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80s Boogie Post Disco Drum Machine
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Cabrone
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4th March 2012
Old 4th March 2012
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80s Boogie Post Disco Drum Machine

Hi, needed to post and ask this since It's been doing my head in for too long..

Can somebody who knows well the sound of the classic drum machines take a listen to these tracks and tell me what drum machine they are? I've posted these 2 as I'm sure they use the same kit.

The Attitude is produced by The System who I believe used the Oberheim DMX and were even endorsed it?? I have this kit(samples) though and it doesn't really sound the same which if it is that kit, then how do they get the kick so thumpy? and the snare has a sort of rubbery texture, sounds like some notch filtering going on or something..

I also acquired samples of the Drumulator which I think sounds alot more like it, much punchier like in these tracks but I'm not due to the whole DMX thing with The System.





Also, if anyone on here was around back then and involved in this style could you share the common drum processing techniques and or ways of best emulating ITB, I'm making this stuff but trying to the old methods as much as I can.

Any info appreciated, thanks.
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4th March 2012
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4th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post

The Attitude is produced by The System who I believe used the Oberheim DMX and were even endorsed it?? I have this kit(samples) though and it doesn't really sound the same which if it is that kit, then how do they get the kick so thumpy? and the snare has a sort of rubbery texture, sounds like some notch filtering going on or something..

Any info appreciated, thanks.
I agree. I also have the DMX factory samples and they dont sound anything like those drums. Now, it could be it is a DMX and the sounds were processed. Or it could be a mixture of DMX, Linn Drum and perhaps Sequential Circuits Drumtrax , again all processed.

I wasnt making music back then but one thing I do know is that everyone had a pad which may have been called Syn Drum (although dont quote me on that). It was an analog drum synth which was widely used to compliment the clap/snare. Its that sort of whip/crack noise you hear often. Im convinced i hear it on a lot of records like the ones you posted. Alternatively people may have used something from a company called simmons who made electronic drum kits and could also sound like the syn drum.

I have a sequential circuits drum machine which I can get to sound like those drums kiks and snare with some careful processing, but not the clap/crack sound. It has a great clap, but it just doesnt sound like the ones on the video, but neither does the DMX samples I have. I read somewhere that on Justice first album they used a Linn Drum for the hi hats. I dispute that becasue on a few of the tracks the hi hats sound exactly like my Sequential Circuits Drumtrax hi hats. Theres something about the sound/groove of those hats when you programme the machine rather than use samples or trigger them from a midi sequencer. My point is everyone has an opinion on what was used and what wasnt. What was actually used may be a surprise but if I had to hasten guess I would say there is DMX and probably some Linn Drum in there with an added syn drum type thing.

PS
After further listening Im pretty confident there is no Sequential Drumtrax in there. It can be difficult to tell at time because dont forget the drums could all be tuned, well at least on the SD. I could however get the SD to sound like those kiks and snares
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4th March 2012
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Originally Posted by spaceacademy View Post
I agree. I also have the DMX factory samples and they dont sound anything like those drums. Now, it could be it is a DMX and the sounds were processed. Or it could be a mixture of DMX, Linn Drum and perhaps Sequential Circuits Drumtrax , again all processed.

I wasnt making music back then but one thing I do know is that everyone had a pad which may have been called Syn Drum (although dont quote me on that). It was an analog drum synth which was widely used to compliment the clap/snare. Its that sort of whip/crack noise you hear often. Im convinced i hear it on a lot of records like the ones you posted. Alternatively people may have used something from a company called simmons who made electronic drum kits and could also sound like the syn drum.

I have a sequential circuits drum machine which I can get to sound like those drums kiks and snare with some careful processing, but not the clap/crack sound. It has a great clap, but it just doesnt sound like the ones on the video, but neither does the DMX samples I have. I read somewhere that on Justice first album they used a Linn Drum for the hi hats. I dispute that becasue on a few of the tracks the hi hats sound exactly like my Sequential Circuits Drumtrax hi hats. Theres something about the sound/groove of those hats when you programme the machine rather than use samples or trigger them from a midi sequencer. My point is everyone has an opinion on what was used and what wasnt. What was actually used may be a surprise but if I had to hasten guess I would say there is DMX and probably some Linn Drum in there with an added syn drum type thing.

