How a recording-studio mishap shaped '80s music

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by drmilktruck, May 12, 2019.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Interesting story of where the 80s drum sound came from.

     
  2. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I still remeber being extremely angry over our sound engineer`s efforts trying to emulate these sounds in the late eighties. He wasted hours and hours of precious studio time on this with very poor results.
    I am still unhappy hearing Yes- drum-samples from "owner of a lonely heart" on some of our heaviest numbers.
    In the early nineties the D-Drum was a big step in bringing classic and modern drumsounds to the stage and the studio.
    It was incredibly expensive but it delivered.
    In these time I used a refrigerator-sized rack. Everything was produced before it hit the p.a..
    Lots of headache and possible failiure.
    Hated it.
    The only good point was that it was very calm and controlled onstage.
    It felt unnatural to me. That was not how rock`n roll should sound like.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  3. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I hated the gated reverb drum sounds we had to produce in live concerts during the '80s. Everyone was mad for it and Yamaha even started making multi-effects units with gated reverb presets. The drums always sounded fake to me. I always preferred a bit of "airiness" to the drums and natural reverb room sounds.
     
  4. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Like everything else that's over used gated reverb on drums got boring and tired after a while. It happened to fuzz boxes, wah wah pedals and tremolo too. When used sparingly and tastefully it's all cool but not on every freakin' song on every album for a whole decade...:eek:.
     
  5. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I remember it all too well. I never cared for that sound. When we record, when use distant miking of the drums and add a touch of reverb post-prod. I don’t care for artificial sounding music.
     
  6. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Drum sounds! My favourite topic. (I am a drummer, after all.)

    IMHO, the gated reverb effect sounds fantastic on Phil Collins/Genesis records, and it sounds terrible on everyone else's. Hugh Padgham, the engineer who created the effect, used just the right amount of reverb and compression to make the drums sound huge without making them sound like they'd been drowned in hairspray.

    Check out "No Reply at All" from the Abacab album: those drums sound snappy and alive, crackling with energy. The producers who tried to copy the effect just drenched the drums in reverb until they'd soaked all the life out of them. (Of course, those producers didn't have drummers as sophisticated as Phil Collins to work with either.)
     
  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Not just drums, nor music, either. It fits in many areas. Find something that's new and different, and it gets beat to death in no time. We had one building with a certain new roof style, then, Whamo!, we've got 7 in town. TV, movies, books---it happens everywhere.
     
  8. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Age:
    55
    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    So true. As a structural engineer I sometimes get a first hand look at how closely related architecture and fashion are.

    Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
     
  9. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    I totally agree with you. If it had been just the Genesis "signature drum sound," then it would have been fine. By the time it became the sound for everyone, it just stopped being special, and it just lends to the feeling that "Music, Inc." found another formula.

    I get that formulas can sell records, but creativity suffers in the process.

    An astute observation, my friend!
     
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I agree. I never minded that sound on Genesis albums, but the imitators beat it to death.
    Indeed!
     
    pmac11, section2 and drmilktruck like this.
  11. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    I think You just helped me figure out my musical taste during the eighties...avoid gated reverb
     
  12. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Cool and interesting video . I remember in the 80's , Phil Collins was the hottest ticket in town
     
    section2 and drmilktruck like this.
  13. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Please add “stereo chorus”...[shudder]
     
    blueruins and drmilktruck like this.
  14. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    :eek: I'm a chorus freak myself ... but we're still friends :)
     
    unbridled, drmilktruck and Ricochet like this.
  15. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Let's hear it!



    I usually don't pay much attention to the drum sound (Sorry!) but even I think the drums on In the Air Tonight are outstanding. The section at 3:16 is one of my favorite breaks in all music.

     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    section2 likes this.
  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Chorus is one of very few effects I like, but it was so overused in the ‘80s that I had my fill. I use is sparingly, these days; it still has its place, but in the ‘80s it was like an inch-thick layer of icing, making the cake far too rich. This was especially true in Jazz Fusion, where virtually every guitar track was drenched in it. A lot of otherwise good music was ruined because of it.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  17. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    The only thing worse than the 80's gated drum sound was the cheesy crappy drum machine hand claps. On the No Reply At All video it's bad enough that they are faking the brass parts but they're faking the hand claps too...:D.
    Personally I liked Mike and the Mechanics better.
     
  18. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Steve Lillywhite (who was the actual producer of the third Peter Gabriel album. Padgham was the engineer) also used that Big Drum Sound.

    Check out Big Country (everything about that album is big!)



    Or U2, where the drums emulate automatic weapons fire.

     
    section2 and RocknRollShakeUp like this.
  19. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Synchromatic

    565
    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I’m not trying for new and different in my music struggles. I’m trying for old and traditional: rockabilly and early 50’s to early sixties roots of rock and roll: Carl Perkins; Gene Vincent/Cliff Gallup; Sun Sessions/Scotty Moore; Ricky Nelson/James Burton. It’s hard to get that simple early effect using similar technology today (that is, without a pedal, just the right guitar and amp): a little reverb but otherwise clean. Most pop (so-called rock) made after 1979 relies on too much non-instrument influence for my tastes. (Yes, I’m an old troglodyte. Get off my lawn!)
     
  20. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    In the '50s, much of the day's music was recorded in ensemble, all at once in a single room with a minimum of mikes. Even top of the chart big bands were recorded with just a few mikes. That lasted well into the '60s. I've recorded many small chamber groups with just a stereo pair (into the 2000s). The KISS Principle works.
     
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