80s glam rock drum recording

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80s glam rock drum recording

Postby no-fi » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:25 am

Just wondering - what is the kind of setup you would need for recording a drumkit, going for an 80s glam rock recording? think motley crue, (and the best way to DIY it with minimal gear)

A friend asked us about re-recording and producing a couple of glam rock songs he's recorded on his PC, and the recording drums side of things with the real drummer he's got his hands on is the biggest head scratcher for us.

We're probably OK for "exotic dancers" and bags of coke, but the rest is pretty unknown. I'm a bit worried it'll need lots of mics all over the kit to even approach the sound, and lots of expensive signal chain. I would love to know if the job can even be considered with just a handful of mics.
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Postby Kurt » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:55 pm

My guess would be that the room will have the biggest impact.. You could do each drum in a separate take for perfect separation ;) Or use an electronic kit for true 80's cheesiness.

The drums on my band's album were recorded using electronic drums with real cymbals. They sound much more expensive than my spare bedroom.
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Postby heathen » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:15 pm

Drumagog it. :)
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Postby Chris H » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:44 pm

I remember when Phil Butson of Sing Sing got his first set of Simmons Electronic Drums in the early 80's. He had a small studio in Noble Park at the time. I knew Phil fairly well remember the attention the drum sounds were getting. I was more a player than an engineer at that time so don't know the drum sound thing really well but remember this much.

Here is a bit about the Simmons in Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simmons_(e ... um_company)

Also check out Men At Work's Business as Usual with Peter McIan producing. That album was a bit of a breakthrough sound for drum sounds and hitting the tape hard was part of the process. (Jerry Speiser was also a friend of Phill Butson, they played in the same band before Jerry was in Men At Work)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simmons_(e ... um_company)

As they are now
http://www.simmonsdrums.net/
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Postby wez » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:50 pm

two words... close mic.

80's? simmons drums? calling Adam Toyland...
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Postby adamcal » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:59 am

yes hello,


however, I dont think simmons drums for 80's glam rock, new romantic, goth rock, new wave and so on sure, but motley crue and similar was real drums, compressed, reverbs, live rooms, real studios.
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Postby spandex man » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:20 am

The Tommy Lee kit is in the Steven Slate Drums LE samples....
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Postby ChrisW » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:04 am

Not to get too pigeon holey, but isn't Motley Crue 'hair metal'? And I always think of Gary Glitter and Sweet as 'Glam Rock'.
http://feralhouse.com/press/mini_sites/ ... air_metal/

For the Glitter sound it's deader drums and close micing. For 'hair metal' and the LA metal bands it would be lots of room ambience and sample replacement/enhancement (yes - Steven Slate).
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Postby no-fi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:00 pm

I consider the sweet/ gary glitter as just glam. Then glam rock is poison, and motley crue.. though yeah - maybe that's glam metal. I just have trouble calling stuff like poison and motley crue metal, because I used to be a thrash kiddie in the early 90s.
:-)

So anyway... naming conventions aside - Drums in this track sound very very produced. Wish i had a CD or a record to listen to here, cause I can't make out much detail in the high hats, but when the vocals first kick in with this track, the snare sounds like it's half reverb tail and about a third enhancer twinkle on the reverb tail (which leaves about 1/6th of the sound you hear as the original snare sound) :-)

We can't do this with a half decent room and a small collection of basic mics, can we?

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2q23o ... eart_music


hmm.. so - can you ask a drummer to record a few bits at a time? you tend to see drumkits always recorded in one go and that's probably for a good reason... but I get the feeling if we could record the snare by itself, then the kick and toms in one go, then the high hats in another, we could get away with getting all the parts to disk with minimal recording gear?
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Postby jkhuri44 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:05 pm

80s snare...lots of irritating reverb with the hi end un-damped :-)
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Postby heathen » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:09 pm

jkhuri44 wrote:80s snare...lots of irritating reverb with the hi end un-damped :-)


Oh yeah mega gated room verb is pre-requisite. It just aint 80's without that.
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Postby ChrisW » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:10 pm

no-fi wrote:
hmm.. so - can you ask a drummer to record a few bits at a ti


People do it all at once because it's the best way to get a great feel, a human feel.
It's possible to record things separately, I've done it myself, but it's also quite unusual because the results can be disappointing.
I would record the drums with whatever gear you've got then enhance the basic drums with some glamorous samples.
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Postby heathen » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:12 pm

ChrisW wrote:
no-fi wrote:
hmm.. so - can you ask a drummer to record a few bits at a ti


People do it all at once because it's the best way to get a great feel, a human feel.
It's possible to record things separately, I've done it myself, but it's also quite unusual because the results can be disappointing.
I would record the drums with whatever gear you've got then enhance the basic drums with some glamorous samples.


Yes I'd agree 100%.
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Postby musikwerks » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:29 am

A lot of those 80's hair metal bands triggered Linn Drum samples. Bon Jovi, Crue, etc... a lot of Linn. I would go with the sample replacement/Drumagog route too.
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Postby Chinagraf » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:46 am

Buy an AMS DMX for sample replacing and that 'Bob Clearmountain Drums" disc from the 80's?
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Postby rick » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:03 pm

my memory tells me those sounds are actually VERY hard to do in anything except the right room
ie "power station" "avatar" "bearsville"

we use to sit around and dream of the bombasticness off it all
certainly the clearmountain sample library was a huge influence on trying to do it without the plane tickets .

its easy to laugh at that stuff in the 80s but making(recording) records in the eighties was really hard , your had to know what you were doing
at a much deeper level , so read this as 80 glam rock drum sounds are actually really hard to do well - but hell get a big bright room , lots of mikes an insanely good drum kit and go for it
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Postby Futureman » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:17 pm

musikwerks wrote:A lot of those 80's hair metal bands triggered Linn Drum samples. Bon Jovi, Crue, etc... a lot of Linn. I would go with the sample replacement/Drumagog route too.


If you 'really' want Julian, you can borrow my LinnDrum for that extra level of authenticity... ;]
They have 4 trigger ins which can be assigned to any sound.
I could also get Sam to lend you his TD-6 brain, which should cover all your bases.. at the very least use it to trigger any other bit of kit via Midi.

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Postby Thirteen » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:25 pm

I've got a 4RU rack with an AMS reverb and an AMS delay in it, that would get you the sound, too bad it weighs so much that I can't lift it....
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Postby ChrisW » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:54 pm

Yeah, both AMS boxes would be perfect.
They were definitely a big part of the sound in the UK. Were they big with LA bands?
I know a lot of U.S. studios back then had minimal outboard. You were expected to hire it all in.
For sample enhancement/replacement there's a Toontrack drum collection recorded at Allaire and Avatar (formerly known as The Power Station).
They were recorded by 80's iconic recording engineer Neil Dorfsman and former Pat Travers Band guitarist Pat Thrall:
http://www.toontrack.com/ny_legacy_vol2.asp

Full disclosure: I have a product with the same company (Toontrack) but don't benefit at all from purchases of the Thrall/Dorfsman sample sets.
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Postby TimS » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Yeah, I have Toontracks Superior Drummer 2 New York Studio Legacy series and it also was recorded at Avatar - some awesome kit sounds in there alone.
I've yet to get the NY Legacy Vol 2 add-on kit.. looks really good too.. bet it sounds better ;-)
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