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Why does Ricky Nelson sound so good?




 
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Author Topic: Why does Ricky Nelson sound so good?  (Read 23597 times)
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Ed WA4NJY
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« on: June 11, 2006, 09:52:44 PM »

     I was listening to the local oldies AM station on my 12 year old original equipment car
       radio.  Ricky Nelson and others just sounded much better than the announcer, ads,
       anything else. Why is that? Is it my personal preference?  To my limited knowledge
       of audio, it sounds like a very small amount of reverb or over dub.

     If I could make my Valiant II sound like that, I would be a happy guy.

                                                       Ed Purvis
                                                       Bradenton, Fl
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2006, 10:35:38 PM »

I'll venture a guess....better talent, a good singing voice, good production values. When you have to lay it down, and not bet on the en gin err covering up your mis takes, youll probably try harder... Listen to Rudolf the red raindeer around Christmass on FM ( just 'caus of the wider BW available) - its put together well....  klc



<<<or the air was cleaner, and did not effect the Cu wires as much>>>
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Tom WA3KLR
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2006, 03:19:30 PM »

By the way, I remember he wanted to be called "Rick" in his later years, trying to get away from the tennybopper era image of his career.
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2006, 07:54:06 PM »

Tom said:
Quote
By the way, I remember he wanted to be called "Rick" in his later years, trying to get away from the tennybopper era image of his career.

Maybe it was that 'Garden Party' gig he performed at.
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Mike(y)/W3SLK
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006, 08:28:29 PM »

The NPR gurus had a weird segment on why we are wired genetically to respond to some human voices more than others. The example given was Mick Jagger!
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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 09:14:27 PM »

The NPR gurus had a weird segment on why we are wired genetically to respond to some human voices more than others. The example given was Mick Jagger!

I respond negatively to him.  Don't know why, guess I can see that mouth flapping and his attempt at rhythm on stage.
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006, 09:29:10 PM »

   Speaking of responding negatively   ---  "Pat Boon Sings Elvis"     I want to stick knitting needles in my ears when I hear him... Almost as bad as Capt Kirk and Mr. Tamboreen Man....   klc
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Ed WA4NJY
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006, 10:08:13 PM »


            So far, it seems there is no technical reason why some voices sound better
      on my cheap and old system.
                                                    Ed
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 02:13:00 PM »

   Speaking of responding negatively   ---  "Pat Boon Sings Elvis"     I want to stick knitting needles in my ears when I hear him... Almost as bad as Capt Kirk and Mr. Tamboreen Man....   klc

Ha! I have the mp3 of Shatner singing 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' which was voted the worst cover of all times a few years ago. Also have 'Spock'/Nimoy singing 'If I had a Hammer' and 'Put a Little Love in your Heart'. It's a hoot! And you still see it today, someone gets famous in acting and decides they can be a rock star too.  Roll Eyes

As far as the better sound, i wonder if it has to do with the way things in the audio chain are set up at the station? Limiter/compressor times and whatever else, and whether all of the channels are set up the same or run through the same path? I've listened to stations where the music sounded FAR better than it does from the average recording, but the DJ and spots sounded thin. It always bothered me that my music never sounded as good, regardless of what I played it on: Harmon Kardon tube amp or Pioneer solid state.
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 02:48:50 PM »

Pat Boone singing Elvis is disgusting!! Shatner doing "tamborine man" or "lucy in the sky" is beyond horrible. BUT PLEASE................ NIMOY DOING "PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART"!!! IN THAT MONOTONE VOICE, PLEASE..................... that is disgusting beyond anything that words can describe!!

I think I'm gonna.......................................PUKE!! Shocked Shocked Shocked


 
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 05:31:22 PM »

back in 1984ish WGY had a afternoon musick show... the dj played all the favorites one day.. The Pat Boon one was "Hound Dog" about 1/4 tempo of the original with simple piano and string accompanyment. The best way to describe it is syrupie sweet, honey sticking  steeming bowl of shyite.... klc
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2006, 07:41:45 AM »

Have you tested the high midrange of your system? - try Willie Nelson instead of Ricky Nelson.

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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2006, 08:19:11 AM »

I think a very, very, light application of reverb can make the voice sound better to the ear as long as the audiio is not too complex. It can be easily overdone, though. I remember, back in the early '70's, Sansui and Pioneer sold Reverb Boxes for home stereo.

My favorite Ricky Nelson is "Hello, MaryLou", by the way!
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"Rock Cave Dave"
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2006, 09:05:54 AM »

It might be the oxygen that was never removed from the copper wire. Ooopps, I don't want to start with that can of worms again Grin
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Mike(y)/W3SLK
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2006, 12:06:43 PM »

I think a very, very, light application of reverb can make the voice sound better to the ear as long as the audiio is not too complex. It can be easily overdone, though

Well when you think of 1962"s "Telstar" by the Tornados, there is a tremendous amount of  both tape echo and spring reverb, both of which add nicely to this space-age song. It's an instrumental besides, with a lot going on.

On vocals alone, the spring reverb adds some sustain to the volume, making it sound fuller. A lot of Ricky Nelson's recordings are of the vintage where that was a popular production trick.

The one that fascinated me was "flanging." It's done electronicallly now, but in The Olde Days two tape machines with the same material were summed in phase, causing a swoopy sort of cancellation by audio frequency as the two signals came into, and then fell out of alignment.

The amount and the rate of this cancellation were varied by placing a thumb on the flange of the supply reel, and adjusting the volume of one source to establish the depth of the null.

Any number of songs come to mind where this was a hallmark. The earliest is probably 1967's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" by the Status Quo, and the most popular probably the Doobie Brothers "Listen to the Music."

