Let's talk drums on Semi-Charmed Life
Old 19th August 2009
  #1
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yngve's Avatar
 

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Let's talk drums on Semi-Charmed Life

Have always loved the drum sound on this song, anybody know anything about the production, drumkit, producer/mixer etc..

Sounds like a drumbeat loop added to the drums in the chorus, heard it was recorded at Skywalker Studios and the drummer from Smash Mouth was playing on this song? At the end of the song you can hear a huge decay from the drums, in the chorus and intro it sounds like the room is heavily compressed while in the verse it sounds clean.

I know i can't get the excact sound, but something reminiscent of it, i always have the problem of getting the sound punchy when i overcompress the room.
Old 19th August 2009
  #2
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Makinithappen's Avatar
 

I hate 3EB but the production sounded huge.

On that song....love the toms.

Good bass groove with the drums not to mention the unusual bass vibrato on the break.

It's cool how the drums change in the hook. It's hard to tell what exactly happens but they definitely get bigger. Sounds like a reverb trick or maybe room mic automation... I don't know.
Old 20th August 2009
  #3
i could be wrong, but i think that they had room mics that were literally submersed in water ( fishbowls) and those are automated up at the end of the song.
Old 20th August 2009
  #4
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That whole album is a musical, lyrical and sonic masterpiece.

Nothing today comes even close including 3EB's latest album Ursa Major.
Old 20th August 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneoconnor View Post
i could be wrong, but i think that they had room mics that were literally submersed in water ( fishbowls) and those are automated up at the end of the song.
whoa like Geoff Emerick style? i seem to remeber McCartney talking about how the Beatles tried that once for fun, and it was basically unusable. but then, that's subjective to what he thinks is 'usable'...
Old 20th August 2009
  #6
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what a great sounding album

what ever happended to them? one hit wonder? or 2 hits?
EVE 6 was another band like them that sounded great

good stuff. 90's ruled
Old 20th August 2009
  #7
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
what a great sounding album

what ever happended to them? one hit wonder? or 2 hits?
EVE 6 was another band like them that sounded great

good stuff. 90's ruled
The lead singer Jenkins made the mistake of breaking off with the guitar player Kevin Cadogan. Cadogan was extremely creative especially with open tunings. The two together were absolutely magic but neither one has even approached the same level apart from the other. Apparently they couldn't stand each other, had a a huge lawsuit over royalties. I thought the 2 albums with Cadogan were awesome. The only albums I love more are Beatles albums. I would love to now the details of their recordings. I know Stephen Jenkins produced it but there was an engineer that he worked with that was key to the great production work. Anyone out there know who he is? I'd love to hear from him if he's on this forum.
Old 20th August 2009
  #8
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pretty sure it was eric valentine
Old 20th August 2009
  #9
Jenkins and the rest of Third Eye Blind have a new studio they built in an old house. Lots of vintage stuff, Wunder console, it sounds really nice. He's produced a few artist, including Vanessa Carlton.
Old 20th August 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upinflames View Post
Jenkins and the rest of Third Eye Blind have a new studio they built in an old house. Lots of vintage stuff, Wunder console, it sounds really nice. He's produced a few artist, including Vanessa Carlton.
Yes of course as a fan I'm aware of all of this. They recorded Ursa there and if you compare it to the first album sonically it doesn't hold a candle to it. Anyone who doesn't have the first album on cd or vinyl should definitely get it. That album set a standard sonically that's good to shoot for. Good luck with that though...
Old 20th August 2009
  #11
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Cool 3EB love - unheard of...

3EB - one of the best debut albums of all time. Hit after hit.
BLUE - absolute masterpiece. Dense. Huge. Beautiful. Poptastik. Production and mix working in perfect harmony. Not a foot wrong.
Into the Vein - completes the trifecta of purpose-built genius level pop. Not as dense as "BLUE" but still great.
Ursa Major - absolute ****ing bollox. Jenkins is repeating himself and it is shit. Sad that this and Mute Math both come out on the same day and both suck like it is their job.

First two albums the secret is Eric Valentine. Sick. Sick. Sick. That guy does not get NEARLY enough respect. Check Aqualung's second album "Memory Man". Amazing. 3EB learned the lesson, applied them on "Vein" and then promptly forgot all of it AND how to write a song on the new one. They need a producer again, the problem is Jenkins' ego would never allow it.

