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Billie Jean drums
Old 22nd August 2006
Lives for gear
Steamy Williams's Avatar

Billie Jean drums

Hi Bruce,

I'm sure you get asked about these a lot, but I'd really like to know as much as possible about how these were recorded. For instance:

What mics did you use?

Was everything tracked through the Harrison, or were any outboard preamps used?

How were the mics placed?

How was the drumkit tuned, etc?

I've read comments about baffles you created to isolate the snare and the hi-hat, etc. I've also read comments that some of the drums are from a drum machine, or that the different elements of the acoustic drums were all tracked separately. Can you elaborate on any of this?

Many thanks.
Old 22nd August 2006
Gear Maniac

Billie Jean...and Thriller for that matter...

Just wanted to add that before you feel too peppered with questions - what beautiful work the entire Thriller album is. Every time I hear a track from it, I hear some new detail that I hadn't noticed before. Thriller was one of the very first albums I ever had. Spun it on the Fisher Price record player . Broke one LP, got another, broke that one, too. Found it on a cassette at a yard sale, wouldn't you know it was the "squealing" media that CBS had a problem with.

Anyone of my generation (whatever the heck we're called...I was born in '77) can immediately recognize Billie Jean from the first downbeat. We may get a little confused between Beat It and Weird Al's Eat It, though
Old 23rd August 2006
Gear Addict
Studiocat's Avatar

And what parts were looped?!!
Old 25th August 2006
Lives for gear
Steamy Williams's Avatar

Is was good to hear more about the baffles in one of the other threads. Is there any more you can tell us about the how acheived the sound of the most instantly recognizable drums ever recorded (e.g. what mics were used and where)?
Old 26th August 2006
Lives for gear
No4PCs's Avatar
Cool cymbals effects

Hi Bruce, i want know who did play Billie Jean drums, what used to get that "flanged" cymbal efx type of drums, what mic>amp>chain used too.
What console? Who did play the bass guitar?
Old 30th August 2006
Hi Bruce!

Thanks for being here.

I was reading thru all these threads and i stumbled across this one...being curious... what do i do...i immediately start listening to billy jean.

My question is this...the kick SLAMS from the speaker. What is it that makes it 'hit' so hard? You explained earlier that your not a fan of compression...

Words of wisdom for hard hitting kicks...

Old 31st August 2006
Bruce Swedien's Avatar

Here it is!!!!!

Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Yes please. :D
Here it is!!!!!

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