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Duran Duran Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 13th July 2006
Lives for gear
guru007's Avatar
Originally Posted by DaveC
I thought I came in my pants when I firstly heard the drum-intro of 'some like it hot' by the Power Station; what a sound!!!
Too bad those kind of drumsounds have slipped into oblivion (well, almost).

Keep the thread going, please!
One of the few truly memorable musical performances on SNL for me was when The Power Station paid a visit. They clicked on all levels for me with that performance.
I still have it on VHS somewhere...gotta check that out again the next rainy weekend

On the flip side, I seem to recall a very lip-synched "performance" by Arcadia on some TV show, replete with mood lighting and smoke machines a blazing.

Old 13th July 2006
Gear Addict
Hysteria's Avatar

Power Station

Well, Power Station fans, it's your lucky day.

Recently, not only was the album remastered, you can get it with a bonus DVD which includes that Saturday Night Live performance.

There's also the vids intermixed with 'making of' interview footage such as John Taylor worrying (and rightly so when they play together) about having has ass kicked by Bernard Edwards on the bass and Andy taylor acting like a dick...most of the time it seems.

I'd get onto Amazon if I were you (well I've got it already so y'all go ahead heh )

No such luck on the Arcadia front though
Old 14th July 2006
Gear Nut
bob st john's Avatar

first of all...i have to apologize for my neglect on this thread...we all got sidetracked with nick rhodes' playing abilities. i'm fairly certain nick played a LOT of thing he DOES have is a penchant for quirky unknown keyboards and sounds. some people are great musicians...some people have great ideas. whatever i was handed, always had interesting tracks to work with.

my condolences to tinley for having to deal with all of us. he has an exemplary amount of patience there are a fair amount of parts on the records that i have worked on, that anthony resta performed also, and he is credited as such. a lot of times...we ALL have to perform some musical functions...that's part of the job.

now to continue: "white lines"

as we were invited to london to mix; ajr and myself found ourselves in london at 7 am. after duran's management refused us business class tickets (so we could sleep) they actually expected us to go right to work from heathrow. yeah. right. of course, we didn't...and at 1000 pounds a day for the studio i'm pretty certain they would have been better off getting us upgrades either way...checked into the hotel (right across the street) and made it over to metropolis, went back to the hotel and got some much needed sleep (i hate jet lag). we worked in the downstairs "B" room check it out here...navigate to studios; and then studio b; great studio, great assitants, staff and a great bar and restaurant built in. kinda dangerous actually (especially the bar studio b is wonderfully designed, comfortable and with a large private lounge. BIG genelec monitors...SSL 4000 G series console, etc. i made a large list of rental equipment (the most notable being the fairchild 670; one of only two in london and we kept it there the whole time, as well as the other peculiar things i liked (bedini b.a.s.e (2) and roland sound space). add to that an extra 480 and life was good. it's funny, because the management didn't want to pay US that much...but we could order any gear that we wanted (and the gear list kept getting longer and longer as you will see). god knows what that stuff costs in london.

so we start sorting the song all of the songs on thank you started was a disaster. remember that the project started out originally to be "b" sides but slowly became an album...and they recorded it while they were on tour...whenever they had time. so no two vocal tracks, drums, guitar or bass were similar. THAT can be MOST time-consuming. just like with 911 is a joke, no track sheets, no info, several vocal performances, etc. weird.

so we start the song...decent drum track from steve ferrone; but the whole thing starts sound flat (energywise) immediately. now the way we were set up, anthony was in the far back of the room; complete with all of his gear (a LARGE akai S 1000kb if i remember right) and a bunch of other midi stuff. while i was trying to assimilate something out of the song, he was inventing rhythm parts. the first thing to take shape in the song is the loop that plays in the verse and chorus; it drives the whole track. some parts of grandmaster flash's parts were taken from a live show, so there was all assortment of crap to deal with on the track. it was layed in, well in a haphazard way. we used the live drums dry in the verse, along with the sequenced drums. a lot of the autopanning was courtesy of two panscans, along with whatever else i could find in the studio to do the job. the panning on the scratch tracks was achieved manually between two automated faders (i don't miss that technique).

