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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,536 Member Since:26/01/2011

#21 [url]

Apr 16 11 5:27 PM

I always thought he was the best story-teller in the business. That's my criterion for a good vocal - beyond the sound, the pitch, or the rhythm. Do I believe the story and do I care about what the teller has to say? If I do, I as producer I just have to avoid screwing it up. If I don't, nothing I do is going to make up for it..

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bob olhsson

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,319 Member Since:25/01/2011

#22 [url]

Apr 16 11 5:39 PM

According to Voyle, Sinatra never really left Radio. It was THE place in Hollywood to make a record.

I'm talking about 1016 North Sycamore Avenue which had been acquired from RCA Victor by Radio and was known as the Radio Recorders Annex. This shouldn't be confused with Radio Recorders' broadcast production studios. RCA still did all of their recording there including Elvis and Henry Mancini. According to Jim Malloy he helped make the very first stereo record ever released, the Dukes of Dixieland on Audio Fidelity, in that room. Jim and Bones Howe were both assistants there and I believe Armin Steiner also got his start in that room.

My understanding is it was torn down some years ago.

www.audiomastery.com Bob's room 615 562-4346 georgetownmasters.com Georgetown Masters 615 254-3233 www.thewombforums.com

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eightyeightkeys

Gold Finger

Posts: 482 Member Since:06/02/2011

#23 [url]

Apr 16 11 6:41 PM

When I was younger, I thought Sinatra sang out of tune. Then I listened more closely and came to appreciate exactly what "bluesing" a note really meant. Instead of being a slave to the notes, Sinatra made the notes a slave to his emotion, imbuing each with a weight of importance of it's own. I'm sure I'm saying this incorrectly, but the range of subtlety that he controlled was staggering. The more I listen, the more I hear.
Bill

-bill_mueller


Me too Bill...actually my appreciation for Sinatra's vocal style came much later. Now, I appreciate it.
There's a real weight to his interpretations/performance...a command of it...swagger and style. And Nelson Riddle's arrangements just complete the total picture. Classics....these will be around for a long, long time.

David Tkaczuk

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jimkissling

Gold Finger

Posts: 255 Member Since:02/02/2011

#24 [url]

Apr 16 11 10:37 PM

Hi All, I have been fascinated by this video and all the thread commentary about the studio, recording, and especially the arrangement.

I have read that this arrangement was by Gordon Jenkins, not Nelson Riddle, and he won a Grammy for it in 1966. It is a beautiful arrangement and deserves credit where credit is due.

I agree that Nelson Riddle's arrangements were incredible and just wondered, for clarification, if the earlier references to him in this post were only about the mention of "I've Got You Under My Skin".

Jim Kissling

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leonardo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,479 Member Since:20/01/2011

#25 [url]

Apr 17 11 9:33 AM

Frank had the absolute best timing of any vocalist, ever.No one before or since has come close.

-compasspnt

Franks re-entry at approx 3:07 kills me everytime, (as does all of this version;--just floors me).
The mono pressing that I'm used to hearing, the arrangement sounds much more cohesive then this 'stereoized' clip. Esp when the 'bones take this first 'solo'. 

Reprise F-1017
The Popular Sinatra
FRANK SINATRA
Sings For Moderns
STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT

Everyone has their fave 'Fank' moment, this is one of mine.

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johnwhynot

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,935 Member Since:22/01/2011

#26 [url]

Apr 17 11 12:13 PM

Timing:


In the return after the big blast, when Frank enters with "Baby‚Ķ"  The whole song changes.  He comes in early, interrupts the sense of heartbreak and tragedy with a wry smile.  The song goes from "I'm a Loser" to "I Have the Blue" in one note.

He was pretty good.

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bob olhsson

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,319 Member Since:25/01/2011

#27 [url]

Apr 17 11 12:13 PM

I remember reading that Eddie Brackett, Sinatra's engineer at United Western, recorded the horns on one track, the vocal on another and everything else on a third!

It's also interesting that he and all of the other United/Western engineers were generally listed on the AFof M union cards as getting paid $60 session scale as a musician which would have been in addition to the $20+ an hour IATSE wages paid by the studio! You can multiply those figures by five or ten to calculate what that would have been in today's money. Being an engineer there was mighty sweet compared to Motown and, no doubt, to what Terry probably got paid at Ardent!

www.audiomastery.com Bob's room 615 562-4346 georgetownmasters.com Georgetown Masters 615 254-3233 www.thewombforums.com

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gainreduction

Tin Man

Posts: 25 Member Since:12/04/2011

#28 [url]

Apr 17 11 12:19 PM

Hi All, I have been fascinated by this video and all the thread commentary about the studio, recording, and especially the arrangement.I have read that this arrangement was by Gordon Jenkins, not Nelson Riddle, and he won a Grammy for it in 1966. It is a beautiful arrangement and deserves credit where credit is due.

-jimkissling

Amazing, indeed. I have always thought the second string "solo" part is one of the most beautiful string parts ever written, I freeze every time I hear it. 

Marcus Black www.detonamusic.com

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dougrogers

Silverado

Posts: 136 Member Since:21/02/2011

#29 [url]

Apr 18 11 12:53 PM


I believe the vocal mic was a Telefunken TD19C, but I'll let Don confirm that.

Btw, Western Recorders where this was recorded is now EastWest Studios.

Cheers,

- DR

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mdm

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,709 Member Since:27/01/2011

#30 [url]

Apr 19 11 7:39 AM

I just have to say though that sinatra's voice could be recorded with almost any mic and it would still fill-up 1/2 of the recording..

