AVH on Panama

Cauldronics

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I’ve heard Panama a million times but DFO wasn’t around when I first wondered how the bass drum sound was produced on the track.

It reminds me of club dance electronic kicks, which would’ve been around when 1984 was produced.

Was an electronic kick sample used on Panama or did they employ studio trickery to get that punch?

I doubt it was recorded and mixed in a common way, but it could’ve been. Maybe AVH had a bass drum that made that sound. Ludwig era?
 

CAMDRUMS

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Back in the day I heard they started that track by having Alex slap out the drum beat on kick drum cases, and then mixed it into the actual double bass shuffle beat. Might just be an urban legend though.
 

High on Stress

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I think he used Simmons bass drums and acoustic drums on that track. I read somewhere that in the early 5150 days they did not have a suitable drum room and started using Simmons drums to get better sounds than what they were achieving acoustically.
 

Cauldronics

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I think he used Simmons bass drums and acoustic drums on that track. I read somewhere that in the early 5150 days they did not have a suitable drum room and started using Simmons drums to get better sounds than what they were achieving acoustically.
They got great results on Panama even if the studio wasn't ready for primetime yet.
 

Dumpy

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I’d bet money it was his Simmons kit making that sound. I don’t think there was a drum room at 5150 until the very late 80s.
 

Cauldronics

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I don't know what other electronic kits were around in '83. Simmons and what else?
 

drummingbulldog

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Look up Donn Landee Van Halen. He talks in an interview about Jump and the kick sound and how unhappy he (Landee) was in the kick sounds on 1984. Most likely though it is a Simmons kick with the Rosewood snare on that track. Pretty much that whole album.
 

Tarkus

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The nice thing is today's amount of information that you can get instantly to your couch. For example the isolated drums of this song:


To me, the bass drum sounds like pure Simmons. Even more impressive is his dynamics on it. 'Modern' producers must be horrified by a drum track like that.

PS. Many cover bands missed already the right start into the song. So did I. Now I know better, thanks to videos like this..
 

Dumpy

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The nice thing is today's amount of information that you can get instantly to your couch. For example the isolated drums of this song:


To me, the bass drum sounds like pure Simmons. Even more impressive is his dynamics on it. 'Modern' producers must be horrified by a drum track like that.

PS. Many cover bands missed already the right start into the song. So did I. Now I know better, thanks to videos like this..
Simmons actually had decent dynamics, they just killed your wrists!
 

wflkurt

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Alex was definitely using a Siimons set mixed with roto toms and Simmons pads. It was the SDS V series and he used a full set with the toms for 5150. Alex started using a TAMA rosewood snare around Fair Warning from 1981 and used a Tama snare all the way up through 1988. It has been said in more than a few interviews that when the studio was built in 1983, they couldn't track the cymbals at the same time so overdubs had to be made. I can certainly hear that in songs like Drop dead Legs, I'll Wait and House of Pain, but it sounds nearly impossible in songs like Girl Gone Bad or Top Jimmy. Most of 5150 sounds like drums and cymbals at the same time as does OU812. The drum room was built after the OU812 tour was finished and before they started the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album.

I bought a Simmons set brand new in 1988 as I really wanted one after I saw VH for the first time in 1986 when I was 15. Alex's toms just rattled the room and the low end sounded really cool. I had NO CLUE what I was doing when I ordered the stuff in 1988. I had no idea what Alex was using and I knew I wanted to get five toms sounds. Simmons only made a brain with a bass, snare and three toms. The music store told me I needed a Simmons trigger to midi interface with a drum machine so I could sample the same tom sound 5 times and tune them all differently. It worked for the most part but the Korg DD-5 drum machine didn't sound anything like the Simmons tom sound I wanted. I got rid of the Korg and TMI years ago but still have the Simmons set. For some reason I also went with white and they have yellowed over the years. Knowing myself, I think white was readily available and I didn't want to wait for black.

I managed to pick up an SDS-8 brain in the 90's for something like $40 and even though it has the bass, snare and three toms, it sounds just like the SDS V. I think Alex's use of the roto toms and Simmons was a direct influence from Bill Bruford when he was with UK.

Simmons.jpg


Me in 1988 with the set. The bass drums were rocker II Ludwigs that I bought brand new. I worked several crappy jobs to buy all that crap and my parents probably thought I was nuts.

Simmonskurt.jpg
 

Buffalo_drummer

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The nice thing is today's amount of information that you can get instantly to your couch. For example the isolated drums of this song:


To me, the bass drum sounds like pure Simmons. Even more impressive is his dynamics on it. 'Modern' producers must be horrified by a drum track like that.

PS. Many cover bands missed already the right start into the song. So did I. Now I know better, thanks to videos like this..
Was there even a velocity setting on those drums then? I thought not?
 

DanRH

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Syndrums, but they were not that widely available back then and never were. In ‘83, Simmons was the industry standard.
had a Synare in ‘79.
 

wflkurt

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Was there even a velocity setting on those drums then? I thought not?
There really wasn't much of one. Sometimes that would act a little funny. If you listen to the drum track for JUMP, the bass drum is quieter in the double hits but get louder with single hits. I heard that this drove the engineer Don Landee crazy.

 


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