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Jeff Lynne Drum Sound
Old 21st August 2010
  #31
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I've read interviews with the Heartbreakers and engineers who've worked with him, I remember just two things:
1. He loves squashing things.
2. He does one instrument at a time, it's all overdubbed, perhaps exaggerating a bit. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody was hitting a snare for a week until he was happy! There were apparently enough complaints about the process that Tom Petty says in that movie of his "nobody cares how you make a record".
Old 21st August 2010
  #32
Gear Maniac
 

As a loooong time ELO fan I would like to recommend you guys to start by listening to some of his best work first.

For me it's:

1. A new world record
2. Time
3. Eldorado
4. Balance of power

Elo is aaaaall about GREAT and strong chords, the progression of these (sometimes going from Minor to major or Vice versa), the way they arrange the strings, his vocal harmonies and sound (with slap back delay) and the smart and effective melodies.

For me Jeff Lynn is one of the greatest who ever lived, no one will ever come near his knowledge and even if the engineering was never "the best" his records and songs still rocks every radio station around the world.

So, start by figuring out what he is doing with the chords + melodies and then you can check out his engineering techniques... which in my opinion are rather limited but does work for what he is doing.
Old 21st August 2010
  #33
I read an interview with Bev Bevan years ago and the essence of the ELO sound was said to be double tracking the drums.
Old 21st August 2010
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomGuitarist View Post
I read an interview with Bev Bevan years ago and the essence of the ELO sound was said to be double tracking the drums.

LOL
That must be one of those jokes he likes to pull... He is very serious when working but a complete professional comedian when normal state.

This reminds me of an interview here in Sweden on national TV where the interviewer asks the producing engineer of ABBA: What is the secret of the ABBA sound?
His answer was: The bass drum!
The show then ends with her believing Mikael B Tretow answered truthfully... but it was just obvious he was joking.

That always cracks me up...

Bev Bevan was a pretty mediocre drummer IMO and his timing was far from perfect at least in the early days so I can't see him doubling his drumming... If he did, bless Jeffs heart for taking all that time to do it, it was very unnecessary production trick.
Old 21st August 2010
  #35
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toledo3's Avatar
 

The points about double/triple tracking drums, and parts of the kit being recorded one or two pieces at a time are right on when it comes to the pre-drum machine era stuff (and after to varying extents).
Old 21st August 2010
  #36
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Flores View Post
So, start by figuring out what he is doing with the chords + melodies and then you can check out his engineering techniques... which in my opinion are rather limited but does work for what he is doing.
I think he's obviously done quite well for himself
Old 22nd August 2010
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I think he's obviously done quite well for himself
Yes. I love the guy to death, still this is my humble opinion. You make your own.
Old 22nd August 2010
  #38
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Mark D.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumblefoot View Post
from ELO Bev Bevan was the **** and probably 50% of the sound.
I agree. I'd seen live clips, the sound was quite similar. His groove, power, hi-hat technique and dynamics are great. One of the more recongizable 70s drum sounds.

Let There Be Drums - Bev Bevan's only solo recording

He's worked with other groups, Black Sabbath a bit, and in The Move he occasionally sang. Bass voice. An octave below Bill Medley & just a little above Barry White.

The Move (B.B.) - Zing! Went the Strings of my Heart
Old 22nd August 2010
  #39
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The Jeff Lynne drum sound is an MPC60. I'm not kidding.

Now that you know that, go listen to his solo stuff, and the Tom Petty stuff, etc. and you'll hear it.

Kind of like when you found out that all that great Def Leppard/Mutt Lange stuff was all drum machine.
Old 22nd August 2010
  #40
I was quite young when A New World Record came out. I was too young to understand why, but I was pretty fascinated with it and listened to it a lot. Now I get why that was. I imagine it wouldn't quite hold up as well if I listened to it now, but it doesn't take away from what it was for the time. And obviously he's honed is craft a long along the way since then.

You can see on the Tom Petty documentary where they are recording some Wilburys stuff, there's like 5 or 6 of them sitting around a mic playing one acoustic guitar part.
Old 23rd August 2010
  #41
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I was quite young when A New World Record came out. I was too young to understand why, but I was pretty fascinated with it and listened to it a lot. Now I get why that was. I imagine it wouldn't quite hold up as well if I listened to it now, but it doesn't take away from what it was for the time. And obviously he's honed is craft a long along the way since then.

