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What were the first records in the 1980's to have the huge reverb sound
Old 12th August 2012
  #1
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What were the first records in the 1980's to have the huge reverb sound

What were some of the first records in the early 80's to adopt the huge reverb on snare and vocals that became associated with that era. Or was it late 70's that this trend started?
Old 12th August 2012
  #2
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 7f9cade View Post
What were some of the first records in the early 80's to adopt the huge reverb on snare and vocals that became associated with that era. Or was it late 70's that this trend started?
What popularized it was when Phil Collins played drums on the Peter Gabriel track "Intruder" produced by Hugh Padgham. After that the flood gates were opened for the 80's...


From Wiki...

Perhaps the earliest known use of the gated snare drum technique was on the recording Mondo Bondage (first verse only) from the 1975 self-titled debut album of the San Francisco rock band The Tubes.[dubious – discuss] The drums were played by Prairie Prince. Recording produced by Al Kooper and engineered by Lee Rhett Keifer.

Recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder used it on many of the songs on the 1976 album Velvet Darkness by Jazz fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth.[citation needed] The drummer on this recording was Narada Michael Walden.

Another early use of this technique was on the 1977 David Bowie album Low. Use of the gated reverb effect spread to popular music during the 1980s. Producer Mutt Lange was a pioneer at drenching the recorded drum sound in gated reverb. An early and prominent use of gated reverb was in Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Hugh Padgham's production of the third Peter Gabriel solo album.[1]
Old 12th August 2012
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Yeah... I remember it first on 'Low" and it wasn't too long before the Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins stuff came along.
Within a year or two EVERY record had that soiund or a variation of it.

Also running parrallel to these records was the emergence of affordable digital reverb units.
While both of the aforementioned records were gated versions of actual room ambience eveyone started trying emulate the sound with their handy dandy digital reverbs.
I can rememeber trying every trick I could think of to get the popular gated reverb sounds and I had three verbs going at once at times!
I'd have a Yamaha SPX90, REV7 and a Lexicon 224 all creating a sound.
There was a gate before them, too.
I'd record this to a pair of tracks on the multitrack 2" (usually tracks 7 and 8.)

Interestingly enough, the same person that taught me to record the drum ambience had also worked at Town House in London and he told me how the sound on the Gabriel / Collins records was done.
Unfortunately, I didn't have that live room for drums.

As I go back and visit my mixes of that era it is the drum reverb and the snare in particuar that makes me cringe. I was mighty proud of the snare sound at the time though!
Old 12th August 2012
  #4
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In addition to the gated drum sound, when I think of 80's verb I think of much of the big washy sounds used by bands like Psychedelic Furs, Human League, Soft Cell, The The, etc etc. It seemed to reflect the explosion of affordable digital reverbs (Rev7, SPX90, etc), the return of synths pushing back against guitar-driven punk, and especially the introduction of the first gen drum machines like the Linn and the Oberheim which often featured some sampled "Giant Snare" hits through huge reverb presets, then played back through crappy 8 or 12 bit converters, and cut off quickly coz of limited ram...

It's not a sound that has aged particularly well, but it's sure easy to 'date' the stuff that came out of that d-d-d-d-digi-happy period. Before we segued into the ProTools happy period....
Old 12th August 2012
  #5
Gear Guru
Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight" wasn't the first but it went a long way to popularizing that sound.
The epic drum entrance turned a lot of heads.
Old 12th August 2012
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
It's not a sound that has aged particularly well,.
Quoted for emphasis.
Old 12th August 2012
  #7
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timtoonz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight" wasn't the first but it went a long way to popularizing that sound.
The epic drum entrance turned a lot of heads.
True. I believe Phil (and Hugh Padgham) first discovered this sound when he drummed on 'No Self Control' for Gabriel's third album. There's a classic Collins tom run in there that has THAT sound.
Old 13th August 2012
  #8
Deleted 7f9cade
Guest
Thanks for the responses guys!

I find it interesting listening to bands that were popular in the 1970's AND the 1980's. Their 70's records have the tight and dry drum sound and their 80's records are in a huge cavern. Examples would be Heart, Ozzy, Judas Priest, The Scorpions, ect ect. Im sure there are more. The biggest one in my head is Heart. Awesome group. Just interesting hear the differences between their early 70's stuff and their 80's comeback.

