ITT: Awful Sounding Drums that Make the Song

mesazoo

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This I can get behind! Those toms need some WORK.


Lust For Life is another great example! That bass drum sounds like a 22" drum with two single-ply heads tuned wide open - an unusual style for rock, but Iggy's song is instantly recognizable because of it.
It is a 24 or 26 inch Premier bass drum.
 

kicksnarehat

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I love this song and everything about the performance and recording, and am fascinated by the decisions — purposeful or otherwise — that make records gel. Just listen to those toms and the choice to feature them absolutely buzzing at the end. Magical.
 

thin shell

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I absolutely love them !!!!!
While by themselves they may not sound too good, I can't imagine any other drum sound in that song. Sounds like single headed tom with no duct tape. Perhaps not tuned perfectly and or a worn head.

Absolutely perfect for that song.
 

backtodrum

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Steve's Gadd's drum sounds on the 70s disco hit the hustle sound pretty terrible but I can't imagine the song without that sound now...
 

BennyK

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Great topic that can really make you think, which may be quite helpful to those of us who record, as we set about to begin work on that next million seller, er, million YouTube view-er.

I'll throw these in: the Excello Slim Harpo/Lazy Lester records. It's kind of like BennyK's observation above of "Spirit in the Sky" - is it a maraca, a tom, a snare, all at once, or...? I wouldn't change a thing.
Then there's the foundational Jimmy Reed Vee Jay records: mush-city, calf heads probably a little thick and de-tuned, but it's perfect. Of course the playing is, too.
Compare the above to their contemporaries over at Chess, where the drums sound clean, bright, and snappy, kind of a gold standard for blues records. But I wouldn't want that sound on the Excello or Vee Jay records.
A well dressed individual is aware of balancing textures and colors - the same goes for recording a song . I'm hearing a featherd bass drum on two and four ... very clever , not me, but the producer /drummer , whoever created this masterpiece .

 

funkypoodle

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I'm a huge Reggae fan, especially classic Roots Reggae from the early 70's to the early 80's. A lot of these tracks have crazy drum fill intros that always amaze me even though they're mostly being played on the most used, abused & taped up drums known to man. To be fair, it's a miracle drums from the UK and US got to the Caribbean, survived the climate & endless hours of recording sessions, probably sporting the same heads. By the late 70's drummers like Sly Dunbar & Carleton Barrett were out touring the planet & bringing gear back home with them. But I love those old Jamaican tracks & the drums just sound "right" to me! My neighbour & good friend always says to me that good funk and good reggae have to sound like "it's all being held together by gaffer tape".
Here are a few examples:
 

fun2drum

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"Jack and Diane" drum solo at the bridge. I've always thought those drums sounded bad, but it's the most musically memorable part of the song, at least to me.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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When Dove Cry - that horribly synth crap of the 80's! But it sounds great in that song......

Also, Jack & Diane - again, awful 80's dry drum sounds, but that fill! I saw Kenny at a clinic about 20+ years ago and nobody cared about anything other than him playing that fill and he did it and killed it and the whole place went crazy!
 

Topsy Turvy

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While by themselves they may not sound too good, I can't imagine any other drum sound in that song. Sounds like single headed tom with no duct tape. Perhaps not tuned perfectly and or a worn head.

Absolutely perfect for that song.
Can someone please explain how toms not tuned correctly are perfect for a pop song like this? I mean we are talking about Linda Ronstadt, not some low-fi punk band.
 

MntnMan62

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There is one album with one of my favorite drummers of all time that I think has a pretty poor drum sound. Pat Martino's Joyous Lake. The drums, snare, toms and bass drum, all sound flat to me. No real tone. And I think that album has some of the best examples of Kenwood Dennard's playing. The only playing of his that I found to be better was with his band Highlife. Saw them at Seventh Avenue South, several shows. Woody, Delmar Brown, Darryll Dobson and Rael Wesley Grant. One of my all time favorite bands. Sadly, no recordings of those shows or studio recordings that have been released.
 
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retrosonic

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Dino Danelli of the Rascals is in my opinion, one of the greatest drummers of the 60s. yet, for some reason, even tho they recorded at Atlantic, the drum sounds just never sounded right.
 

Houndog

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Can someone please explain how toms not tuned correctly are perfect for a pop song like this? I mean we are talking about Linda Ronstadt, not some low-fi punk band.
They sound correct to me ..

Who ever said things have to be “ correct /perfect “ ????
 

thin shell

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They sound correct to me ..

Who ever said things have to be “ correct /perfect
“ ????
The current music industry. That's why everything has had the timing quantized and had the life sucked out of it in protools if the drums were even played by an actual human being. Add the fact that the drum sounds might be samples so every hit will sound the same.

That's one reason I love old recordings more and more. They live and breath and hardly anything is perfect. They have life. The stuff today has no life and no soul.
 

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The current music industry. That's why everything has had the timing quantized and had the life sucked out of it in protools if the drums were even played by an actual human being. Add the fact that the drum sounds might be samples so every hit will sound the same.

That's one reason I love old recordings more and more. They live and breath and hardly anything is perfect. They have life. The stuff today has no life and no soul.
I thought an alternative title to this thread could be: "ITT: Recordings that could not be made today"
 

hardbat

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The recorded presentation of the drums on many classic jazz recordings is terrible.
Can you give an example? I think of the huge library of great recordings on Blue Note, Contemporary, and Atlantic, and the drum sounds are universally fantastic.
 

Tornado

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Can you give an example? I think of the huge library of great recordings on Blue Note, Contemporary, and Atlantic, and the drum sounds are universally fantastic.
It's not that the drums themselves sound bad, it's that the recordings don't represent them well. Especially on the older recordings, it's hard to even hear them.
 

High on Stress

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I love this song and everything about the performance and recording, and am fascinated by the decisions — purposeful or otherwise — that make records gel. Just listen to those toms and the choice to feature them absolutely buzzing at the end. Magical.
One of my bands wanted to cover this and they wanted me to replicate those toms and were wondering what kind of effect or technique was involved. They probably didn’t like my response that it was simply an out of tune drum and I wasn’t going to make my drums sound like that.
 

hardbat

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It's not that the drums themselves sound bad, it's that the recordings don't represent them well. Especially on the older recordings, it's hard to even hear them.
Interesting, that hasn't been my experience. The Contemporary recordings engineered by Roy DuNann in the late 50s, early 60s, for example, have just about the clearest drum recordings in history. And of course all the Van Gelder stuff of Elvin, Philly, etc.
 

Tornado

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Interesting, that hasn't been my experience. The Contemporary recordings engineered by Roy DuNann in the late 50s, early 60s, for example, have just about the clearest drum recordings in history. And of course all the Van Gelder stuff of Elvin, Philly, etc.
Go back in time before the late 50s. It's a different story.
 


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