some recordings used nothing more than a very good spring reverb.

edit: Yamaha rev 7 and Eventide was pretty much the staple of digital equipment, there was others but these would do the job.. If you spent the money on a very good digital reverb most of them have old vintage sounds in them that aren't too far off the mark.
#3January 11th, 2009 · 06:56 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,394 posts
United Kingdom
Do you know a place where you could record your band that has good acoustics?
Locally to me there is a Local authority town hall, the cielings are massive and the walls are drapped, Many artists have recorded from this hall, and very cheap to rent. If you do find such a hall, the mic placements are very important to pic up the natural ambience, for instance you should place one mic far from the band to capture the ambience of the hall/room, you may have to experiment in mic positions. The idea is that you record your instruments mainly dry that has body, mics placed near the instruments, then you mix the two together, in that way you can mix them perfectly.

This technique can be used anywhere with any instrument, best use a condensor mic for the ambience

The tape machine will give you the warmth

I use a tube preamp, this also ads warmth

I use the reverbs on my Yamaha workstation, Yamaha seem to be popular favourites for effects, but I'm no expert. I would expect there are some really good plug-ins????

The Shure.com website has some excellent free tutorials:



#4January 11th, 2009 · 10:36 PM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,965 posts
United States of America
Setting up room mics at distances takes work... due to the time delay of sound travel. If you get farther that 20 feet,  your gonna have to do some kind of time alignment  between the close mics,  and the distance mics.  It is done and quite often even now , in a lot of "live show"  recordings.  

   I am not sure what is out there but , since your recording analog you would need to use some kind of external delay( I think they make time delay caps), You would need to figure out the distances between mics.

  When I as at UMKC, (White recital hall)  they recorded different musicians, from solo performances ,to groups.. They  would use shotgun mics at the same distance out in front, and used omni directional mics at the same distance directly overhead.  This micin picked up the room reverb nicely..
   If you get the mics to far apart (without time adustments) your recording times will be off and it will show up more as cluttered sounding delay.
#5May 19th, 2012 · 10:28 AM
4 threads / 1 songs
8 posts
United States of America
I heard that original reverb was done with metal plates banging together inside an echo chamber.This is the "plate" setting on your digital reverb unit that tries to duplicate this vintage sound.There's also what they call a "spring tank" and this kind of reverb was used by Leo Fender in his guitar amplifiers among other manufactures of that era.

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