You can see on the Tom Petty documentary where they are recording some Wilburys stuff, there's like 5 or 6 of them sitting around a mic playing one acoustic guitar part.
Listened to the New World Record remaster, it still holds up incredibly well Dean. One of the few situations where I wasn't surprised. I don't agree with what was said earlier, Jeff Lynne had some serious engineering chops as well as his legendary production talents. He pioneered a lot of sounds that influenced music over and over again. I thank god he was a part of the history of what we do.
Old 23rd August 2010
  #42
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88fingerz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I imagine it wouldn't quite hold up as well if I listened to it now
Ummm...I don't know...just listened to it, LOUD inda car...it kicks MAJOR LEAGUE BUTT IMHO!
Old 23rd August 2010
  #43
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I love Jeff Lynne's work, but he seriously needs to drop his aversion to Hammond organs. When he produced Tom Petty's stuff I really missed Benmont Tench's tasty Hammond playing.
Old 24th August 2010
  #45
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alkooloid's Avatar
 

^^^ No ****.
Old 17th November 2010
  #46
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Joe Jacob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio Addict View Post
The Jeff Lynne drum sound is an MPC60. I'm not kidding.

Now that you know that, go listen to his solo stuff, and the Tom Petty stuff, etc. and you'll hear it.
Bingo!

I'm late to this, but I've been researching this "sound" for years. Jeff is extremely secretive about his methods. You'll never get the exact sound playing around with compression on a real recorded kit and loosening snare wires and all the other things people suggest. It's all drum machine and the snare has been reamped through a cabinet with the speaker facing the ceiling with an upside down snare placed on top (strainer pointing at the ceiling) and THEN the wires are loosened and the rattle is recorded as an overdub to be mixed into the drum mix. I learned this from a usergroup page that had one of his engineers on it. As always, I was skeptical, until I actually tried it. After years of fiddling with compression and snare sounds on a real kit, BINGO, I had that sound within 1 hour. lol

The hi hats on Full Moon Fever are the big give-away. And listen to the train beat snare in the bridge of 'Free Fallin'". It's extremely programmed sounding.

Cheers.
Old 18th November 2010
  #47
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Joe Jacob's Avatar
 

When I got home from work, I decided to whip up a sample for you guys.

(It's just a silly original and very short!)

https://sites.google.com/site/highvi...edirects=0&d=1


And here's a pic of my snare set-up thing. I just used my sons 15watt VOX pathfinder and a ludwig supraphonic and a 4033.



Don't ask how I got an old mouse mixed up in the cables. lol
Old 18th November 2010
  #48
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brandonhackler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Jacob View Post
Don't ask how I got an old mouse mixed up in the cables. lol
I was gonna ask if that was a new SSL mouse. I think it really adds some air to the mix.

Sounds cool though. I'm gonna bust this little trick out tomorrow and see where it leads. (the snare trick... not the mouse)
Old 18th November 2010
  #49
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Jacob View Post
When I got home from work, I decided to whip up a sample for you guys.

(It's just a silly original and very short!)

https://sites.google.com/site/highvi...edirects=0&d=1


And here's a pic of my snare set-up thing. I just used my sons 15watt VOX pathfinder and a ludwig supraphonic and a 4033.



Don't ask how I got an old mouse mixed up in the cables. lol
Sounds spot on to me!
Old 18th November 2010
  #50
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I mean no offense to anyone here, but it's weird to me that people talk about a "Jeff Lynne drum sound" and what they're after is that lame drum machine sound. Especially when he's been associated with stuff like this:

Old 18th November 2010
  #51
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Jacob View Post

Don't ask how I got an old mouse mixed up in the cables. lol
My friend, that is one of the most honest and sincere confessions right there. If I had a dollar every time I noticed something weird tangled in my cables and dragged along for the session, I'd be rich. I thought I was the only one who lived like that!


p.s. The sound was spot on!


Frank
Old 18th November 2010
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
I mean no offense to anyone here, but it's weird to me that people talk about a "Jeff Lynne drum sound" and what they're after is that lame drum machine sound. Especially when he's been associated with stuff like this:
Hmmm... I think he ripped some of that from The Rattles, a 60s/70s German rock band. Check this song, which is a pretty cool groove. Ignore the out of sync video/audio. I thought of this as soon as I heard that Move tune.