Bummer.
Old 20th August 2009
  #12
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I absolutely love the two first albums. For the songwriting. It's hard to find even one song I dislike. Never thought about the production though. Think I'm gonna have to take a listen with new ears
Old 20th August 2009
  #13
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
The lead singer Jenkins made the mistake of breaking off with the guitar player Kevin Cadogan. Cadogan was extremely creative especially with open tunings. The two together were absolutely magic but neither one has even approached the same level apart from the other. Apparently they couldn't stand each other, had a a huge lawsuit over royalties. I thought the 2 albums with Cadogan were awesome. The only albums I love more are Beatles albums. I would love to now the details of their recordings. I know Stephen Jenkins produced it but there was an engineer that he worked with that was key to the great production work. Anyone out there know who he is? I'd love to hear from him if he's on this forum.
thx

wow too bad. Friggin lawyers guns and money........
Old 20th August 2009
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post

what ever happended to them?
Stephan Jenkins started sleeping around with Charlize Theron is what.

She eventually dumped him and its been down hill ever since. The moment you go into "rock star" status and start dating "it" actresses your done. Look at Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. Married Kate Hudson and she eventually dumped him when her "dating a rock star" infatuation wore off(these days she's doing Arod which is as low as you can go if you ask me but i guess she's going through athletes now).
Old 20th August 2009
  #15
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Unfortunately someone borrowed my copy of Blue and never gave it back. I guess it's time to get another copy. I absolutely love the song Wounded. The whole album is good from what I recall. Still has less depth than the first album though, sounds digital and slightly cold compared to the first album. Still good overall though.
Old 20th August 2009
  #16
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I, like britdick and bcgood, hold this first TEB album in high regard. For me, this band's debut is the greatest rock record of the pre-pro tools production era - and by that I mean after Sound Tools, where Pro Tools was becomming commonplace and essential to the modern production workflow.

Before I gush about this record in the usual cliche, egocentric, long-winded Gearslutz-y internet prose, I'll just give my impressions about the drums. I feel the difference the OP mentions is attributed to OH fader rides for the choruses and intro - the reverb trail of the final hits is obviously an FX splash (where the reverb sounds absolutely perfect btw). To me, it sounds like the OH's are being gated to emphasize the snare hits/cracks, followed by a healthy amount of compression. I love this classic trick, and there are so many ways to creatively tweak it for rock applications!

Anyway, this record is an all time fav, and I like that it's been brought back to discussion. I've had Motorcycle Drive By in rotation on my iPod car mix for the last month, and everytime I listen I am completely floored by the writing, performance, production and mix. The downside is that it makes me feel old when other people in the car have never heard of the song, nonetheless the entire record with the exception of Semi-Charmed Life. haha, their loss!
Old 20th August 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Charlize Theron .
she's hot
that would mess with my mind............
Old 20th August 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
that would mess with my mind............
Among other things.
Old 20th August 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Unfortunately someone borrowed my copy of Blue and never gave it back. I guess it's time to get another copy. I absolutely love the song Wounded.
Aren't there, like, 4 different CD pressings of Blue because of the song "Slow Motion" and it's reference to the music exec's son who commited suicide? (very unfortunate). There are various CD's that have the range of the full vocal performance, to pieces, to none at all - rendering it an instrumental. My copy is one of the partial vocal performances FYI.
Old 20th August 2009
  #20
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by britdick View Post
3EB -

First two albums the secret is Eric Valentine. Sick. Sick. Sick. That guy does not get NEARLY enough respect. Check Aqualung's second album "Memory Man". Amazing. 3EB learned the lesson, applied them on "Vein" and then promptly forgot all of it AND how to write a song on the new one. They need a producer again, the problem is Jenkins' ego would never allow it.

Bummer.
I checked into Eric Valentine. Pretty impressive credits (Lostprophets, Taking Back Sunday, Nickel Creek, Queens of the Stone Age, Smashmouth, AA Rejects). I didn't see anything that indicated he worked on the "Blue" album though. "Out of the Vein" was a half decent album but it was so completely evident that the songs were missing Kevin Cadogan's influence. Magic was all gone. Production on that was still very good but I don't know if Valentine had anything to do with that one. Also, he apparently is a kick ass drummer.
Old 20th August 2009
  #21
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I don't think any of their other records are very good at all, but I *LOVE* that first one. Holy crap, it's such a great rock record. The energy and spirit on it are totally un-containted. It just kills!
Old 20th August 2009
  #22
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zboy2854's Avatar
 

Another huge fan of the first 3EB record here. Flawless album from top to bottom in all respects, songwriting, production, arrangements, performances and mixes. The drum sound in particular is very distinctive and impressive.
Old 20th August 2009
  #23
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It's worth noting that a BIG part of that drum sound is from Brad Hardgreaves. I consider him to be one of the better drummers around, very tasty and extremely disciplined.

