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808s and Heartbreak? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
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808s and Heartbreak?

I recently dusted up my cd collection and found 808s & Heartbreak by Kanye West. I always liked the album but decided to give it a relisten and was amazed on how musical the album was and how timeless it feels.

I was particulary amazed on the 808s on the album. Does anyone know what Kanye West used for these drums? Tons of distortion going on, and what not. Actually, most of the drums sound like 909s to me.
If I wanted to achieve the drum sounds on this album, what drums are good to buy or 808/909 vsts? Along with all that distortion on his drums? thanks
Old 12th September 2011
  #2
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Andrew Dawson might shed some light on how they managed to get the drums sounding so nice, they definitely sound like they've been recorded on tape. I've never heard 808's like that on any artist other than Kanye, the drums even had that quality on a few 'Dark Twisted Fantasy' tracks... I hated 808's & Heartbreak at first, but now it's one of my favourite albums.

http://www.goldbaby.co.nz/tdmvol1.html this could be a good sample pack to look into.
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I was actually under the impression that most of the album was 909 sounds to be honest. I love both of these old machines, and depending on what your needs are there are lots of great options for sample libraries however none were able to fully replace the real units for myself so I built my own library with some heavy scripting and programming. I won't go on about it too much as I'm obviously biased but feel free to check out what others have been saying here on Gearslutz. Revolution-808 and Revolution-909. Good luck
Old 13th September 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Outside View Post
I was actually under the impression that most of the album was 909 sounds to be honest. I love both of these old machines, and depending on what your needs are there are lots of great options for sample libraries however none were able to fully replace the real units for myself so I built my own library with some heavy scripting and programming. I won't go on about it too much as I'm obviously biased but feel free to check out what others have been saying here on Gearslutz. Revolution-808 and Revolution-909. Good luck
They were mostly 909, there was an interview with kanye in new zealand where he stated the 808 was infetior to the 909 and they usually had the 909 in the studio. There must be some good emulations somewhere, and i will download ur kits btw lol
Old 13th September 2011
  #5
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WoodysProduce's Avatar
 

yup, I think the "808's" part was a reference to the famous kick drum from that machine. Anyways, just use a bunch of pitching and distortion (along with tape saturation plugs/compression) and fiddle with the eq...
Old 13th September 2011
  #6
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soundeq's Avatar
 

yeah we had an 808 a 909 and a Lynn Drum, plus lots of other samples for that album. Yeah a lot of it is KW playing the 909 live, just hitting the buttons.
I remember running the Love Lock Down main pitched kick thru a sony dat machine. Kinda overloading it, liking the way it sounded, and ended up using that one in the final mix.
Lots of drum sounds had "air" layered in with them. Different flavors of white/pink/whatever noise.
Old 13th September 2011
  #7
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cdog's Avatar
DAT machine ownage, so epic.
Old 13th September 2011
  #8
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AndyFromDenver's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeq View Post
I remember running the Love Lock Down main pitched kick thru a sony dat machine. Kinda overloading it.
Lots of drum sounds had "air" layered in with them. Different flavors of white/pink/whatever noise.
Uh-oh everyone start snatching up the dat recorders on eBay j/k

Awesome little insight with the noise layers! Thanks.
Old 13th September 2011
  #9
Old 13th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeq View Post
yeah we had an 808 a 909 and a Lynn Drum, plus lots of other samples for that album. Yeah a lot of it is KW playing the 909 live, just hitting the buttons.
I remember running the Love Lock Down main pitched kick thru a sony dat machine. Kinda overloading it, liking the way it sounded, and ended up using that one in the final mix.
Lots of drum sounds had "air" layered in with them. Different flavors of white/pink/whatever noise.
Thanks for pitching in man I truly appreciate it! I hear "air" in the drums since its most evident in songs like Coldest Winter. So the majority of the samples were infact the actual 909? I feel like buying a 909 now lol Those drums are amazing I swear. Btw a Lynn Drum? First time i heard of it, care to explain? Thanks man
Old 14th September 2011
  #11
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bigyo's Avatar
 