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Ed-VA3ES
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2006, 03:26:04 PM »

  Any number of songs come to mind where this was a hallmark. The earliest is probably 1967's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" by the Status Quo, and the most popular probably the Doobie Brothers "Listen to the Music." 
And don't forget  "Itchikoo Park" , by the Small Faces (also 1967).
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2006, 03:34:06 PM »

  Any number of songs come to mind where this was a hallmark. The earliest is probably 1967's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" by the Status Quo, and the most popular probably the Doobie Brothers "Listen to the Music." 
And don't forget  "Itchikoo Park" , by the Small Faces (also 1967).

Gosh, don't you guys remember "The Big Hurt" by Toni Fisher?  It was number 56 of the top 100 in 1960.
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2006, 03:41:46 PM »

Did that really have flanging?
Methinks your record was / is warped.
That's an entirely different effect.
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Ed Nesselroad
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2006, 03:43:31 PM »

"Now it begins..."
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2006, 04:16:03 PM »


Gosh, don't you guys remember "The Big Hurt" by Toni Fisher?  It was number 56 of the top 100 in 1960.

Re: "The Big Hurt"
That was a selective fading effect.  Sounded like phase distortion.  I always thought that it sounded like it was coming over a short wave broadcast station.  I liked it!  It really was a neat effect.  I think there might have been a few other recordings that had a similar effect, but I'm not a music archivist and can't remember which ones they were. (cue) Wink

73,  Jack, W9GT
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73, Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2006, 04:17:49 PM »

Yes, the "Big Hurt" was an early classic using flanging. It was fun hearing it coming from a long distance on an AM radio late at night. The flanging and fading together was magic.

I once worked at a recording studio in the early 70's. A guy once came in with a pile of duplicate records and wanted every one recorded onto tape using the double record flanging technique. He musta had a lot of fun listening to it afterwards


A Google search shows:

"The classic flanging effect is believed to have been first perfected during 1966 by George Chkiantz, an engineer employed at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London, although it can be heard in The Big Hurt by Toni Fisher which rose to #3 in the Billboard chart in 1959. One of the first instances of the sound being used on a commercial pop recording was the Small Faces' 1967 single Itchycoo Park, recorded at Olympic and engineered by Chkiantz's colleague Glyn Johns."




T
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Ed KB1HVS
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2006, 05:58:24 PM »

"Now it begins..."
now that you've gone
Needles and pins, twilight till dawn
Watching that clock till you return
Lighting that torch and watching it burn

Now it begins, day after day
This is my night, ticking away
Waiting to hear footsteps that say
"Love will appear and this time to stay"

Oh, each time you go
I try to pretend
It's over at last
This time the big hurt will end

Now it begins, now that you've gone
Needles and pins, twilight till dawn
But if you go, come back again
I wonder when, oh when will it end
The big hurt

The big hurt
The big hurt



 Really cool sounding tune.  Smiley HVS
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2006, 04:38:41 AM »

Well I will dig up The Big Hurt on MP3 somewhere and refresh me because it's not clicking in.

Record flanging was fun too, you're right, but I wonder how you determined for that guy who wanted them duplicated  the rate of the cancellation. There's a certain art to picking where the null hits, you know. Otherwise it can be a mess.

When I worked in local radio, this time of year we had extended hours until signoff. Our showcase studio was at a shopping mall with a window studio we called the Fishbowl.  I was the newsguy, and stayed at the transmitter site and main studio to pull the switch at the end of the day.

This lent some opportunity to do some creative flanging on the air for what the DJ would hype as  "The Wierd Version ! " of various songs heard only on this station and only after management had left for the day.

One that turned out really well was Blondie's DREAMING, with a buncha 16th note drum hits and treble.  The trick at my end was to get the record up and synchronized in "cue," off the air, and then slowly pot it up to mix with the other record, while picking the approaching cancellation to hit the crescendo or bridge of the song. It built the musical tension right up to the null.

The pisser for the DJ was that he wasn't able to join in the fun. The turntables at the mall were the "new" Technics servo sync jobs. You'd put your finger on the flange and the damn thing would compensate speed.  So the old Russcos at the main site were the flangeable ones.

Then there was the QSB effect, most notably on "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. This was a standard test song on 75 meters in the 1970s. You'd get two stations, and you'd hear the song on one, and then the other, alternating. Audience would be the judge as to which transmitter was the cleanest, loudest, and best frequency response.

But in all that were the inevitable fades here and there, that indeed added that ethereal quality we've noted here.



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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2006, 08:09:24 AM »

If you wish to generate a million spam emails, you can download The Big Hurt for free here.  http://www.rhapsodylive.com/rhapsody/lp-015-af032/kw/the big hurt

When I was but a child listening to KOMA in OKC, I always wanted to hear it for the effect.  Unitl I was in OKC and heard it, I thought it was fading, which was common at night.  I lived about 180 miles from the station and there were many songs that had that effect, so I thought it was common and a recording thing.

I iived in a rural setting so at night I didn't have the noise of town around me so I alternated between KOMA, WNOE, WLS, KSTP and XERF when Woof Man Jack was there.  Those were the days. 
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Ed KB1HVS
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2006, 08:39:08 AM »


Then there was the QSB effect, most notably on "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. This was a standard test song on 75 meters in the 1970s. You'd get two stations, and you'd hear the song on one, and then the other, alternating. Audience would be the judge as to which transmitter was the cleanest, loudest, and best frequency response.

But in all that were the inevitable fades here and there, that indeed added that ethereal quality we've noted here.





  If anyone has a copy of Eric Burdon and the Anamals The Twain Shall Meet,  The song Closer To The Truth has some really good SW type QSB effects.
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