PS
After further listening Im pretty confident there is no Sequential Drumtrax in there. It can be difficult to tell at time because dont forget the drums could all be tuned, well at least on the SD. I could however get the SD to sound like those kiks and snares
Interesting, so how are you beefing up those kicks?

PS: You know any other places where this sort of stuff is being discussed?

Cheers.
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theres at least 2 threads here discussing how to achieve 80s boogie funk and a thread right on this page on the DX/DMX (look for com truise)



Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceacademy View Post
I read somewhere that on Justice first album they used a Linn Drum for the hi hats. I dispute that becasue on a few of the tracks the hi hats sound exactly like my Sequential Circuits Drumtrax hi hats.
linndrum/drumtraks/dmx often get confused but i can tell you they are all heavily used in the electro scene here in paris, 606/707 are making a big comeback recently with the whole chicago jack & acid being the trend now days..
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5th March 2012
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Xanax - That doesnt surprise me. As I said Im pretty sure Justice used the Sequential hi hats on some of their Cross tracks. They sound exactly the same. I also think they may have used the snare and kik but they would have used a lot of processing and imo not plugin processing. Im talking through a console with outboard EQ and compression. I don't believe their claim for one second they made the album in Garage band. Definitely taking the Pi** there me thinks. Its hard to tell what they use though. As we all know Justice have been very shy about the gear used.



Carbrone. I have to use quite a lot of processing on the SDs snare and kick in particular such as EQ and compression on a buss where I will send all the drums. I may also add a fair bit of saturation/mild distortion. The kik is the hardest to get the punch from. In such cases I may resort to layering the kik with another but that does depend on the bass line and over all track. If it starts to disappear in the mix i will layer it.
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I used to go to the same stores as Frank and picked up his used OSCar at one of them in the mid-80s. Also met him at his studio around the corner off Broadway in the late 80s when he was selling a few pieces. I owned/still own the Oberheim, Linns, and had a Drumtraks.

Nothin' complicated goin on there whatsoever, as is usually the case with most producers-the DX/DMX kick was one of the best ever, it just sounds that good. As good as the 808 kick but never got the same hype because it was the Rolands that were previously second choices to the industry standard, widely used Linn and Oberheim of the early-mid 80s that came in to vogue in the mid-80s thanks to house and other lo-fi musical trends.

First 2 tracks are just standard Oberheim kit, and on 2 and 4 it's the snare doubled with the clap. On the 3rd track it's either snare or snare/clap coupled with reverb.

There's no Drumtraks in there, but it did sound similar because essentially most of it's sounds were very very obvious samples stolen from the Linn and Oberheim, so much so that I was surprised at the time that the other companies didn't take legal action because of it. Also the fidelity of the sounds copied wasn't good. In addition, the Drumtraks had THE most mechanical, wooden feel of any drum machine I've ever used, which is why I no longer own it.

The System just used standard Oberheim sounds for the first few years, until the prevailing winds of musical change of the mid-80s forced them to adopt more Roland type sounds.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogbass View Post
Also the fidelity of the sounds copied wasn't good. In addition, the Drumtraks had THE most mechanical, wooden feel of any drum machine I've ever used, which is why I no longer own it.
one mans junk is another mans treasure.. i suspect it is precisely for those reasons electro cats have picked up the drumtraks, like i said it is very popular around here, there are tracks by joakim named after it, and alex gopher says flat out its his favorite drum machine ever (and he has access to them all with etienne)



as for justice, of course cross was not made entirely on garageband, they might have used garageband as a multi-track but there is so obviously a lot of external gear and outboard processing. i've been at their old studio although after they'd moved out but you can be sure there was more in there than just a laptop with garageband lol... that being said you'd sometimes be surprised by what ghetto equipment can make it on these big albums.

for the second album justice were a little less mysterious as you can attest from the AVD video although there is always a bit of myth involved with those two

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I believe they gated the snare/clap w/ reverb as well to get that whip/crack sound.

