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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heart's "Barracuda" Isolated Vocals

Here's an interesting mostly isolated vocal track from Heart's 1977 hit and album radio favorite "Barracuda." The track sounds like it was isolated via phase cancellation since there are elements of other tracks that jump in and out as the song goes along, but that's okay since they're actually helpful in hearing some of the other parts. Here are some things to listen for.

1) Listen to the majesty of Ann Wilson's voice. One of the best voices in rock.

2) As with most songs done in the analog age, there are a lot of lip smacks and breaths (thanks to the hard compression) that couldn't easily be cleaned up in those days.

3) It sounds like there's an 8th note delay with a fair amount of regeneration on the vocal that's timed to the track and printed. The reason why I think it's printed is that you can hear a punch at about 12 seconds where the delay cuts off and then back in again.

4) The production on this song is state-of-the-art not only for those days, but now as well. Listen to electric rhythm guitar and acoustic guitar during the guitar solo at around 2:00. They're really tightly played with each other where it almost sounds like they were fixed by moving sliding them in a DAW, which of course wasn't available for about another 20 years. Also, the layering of the outro is great.



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2 comments:

Derek said...

Heart were always heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, but you can really hear it here in Ann's vocal: she uses many similar phrasings and tonalities to the way Robert Plant sang. And did a great job of it, mind you!

Anonymous said...

Just saw her last tuesday night...at age 60 her voice is better than ever...amazing. Nancy sounded great too.

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