Old 18th November 2010
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamburg58 View Post
I've recently been messing with some Jeff Lynne production techniques. This is what I know about Jeff Lynne snares but would love to know more. I know he likes to use his room mics and gate them with the snare. But I've also read in recent years he's done things such as replacing the snares sometimes stacking them, putting reverb on them and then gating them...
Traveling Wilbury's engineer Don Smith:

Drummer Jim Keltner was brought in to overdub drums, replacing a click track from a DMX drum machine used to record once a handful of songs had been tracked. Keltner was set up in the main house, Smith miking him simply with a Neumann U69 two feet in front of the kit at about head height, “just picking up what your ears are picking up,” he says. This was supplemented with an Electro-Voice RE20 on the kick and an SM57 above the snare.



Old 18th November 2010
  #54
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Joe Jacob's Avatar
 

Thanks for listening guys. While the recording technique is stupidly simple....It's pretty complicated in the mix. If you notice on "handle with care" the snare is spread wide and the cymbals are down the middle and heavily compressed. So you'll have to get fancy on the mixdown. Use gates to control how long you want the snap to be, and some small bedroom style reverbs also... I used a tonne of eq's and etc on those tracks and then still bussed them over to a main drum mix and compressed and eq'd/reverbed that one also.

One thing I will say is, never believe what you read. Producers are famous for being secretive about techniques. (I don't blame them). I think when it says Keltner played drums on the Wilbury's they meant overdubbed the floor toms, cowbells, cymbals and hats. I'm 100% certain the kick/snare is the classic lynne drum machine method on that album.

I'm actually not a huge Lynne fan (I don't even really like ELO), but I've always wanted to figure out his 80's sound. I think he's pretty genius. I have this vision of him sitting down with Harrison saying.. "Ok, I want the perfection and control of a drum machine.. but how can we make a drum machine sound more organic and snappy like brushes hitting a snare" and then they came up with the upside down snare technique." I would have loved to be there and see how it really went down.

I wonder if he said.. 'tangle up a mouse in the cables and it will sound even BETTER".heh
Old 18th November 2010
  #55
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ironbelly's Avatar
 

Please don't put any more Jeff Lynne snare sounds out into the world. Look I love ELO stuff, and lots of his production sounds through the years, just not the drums. That snare sound, uggh, just no crack in it at all, like a wet noodle on wax paper. Pffft.



*
Old 18th November 2010
  #56
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Joe Jacob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbelly View Post
Please don't put any more Jeff Lynne snare sounds out into the world. Look I love ELO stuff, and lots of his production sounds through the years, just not the drums. That snare sound, uggh, just no crack in it at all, like a wet noodle on wax paper. Pffft.



*
It's definitely a weird sound. That's for sure. I'm actually a drummer and own a kit worth $5000+, So believe me when I say, using drum samples and a snare on a $99 vox amp goes against everything I normally believe in when it comes to drum sounds. lol
Old 9th November 2012
  #57
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What I appreciate most from JL productions is that it's his own approach. It sounds to me like he discovered his own aesthetic. I like how he uses acoustic guitar frequencies in the strums to accent ride cymbals, piano mixed with strings to add voice, and the bass/drums pound out a simple beat merely to drive it all home. A layer cake.

First and foremost though, he would start with a great tune.

I've always really loved his voice. He has a lot of soul for a white dude. Nice falsetto too. His inflections are always superb.
Old 9th November 2012
  #58
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dlmorley's Avatar
I seem to recall an EMT 250 being his favorite snare reverb for THAT sound, but i could have been dreaming (of 4000)
Old 9th November 2012
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenR View Post
Traveling Wilbury's engineer Don Smith:

Drummer Jim Keltner was brought in to overdub drums, replacing a click track from a DMX drum machine used to record once a handful of songs had been tracked. Keltner was set up in the main house, Smith miking him simply with a Neumann U69 two feet in front of the kit at about head height, “just picking up what your ears are picking up,” he says. This was supplemented with an Electro-Voice RE20 on the kick and an SM57 above the snare.


Geez, makes it sound so simple; all you need is a Keltner and a couple of decent mics.
Old 9th November 2012
  #60
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carlheinz's Avatar
 

I had a random informal chat with Benmont Tench about fullmoon fever and he summed up Jeff's drums being recorded"one drum at a time".In listening they do have a slight somewhat separated from the rest of the track quality.
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