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How did they make the first Madonna album? The instruments.
Old 4th July 2017
  #1
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BarcelonaMusic's Avatar
 

How did they make the first Madonna album? The instruments.

I was just a elementary school kid when this was popular, but, forgive my ignorance, how did they make the music? "Get Into the Grove", I`m guessing, is someone playing a keyboard into a sampler? It repeats too perfect, and it`s very fast and a LOT of notes. The album has basically the same synth sounds. I`m just asking questions, don`t shoot me. Yes, I really like old Madonna songs.
Old 4th July 2017
  #2
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Owen L T's Avatar
Drums on the first album ("Into The Groove" was a little later) made heavy use of a Linn drum machine. I think the keyboards, though, would mostly have been played to tape. Early sequencing had arrived by then (sampling was limited by hardware, to very brief sounds - I remember a friend's coffee table sized sampler from the early 90s, which could record 2 seconds in mono), but for the most part what you'd be hearing at this time are serious studio chops. Those guys could flat out play - because that was the only way to get it done!
Old 4th July 2017
  #3
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jaxman12's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarcelonaMusic View Post
I was just a elementary school kid when this was popular, but, forgive my ignorance, how did they make the music? "Get Into the Grove", I`m guessing, is someone playing a keyboard into a sampler? It repeats too perfect, and it`s very fast and a LOT of notes. The album has basically the same synth sounds. I`m just asking questions, don`t shoot me. Yes, I really like old Madonna songs.
From Wikipedia:

Madonna (retitled Madonna: The First Album for the 1985 rerelease) is the debut album by American singer and songwriter Madonna, released on July 27, 1983 by Sire Records. After having established herself as a singer in downtown New York City, Madonna was signed by Sire Record president Seymour Stein following the success of her 1982 single "Everybody". Unhappy with the work of producer Reggie Lucas, Madonna invited John "Jellybean" Benitez to complete the album, who remixed three tracks and produced "Holiday".

Madonna has an upbeat synthetic disco sound, using new technology of the time, including the Linn drum machine, Moog bass and Oberheim OB-X synthesizer. Madonna sings in a bright, girlish timbre, with lyrics about love and relationships. She solely wrote five of the album's eight tracks. To promote the album, Madonna performed one-off gigs in clubs and on television in the United States and United Kingdom throughout 1983–84, followed by the Virgin Tour in 1985. Five singles were released, including the international top-ten hits "Holiday", "Lucky Star", and "Borderline". Their accompanying music videos were released on the Madonna video compilation, which became the best-selling videocassette of 1985 in the United States.
Old 4th July 2017
  #4
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarcelonaMusic View Post
I`m guessing, is someone playing a keyboard into a sampler? It repeats too perfect, and it`s very fast and a LOT of notes.
Real musicians with great chops can do that. It's sad that the days of the studio musician to a large degree are gone.
Old 15th April 2018
  #5
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burns46824's Avatar
Honestly, most of this stuff was played by hand back then...there wasn't MIDI on Minimoogs in those days, lol...

Remember, they had what were called "studio musicians" back then. Just imagine!
Old 15th April 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
Honestly, most of this stuff was played by hand back then...there wasn't MIDI on Minimoogs in those days, lol...

Remember, they had what were called "studio musicians" back then. Just imagine!
Those we my days.. I use to work with Jellybean.. As a matter of fact I was just speaking to the percussionist today about doing some work for me.. Bashiri Johnson.. Killer player percussionist!!!
Old 15th April 2018
  #7
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Sigma's Avatar
We did much of the album at sigma NYC.. ..mostly drum machines and synth.. les than 20 tracks of info on some stuff..i have some safety back up track sheets of it lying around somewhere

Madonna - Madonna (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs

Last edited by Sigma; 15th April 2018 at 11:53 PM..
Old 16th April 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Believe it or not, there used to be a time where music could only be made by—gasp—musicians.
Old 16th April 2018
  #9
I remember seeing interviews at the time of Dave Weckl and he talked about how he played drums on Madonna's first or second album (it was either the Madonna or Like A Virgin album) along with a couple of other guys (I think Tony Thompson was the other big name drummer I recognized). They mainly did drum fills and cymbals stuff like that. Not sure if it was on Simmons pads or live drums though, I don't remember. I do remember him saying that on some songs they had the programmed drums going and they just wanted him to overdub tom fills because they couldn't program those to sound convincing. And then he mentioned something about grooves on the record but I don't remember exactly what.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Head
 
manfromthe80s's Avatar
Being a fan of Madonna's early stuff myself, I made some research and found out something:

1. Lucky Star
Drums: LinnDrum
Bass: ARP 2600
Synths: Prophet 5

2. Borderline:
Drums: Linndrum (with a Snare 2)
Bass: ARP 2600
Additional: Rhodes Piano

3. Burning Up
Drums: Linndrum (with a Snare 2)
Bass: ARP 2600

4. I Know It
Drums: Linndrum (with a Snare 1)
Bass: ARP 2600

5. Holiday
Drums: Oberheim DMX
Bass: Moog Taurus or Minimoog
Synths: Oberheim OB-8

6. Think of Me
Drums: Linndrum (with a Snare 1)
Bass: ARP 2600

7. Physical Attraction
Drums: Linndrum (with a Snare 2)
Bass: not sure (Prophet 5?)
Additional synths: Prophet 5 (bellish sound)

8. Everybody
Drums: Mark Kamins said in interview that they were live.
Synths: Oberheim OB-8 and probably Prophet 5

P.S. The other day I found the multitrack version of Into the Groove and here is the equipment:
Drums: Oberheim DMX
Bass: Roland MKS-80
Synth stabs: Oberheim OB-8 and Juno 106 were layered together.
Additional: Probably they used an Emulator II for Madonna's voice in the beginning (You Can Dance and other lines).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Sigma's Avatar
Jay mark at the mci 500 during madonna's album at our NYC location..lol optical strip faders..whatta bust..errr can you say dust..they had to put pads like wipers so they would clean by rolling fader up and down a few times before you mixed
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Last edited by Sigma; 4 weeks ago at 04:33 PM..
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