Also there was an ep of daryls house where he said they would run the drum machines out through keyboard/bass amps back then, then miked it blasting out into the studio. They said it gave it more punchier/live sound. Wouldnt be surprised if other groups from the 80's did the same thing.

I have a lot of those sample kits too, and I agree they sound totally different on these records. Esp "All Night Long" by MJG. The samples I have sound the same in tone, but Rick James' recording of them have so much more thump/crack in them. I think part of it is it probably just sounds better straight from the machine too.

That song, imo, sounds like he ran the drum machine into an amp and miked it. Its just got a miked sound to it that you wouldnt have just recording the machine direct, imo. Just guessing, but I'd say he ran it through a bass amp, miked it, then sent the miked signal through a plate reverb. I have no idea for sure though. All I know is Rick James was a wizard with drums. Doesn't get enough credit. Definitely in my top 5 best drum sounds all time for all his work.
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Just listen to his DMX drums. I've heard the same pattern played straight from a DMX that doesnt have the punch his does.

Would love to know more about his techniques with drums, live and machines, if anyone was around then or has an ideas

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5th March 2012
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Originally Posted by analogbass View Post
I used to go to the same stores as Frank and picked up his used OSCar at one of them in the mid-80s. Also met him at his studio around the corner off Broadway in the late 80s when he was selling a few pieces. I owned/still own the Oberheim, Linns, and had a Drumtraks.

Nothin' complicated goin on there whatsoever, as is usually the case with most producers-the DX/DMX kick was one of the best ever, it just sounds that good. As good as the 808 kick but never got the same hype because it was the Rolands that were previously second choices to the industry standard, widely used Linn and Oberheim of the early-mid 80s that came in to vogue in the mid-80s thanks to house and other lo-fi musical trends.

First 2 tracks are just standard Oberheim kit, and on 2 and 4 it's the snare doubled with the clap. On the 3rd track it's either snare or snare/clap coupled with reverb.

There's no Drumtraks in there, but it did sound similar because essentially most of it's sounds were very very obvious samples stolen from the Linn and Oberheim, so much so that I was surprised at the time that the other companies didn't take legal action because of it. Also the fidelity of the sounds copied wasn't good. In addition, the Drumtraks had THE most mechanical, wooden feel of any drum machine I've ever used, which is why I no longer own it.

The System just used standard Oberheim sounds for the first few years, until the prevailing winds of musical change of the mid-80s forced them to adopt more Roland type sounds.
Interesting.

So how are they getting that punchy ass kick? Is it the gate a sub under the kick technique? Simply turning up the low end of it doesn't really have the right sound..

To me the DMX sample kick I have does sound punchy but it also sounds weak and flimsy in a way, like its hollow, the kicks in these tracks are thick!

The Drumulator just seems to fit the bill more, is it not possible they used it?

spaceacademy: What sort of Saturation/Distortion are you using?

Any idea about the Limit track?

And what about this tune another one with strong drums.

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this is the issue I found. Thing is you dont get drums like on these records by using a single hat, snare and bassdrum recorded from one of these drum machines straight into a computer.

These tracks firstly had the drum machines recorded live - so the sounds were coming from the drum machine converters and analogue output - which had to be punchy. Also - there always seems to be a slight variation in sound from hit to hit - which makes it sound more pleasant and organic.
The second factor is generally these drum machine tracks would have been recorded through a console with a colour/sound transformer electronic etc - which would impart more tone. Then the drum tracks will have been mixed using the desk EQ and perhaps a console (SSL) compressor or some other outboard compression.

All these elements combined

drum machine output
console
console EQ
compression

will make a significant difference - compared to a few isolated samples sequenced in a DAW.

Also some gated reverb on the clap.

