interesting ringo studio muffling anecdotes/images

bon viesta

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i put this exact post on the vintage section, but i think that was the wrong place for this? and also i don’t even know how to delete posts. haha so just bear with seeing this post twice if you happen to.

i’ve been a ringo nut since the day i picked up the sticks (which wasn’t that long ago, resident 14 year old here), but something i’ve alwaaaays found fascinating is beatles recording techniques. especially the later years. the sound of those drums always fascinated me, and i know that it comes from the use of tea towels but something interesting to note is the fact that this sound started appearing even before 1968 (i might go back and edit in some examples later), but the main reason i mention that is the fact that ringo had been using that trusty 1964 super classic to produce those crunchy muffled tones before he ever brought in those maple hollywood drums. so, why haven’t i seen really any images of that kit all dressed up for the studio? i merely suspect a lack of photography in general. it’s not really the point of this post but i think it’s an interesting question. i’ve only seen 2, the lady madonna/hey bulldog session footage and this one image from the hey jude sessions at trident. also another question, when did ringo start muffling his bass drum? i think i started hearing soooomething in that bass drum at least since revolver, but maybe that’s just me. two questions for you people. though i don’t think many of you would ever care as much as i would about this information lol.

(image of a page from a book is from the hugely expensive “recording the beatles” book, which i do not own. i just found the image on the internet)
 

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JDA

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Didn't he use calf heads on the blonde 5 piece set? Think I read that somewhere here probably.
 

bon viesta

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Didn't he use calf heads on the blonde 5 piece set? Think I read that somewhere here probably.
i believe that he only started using that around abbey road? or maybe it was only during let it be, or maybe even after BOTH of them and into the 70s. it’s hard to remember exactly. but he certainly did use them.
 

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I usually associate the muffling the towels and everything with that era...
what was the earliest recordings etc do you think he came up with and used the towels etc thing?

What was the first Beatles song you - or it's been uncovered (no pun)-- you can hear it on a recording? Penny Lane?
Do you think it's on the Strawberry Fields cut?

When on what- album did he start recording with- using towels.
From the beginning and thru out? Always? Until the end?
hmm never thought of it that way. But could be.
 
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bon viesta

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I usually associate the muffling the towels and everything with that era...
what was the earliest recordings etc do you think he came up with and used the towels etc thing?

What was the first Beatles song you can hear it on a recording? Penny Lane?
that’s a great question! which i somewhat facilitated in the post lol. take a listen to “mr moonlight”, certainly a towel involved. and the bass drums all on both rubber soul and revolver sound a bit too dead to just have a plain old felt strip to hold down the tones. i believe i’ve seen various images from 1964-1965 studio sessions where you can see very familiar looking tea towels scattered around the drum booth whether it be on off a drum or up on the dividers. oh and also give a listen to mr kite off of sgt peppers.
 
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So I would say the strangest most unique thing is... he always used them! lol!
 

bon viesta

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pretty sure the 1964 image is FROM mr moonlight! just imagine him doing the big ‘boom’ on the open floor tom and then going to the little trot patten on the muffled tom tom.
 

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His idiosyncrasies got blasted out to the world!

Maybe there was no other way or was the best way- to accompany that music
to muffle down the toms toms toms..

So that was a decision 'how best to blend' he made.
I'm sure the other guys in the band didn't notice care to even comment, maybe the engineer did or maybe it was just his sole decision on his own with no outside input.

No stories of say John turning around and saying " can you put more blanket on that Ring?" (pun no pun....)
In fact I can't recall any mention of the other three noting Ring's Blanket Usage.
You would think they noticed and made a comment somewhere in the press/interviews but I can't recall any.
 
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bon viesta

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So I would say the strangest most unique thing is... he always used them! lol!
we can thank that old british stereotype of tea loving young men. perhaps it’s been true? otherwise there wouldn’t have been so many tea towels at ringo’s disposal lol. i wonder if the 70s would have been the “dead drum sound” cornucopia it is now if it wasn’t for ringo coming up with drum muffling.
 

bon viesta

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His idiosyncrasies got blasted out to the world!

Maybe there was no other way or was the best way- to accompany that music
to muffle down the toms toms toms..

So that was a decision 'how best to blend' he made.
I'm sure the other guys in the band didn't notice care to even comment, maybe the engineer did or maybe it was just his sole decision on his own with no outside input.