when we get to the chorus, the live drums take more of the mix up; however there was no ambience recorded on the drum tracks. tried a few tired old samples that i've used a million times but nothing worked (using the H-3000 for the samples). ultimately, we added a drum kit to our rental setup; and using the ambient recording area of studio b (big high ceiling with booths on either side of the room) we attempted to make a sample with effects on it. ultimately, we used the sample we created there (i don't have a copy of it); but that room was just TOO wet. what you hear in the mix, is actually the ambience we recorded after sending a combination of the live snare and sample together through a speaker in the live room; i believe i used it in mono and treated the entire combination with some room from the 480. i don't actually reccomend this technique...i've tried it probably 20 or so times in my career, and this is only the second time it sounded good (one other time was in the barn at long view farm; but they were equipped with the gear to make LOUD sounds in the barn; this setup at metropolis was totally makeshift...i think we made the techs there crazy). either can hear this whole curious amalgam when you listen to the choruses of the song.

due the nature of the song, the entire drum mix was routed back through some monitor returns on the ssl and compressed using the individual channel compressors (no fairchild on this mix). a little filtering on the hf to make it suitably lo-fi and there you go.

another little toy i've always enjoyed (piece of trash gear i'm sure) is the dbx 120 xds subharmonic sythesizer. it's definately on the kick drum and bass (individually) in this mix, although more to fatten the low end than to add subs. i have one here at the studio and still use it on a weekly basis. yeah, it's a weird piece of equipment (-10 in and out) but no other unit before or after it sounds quite like these.

i'm certain that i used the bedini spatial enhancer to spread out SOME of the keyboards...although i may have used it gently on the distorted doubled guitars in the chorus; just to enhance mono compatibility (the bedini is a GREAT tool for this that i used frequently when working with extreme; especially when we had guitar on one channel only; when summed to mono, things stay perfectly balanced in the mix; as long as you don't try to use it in an extreme manner. the only thing that comes close to it as a protools plug in is the "spatializer" plug; the waves S1 imager makes less than perfect mono) i'm sure there are at least two sets of ping-pong delays (in pairs of pcm 42 delays) used in the mix to bounce things about...these little subliminal things make a huge difference in the overall feeling of space in the mix.

the vocal effect is fairly simple, compressed and straight up in the mix, with a little bit of room on the verses and plate in the choruses; the delay (pcm 42) was fed back through a h-3000 gently panned with a slight chorus effect...delay return was automated to work rhythmically with the vocal. vocal was compressed with dbx 165a; de-essed with 900 series dbx de-esser and the ssl channel compressor was also used. massenburg dual parametric eq was on the mix buss (for all the mixes; gently boosted at 10k; and 6k) as well as the ssl quad compressor.

all the mixes were bounced to 1/2 inch analog; ampex atr 102 (is there any other way backups to DAT, but the 1/2 inch was used as the master. it DOES add such a delicious sheen to the mixes, for sure...and smooths out some of those peaky sounding keyboards.

when we were mixing "911 is a joke" in boston, warren and nick would call from london, ask how it was going, and then say "play it over the phone." right. so we would hold the phone up and play it, then he'd say something like "sound cool, can you put the vocal up 1 db? oh, the guitar sounds tinny." funny thing is...he was usually right! go figure that. so one would think, considering that warren's place was 15 minutes down the street from metropolis that maybe they'd like to come to the studio? i mean...we were there 4 days battling this beast and had only had PHONE conversations with the guys. so when we called late in the afternoon to see if they wanted to hear the mix, warren says "...hey man...can you play it over the phone?" i so...we hold the phone up to the speakers...and after playing it he says "look, man...ya gotta hold the phone's all phase-y!" good god. so we duct tape the phone to a mic stand and stick it in the middle (really). they listen to it...say they love it...and we send over a dat to warren's place. he STILL hasn't come by the studio. of course...everybody is in a different we have to make 3 different dats. 3 different couriers. nothing like not having to worry about a budget.

warren, nick and simon call back...they all love it. not even a single change. nothing like nailing it on the first try...and we were sweating it. but worth every second. it's hard to make guesses on stuff like this...and commiting to what we were doing (which of course was completely changing the song) but we took a gamble (just as we did with "911 is a joke") and it paid off!

any questions gladly entertained.....

next: "ball of confusion"

(CONFUSION describes it best
Old 14th July 2006
Lives for gear
Dirty Halo's Avatar

Mr. St. John...

Hey there Mr. Bob,

I apologize if I don't know the full story, but idi you have a chance to work with them on any of the other albums and if so, which?

Thanks for all this great info, by the way.

And on the other thread, thansk for the 480L info.

I'm curious though, on the earlier records, what vocals verbs do you think they used? I know you were not on thisone, but you have to admit, the general production on thier first album was amazing, understated, but that tight sound was great... and then production just got more and more experimental.