So the question is - can you replicate these events ITB? Well - you can try. Whether it satisfies you is personal - but you want VCA style compression, some EQ and a little saturation.
From my experience - if you are really after convincing punch - I think analogue compression (and EQ if poss) is your best bet. You would probably find that sound you are looking for, if you ran the drumsounds thru a distressor then a dbx 242 EQ or similar.

If you can find sample packs with round robin samples (multiple hits) - I think you would get a much more satisfying result. Yes - even for ROM based samples.
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First of all I grew up in the 80's listening to this kind of music and I never new it was called 80's Boogie Funk. Who knew? I just assumed it was uptempo R&B - haha. I love it though and still do.

As far as how it was done back then, I agree with Swan808. It wasn't as complicated back then. That sound comes mostly from the equipment of that time - consoles, tape machines, compressors, eq, etc. I do know live hats and cymbals would be used often to give more of a live feel. But the overall sound was mainly from all the equipment combined. Why do you think people started sampling in the 90's? Cause they wanted that glued sound that was so sweet.
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Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
this is the issue I found. Thing is you dont get drums like on these records by using a single hat, snare and bassdrum recorded from one of these drum machines straight into a computer.

These tracks firstly had the drum machines recorded live - so the sounds were coming from the drum machine converters and analogue output - which had to be punchy. Also - there always seems to be a slight variation in sound from hit to hit - which makes it sound more pleasant and organic.
The second factor is generally these drum machine tracks would have been recorded through a console with a colour/sound transformer electronic etc - which would impart more tone. Then the drum tracks will have been mixed using the desk EQ and perhaps a console (SSL) compressor or some other outboard compression.

All these elements combined

drum machine output
console
console EQ
compression

will make a significant difference - compared to a few isolated samples sequenced in a DAW.

Also some gated reverb on the clap.

So the question is - can you replicate these events ITB? Well - you can try. Whether it satisfies you is personal - but you want VCA style compression, some EQ and a little saturation.
From my experience - if you are really after convincing punch - I think analogue compression (and EQ if poss) is your best bet. You would probably find that sound you are looking for, if you ran the drumsounds thru a distressor then a dbx 242 EQ or similar.

If you can find sample packs with round robin samples (multiple hits) - I think you would get a much more satisfying result. Yes - even for ROM based samples.
Some interesting and valid points. Unfortunately I don't and wont have access to the outboard gear but is there really that much difference?

I don't feel that I am THAT far off off from it, it seems to be more of a balance thing perhaps.

I've attached a clip of a track I'm working on, I was using Drumulator drums initially but switched back to the DMX ones and it's a bit of a mess(I find it hard working with the DMX samples, they're kinda, dull? )

So if you listen to this clip, listen to the kick and then compare it to the tracks I posted, you can hear it has punch yet it has no 'depth', the thing is though If I put a low shelf on the master buss and raise it up a bit, suddenly it seems to have that depth but at the cost of the whole thing sounding unbalanced and muddy.

How do I inject that depth into the low end(kick) without affecting the overall balance too much? I guess this is also a mix question, I've been producing for a long time but only really heavily on mixing the past year and a bit.

roymaya: Well, I think that's the term it's taken these days, I pretty much discovered the genre through youtube, alot of the uploaders call it boogie etc so...I've got about 700 funk tracks favourited on my profile lol, I love the stuff, I'm 23 so it's a bit before my time!

Cheers guys.

PS: Clip shows, with pretty much just drums and then musical parts and yes it's a bit messy, still working on it. :D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post
Some interesting and valid points. Unfortunately I don't and wont have access to the outboard gear but is there really that much difference?

I don't feel that I am THAT far off off from it, it seems to be more of a balance thing perhaps.

I've attached a clip of a track I'm working on, I was using Drumulator drums initially but switched back to the DMX ones and it's a bit of a mess(I find it hard working with the DMX samples, they're kinda, dull? )

So if you listen to this clip, listen to the kick and then compare it to the tracks I posted, you can hear it has punch yet it has no 'depth', the thing is though If I put a low shelf on the master buss and raise it up a bit, suddenly it seems to have that depth but at the cost of the whole thing sounding unbalanced and muddy.