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david kulka

Tin Man

Posts: 28 Member Since:24/01/2011

#31 [url]

Apr 21 11 4:55 PM

At United/Western in 1979, I had the honor of being assigned as a support technician on the Sinatra "Trilogy" album. This was a "concept album" with 3 records, representing "past, modern, and future" songs. All the "past" titles (The Song Is You, But Not for Me, I Had the Craziest Dream, It Had to Be You, Let's Face the Music and Dance, Street of Dreams, My Shining Hour, All of You, More Than You Know, and They All Laughed) were recorded at United/Western, along with Theme From New York, New York.

(As I type this, I almost can't believe that I had a part, albeit small, in these amazing recordings!)

I was only in my late 20's but was a real Sinatra fan. I knew that a lot of his great recordings had taken place at United/Western, but almost fell over when booking manager Joan Barnes announced that Mr. Sinatra would be in for about a week with a full orchestra. I immediately asked to be assigned to the date. I was responsible for tape machine setup, integration of a second mixer that was brought in, and sat in on the dates to handle technical issues and questions.

These were evening sessions that took place in Studio 1 with Ed Greene engineering. There were over 40 live musicians and a large choir, plus Frank singing live -- it was one of the largest sessions I ever saw. Almost every instrument got its own mic. The room had a 36 input Harrison desk, and an Auditronics board was brought in as a sub mixer. Everything was recorded via Dolby A to two 24-track JH-24's (one for back up), with a 2 track running at all times to capture rough mixes, etc.

This project was tremendously exciting (and intimidating) to me and the memories are etched in my mind. The set up was very involved -- lots of chairs, music stands, and mics in the studio. As you might imagine there was a great air of excitement and anticipation among everyone involved. The session players filled up the studio; Mr. Sinatra and his entourage arrived early. Lots of discussions among Sinatra, arranger Billy May, Ed Greene, and the other principals.

Pre-session, in the control room, Mr. Sinatra was standing a few few feet from me and somehow I became transfixed by his shoes, which were flawless and mirror-like. It was hard to be cool and undistracted, in his presence!

The sessions went smoothly, but at one point on the second night we began hearing loud intermittent explosions in the monitors and headphones, apparently caused by a bad mic cable. The players hated it, but with so many mic lines going every which way and such a tight schedule, there was really no way to identify the bad mic cable it really do anything about it. So everyone just hung in there and worked around it -- luckily the loud noise didn't spoil any good takes, though there was a wave of terror every time one of those loud echo-y explosions occurred.

All the musicians were in great form. Sinatra sang live on almost all takes -- sometimes in the vocal booth, sometimes in the room with everyone else. I was struck by how, during retakes, he would sing with different vocal interpretations. He would try different phrasings and different feels, but the vocals were always good, always polished sounding. There was not much joking around, but at the end of Let's Face The Music And Dance the horn players added a funny sort of mariachi line, which got laughs from the whole orchestra, and can be heard on the record.

On one of the last evenings I had stepped out of the control room for a bit and will never forget walking back up the ramp from the hallway to the control room, as New York, New York issued forth. It was astounding to see and hear that song being recorded and you can bet that every time I hear it on the radio, it takes me right back to that moment.

Sinatra was a consummate professional throughout. It was obvious to all that he was to be given maximum respect and "space" -- I never spoke with him despite being "right there" in the CR with him for many nights. I'm not sure that any of the United/Western staff spoke with him, except for Joan and Jerry Barnes, who ran the facility. Bill Putnam came down one night and said hello. (I did work up the nerve to give his business manager my 'Ol Blue Eyes LP and ask if Mr. Sinatra might autograph it, at his convenience. A few nights later it came back, with his signature.)

I've been lucky enough to sit in with a lot of legends over the years, but this was a peak experience in my life. I kept my copy the mic setup sheets, with my notes written on them. I'll try to upload the pdf here, if the site will accept the file.



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david kulka

Tin Man

Posts: 28 Member Since:24/01/2011

#34 [url]

Apr 21 11 5:51 PM

Did my pdf attachment work for anyone here? I can't download it from my post, so maybe not. I'll try it again as a jpg.

BTW, this thread reminded me of a great story that Steve Hoffman (mastering engineer and, I might add, music historian) told on his site about the recording of "That's Life". I don't think Steve will mind if I copy it here...

"A session was arranged at United/Western Recording for Frank to do this ONE SONG only. The musicians got ready and Frank came in.

Frank did the song a few times in the studio and then left Western Recording to go hang out somewhere. Jimmy Bowen (God love him) decided that Frank's "OK'd take" wasn't really what he thought the song should be so he ran after Frank and (in the ballsiest move of 1966), grabbed his entourage on Sunset Blvd. and convinced Frank to come back to the studio and do it one more time. Frank was really pissed off and Bowen thought he was canned but Frank came back in (to a bunch of surprised musicians and recording engineer) and they did the song one more time. This time Frank sang it like his butt was on fire (he was still so mad at Bowen) and THAT was the take that was used.

Bowen discovered (after Frank had left the studio a second time) that the strings had not been recorded properly on the tape so they had to re-record them. Bowen mixed a mono version in about 10 minutes (which was the "hit" mix) and went off to eat lunch, exhausted.

Later on that night Bowen cut Frank an acetate ref of the song and messengered it over to Frank. In the middle of the night Frank called Bowen up practically in tears saying "Thank you, thank you so much" over and over again. The song burst up the Billboard charts and made it to #4.

A great story told to me by the producer of the record, Jimmy Bowen."





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david kulka

Tin Man

Posts: 28 Member Since:24/01/2011

#36 [url]

Apr 21 11 6:06 PM

And lastly, page 3.

Looking at these sheets, I thought it curious that on Page 1, Mr. Sinatra's first and last names are at different heights on the page. "Sinatra" is offset by a fraction of an inch. I'll bet you anything that whoever created the sheet left out his surname on the first draft, then thought better of it, reinserted the page, and added his last name. :)


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