One other note about the first album. My friend was working at Skywalker at the time this album was made. If you've never been to Skywalker and around the engineers up there it would be hard to understand but they take sound very seriously and really know their stuff. The budget for that first 3EB album was huge. It was tracked to tape and in some of the best sound stages in the world. Basically a lot of things all lined up to make that album what it is. Truly an album that will stand the test of time.
Old 20th August 2009
  #24
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Some of you 3EB fans might be interested in this...

My memory is a little foggy but if I have my dates correct, then the album Blue was recorded at Toast (old Coast Recorders, now is Broken Radio) in San Francisco. I had just started interning there when 3EB was doing the session. Jason Carmer was the engineer working on the project. I think Jason is featured in one of the UAD Helios videos on the UA website. Anyway, the other intern at the time was showing me around. I remember walking into studio B where they were tracking Stephen's vocals. The mic was an ELAM 251 and I was told it was Stephan's personal mic. There was a little "booth" created around the vocal area with either packing blankets or sheets or something like that. Studio B had a Trident 80B console, but I think they were likely tracking through some racked Neve modules.

When I was in college one of my female friends became a 3EB fan and somehow met Stephen at one of their shows. He took a liking to her and would invite her and her friends to all their shows. She was even invited to go on part of the tour with the band. I think she hung out on the tour bus for a couple weeks...this would have been in 1997/98. Eventually the romance ended. Charlize Theron entered the picture. Need I say more?

Brad
Old 20th August 2009
  #25
Third Eye Blind was the band that was singlehandedly responsible for making me want to play guitar.

They are my first real rock influence. Before that, it was all Christian music and video game music (Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, etc.). My parents were religious, and they thought rock n roll was of the devil.

They have since lightened up, but it sucked when I was growing up as a budding guitarist.

3EB self titled debut was sheer magic in songwriting, production and playing.
They were not your run of the mill 90's band. I always got so mad when people lumped them as another rock band. That album moved me in a way that no other album could.

I still go back and listen to it every now and then, and it's amazing how good the playing and the production were, even now.
Old 21st August 2009
  #26
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I gotta say. Anytime I talk about 3eb and that 1st album I always get a surprised reaction from people. Everyone knows Semi charmed life but most people have no clue that the rest of the album is as good as it is. I'm actually relieved to hear other people gushing about that album the way I do. At least I know it's not my imagination.

And yeah I agree that Brad Hardgreaves is the biggest factor in the drum tracks being so great. Because the drums sound is pretty consistent throughout the whole CD.
Old 21st August 2009
  #27
Gear maniac
 

Gotta chime in... Like some of the previous posters, that first album had a HUGE influence on me. Kevin Cadogen's style really shaped the way I looked at guitar.

Everything about that album is amazing. The solo section at the end of "Narcolepsy", that filthy bass tone on the breakdown of "Thanks Alot", the snare fill at the end of "Motorcycle Drive By"... I could go on and on....
Old 21st August 2009
  #28
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Old 21st August 2009
  #29
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The Background, Motorcycle Drive By, and God of Wine are the three best songs of the 90's, period. Just masterpieces.

That album, more than most, has a "sound." It just sounds like an album. Like, the acoustic on Motorcycle Driveby... I know it's just an acoustic, into a mic, into a pre, with some compression and EQ... but it's transcendent somehow. And I don't know why.

Great album. Blue is amazing too. Surprisingly experimental. Dark in all the right ways. The production is just as razor sharp, yet completely different.
Old 21st August 2009
  #30
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This thread is great! I never realized that Kevin Cadogan had so much respect. He's definitely one of my favorite guitar players; he wrote beautiful parts that worked perfectly with the songs.

Now, if only Kevin Cadogan had joined Our Lady Peace after he left 3EB then maybe at least ONE of those bands could have been saved.
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