How Chief Engineer of Motown Russ Terrana Recorded Michael Jacksons Vocals

Before all of the fancy software and effects that we have today, some of the most iconic sounds we know just used simple methods.

"As I recall, it was a Neumann U87. I gave it some light compression — I think it was an Urei LA-3A. I didn't squeeze it — just enough to keep the peaks from slamming, and to give it a little bit more stability. Without a compressor it would go from quiet, to a sudden hard note; and then wham, there goes the meter. That works pretty much for any vocalist too; you don't want to squeeze it too hard. For example, it's like how you never add reverb when you record a vocal, because then you're stuck with what you got. You want it to be as pure as possible in the mix because then you can do whatever you want with it."

Via: "Chief Engineer of Motown": Russ Terrana Shares 18 Years of Recording for the Iconic Label | Tape Op - the Creative Music Recording Magazine
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