Steely Dan/Black Friday - Jeff Porcaro's (mostly) isolated drum track

Whitten

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The kick and snare sound weird, maybe an aspect of the process of isolation - if software was used.
This is not as killer a sound as he had going over his last few years.
 

Trey Gray

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The kick and snare sound weird, maybe an aspect of the process of isolation - if software was used.
This is not as killer a sound as he had going over his last few years.
Agree, the sound is ehhh, but the feel.....so cool you can feel the movement!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Cheers and blessings, Trey
 

coastie

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The drumming is exactly what you’d expect from JP and that is the amazing part of listening to that. The tones were odd indeed. And it was hard to get past that cymbal crash overdub in my left ear.
BUT THAT POCKET!!!! And the little ruffs he throws in! Good heavens that guy was good.
 

drumgadget

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Thanks for this ...... one of my all-time favorite "early" Dan songs ..... feel, lyrics, general Steely Sarcastic vibe ........

That groove is uncanny - so steady and disciplined! What a player he was ............ !

Mike
 

Burps

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Does anyone remember reading JP’s own words about playing this song? He had to do it multiple times and he tried over and over to get the guys to call in another drummer because he was having such a hard time getting the feel right. But they insisted that he do it and eventually they got him to play it just right. It was nice to know that even the greats have a difficult time with some songs.
 

Whitten

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Yeah, but don't forget Becker and Fagen were crazy perfectionists and often had three or four top flight bands play their songs until they decided on the perfect take. So it may have been more them being difficult than him being able to nail the take.
 

Burps

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Yeah, but don't forget Becker and Fagen were crazy perfectionists and often had three or four top flight bands play their songs until they decided on the perfect take. So it may have been more them being difficult than him being able to nail the take.
I've heard that about them too. But I just remembered that there is also this video where Porcaro himself specifically talks about Black Friday and about shuffles in general. I was very shocked to hear him say that he hated playing shuffles! Check it out at the 36 minute mark.

 

equipmentdork

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The kick and snare sound weird, maybe an aspect of the process of isolation - if software was used.
This is not as killer a sound as he had going over his last few years.
Agreed. Think of something just a few years later like Hold The Line. ABC Studios had problems, and I think both the placement of the mic for the cymbal overdub as well as the brightness of the cymbal itself, combined with the dbx malfunctioning, made for an ugly, breathy, phasey sound. I don't think software was used. Here's the track for context; you can really hear the bad decoding biting down on the whole track. And, around 3:00, you hear the ride cymbal as well as the cymbal overdubs choked to death. It probably wouldn't hurt if the tracks were loaded into Pro Tools and Auto-Aligned, because I hear something flamming(on the other vid).

Dan
 

Matched Gripper

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I've heard that about them too. But I just remembered that there is also this video where Porcaro himself specifically talks about Black Friday and about shuffles in general. I was very shocked to hear him say that he hated playing shuffles! Check it out at the 36 minute mark.

I was just about to comment - not to bad for a guy who didn’t like to play shuffles.
 

CC Cirillo

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In retrospect, the drummers of Steely Dan have probably had the most influence on my playing.

Perhaps most notably that at a very young age they taught me that, rather than seek to become a professional musician, the arts, my family, and my own welfare would be best served if I came up with a Plan B.
 

Old PIT Guy

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According to the recent Robyn Flans biography on Jeff's life, he played this track with a broken thumb. Let that one sink in.
It's really something, right? Some guys are like animals in dealing with pain. There's a member here who posted about playing a session with a broken arm. That's right, a broken arm! I was going to link to it but I can't find it after searching. Odd how that happens with some claims. Oh well.
 
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Agreed. Think of something just a few years later like Hold The Line. ABC Studios had problems, and I think both the placement of the mic for the cymbal overdub as well as the brightness of the cymbal itself, combined with the dbx malfunctioning, made for an ugly, breathy, phasey sound. I don't think software was used. Here's the track for context; you can really hear the bad decoding biting down on the whole track. And, around 3:00, you hear the ride cymbal as well as the cymbal overdubs choked to death. It probably wouldn't hurt if the tracks were loaded into Pro Tools and Auto-Aligned, because I hear something flamming(on the other vid).

Dan
Huh I heard for the longest that there were actually 2 drummers on this recording, Jeff along with Jim Gordon with Becker commenting on the session years later 'It was the damndest thing standing between them, like two freight trains flying by on either side of you...' Maybe it's all Becker-ism but it would explain the flamming artifacts or the heavy compression/limiting on specific cymbal strikes.
 

equipmentdork

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Huh I heard for the longest that there were actually 2 drummers on this recording, Jeff along with Jim Gordon with Becker commenting on the session years later 'It was the damndest thing standing between them, like two freight trains flying by on either side of you...' Maybe it's all Becker-ism but it would explain the flamming artifacts or the heavy compression/limiting on specific cymbal strikes.
Haven't heard that about this album. I certainly don't hear two drummers, and the flamming artifacts aren't on the LP version. I think the flamming is latency between drum and overhead or room mics due to software malfunction.

Dan
 


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