How do I inject that depth into the low end(kick) without affecting the overall balance too much? I guess this is also a mix question, I've been producing for a long time but only really heavily on mixing the past year and a bit.

roymaya: Well, I think that's the term it's taken these days, I pretty much discovered the genre through youtube, alot of the uploaders call it boogie etc so...I've got about 700 funk tracks favourited on my profile lol, I love the stuff, I'm 23 so it's a bit before my time!

Cheers guys.

PS: Clip shows, with pretty much just drums and then musical parts and yes it's a bit messy, still working on it. :D
wow mate that sound excellent!! what are you worried about lol that track was awesome - instead of eq-ing the master bus why not try it on the drum buss - and don't forget - TAPE!! all those early 80's funk track obviously were recorded to tape which would give it a bump in the low mids/bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post
Some interesting and valid points. Unfortunately I don't and wont have access to the outboard gear but is there really that much difference?

PS: Clip shows, with pretty much just drums and then musical parts and yes it's a bit messy, still working on it. :D
cool groove - you could use the low shelf just on the drums or drum bus...as to whether there is that much of a difference - it depends how choosy your ears are really. You might benefit from some console style saturation (satson/VCC/Airwindows) and some tape emulators...Sknote Roundtone etc...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
cool groove - you could use the low shelf just on the drums or drum bus...as to whether there is that much of a difference - it depends how choosy your ears are really. You might benefit from some console style saturation (satson/VCC/Airwindows) and some tape emulators...Sknote Roundtone etc...
What's the Roundtone like compared to Waves Kramer?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post
Some interesting and valid points. Unfortunately I don't and wont have access to the outboard gear but is there really that much difference?

I don't feel that I am THAT far off off from it, it seems to be more of a balance thing perhaps.

I've attached a clip of a track I'm working on, I was using Drumulator drums initially but switched back to the DMX ones and it's a bit of a mess(I find it hard working with the DMX samples, they're kinda, dull? )

So if you listen to this clip, listen to the kick and then compare it to the tracks I posted, you can hear it has punch yet it has no 'depth', the thing is though If I put a low shelf on the master buss and raise it up a bit, suddenly it seems to have that depth but at the cost of the whole thing sounding unbalanced and muddy.

How do I inject that depth into the low end(kick) without affecting the overall balance too much? I guess this is also a mix question, I've been producing for a long time but only really heavily on mixing the past year and a bit.

roymaya: Well, I think that's the term it's taken these days, I pretty much discovered the genre through youtube, alot of the uploaders call it boogie etc so...I've got about 700 funk tracks favourited on my profile lol, I love the stuff, I'm 23 so it's a bit before my time!

Cheers guys.

PS: Clip shows, with pretty much just drums and then musical parts and yes it's a bit messy, still working on it. :D
Great track man, real nice. Drums sound good to me. Remember not every artist back then used the same technique/equipment. So there's no one right way to do it. As long as the end result sounds good you're doing it right. And drums are not the main element in that music imo. I've heard a lot of great funk songs from the 80's and the drums sound like cheap casio stock sounds. The music over it is whats most important, melody, rhythm, groove, etc. Just get the drums to fit the song and sound the best you can.

In your sample I thought the drums sounded really good from the start, but once the music came in I was so into the melody/chords I didn't even care about the drums. Nice job.
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Cheers guys but I mean, I don't think the Kick is hard enough, like in the original examples i posted. It's like my one is too bouncy? While theirs has a thud to it, like it's sturdy.

I forgot to say in the clip I was also using parallel compression on the kick(with some eq) and a sine gated with the kick.

I've tried EQing(low shelf ) the drum buss aswell but then it just sounds like the kit is muddy and as I'm sure you know there isn't alot of high frequency content in it.