One might say that robot auto-tune and huge compression are the gated snares and huge reverbs of today.
Old 13th August 2012
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 7f9cade View Post
One might say that robot auto-tune and huge compression are the gated snares and huge reverbs of today.
Yup. And I hope we get out of that phase sooner than later. In the future I think people will be asking "Why the F#$% did people use Auto-tune on 90% of the vocals in the early 2000's?" That is, if they bother remembering this musical period... I wonder how many songs from 2012 will be remembered 30 years from now. Will it be like how the 60's and 70's are remembered now, or will people still be idealizing the music of last century?
Old 13th August 2012
  #10
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ienjoyaudio View Post
Thanks for the responses guys!

I find it interesting listening to bands that were popular in the 1970's AND the 1980's. Their 70's records have the tight and dry drum sound and their 80's records are in a huge cavern. Examples would be Heart, Ozzy, Judas Priest, The Scorpions, ect ect. Im sure there are more. The biggest one in my head is Heart. Awesome group. Just interesting hear the differences between their early 70's stuff and their 80's comeback.

One might say that robot auto-tune and huge compression are the gated snares and huge reverbs of today.
Yup. That and brick wall limiting.
Something else that is not going to age very well.
Old 13th August 2012
  #11
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unit7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight" wasn't the first but it went a long way to popularizing that sound.
The epic drum entrance turned a lot of heads.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UTsm...e_gdata_player
Old 13th August 2012
  #12
Deleted 7f9cade
Guest
HAHAHA! That was hilarious! That was one serious ape!
Old 13th August 2012
  #13
Gear Addict
 

I thought that people who don't know how the "In the Air Tonight" tom sound was created might find it interesting to know the story.

First, SILVERTONE is correct when he says that the effect was used on Phil Collin's drums on Peter Gabriel's "Intruder" previous to being used on "in the Air Tonight" which was on Collin's "Face to Face" LP relase.
It is interesting to note that this is actually a 1970's effect becasue both "Intruder" and "Face to Face" were recorded in 1979 (Intruder 1978?)

Because the sound came out at the time that digital reverbs were becoming affordable many people (myself included) thought the sound was created with digital reverb,
It wasn't.
The sound is the result of the drums being in a rather live room (Townhouse in London,I believe) and the sound of the highly compressed REVERSE TALKBACK feature on an SSL 4000 console.
The REVERSE TALKBACK is a mic arranged in the studio so that people in the control room can hear what is being said out in the studio if the mics being used don't pick things up well enough.
In order to keep things close to the mic from being too loud and things far away being hardto hear the mic's signal is highly compressed.

The engineer for both records, Hugh Padgham, discovered the sound by using thie REVERSE TALKBACK feature while Phil Collins was playing the drums out in the studio.
The studio is quite live and the sound really relies on the sound of the room the drums are in.
You can get interesting resuts in a room that sounds different, but most of what you are hearing on those recordings is the sound of the drums in that room except it is exagerated and magnified by the huge amounts of compression.

It is also interesting to note that the effect had to be recorded to the multitrack and it would also be interesting to know if the effect was recorded with the toms on their tracks or if it was printed to a seperate set of tracs.

As an extra note: I can't remember the exact details, but I have heard that the song was started on 1/2" 8-track as a demo and transferred to 2" later.
I was told this by an engineer who worked out of Townhouse and it seems that I recall that the studio used for the demo was a small remote truck (my memory could be wrong, too.)
I have read that Ahmet Ertegun urged Phil Collins to include the drum machine in the final mix because the original mix version had no drums until the MONDO toms came in way in the back half of the song.
Someone once told me the model of the of the Roland drum machine used, but I forget other than that it was nothing fancy.
It is either a Roland TR-808, but something makes me think I was told that it was a TR-606.

So, in retrospect, it is interesting to note how much a the room is used dor this effect and how something so iconic is simply a mic and a compressor!
For me it is ironic because I was highly impressed by this drum sound when these records came out and I tried very hard to reproduce it.
The irony is that I was listening to the effect on the LP while sitting in a studio that had a very live main studio.
I was busy using our brand new Lexicon 224 to re-create the effect when I actually had aroom that would would have produced the effect.
Once I learned how the effect was created I had moved to a much smaller and far more dead room.
Oh, well...
I did over-use the effect I came up with on the 224 and I later went nuts with an SPX90 trying to create a snare version of the sound.

