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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Rock Of Ages" - Def Leopard Isolated Vocals

Today we analyze Joe Elliott's isolated lead vocal on the Def Leopard classic "Rock of Ages." This was off their huge 1981 hit, Pyromania. Here's what to listen for.

1) This vocal is really compressed. The attack is so short that there's almost no high end and you never hear a clear "s" or "t".

2) It's interesting how producer Mutt Lange doubles certain lines, and then uses the standard chorus double.

3) This is one of the few lead vocals that you'll hear on record that is dead dry.

4) You can also hear a number of punches. In one case there's even a slight click but most of the time it just feels slightly unnatural because of the breath.

5) Mutt is said to be a real stickler for in-tune vocals and he certainly is here, except for the doubles which are noticeable off in a few places.

6) Note the backwards vocal starting at 3:04

7) Note the arppegiated synth with a sample and hold at the end.

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brad said...

Is there really no reverb on the vocals on the track? I'm listening to it here and it sounds like it's got some depth to it -- but it could be on the master bus. Or maybe I can't hear.

Anonymous said...

The "Rock of Ages" line in the chorus sounds auto-tuned. " Did that exist in '81?

Bobby Owsinski said...

Autotune the device didn't exist in 1981, but it was common to tune things up manually with a Harmonizer back then on a big budget. It took a long time and was excruciatingly tedious, but it worked.

Unknown said...

This is dry.. But on the record it was not dry.. You not only hear some verb/room.. But quick dly slap on Joes voice and a widener.. Like an H3000. Listen to the real tune even in the intro you can hear how wide it is.. This was just the vocal dry..don't be confused just because it's on YouTube.. It's not the finished track..


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