Ahhh but maybe I'm over stressing about all this, I just like those hard drums and I've always struggled with drums, kicks in particular.

It perplexes me and frustrates me how they did it.

Maybe it is the samples, I guess I'll just keep experimenting(already done too much, I just wanna finish these tunes lol) and try out some saturation, I do actually recall using Ferrox to good effect a while back, I forgot about it for some reason.

If you liked that, here's another clip of one I uploaded a few months ago. DMX kit again, even though the kick isn't very hard I do feel like it fitted well with the groove.

FUNKATRONIC20 roughinstr by FUNKATRONIC on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

I've got about 15 solid tracks on the go but can't finish them until I get the production right.

Cheers.
Ged
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5th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post
Cheers guys but I mean, I don't think the Kick is hard enough, like in the original examples i posted. It's like my one is too bouncy? While theirs has a thud to it, like it's sturdy.

I forgot to say in the clip I was also using parallel compression on the kick(with some eq) and a sine gated with the kick.

I've tried EQing(low shelf ) the drum buss aswell but then it just sounds like the kit is muddy and as I'm sure you know there isn't alot of high frequency content in it.

Ahhh but maybe I'm over stressing about all this, I just like those hard drums and I've always struggled with drums, kicks in particular.

It perplexes me and frustrates me how they did it.

Maybe it is the samples, I guess I'll just keep experimenting(already done too much, I just wanna finish these tunes lol) and try out some saturation, I do actually recall using Ferrox to good effect a while back, I forgot about it for some reason.

If you liked that, here's another clip of one I uploaded a few months ago. DMX kit again, even though the kick isn't very hard I do feel like it fitted well with the groove.

FUNKATRONIC20 roughinstr by FUNKATRONIC on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

I've got about 15 solid tracks on the go but can't finish them until I get the production right.

Cheers.
hi man - have you tried using nebula free and the free revox tape sim?
if your computer is up to it - it "might" give you that sound you are looking for.
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5th March 2012
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Originally Posted by G. Kaye View Post
Great track man, real nice. Drums sound good to me. Remember not every artist back then used the same technique/equipment. So there's no one right way to do it. As long as the end result sounds good you're doing it right. And drums are not the main element in that music imo. I've heard a lot of great funk songs from the 80's and the drums sound like cheap casio stock sounds. The music over it is whats most important, melody, rhythm, groove, etc. Just get the drums to fit the song and sound the best you can.

In your sample I thought the drums sounded really good from the start, but once the music came in I was so into the melody/chords I didn't even care about the drums. Nice job.
Yeah man cheers, I definetely see your point but out of all the tracks I've heard these are a few that stand out to me with amazing mixes and something I want to model my stuff on, you know what I mean?

It's like I hear alot of amazing tracks but few sound amazing sonically and these ones are really a treat to the ears, especially that 'The Limit' track IMO, very phat and punchy.. well, all of them really.

Cheers again.

I know there's been a few boogie threads even ones I've been involved in but what do you guys think about a dedicated thread for all aspects of it as I noticed there's an Italo Disco one?


Quote:
hi man - have you tried using nebula free and the free revox tape sim?
if your computer is up to it - it "might" give you that sound you are looking for.
Nah, my comp unfortunately won't fit the bill, maxing it out as is, will def look into it though when I upgrade.

Cheers.

BTW, Do you guys think choice of software EQ would make a significant difference for this? ie Pultec style etc vs stock eq etc?
#23
5th March 2012
Old 5th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post

PS: Clip shows, with pretty much just drums and then musical parts and yes it's a bit messy, still working on it. :D
I can definitely hear that some of it is a bit too clean but you are heading in the right direction! Your example is impressive! I've lived in NYC all my life, I was definitely alive and listening to that stuff at the time and when I heard your sample, it made me feel like breakdancing. So you're definitely heading in the right direction!

Have you tried some ideas to dirty stuff up? For example the suggestions to play the sounds through an amp and re-amp them? What about even other lo-fi ideas, like do you have an old tape deck? Take one or two elements and run them into the tape deck and record it to an old cassette tape and re-play it back into your daw to add some punch to the snare and hi-hat and layer it?