So now you know...
BTW... I did check my memory by referencing Wikipedia.
It pretty well backs up what I was told.
Old 13th August 2012
  #14
Gear Guru
I was in that Townhouse room, and if you clap your hands you hear that sound. It sounds very much like AMS non-lin 2.
The other interesting thing about those drums is there is no metal. No cymbals, no hat. Just kick, snare and toms.
Old 13th August 2012
  #15
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Actually there is gated reverb on Alan Parson's 1st album from 1975.
Old 14th August 2012
  #16
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John Bonham In Through The Out Door Drum Track Outtakes November - December 1978 Part 1 - YouTube

listen closely to the kick drum and snare (on the big hits)...sounds like gated verb with some heavy early reflections build up, then gone.
Old 14th August 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnninns View Post
It is either a Roland TR-808, but something makes me think I was told that it was a TR-606.
OT: I'm pretty sure it was a CR-78.
Old 14th August 2012
  #18
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fnninns View Post
I thought that people who don't know how the "In the Air Tonight" tom sound was created might find it interesting to know the story...
Great post. I came to explain this, but you did a great job. It wasn't gated reverb at all, it was smashed room mics in a live room.
Old 14th August 2012
  #19
If you watch the Face to Face Classic Albums DVD, there's a live version of In the Air at the end. As much as that sound has aged badly, and as much as I'm jaded about music from that era in general, and about Phil's post-Genesis work (not all of it), that song is just a sledgehammer (pardon the recursive post-Genesis pun.) It just pounds that arena like crazy, with an enormous amount of energy, and you can't help but get into it.

As badly overused as the gated verb sound was, when you add it to the equally overly used really thin chorused guitars, and the seemingly single male vocal style, the whole era just hasn't aged well to me, though there's still stuff from then that works. But even on something as rootsy as Tom Petty, there's huge amounts of reverb on the drums on a lot of those early TP albums.
Old 14th August 2012
  #20
Kas
Gear Maniac
 

I don't know who did it first but i can tell you who did it worst. JOURNEY with Steve Parry. After that we were swimming in the stuff.
Old 15th August 2012
  #21
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
If you watch the Face to Face Classic Albums DVD, there's a live version of In the Air at the end. As much as that sound has aged badly, and as much as I'm jaded about music from that era in general, and about Phil's post-Genesis work (not all of it), that song is just a sledgehammer (pardon the recursive post-Genesis pun.) It just pounds that arena like crazy, with an enormous amount of energy, and you can't help but get into it.

As badly overused as the gated verb sound was, when you add it to the equally overly used really thin chorused guitars, and the seemingly single male vocal style, the whole era just hasn't aged well to me, though there's still stuff from then that works. But even on something as rootsy as Tom Petty, there's huge amounts of reverb on the drums on a lot of those early TP albums.
I agree. When 'gated reverb' became a tightly controlled studio effect that was overused like crazy, it became weak. But on some of these recordings it just works.

I hate almost everything 80s. I am not nostalgic for the 80s; I remember how much they sucked.

But the first few Phil Collins albums are actually some of the best 80s pop, and he makes that drum sound sing.

Also, he makes a Spinal Tap joke on the Face Value dvd. Badass.
Old 15th August 2012
  #22
Gear Addict
 

DR. MORDO will maybe recall a band called Lord Tracy that was on MCA back in the early '90s.
I recorded all of their demos and was their FOH mixer.

I recorded 120 songs for the band over the years between '86 and '92 .
We have released all of the old demo mixes, but although everyone says that the demos are so much better than the LA produced MCA release I still cringe because of the HORRIBLE gated reverb I used on the snare.
Old 15th August 2012
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight" wasn't the first but it went a long way to popularizing that sound.
The epic drum entrance turned a lot of heads.
The super group Power Station's first (only?) album caught my ear, especially the song "some like it hot'

Over here in the UK the rumor was that they had gone to the Power Station studio NYC, captured all the drum samples they needed then went somewhere else to do the rest of the album (mightily pissing off the Power Station) I don't know if that is true but we belived it.

Anyhow I was quick to get those mad gated (Octopads?) sounds onto a few recordings around that time.

For me the "cannon" sound deep snare sound for hair metal was a total mystery - how the hell did the American engineers do that - were they playing a tom? A giant trash can in an aircraft hangar? I decided I didn't like it so didn't incorporate it into my productions. In fact I never got into the swing of drum sampling. (my bad)
Old 15th August 2012
  #24
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foamboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
In fact I never got into the swing of drum sampling. (my bad)
Shame on you!!!

fb
Old 15th August 2012
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnninns View Post
I thought that people who don't know how the "In the Air Tonight" tom sound was created might find it interesting to know the story.