Anyway, do you think think Simon was alsyas a 480L guy or what would your guess be?


Old 14th July 2006
Gear Nut
bob st john's Avatar

honestly...i don't think simon cares

i was only a casual duran duran i never really analyzed their other mixes...loved "the reflex" and "a view to a kill" and "ordinary world" (but then david richards can do no wrong with his mixing as far as i'm concerned).
Old 30th August 2012
Lives for gear
sonicdefault's Avatar
2006 thread, and Paulseta hasn't been here since Jan '11

Old 30th August 2012
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by sonicdefault View Post
2006 thread, and Paulseta hasn't been here since Jan '11
True....I just want to confirm sources before saying anything!
Apologies for leaping without looking!
Old 25th January 2015
Gear Addict
jac's Avatar
It's 2015....
Old 27th January 2015
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by bob st john View Post
i STILL love that power station record. nothing like it before...or since.

i had the pleasure of working with robert palmer years later...great guy. too bad he's not with us anymore...but i'll never forget those 2 weeks in milan with robert and nuno.

the vocal chain with simon was different all the time. i can't say i ever did it the same way they constantly recorded stuff in different studios with these really peculiar sounding comps. a LOT of work. usually had to split it on a few channels so you couldn't hear the eq changes. protools would have helped a lot back then.

i believe that duran always sound like themselves...but it's the producer/mixer who defines the sound for each record. having heard stories...i'm sure everybody else who has worked for them has spent more time than that care to recall reinventing things. took 10 weeks to mix "medazzleland." arg. every day...a new adventure. i believe we were in london for 3 weeks to do "thank you," but my memory from that period was too hazy from stoli and cognac =)

now i can remember a few things: let's see; on "thank you," the song was "crystal ship," used an emt plate (it was downstairs in at metropolis...had to take quite a hike to adjust the time on it) with a pcm 41 for pre-delay and compressed the return; i was thinking "retro." on "white lines" used a dbx 165a and also the compressor on the ssl. yes...the one in the actual channel module. oh yes...and two de-essers (one set for a notch at 4 k and another for a notch at 8 k). on "electric barbarella," used a bel delay for that weird effect on the vocal; you can really hear it at the end of the song as i was manually adjusting the was a "live" performance as you couldn't predict where in the sweep you'd catch can hear where it just nailed it during the fade; all through the record, there is a LOT of distortion and chorusing (distortion was courtesy the ssl line input jacked up...still one of my favorite distortion devices; just crank it up and adjust the filters for minimum fuzz (or maximum...whatever blows up your skirt); most of the chorus effects were from the H-3000 or eventide 949 (i STILL love the 949...and eventide REALLY nailed the sound of it on the protools emulation; as well as the omnipressor). "buried in the sand" was just a pcm 42 set to modulate fast; and not quite a sine wave for the modulation. as i said...all the filtering and distortion was courtesy of the ssl. reverb were the lexicon 480...nothing wild or special. on "big bang generation," that is the bel delay again; that thing had a really cool analog sound. funny thing about that complicated as it only took 4 hours to mix it. gotta love that...'cause we lost money on all the other mixes =) typically, it took 2-4 days to get something finished...mainly because we (anthony j. resta and me) were either re-recording/re-perfoming or re-inventing stuff on the spot. some songs...took longer (midnight sun was actually the first song we mixed for the record; but the version you hear on the record is only 1/2 the song and complete stripped was orginally an arena rock ballad; complete with guitar hero solo at end; that mix on the record that you hear was about 2 hours work; however it took 5 or 6 days to do the original version); we re-recorded the drums to "out of my mind" at sound techniques; WHILE we were mixing the song (dave di censo played that amazing drum track in nearly 1 complete take...he was like a MACHINE; it took only 90 minutes to setup and record; and get back to mixing). the drums for "who do you think you are" and "so long suicide" were recorded at bopnique (anthony j. resta's studio) on adat, then transferred to 24 tk analog. "so long suicide" was actually a mono drum track that was compressed and treated with a copious amount of eq and 120 xds...i always loved that song. the last one we mixed...and believe it or not, it was also only 6 hours of work. it's funny how the hard songs can be easy some days...

ok. so this probably doesn't say much about the a bit carried away
I wish I could read 100% of this thread but the dam pop up ad keeps encroaching into the right hand margin. Go away you annoying pop up ad. This thread is amazing.

Last edited by waldie wave; 27th January 2015 at 07:48 AM..
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