The Burt Bacharach Sound

Discussion in 'Everything Audio' started by JimPA, May 16, 2018.

  1. JimPA

    JimPA Junior Member

    Why is it that the music Burt Bacharach produced sounds so real?
    What part of the recording and mastering process was it?
    Was it his miking techniques that accounts for this?

    The transient clarity still amazes me considering the point in time that it was recorded.
    The decay in the percussion and instrumentals sound so precise and so close.
    Breaths can be heard in the vocals of so many of the artists he recorded with.
    From Dionne Warwick to the Carpenters the sound was a step above many recordings for it's time.

    I wonder how Led Zeppelin may have sound if Burt Bacharach had been involved.
    Olson_jr likes this.
  2. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    OK, now I’ll have to go and listen to some Burt Bacharach, not that that’s a bad thing.
  3. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    Thank you @Olson_jr , all I could remember of the top of my head was “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”.
    Olson_jr likes this.
  4. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Member

    Published on Sep 22, 2015
    ...since I'm uploading spy-themed soundtracks, here's one of the best ever!
    The ORIGINAL "Casino Royale!"
    (This was dubbed from an exceptionally clean original RCA pressed Colgems Lp. This has become an audiophile favorite, and there's no question why.)

    1. Casino Royale Theme (Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass) 00:00
    2. The Look Of Love (Dusty Springfield) 2:38
    3. Money Penny Goes For Broke 6:46
    4. Le Chiffre's Torture Of The Mind 8:25
    5. Home James, Don't Spare The Horses 10:38 (11:03 "Stewie Griffin's 'Sexy Party' Music!")
    6. Sir James' Trip To Find Mata 12:11
    7. The Look Of Love (Instrumental) 15:59
    8. Hi There Miss Goodthighs 18:47
    9. Little French Boy 20:04
    10. Flying Saucer—First Stop Berlin 22:29
    11. The Venerable Sir James Bond 25:27
    12. Dream On James, You're Winning 28:01
    13. The Big Cowboys And Indians Fight At Casino Royale; 29:19 Casino Royale Theme (Reprise) (Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass) 32:05
  5. JohnVF

    JohnVF Administrator Staff Member

    My guess and its only a guess is that they recorded a lot of it like one would a jazz or classical music ensemble instead of a rock/pop outfit, perhaps with more stereo mic techniques as opposed to mono tracks panned into a stereo field. Also the chill nature of the music would fit well within the parameters of some of the better sounding recording gear/boards of the day instead of pushing it into distortion. Certainly he had a budget to work with, and thus work with the best studios, the best studio gear, the best engineers as well as his own talent in the studio and his production chops. Some/most of his music sounds incredible, and he really seemed interested in the 'sound' of the music being as much a part of the song as the arrangement, lyrics, performance, etc.

    In my time away from hi-fi I've been diving into recording technology, trying to teach myself home recording. Man, those guys (and girls) back then knew what they were doing and what they were doing it with, the boards, the mics, the tube compressors, EQs...really haven't been bettered as far as making music, as opposed to making measurements (sounds familiar). Those giant plate reverbs, mic'd reverb chambers, perfect sounding/not totally dead rooms, a closet full of Neumann microphones in as-new condition...
    Olson_jr and JimPA like this.
  6. JimPA

    JimPA Junior Member

    The Richard Carpenters Stereo thread got me thinking about Burt Bacharach.

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