I have a strong desire to bring back that vintage style retro vocals in our funk project & achieving this milestone will require some research on how to do it. Bands like Motown , Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse incorporate therapy recording methods & processing to give that old school vibe to a song.
The old school vintage analog processors were full of colour & with limited number of selections with many having a distinct sound that is still used in most modern music productions. Fortunately there are many plugin that replicate these processors quite interestingly. Pre amps also play a significant role & so we will try and use analog console as this can be a good choice to emulate.
EQ & Compression
Colourful EQs have a district way they shape sound & finding those that replicate Neve 1073, Trident, Abbey Road & Helios would play safe on processing the vocal track. Using a combination of of different EQ’s matching their seperate strength especially the shelves & filters.
I may use analog compressors but also will consider using plugins but the trick is not over compressing but to just use enough so that that the feel on the compression may relate on the vocal. Using the digital de-esser will tame nay sibilance.
Tape & Effects
The vintage style went through tape machines & would often be used several times throughout the recording making process. Plugins such s slate VTM & Kramer may be used to experiment with different mixtures of saturations, flutter or even hiss. Using reverb effect on a vocal is a vintage style but you got to have the right setting or algorithms & types of reverb to achieve the outcome. A plate reverb can be an option as it adds some air & beauty to a vocal and may need to EQ the send so it filters out some highs & lows. A spring reverb adds cool on a vocal & has interesting depth to a vocal but needs more control.
Adding some delay can make creativity exciting with a bit of filtering & flutter to give a subtle live feeling. Vocal doubling also is a great way for saturating vocals bringing out the solid vocal performance & this can be done by double tracking or using a plugin like Waves ADT.
There are unlimited techniques & processes that can be used on funk style vintage vocal recording these are some of the techniques that I endeavour to partake.
Brooks, T., & Spottswood, R. K. (2004). Lost sounds : blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919
Newell, P. R. (1998). Recording spaces. Focal Press.
Owsinski, B. (2014). The recording engineer’s handbook (Third). Cengage Learning
Touzeau, J. (2009). Artists on recording techniques. Course Technology.