No stories of say John turning around and saying " can you put more blanket on that Ring?" (pun no pun....)
In fact I can't recall any mention of the other three noting Ring's Blanket Usage.
You would think they noticed and made a comment somewhere in the press/interviews but I can't recall any.
that would certainly be interesting. and i wish there was in general more talk of his drum muffling, or his weird little beatles drum quirks. something i’ve wondered is where all of those images of say his bass drum without the front head or with him with all the towels on his drums in the studio. i think my fascination with in specific, studio images of ringo or any band really is the fact that the image you would be seeing is what you’re always HEARING when you listen to that record, you know? it’s the exact things you’re always hearing on that one beatles record, and i find it really interesting in that aspect.
 

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Ringo is in every conscientious drummers dna no matter what style genre...it was the way the Beatles music hit the world. I mean there was no corner of the globe- maybe some very desolate area- where it didn't penetrate.
I would only exclude drummers older than him. Born before 1940. Drummers born after 1940- everyone was aware and felt him.
So prior to him you have influencing drums- the Jo Jones, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Buddy Rich, Joe Morello, Shelly Manne, ...things like that. The drummers Charlie Watts Jim Keltner talk about. Davey Tough, "Chick" Webb , Earl Palmer..
 
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Drumbumcrumb

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I like how he’s got the tea towel all knotted up on the rack tom like a bandanna! Gotta make sure it doesn’t get swept onto the high hats when he does his backwards fills.

O.P., are you saying that you’re 14 years old? You’re a very intelligent, mature, articulate 14 year old. I’m impressed. I was a nitwit at 14 (or at least acting like one) and I wasn’t doing anything near as constructive as playing drums! I wish I’d been emulating Ringo, believe me. Good on you, man, for having a good head on your shoulders.
 

bon viesta

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I like how he’s got the tea towel all knotted up on the rack tom like a bandanna! Gotta make sure it doesn’t get swept onto the high hats when he does his backwards fills.

O.P., are you saying that you’re 14 years old? You’re a very intelligent, mature, articulate 14 year old. I’m impressed. I was a nitwit at 14 (or at least acting like one) and I wasn’t doing anything near as constructive as playing drums! I wish I’d been emulating Ringo, believe me. Good on you, man, for having a good head on your shoulders.
hah thanks! i take time with my words. i’ve been drumming since i was 12, and my main “muse” as it were for a very very long time was ringo. those drums, man. something about them. of course i’ve also expanded, bill bruford and the one and only neil peart also occupy my brain throughout the day (i can play all of 2112... except the finale, i always seem to tune out by then. i’m a very ‘listening’ player, i don’t everrrr take time to look up lessons or whatever, i hear and i produce what i hear. fills seems to be something i can do with little to no thought) but ringo will certainly always have a place in my heart. always. i don’t think i’ve still ever come across a drum kit that sounds the way that his did.
 

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Don't forget Ringo even played on a packing case, though I'm not sure if, or how, it was muffled.
BTW, good on you! I got into Ringo in '64 (11 years old, cough cough) and still find the whole thing absolutely magical.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Thought you’d enjoy this, even if you’ve seen it before lol. If you haven’t, it’s a real treat. Ringo by way of Purdie by way of Vulf... if it gets any better than that, I don’t even wanna see it. Plus - Finally, a Beatles tune that Bernard indisputably drummed on!

 

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i wonder if the 70s would have been the “dead drum sound” cornucopia it is now if it wasn’t for ringo coming up with drum muffling.
It was probably one of the engineers coming up with the muffling, not Ringo. Back then, musicians weren't involved in the process of recording, or mixing.
 

underratedcowbell

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pretty sure the 1964 image is FROM mr moonlight! just imagine him doing the big ‘boom’ on the open floor tom and then going to the little trot patten on the muffled tom tom.
I really don't think the trot pattern is made on a muffled tom tom. The 2009 remaster of Beatles for sale lists George and Ringo as playing african percussion on that song. I really don't know what they mean by african percussion, but to me that sounds a lot like a hand drum (maybe djembe) buried in the mix! I'm not even certain that the loud "boom" is a tom... a large djembe can make that "boom" easily!

Just listen to this song that features low and hi djembes to see/hear what I mean:

Just found a pic of Ringo playing a small djembe: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZNyTCfW2...mACLcB/s1600/beatles+percussion+bother+me.jpg
 
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