Sunday, July 4, 2010

"A LIttle Help From My Friends" - Isolated Vocal

Happy holiday to all my American friends. This week we'll analyze more isolated vocal tracks and today we'll start with one of the all-time favorite songs, A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles off their ground-breaking Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Here are a couple of things to listen for during Ringo's isolated vocal:

1) Ringo's vocal track is generally pretty good for someone that's not a great singer, but it's ironic that the one place he's out of key is at the end of the first verse when he sings, "I will try not to sing out of key." He's a little flat on "key."

2) There's a significant amount of leakage in the track. I believe this was before the time they wore headphones for vocal overdubs so you're hearing the playback from the Lockwood speakers. I'll check with Ken Scott about this.

3) The Abbey Road reverb sounds great on both the lead and background vocals. I suspect that there's a separate chamber on each since the verb sounds different.

4) Great background vocals, as usually. Very tight during the song, although not so on the outro/lead-in to the song.

5) There's an interesting accidental word at 1:51 that appears to be on the background track that was left in.

Enjoy.



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1 comment:

Sergio said...

Hi Bobby, very interesting and fascinating!
Wonderful sample, despite terrible artifacts done by youtube audio compression (I think...)
I'd like to pick up on the reverb tails, cut probably by punch in/out in Studer J37 recording vocals, or in editing on the stereo BTR's... Very vintage working style!
The chamber reverb IMHO were not acoustic chambers, but plate (EMT family) devices. This is the typical, stiff, metallic (and magical) sound...

I'm an Italian musician/sound engineer, great Beatles (and vintage rock) fan, and I wrote a series of specials for the Italian magazine Computer Music & Project Studio...
You can find something here, in Italian - sorry... www.compmusic.it
Sergio Taglioni
PS: your handbooks are bible here for my students young engineers!!!
PPS: Did you listen remastered mono discography? I discovered a new world in Beatles sound...

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