drums

Kanye uses an ASR10 and a MPC2000 for drums... tons of distortion .. and a lot of break beats
Old 14th September 2011
  #12
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soundeq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArk View Post
r. Btw a Lynn Drum? First time i heard of it, care to explain? Thanks man
Oops was typing too fast, actually a "Linndrum"
Attached Thumbnails
808s and Heartbreak?-808s1.jpg  
Old 14th September 2011
  #13
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Cgbravo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodysProduce View Post
yup, I think the "808's" part was a reference to the famous kick drum from that machine. Anyways, just use a bunch of pitching and distortion (along with tape saturation plugs/compression) and fiddle with the eq...
I just recently saw an interview with you on 2 Dope Boyz if Im not mistaken, I checked out LoveLife and enjoyed a lot of the tracks on there as well! Good production bro
Old 14th September 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeq View Post
Oops was typing too fast, actually a "Linndrum"
Thanks man I truly appreciate it.
Hate to sound like a newb but what is a DAT machine exactly?
Old 14th September 2011
  #15
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jbrown1music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArk View Post
Thanks man I truly appreciate it.
Hate to sound like a newb but what is a DAT machine exactly?
Digital audio tape. Looked sort of like a cassete but it was digital.
Old 14th September 2011
  #17
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soundeq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArk View Post
Thanks man I truly appreciate it.
Hate to sound like a newb but what is a DAT machine exactly?
WOW I'm officially old now.
Old 14th September 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeq View Post
WOW I'm officially old now.
Don't be lol I find it interesting. What is the use of a DAT machine? Does it sound better when transfered over to a casset or what?
Old 14th September 2011
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArk View Post
Don't be lol I find it interesting. What is the use of a DAT machine? Does it sound better when transfered over to a casset or what?
I bet the signal just takes color from the converter when it's fed hot enough. This DAT discussion is interesting, I have a TASCAM DA 30 mk2 but the tape deck doesn't work. I doubt if digital tape itself affects sound much if it's recorded with 48kHz rate.

Btw at the time kanye's album dropped I had my lo-fi project '303s and Headaches' (no I didn't have a real 303)

I've fiddled with ADATs also they sounded really thin and harsh in comparison
Old 14th September 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeq View Post
WOW I'm officially old now.

LOL! I felt the same way when I read this!!
Old 14th September 2011
  #21
Gear Head
 

Another trick to get a nice 808 sound or any analog sound is to record it to a VHS tape then of course sample it.
I used to run audio directly into a VCR and it produced really nice thick sounds. Just have to be careful because it distorts really easily.
How's that for making you feel old..
Old 14th September 2011
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RWLKR View Post
Another trick to get a nice 808 sound or any analog sound is to record it to a VHS tape then of course sample it.
I used to run audio directly into a VCR and it produced really nice thick sounds. Just have to be careful because it distorts really easily.
How's that for making you feel old..
That's a good way of getting some real saturation
Old 14th September 2011
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMeek View Post
That's a good of getting some real saturation
yup. It's amazing what you can come up with when you're poor, not that this is all that innovative or anything.

If any of you old guys out there remember the 5 channel "Realistic" Disco mixer from Radio Shack, you should dig this out if you still have it. Talk about nice, gritty sounds with little effort! Just overload the channel in mono a little bit and there ya go! Record that signal to a cassette or VHS and sample with the Casio-SK1 you'll be floored with what comes out of it

Sadly, my "Disco" mixer died on me a few years ago after providing about 20 years of service. lol If anyone has one that they dont want anymore, hit me up!!
Old 15th September 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
AWESOME ALBUM. however prefer his older rapping album e.g. graduation.
Old 15th September 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundeq View Post
WOW I'm officially old now.
I just felt the same thing when I read that....I still have my portable Song DAT recorder. LOL
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