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Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Doors "LA Women" Isolated Vocal

Here's the isolated vocal from a classic rock standard that's still played on AOR radio stations to this day. It's The Doors "LA Women" from their 1971 album of the same name. The song was recorded live at the band's rehearsal studio with singer Jim Morrison singing in the bathroom because of the nice ambience it provided. The band was also augmented with bassist Jerry Sheff (Elvis' bass player at the time and father of Chicago bassist Jason Sheff) and rhythm guitarist Marc Benno. Here's what to listen for (the almost 8 minute track is edited to just the vocal sections).

1. There's a nice dark (meaning no high end) slightly delayed plate reverb on the vocal that melts together with the vocal. Even though Morrison sang in the bathroom because of the ambience, most bathrooms are too small to have long decays like you hear on the song. It does provide a nice fullness to the vocal though.

2. There's a fair amount of distortion on the vocal when it gets loud, which was obviously left in because the performance is so good. Engineer/producer Bruce Botnick is one of the finest engineers of our time, but he knew when to fix something and when not to, and this wasn't the time for a fix. The performance should always come first as it did here. Chances are none of us has ever heard the distortion with the rest of the track playing on the radio anyway.

3. It's very cool to hear the leakage in the background. There's nothing like a band that cooks live!


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1 comment:

Nichole said...

Thanks for including this one. Only sounds like Jim just ate the mic. Which makes me visualize Bruce having to really ride the fader? Glad he valued the performance over fix. Out of all of the Great Music of the 60's, The Doors felt like The Future.


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