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Friday, September 25, 2015

Def Leppard "Rock Of Ages" Isolated Vocal

Rock of Ages isolated vocal image
When Def Leppard's Pyromania album hit in 1983 it turned the band into superstars, and rightfully so, since the record was filled with hits (and selling more than 10 million copies in the US alone). One of the best was "Rock of Ages" and that's what we'll be looking closely at today.

Pyromania was produced by Mutt Lange, who has long been known as a perfectionist, and you can hear it in the isolated vocal track. Here's what to listen for:

1. The vocals are perfectly in tune and in the pocket (except for the doubles), and although the punches are pretty smooth (this was recorded back in the tape days), many of the vocal phrases are so on top of one another that the only way to sing them was via tight punching.

2. There's a lot of compression of the vocals so there's almost zero dynamics. That was a trademark of engineer Mike Shipley, and one he did very well.

3. The vocals are doubled primarily on the chorus and intro to the chorus, but on select other phrases as well.

4. Listen for the backwards vocals at 3:02.

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