First, SILVERTONE is correct when he says that the effect was used on Phil Collin's drums on Peter Gabriel's "Intruder" previous to being used on "in the Air Tonight" which was on Collin's "Face to Face" LP relase.
It is interesting to note that this is actually a 1970's effect becasue both "Intruder" and "Face to Face" were recorded in 1979 (Intruder 1978?)

Because the sound came out at the time that digital reverbs were becoming affordable many people (myself included) thought the sound was created with digital reverb,
It wasn't.
The sound is the result of the drums being in a rather live room (Townhouse in London,I believe) and the sound of the highly compressed REVERSE TALKBACK feature on an SSL 4000 console.
The REVERSE TALKBACK is a mic arranged in the studio so that people in the control room can hear what is being said out in the studio if the mics being used don't pick things up well enough.
In order to keep things close to the mic from being too loud and things far away being hardto hear the mic's signal is highly compressed.

The engineer for both records, Hugh Padgham, discovered the sound by using thie REVERSE TALKBACK feature while Phil Collins was playing the drums out in the studio.
The studio is quite live and the sound really relies on the sound of the room the drums are in.
You can get interesting resuts in a room that sounds different, but most of what you are hearing on those recordings is the sound of the drums in that room except it is exagerated and magnified by the huge amounts of compression.

It is also interesting to note that the effect had to be recorded to the multitrack and it would also be interesting to know if the effect was recorded with the toms on their tracks or if it was printed to a seperate set of tracs.

As an extra note: I can't remember the exact details, but I have heard that the song was started on 1/2" 8-track as a demo and transferred to 2" later.
I was told this by an engineer who worked out of Townhouse and it seems that I recall that the studio used for the demo was a small remote truck (my memory could be wrong, too.)
I have read that Ahmet Ertegun urged Phil Collins to include the drum machine in the final mix because the original mix version had no drums until the MONDO toms came in way in the back half of the song.
Someone once told me the model of the of the Roland drum machine used, but I forget other than that it was nothing fancy.
It is either a Roland TR-808, but something makes me think I was told that it was a TR-606.

So, in retrospect, it is interesting to note how much a the room is used dor this effect and how something so iconic is simply a mic and a compressor!
For me it is ironic because I was highly impressed by this drum sound when these records came out and I tried very hard to reproduce it.
The irony is that I was listening to the effect on the LP while sitting in a studio that had a very live main studio.
I was busy using our brand new Lexicon 224 to re-create the effect when I actually had aroom that would would have produced the effect.
Once I learned how the effect was created I had moved to a much smaller and far more dead room.
Oh, well...
I did over-use the effect I came up with on the 224 and I later went nuts with an SPX90 trying to create a snare version of the sound.

So now you know...
BTW... I did check my memory by referencing Wikipedia.
It pretty well backs up what I was told.
I have a feeling they even had to call a tech to mod the desk, because prior to this you couldn't record the listen mic - it only went to the monitors!
Old 23rd October 2012
  #26
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slammy80's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
OT: I'm pretty sure it was a CR-78.
You are correct. It was the CR-78... you can hear it in this demonstration: (you'll hear a lot of familiar songs, actually)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0tdkP4GaGg

Old 23rd October 2012
  #27
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dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ienjoyaudio View Post
One might say that robot auto-tune and huge compression are the gated snares and huge reverbs of today.
Agreed!
Honestly I can't believe how much people compress individual tracks these days. If I see people mixing on youtube (even pro's doing tutorials), it's got ridiculous.
And I LOVE compression and big reverbs, but not on everything!
Old 24th October 2012
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I have a feeling they even had to call a tech to mod the desk, because prior to this you couldn't record the listen mic - it only went to the monitors!
This is indeed true and exactly why SSL offers the LMC Plug In Free on the SSL Website - The Console was modded to Hughes Spec's - SSL Engineers were baffled why he wanted this done, though it was done! Also the Roland CR-78, wasn't that the CR-78 Roland Drumatix or something? (Maybe CR-78 Rhythm Ace) etc....Anyway CR-78 was the Drum machine.

{Actually - EDIT} ....I should Add that After that 1979/80 Modification was done to the SSL "Listen Mic Pre" as it was called, this modification was done to every SSL Console sold from then on (E/G/G+ 5000's etc) ....thus any room you rented to try and recreate that DRUM should with an SSL LMC would be able to do the same! Who would've thunk?
Old 24th October 2012
  #29
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vernier's Avatar
Journey comes to mind.
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