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(Onion AV Club)   How an open studio microphone helped create and define the sound of '80's music   ( avclub.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, gunshot drum sound, In the Air Tonight, best drum tones, Carly Rae Jepsen, medical science, great job, gated reverb, Vox's Earworm  
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4552 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 22 Aug 2017 at 5:50 PM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-08-22 04:15:06 PM  
Martin Hannett also did something similar on Joy Division records which might in fact predate this, "Unknown Pleasures" having been recorded in 1978 or 1979.

but Joy Division wasn't being played on FM top 40 radio....
 
2017-08-22 04:23:47 PM  
Bass solo, take one.
 
2017-08-22 05:11:38 PM  
There is nothing that organic about 80s music, subs. Shiat was so processed and midrange it's still cringing to listen to.

If only it were all about "open studio microphones."
 
2017-08-22 05:59:38 PM  
same produced discovered the technique before melt... Author should have done their research and taken a little XTC

XTC - Black Sea (Full Album) [HD]
Youtube 4Hl1R-FVuTY
 
2017-08-22 06:09:51 PM  
A View to a Kill is probably the most pronounced example. And I didn't know that thing about Prince and his whip crack snares. Interesting stuff.
 
2017-08-22 06:22:06 PM  
When I think reverb, I think John Cougar Mellencamp
 
2017-08-22 06:27:24 PM  
Wait, I thought the sound of the 80s was horribly processed and fake sounding drum triggers, not a noise gate and a hot mic.
 
2017-08-22 06:28:17 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers
Youtube 3xZmlUV8muY
 
2017-08-22 06:29:50 PM  
We used to call that a "wet" drum sound in those days, at least in Toronto.
 
2017-08-22 06:39:38 PM  
Well, now I know that what I've been calling "cannon-shot snare" is actually called "gated reverb."

Thanks, subby, for the rare informative music link around here.

/remembers the music tab
//a certain frequent submitter's trolling headlines ruined it
 
2017-08-22 06:43:02 PM  
It's called the "Hall" effect.

Because 80s bands wanted to sound big and anthemic, like they were playing in a giant arena to thousands of fans, so they put that effect on everything, but especially percussion, to give it fullness and a sense of it being played in a large room.

It was a single button on most 80s synths and takes 2 seconds to apply.
 
2017-08-22 06:43:36 PM  
Today on Fark Entertainment Tab: Music is awesome today because of compression.

Saturday on Fark Entertainment Tab: Music sucks today because of compression.
 
2017-08-22 06:45:48 PM  

Eddie Hazel's E string: a certain frequent submitter's trolling headlines ruined it


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-08-22 06:54:21 PM  

fusillade762: A View to a Kill is probably the most pronounced example. And I didn't know that thing about Prince and his whip crack snares. Interesting stuff.


Nah.

Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy

The funny thing is Michael Jackson's Bad album was full of this percussion technique and it sounds horribly dated, while Thriller does not and it has aged like fine wine.
 
2017-08-22 06:54:51 PM  

Muso: Eddie Hazel's E string: a certain frequent submitter's trolling headlines ruined it

[img.fark.net image 300x225]


You are definitely picking up what I am putting down. Thank god I was exposed to Fawlty Towers to get your reference.
 
2017-08-22 06:55:14 PM  

Eddie Hazel's E string: Well, now I know that what I've been calling "cannon-shot snare" is actually called "gated reverb."

Thanks, subby, for the rare informative music link around here.

/remembers the music tab
//a certain frequent submitter's trolling headlines ruined it


Decent article, although you should note that there is no such thing as a 'compressor' mic.  You can plug a mic into a compressor, but I think the author was fumbling for 'condensor' mic.

As to the term 'gated' here's how a gate works - you define thresholds for the gate to open, and for the gate to close.  Signal goes above the first threshold, gate opens.  Signal drops below the second threshold, gate closes.  This allows you to dial in the attack and decay.  While normal reverb would decay on its own, usually over a longer period of time, slapping a gate on it allows you to control exactly how long it lasts without changing the decay of the reverb itself.  That's how you get that big hall sound that suddenly disappears.
 
2017-08-22 06:59:24 PM  

Ishkur: The funny thing is Michael Jackson's Bad album was full of this percussion technique and it sounds horribly dated, while Thriller does not and it has aged like fine wine.


I 100% agree with this, but I will add that Off the Wall has aged the best of all.
 
