How did Bowie get that distinctive sound on Heros?
“… Visconti set up three separate microphones around Tonstudio 2. The first was placed where one would expect it to be: six inches or so in front of where Bowie stood to sing. The other two were positioned around 15 and 20 feet further back, in order that they might take advantage of the excellent acoustic properties of the studio itself. Visconti placed noise gates on both of these, setting them so that they would only open – and thus become active – when Bowie’s voice reached a certain volume. The result of this marvellous innovation was that, in a single take, his voice could shift from a warm intimacy to a distant wail. And it is this, alongside the unparalleled power of Bowie’s vocal delivery, which lifted Hero’s up from its status as merely a great song to the realm of all-time classic.”
Thomas Jerome Seabrook