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"Ramble on..." Old School-ers!
Old 6th March 2003
Lives for gear
jho's Avatar

"Ramble on..." Old School-ers!

Any oldschoolers (maybe Bob?) know what this was?

I'm trying to get a similar, natural sound as the rhythmic / percussive thing that is going in 16th notes (while the acoustic is playing in the verses) on the song "Ramble On" by Zepplin. You know the part I'm referring to?"rollz

I can't quite it Bohnam tapping, a tamborine rim, or a tape splicing maybe? I'm just curious really. I'm sure i could use a synth to pull it off for this project, but it'd be a great story to tell if done "just like zep did it" (less the old board great engineers and zepplin of course )

(yeah...i have no life so things like this excite me)grggt
Old 6th March 2003
Gear Addict

I remember wondering about that in high school and never coming up with a satisfactory answer. The best approximation we came up with was tapping on a guitar case, but it didn't sound quite right.

Old 6th March 2003
Moderator emeritus

My guess (working from memory - my copy of that record is an LP, and isn't here anyway) is that it's either tapping on a lower tabla drum or on the back of a guitar. Maybe I'll get a chance to listen to the reocrd again in the next day or so.
Old 6th March 2003
Lives for gear
toledo3's Avatar

Isn't it just "lap slapping" ala Sun Records? Could be the back of an acoustic guitar, as previously stated.
Old 7th March 2003
Here for the gear

IMO, tapping on a drum or guitar would have too much ring for the 16th-note sound in "Ramble On". The guitar case would be better, but is lacking "thickness". How 'bout this:

He's using sticks on his drum throne. (I don't wanna think about where you'd place the mic for this, tho! heh)

Listen to it with headphones and lemme know if you agree.
Old 7th March 2003
Lives for gear
jho's Avatar

Originally posted by AtticMan
IMO He's using sticks on his drum throne. (I don't wanna think about where you'd place the mic for this, tho! heh)

Listen to it with headphones and lemme know if you agree.
I just did, whipped out the digitally remastered CD and you could be right. I agree I don't think it's a guitar back, could be a case but has a little slap to it. Maybe it's a leather couch or get this...the top of Bohnam's legs with the sticks backwards?

At the begining when there is less stuff I can hear some ambience around it and perhaps the slight jingle of a nearby percussive instrument. It would make sense that it was recorded in the same take as the drum tracks but...I guess only some old timers from Juggy Sound Studio NY would know.

Where's Eddie Kramer when you need him?heh
Old 7th March 2003
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
I always thought it was played on the snare drum with his hands and the snares off. The technique would be to leave your hands on the drum after hitting it. That way the head is muffled with one hand while the other is hitting the drum. I can get a pretty convincing imitation that way.
Old 7th March 2003
Here for the gear
rexrode's Avatar

I tried to do something similar once and the best thing I could get was a 'hot rod' drum stick on the padded leather cusion of a piano bench. As far as the micing goes, hmmm, I dunno.
Old 9th March 2003
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
Cardboard boxes, drum throwns, hands on legs... **** like that are all 'blues' things... they incorporated a lot of 'blues things' into the rock and roll genre... some good ol' "foot stompin" too.

This is one case where thinking 'outside the box' could get you into trouble... think "dirt poor" and you'll usually find the answer.
Old 9th March 2003
Lives for gear
loudist's Avatar

I seem to remember reading that he 'played' a seat cushion.
Think studio chairs circa 1969-70.
I would think it was a control room chair.
Seems to have that 'naugahyde" sound.
Drum throne is a good guess too.
Old 9th March 2003
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

People used to play whatever was handy, empty tape boxes, stand-up ash-trays, sugar packets, music stands, dishes, beer cans, anything that would make a sound. Percussion was used to "tie the track together" and was often the very last overdub.
Old 10th March 2003
Here for the gear

I once played a vinyl covered padded office chair with drum sticks due to lack of any percussion available to me. When I finished the overdub, I remember it reminded me of a Zep song. Later, it dawned on me it was the Ramble on song. The pattern I played, and the sound were very similar. I must have ripped it off subliminally.
The chair was a crappy brown office chair that I dug out of the trash in college. Come to think of it, I still use that pile of junk in my home studio. Time for a new chair!
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