2017-08-22 07:03:43 PM  
I would've said that cheesy synthesizers are the defining sound of 80s music.
 
kab
2017-08-22 07:04:15 PM  
Gated reverb-the sharp, gunshot drum sound that defines so much of '80s pop-was the result of an accident sounds like shiat.

/fixed the first line, didn't feel like reading the rest.
//we'll be reading about some aurally deficient fondness for autotune a few decades from now, I'm sure.
 
kab
2017-08-22 07:09:01 PM  

Ishkur: It's called the "Hall" effect.

Because 80s bands wanted to sound big and anthemic, like they were playing in a giant arena to thousands of fans, so they put that effect on everything, but especially percussion, to give it fullness and a sense of it being played in a large room.

It was a single button on most 80s synths and takes 2 seconds to apply.


Sort of.    An actual gated reverb will simply cut off when the reverb signal dips below a certain point (much like a noise gate will work) whereas a hall effect will have a longer trail to it. (INXS - Never Tear Us Apart is a good example of hall 'verb on a snare)  Granted most of the other instruments going on will tend to chew up that tail, but still.
 
2017-08-22 07:11:58 PM  
Hovered over the link and immediately thought of Phil Collins. That was an interesting video. I know that I've been hearing a more 80s sound to music these days just never thought of what made it sound that way.

Cool link.
 
2017-08-22 07:16:35 PM  
The album is not called "Melt".  It's called "Peter Gabriel - there's like three of them called that, but this is the one with his face all melted on it"
 
2017-08-22 07:24:38 PM  

kab: Ishkur: It's called the "Hall" effect.

Because 80s bands wanted to sound big and anthemic, like they were playing in a giant arena to thousands of fans, so they put that effect on everything, but especially percussion, to give it fullness and a sense of it being played in a large room.

It was a single button on most 80s synths and takes 2 seconds to apply.

Sort of.    An actual gated reverb will simply cut off when the reverb signal dips below a certain point (much like a noise gate will work) whereas a hall effect will have a longer trail to it. (INXS - Never Tear Us Apart is a good example of hall 'verb on a snare)  Granted most of the other instruments going on will tend to chew up that tail, but still.


Jesus, next you're going to tell me Kevin Saunderson didn't come up with the Reese bass.
 
2017-08-22 07:25:59 PM  

Billy Liar: The album is not called "Melt".  It's called "Peter Gabriel - there's like three of them called that, but this is the one with his face all melted on it"


They've all been "renamed." "Car." "Scratch." "Melt." "Security."

I know, it's stupid.
 
2017-08-22 07:30:12 PM  
cps-static.rovicorp.comView Full Size


Truly great drum recording techniques for this album.
 
2017-08-22 07:39:11 PM  
I like these kind of videos that show you what NOT to do.
 
2017-08-22 07:44:52 PM  
Kate made heavy use of it in the song Hounds of Love.

/It's in the trees! It's coming!
 
2017-08-22 07:53:14 PM  

Billy Liar: The album is not called "Melt".  It's called "Peter Gabriel - there's like three of them called that, but this is the one with his face all melted on it"


four
 
2017-08-22 07:54:12 PM  

I love that part.

img.fark.netView Full Size

 
2017-08-22 08:15:08 PM  
Billy Squire's "The Stroke".
 
2017-08-22 08:16:02 PM  
hah, I knew it was the gated drum before I even clicked the link.
 
2017-08-22 08:18:28 PM  
Back in the 80s I heard something, probably Memphis Soul Stew, that made me realize drum recording was making all the music suck.

I know it was from that 8-disc Atlantic R&B box. God, that's a great boxset.
 
2017-08-22 08:20:42 PM  

whidbey: Billy Liar: The album is not called "Melt".  It's called "Peter Gabriel - there's like three of them called that, but this is the one with his face all melted on it"

They've all been "renamed." "Car." "Scratch." "Melt." "Security."

I know, it's stupid.


And then there's "So."

/my favorite album from the 80s
//if not evar
///YES, EVAR
 
2017-08-22 08:23:44 PM  

kab: Gated reverb-the sharp, gunshot drum sound that defines so much of '80s pop-was the result of an accidentsounds like shiat.


Then there was the "percussion" of the 90s...especially with the boy bands...where it literally sounded like someone flung shiat at a wall and recorded the impact.

