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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Duran Duran "Hungry Like The Wolf" Isolated Vocals

It's always interesting to go back and listen to the song that set an artist or band off on a career, so today we'll look at the isolated vocal track from Duran Duran's first big hit "Hungry Like The Wolf." The song was written in only day around a backing track from a Roland TR-808 drum machine (you can find the samples here) and Jupiter 8 keyboard (samples here). Although the first recording was finished by the time the band went home for the night, all of the parts except for the backing track were re-recorded again at London's AIR Studios a few months later. The song was released on the band's Rio album to much fanfare in 1982.

Here are some things to listen for in the song (the vocals begin at around 10 seconds):

1. The lead vocal has an interesting modulation effect supplied by an Eventide 949 Harmonizer. It's a trick we used to use on a vocalist with pitch problems where you tune one channel up a few cents and the other down a few cents. That spreads the vocals out a bit across the stereo spectrum, gives the impression of a double, and makes you forget all about any pitch problems that might be occurring. Listen - it works!

2. Theres a nice delayed reverb on the vocal tracks that has most of the top and bottom end filtered out so it blends into the mix better. When you listen to the the vocal in the track with the rest of the instruments, it has a nice sheen on it without actually hearing the reverb, but it's pretty apparent when you just listen to the isolated vocals.

You can read more about how the hit songs that you love were create in Deconstructed Hits.


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1 comment:

Rand said...

Always fascinating stuff and interesting insights Bobby, many thanks.

Duran Duran has always been a top band with excellent songwriting, despite any naysayers out there.

Any group that's had so many hit songs with this much longevity since the early 80's earns its validity in music history.

Totally the opposite of so much (too much) of the vapid 'McDonald's" like disposable music so prevalent today, regardless of how many millions sold.


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