I have a good buddy here named James Reeno (aka Spazzoid Spazzoid Records) who produces and writes this kind of stuff still. He uses an Obie DMX and an 808 most of the time.

By the way, as long as I've known this style, I've always known it as "Electrofunk".

So far, so good. You might be young but it's great to see that some people out there still know how to do their homework.

Regards,
Frank
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Ged
#24
5th March 2012
Old 5th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post




Nah, my comp unfortunately won't fit the bill, maxing it out as is, will def look into it though when I upgrade.

Cheers.

BTW, Do you guys think choice of software EQ would make a significant difference for this? ie Pultec style etc vs stock eq etc?
nah, eq is eq as far as im concerned, Cabrone, im really into your track and want to help as best as possible - but I do think you need to try some kind of analog tape Impulse response - and eq "into it" you will find it wont be as harsh or "digital" sounding as if eq-ing without it on the master buss.
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5th March 2012
Old 5th March 2012
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Cabrone, heres a little ditty done with Sequential drum trax samples

Funkion
not mixed that well - but it was a quick render in ableton - with a bit of the analog saturation in live
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6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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Originally Posted by G. Kaye View Post
I believe they gated the snare/clap w/ reverb as well to get that whip/crack sound.

Also there was an ep of daryls house where he said they would run the drum machines out through keyboard/bass amps back then, then miked it blasting out into the studio. They said it gave it more punchier/live sound. Wouldnt be surprised if other groups from the 80's did the same thing.

I have a lot of those sample kits too, and I agree they sound totally different on these records. Esp "All Night Long" by MJG. The samples I have sound the same in tone, but Rick James' recording of them have so much more thump/crack in them. I think part of it is it probably just sounds better straight from the machine too.

That song, imo, sounds like he ran the drum machine into an amp and miked it. Its just got a miked sound to it that you wouldnt have just recording the machine direct, imo. Just guessing, but I'd say he ran it through a bass amp, miked it, then sent the miked signal through a plate reverb. I have no idea for sure though. All I know is Rick James was a wizard with drums. Doesn't get enough credit. Definitely in my top 5 best drum sounds all time for all his work.


It can definitely sound different when sampled, but nope, those MJG sounds are just stock-I think many over-analyze, and don't realize that sadly, most producers really don't add too much more or use much imagination. Those are just the way those sounds sound-real nice in other words, with just touches of F/X and EQ along the way, if that.
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6th March 2012
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Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
this is the issue I found. Thing is you dont get drums like on these records by using a single hat, snare and bassdrum recorded from one of these drum machines straight into a computer.

These tracks firstly had the drum machines recorded live - so the sounds were coming from the drum machine converters and analogue output - which had to be punchy. Also - there always seems to be a slight variation in sound from hit to hit - which makes it sound more pleasant and organic.
The second factor is generally these drum machine tracks would have been recorded through a console with a colour/sound transformer electronic etc - which would impart more tone. Then the drum tracks will have been mixed using the desk EQ and perhaps a console (SSL) compressor or some other outboard compression.

All these elements combined

drum machine output
console
console EQ
compression

will make a significant difference - compared to a few isolated samples sequenced in a DAW.

Also some gated reverb on the clap.

So the question is - can you replicate these events ITB? Well - you can try. Whether it satisfies you is personal - but you want VCA style compression, some EQ and a little saturation.
From my experience - if you are really after convincing punch - I think analogue compression (and EQ if poss) is your best bet. You would probably find that sound you are looking for, if you ran the drumsounds thru a distressor then a dbx 242 EQ or similar.

If you can find sample packs with round robin samples (multiple hits) - I think you would get a much more satisfying result. Yes - even for ROM based samples.
Well, sort of but you're way off on some things. It was simpler than you're suggesting.

It was in fact single, stock sounds with no overdubs in 99 percent of cases including this one.