People rail on the 80s for its cheesy synths and stuff, but the 90s sucked donkey balls.
 
2017-08-22 08:29:26 PM  

xanadian: Then there was the "percussion" of the 90s...especially with the boy bands...where it literally sounded like someone flung shiat at a wall and recorded the impact.


That's called the Blackhole reverb effect
 
2017-08-22 08:34:22 PM  

ambientlush: xanadian: Then there was the "percussion" of the 90s...especially with the boy bands...where it literally sounded like someone flung shiat at a wall and recorded the impact.

That's called the Blackhole reverb effect


more like "brownhole"....
 
2017-08-22 08:37:24 PM  

xanadian: ambientlush: xanadian: Then there was the "percussion" of the 90s...especially with the boy bands...where it literally sounded like someone flung shiat at a wall and recorded the impact.

That's called the Blackhole reverb effect

more like "brownhole"....


I prefer the pink noise "Pinkhole", myself
 
2017-08-22 08:41:58 PM  

Thank You Black Jesus!: Billy Liar: The album is not called "Melt".  It's called "Peter Gabriel - there's like three of them called that, but this is the one with his face all melted on it"

four


What? I said, "like three"....
B^|
 
2017-08-22 08:58:57 PM  
Cool link, sub.
 
2017-08-22 08:59:39 PM  
Julius Pleaseher: I would've said that cheesy synthesizers keytars are the defining sound of 80s music.
 
2017-08-22 09:25:04 PM  
80s 80s 80s?  how long until everyone is into grunge again?
 
2017-08-22 09:29:50 PM  
That drum sound turned Def Leppard from a decent rock band to a teen girl band.
Rot in hell mutt Lange.
 
2017-08-22 09:52:19 PM  

rickythepenguin: Martin Hannett also did something similar on Joy Division records which might in fact predate this, "Unknown Pleasures" having been recorded in 1978 or 1979.

but Joy Division wasn't being played on FM top 40 radio....


Now hang on just a minute.
 
2017-08-22 09:57:06 PM  
I hate that sound. I love the drum sound that Tom Dowd got with Cream.
 
2017-08-22 10:45:25 PM  

Dear Jerk: Memphis Soul Stew


LOL. wasn't that Bernard Purdie? He makes 99% of all drumming sound shiatty.
 
2017-08-22 10:57:49 PM  

Eddie Hazel's E string: Ishkur: The funny thing is Michael Jackson's Bad album was full of this percussion technique and it sounds horribly dated, while Thriller does not and it has aged like fine wine.

I 100% agree with this, but I will add that Off the Wall has aged the best of all.


Someone just spoke some truth there.
 
2017-08-22 11:05:53 PM  

whidbey: There is nothing that organic about 80s music, subs. Shiat was so processed and midrange it's still cringing to listen to.

If only it were all about "open studio microphones."


Tell that to all of the guys with stacks of cash snorting blow off hookers' asses in the 80's.
 
2017-08-22 11:07:20 PM  

Ishkur: It's called the "Hall" effect.

Because 80s bands wanted to sound big and anthemic, like they were playing in a giant arena to thousands of fans, so they put that effect on everything, but especially percussion, to give it fullness and a sense of it being played in a large room.

It was a single button on most 80s synths and takes 2 seconds to apply.


And your point is...?
 
2017-08-22 11:08:25 PM  

derpes_simplex: Eddie Hazel's E string: Well, now I know that what I've been calling "cannon-shot snare" is actually called "gated reverb."

Thanks, subby, for the rare informative music link around here.

/remembers the music tab
//a certain frequent submitter's trolling headlines ruined it

Decent article, although you should note that there is no such thing as a 'compressor' mic.  You can plug a mic into a compressor, but I think the author was fumbling for 'condensor' mic.

As to the term 'gated' here's how a gate works - you define thresholds for the gate to open, and for the gate to close.  Signal goes above the first threshold, gate opens.  Signal drops below the second threshold, gate closes.  This allows you to dial in the attack and decay.  While normal reverb would decay on its own, usually over a longer period of time, slapping a gate on it allows you to control exactly how long it lasts without changing the decay of the reverb itself.  That's how you get that big hall sound that suddenly disappears.


Todd

Rundgren
 
2017-08-22 11:09:07 PM  

Unikitty: And your point is...?


Drum machines in the 80s were notoriously tinny and this effect also hid their tinnyness.
 
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