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Change - Glow Of Love disco piano
Old 7th September 2005
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ttauri's Avatar

Change - Glow Of Love disco piano

Moderate this if necessary (somewhat off-topic?)

A while ago, I was listening to The Glow Of Love and struck by that sharp-attack, glossy disco piano--appears on a lot of disco records and I wondered how that sound was achieved. I asked here and got some likely theories, but as you're here Michael, maybe I can get the full story on how that sound was achieved?

Lacquered hammers on the piano? Dolby A off on playback? Effects?

T. Tauri
Old 9th September 2005
Past Guest Moderator
Michael Brauer's Avatar

BTW, Zatoichi the blind swordsman is my favorite samurai fighter.

Oooh good question. I loved that song. That was an amazing session.Remember the early Elton John records? Remember how his piano shimmered? At mediasound we loved that sound so a lot of us were always playing around with getting different versions of it. No lacquered hammers, no Dolby A off, just a combination of compression and EQ.

I only recorded Luther's voice, may he rest in peace, on that song along with "searching" and then mixed both. Luther was on a whole other level of singers. He walked into that session and listened to the song in the control room once, then he walked out into the studio with the lyric sheet in his hand. What you hear on"Glow of Love" and "searching" is his first fun down reading the lyrics from a yellow pad. No punches.

The piano sound you’re referring to is probably the same one that I did for Vandross on the “Never too much” song.

Ok, this is how you do it. First insert an LA3A or La2a (depending on the version of sound you’re going after) across the stereo piano tracks. Bang those meters and out of the compressor go into a couple of pultecs and push up..way up the 3 or 5 k on the low end and the 8 or 10 k on the high end. Don’t be safe. Now go to the desk EQ and start clearing out some of the muddiness and EQ up the remaining mids so that it just shimmers like a baby. When it’s done right, you can hear the harmonics riding up during each sustain. The La2a is good if the song is slow and the chords are quarter notes. The la3a is good if the chords are faster with a harder attack like in “never too much”. I remember hearing that song on the radio and man that piano was making me feel good all over. Sounds pretty simple when you know how to do it right?

I remember a story of a session I was doing in LA and it was late in the night..of course. We were overdubbing some piano and the guy was tired like the rest of us. I did my usual piano process and put the 24 track into record. Man, he hits the first chord and then just played an incredible performance. When the tape stopped, he ran in all excited and screamed “what the hell was that piano sound, it was unbelievable, it woke me right up, thanks man that was great, how’d you do that?”
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