And it's not even any compression or hi-end board that necessarily matters-I've heard equally good tracks made back in the day using stock sounds fed in to good but low end mixers that were available around 83-84.

It was quite simple-stock sounds, direct signal, nothin fancy.

It's not even that there were slight variations in timing. There weren't; the DMX was rock solid in it's timing with few variations.
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6th March 2012
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Originally Posted by xanax View Post
one mans junk is another mans treasure.. i suspect it is precisely for those reasons electro cats have picked up the drumtraks,
I could see that coming, but the thing is, the Drumtraks doesn't even have the "good" kind of stiff timing that the Rolands did, and wasn't popular like forever, until recently.

If a certain niche of music likes it now, it's probably because of the resurgence of electro, which is essentially an 80s synth and drum machine sound that predated most of the Rolands. That would include rather than focus on just the Drumtracks I suspect.

Quote:
First of all I grew up in the 80's listening to this kind of music and I never new it was called 80's Boogie Funk. Who knew? I just assumed it was uptempo R&B - haha. I love it though and still do.
It was just called soul, funk, etc. It wasn't called R&B and certainly wasn't called electro. If the term electro existed, it was in regards to very narrow slices of hip hop.

Electro today is a revisionist term that I believe arose in trend-driven England, much much later after the fact. It's actually misleading, because the new "electro" sound of today lumps various musics of yesterday together that were never heard together-NYC club, rap, hip hop, electro that has in common a very synthy sound and particular drum patterns and sounds. These musics were heard by different crowds for the most part, but are now lumped together in "electro" because the current electro sound is essentially anything that sounds 80s synthy and features 80s drum sounds that were until recently, out of favor.
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6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogbass View Post
Well, sort of but you're way off on some things. It was simpler than you're suggesting.

It was in fact single, stock sounds with no overdubs in 99 percent of cases including this one.

And it's not even any compression or hi-end board that necessarily matters-I've heard equally good tracks made back in the day using stock sounds fed in to good but low end mixers that were available around 83-84.

It was quite simple-stock sounds, direct signal, nothin fancy.

It's not even that there were slight variations in timing. There weren't; the DMX was rock solid in it's timing with few variations.
Analogbass, you in nyc ??
i'd love to meet up in the fall and talk synths/80's - your a total wiki of electronic production since the 80's (or 70's) you got me onto the Korg's
just bagged myself a Poly 800 = £120 - sounds absolute class - you know compared to the synthmania with the Prophet 5 patches - Dare I be damned but I preffered the Poly 800 patches - especially the brass n strings - the prophet 5 patches on synthmania sounded pretty standard and NOT worth the £3500 pricetag.
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6th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post
Interesting.

So how are they getting that punchy ass kick? Is it the gate a sub under the kick technique? Simply turning up the low end of it doesn't really have the right sound..

To me the DMX sample kick I have does sound punchy but it also sounds weak and flimsy in a way, like its hollow, the kicks in these tracks are thick!

The Drumulator just seems to fit the bill more, is it not possible they used it?

spaceacademy: What sort of Saturation/Distortion are you using?

Any idea about the Limit track?

And what about this tune another one with strong drums.


It's probably your samples then.

There are hundreds if not thousands of early-mid 80s records with that kickass Oberheim kit, and it's not that each producer used the same processing on them. No, those are just how good those sounds (and the Linndrum's) were, as the best drum machines on the market at the time.

At most, you could add a little EQ to those sounds, but that's how they sound, period.

The Limit and MJG-just reverb on the snare. On the Network track, reverb on the doubled clap/snare. That's it.

Here's another example. Classic early Jam & Lewis formula using stock Oberheim coupled with OB-8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmMwpi1iUUw

Classic punchy Oberheim, again with not much more than a touch of reverb/echo on the kick, tamboreen, congas. The Oberheim and Linndrum were the musical standards in NYC, not Rolands. They fell out of favor because the Rolands became trendy not because they sounded better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ChjLMbXVrU
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