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The Commitments "Dublin Snare"
Old 1st February 2007
  #1
The Commitments "Dublin Snare"

Hi there Kevin...

Great to see you here on Gearslutz!! So nice of you to share your time and techniques.

Speaking of which, I was wondering if you could illuminate share with us how you were able to get those incredible drum sounds on The Commitments soundtrack - specifically, the huge snare on Mustang Sally and the crack-snare on Take Me To The River.

For those unfamiliar with the recordings:

Attached Files

Take Me To The River Snare.wav (2.75 MB, 411 views)

Old 2nd February 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
steins's Avatar
I´ve wondered about the same thing since I first heard the Commitments 15 years ago. I used this CD as a reference for years - amazing snare, amazing sounds. Please tell!

Stein Tore
Old 2nd February 2007
  #3
engineer / producer / mixer
 
Kevin Killen's Avatar
 

Gilwave,

Cool question and I hope my answer does not disappoint. The way in which the film was orchestrated was as follows. Record the backing tracks first. Shoot the film with live vocal performances. Finish filming, edit and post.

Alan Parker the director of the film had a very definite opinion that he wanted these versions of the songs to be really spunky and live sounding. Plus we could not use ANY instrument that was not shown on camera. So it was a small band, drums, bass, guitar, piano. horns, and the singers. Paul Bushnell , my wonderfully talented co producer and I made the decision that in order to really grab the audiences attention , we had to make this combination really mirror the real inner city Dublin spirit.... aka full of attitude and balls.

So in tracking the drums I went for a real ringy tone everytime, just the right amount of eq and compression. Plus the drummer (Fran Breen ) and I absolutely love those tones. Paul had arranged the tracks in such a way that if you listen to them you will notice that most are quite spare in terms of parts but everything counts. The compression on the drums just made them more ambient sounding than they really were. Fran was a monster when it came to just making the snare sing, his accuracy was unbelieable.

When it came to the film mix, i tried unsuccessfully to mix in a regular control room, but it just sounded too treated. Alan Parker arranged for Paul and I to mix it at the dubbing stage and sitting in that environment i was able to hear how it would translate through the screen and the Dolby processing.

There was never a chance that we could better the originals but i think that the attitude and performance by everybody involved especially Andrew Strong (who was 16 at the time !!) just made for a compelling soundtrack.

For the actual album release we were allowed to add additional sweeting so that the music would stand up on its own without the visual portion.

How is that !

KK
Old 2nd February 2007
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Killen View Post
real inner city Dublin spirit.... aka full of attitude and balls.

How is that !
"that" is fine - I'd say you nailed it!

-g
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