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So I'm trying to set up my drum kit to fit with Pat's on Avalanche. It's the best drum sounds I've heard. But I'm not a pro so I don't know how drum tuning works other than fiddling with the screws until you get a sound you like. The thing is I've never had a sound like that. It's either to reverb-y or echo-y or, if I tighten them too much it's too high.

 

Yeah "reverb-y" and "echo-y"! They're technical terms alright! :P

 

Anyhow what's the trick? The best I've done (still not enough) is put tape on them to mute them out a bit.

 

Thanks!

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This video helped me.  I did the tape trick to lower the overtones and the video helped me tune the drums better.

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I'm actually a bassist but not surprisingly I'm hugely into

drums and drumming as well ( it's all about the rhythm section ;)

I totally agree about the drums on Avalanche- Pledge of Allegiance is just so majestic. Whenever I get a new stereo or subs or whatever, I always test it out with that. WWWHR and Near Fantastica are amazing on that album too.

It may be really difficult to reproduce Pat's sound without the expensive studio compressors and whatever analog techniques they may have utilized like miking arrangements/room mikes etc. They may have used treatments like reverb and delay as well. I can hear a lot of reverb on his drums and especially the cymbals

 

Although they did sound great live at the time when I saw them 2003 or so at Kool Haus in Toronto- they opened up with Pledge and blew my mind. So there is a way to approximate the studio sound live but they would also mike the drums live and be able to run them through effects too.

I have spent a lot of time with pedals trying to emulate bass tones for covers I play and it is very hard when you consider that sound engineers can double parts, add in keyboard parts and different cab simulations and things when the original signal was just the bass clean straight into the board.

 

Anyway, point is you can try the taping method but you'll

probably have to be satisfied with coming reasonably

close to your desired tone with an acoustic set unmiked.

 

Now there is always electronic drums...but that is another kettle of fish :)

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I don't have much technical knowledge when it comes to drum recording techniques and so forth.  I will say though, that although I prefer Ian's style of playing to Pat, the drum sound on Avalanche is one of the immediate improvements over the MGB days.  I've always just assumed this had alot to do with Pat, but Matt makes it seem as though the politics of dealing with one squeaky wheel instead of four may have been a major factor as well.  

The drum sound on Won't Get Fooled Again is my all time favourite drum sound.  When everything cuts out except the synth and the drums prior to the famous scream, that sound is perfection, just try not to air drum that.  

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This video helped me.  I did the tape trick to lower the overtones and the video helped me tune the drums better.

 

Thanks! That video shows pretty much where I already am with tuning. I thought there might have been something I wasn't aware of. :)

 

I'm actually a bassist but not surprisingly I'm hugely into

drums and drumming as well ( it's all about the rhythm section ;)

I totally agree about the drums on Avalanche- Pledge of Allegiance is just so majestic. Whenever I get a new stereo or subs or whatever, I always test it out with that. WWWHR and Near Fantastica are amazing on that album too.

It may be really difficult to reproduce Pat's sound without the expensive studio compressors and whatever analog techniques they may have utilized like miking arrangements/room mikes etc. They may have used treatments like reverb and delay as well. I can hear a lot of reverb on his drums and especially the cymbals

 

Although they did sound great live at the time when I saw them 2003 or so at Kool Haus in Toronto- they opened up with Pledge and blew my mind. So there is a way to approximate the studio sound live but they would also mike the drums live and be able to run them through effects too.

I have spent a lot of time with pedals trying to emulate bass tones for covers I play and it is very hard when you consider that sound engineers can double parts, add in keyboard parts and different cab simulations and things when the original signal was just the bass clean straight into the board.

 

Anyway, point is you can try the taping method but you'll

probably have to be satisfied with coming reasonably

close to your desired tone with an acoustic set unmiked.

 

Now there is always electronic drums...but that is another kettle of fish :)

 

Oh no nothing electronic. It always ends up sounding electronic :P

 

That being said, that's something I love about being a musician. Music becomes something you listen to on a deeper level. You deconstruct the sounds and the structures in you head to appreciate it differenly. 

 

First, never try and emulate the drum sounds of a world class producer. If you want to hear Warne's best work, listen to Good Morning Beautiful by The The. When Gill Norton first recommended Warne to me in 1996 - the decision to use him was a no brainer. Mind Bomb and Infected by The The alone were enough to freak me out - never mind all the Midnight Oil records and Julian Cope, etc, etc. Of course, at the time I never imagined he'd become my best friend, or that our families would become close.

 

The thing about his drum sounds is two fold. First, in the MGB days, as a producer he had to sort of fight a wall of sound that each band member heard in a different way. After the band he had vastly greater room to maneuver because it was just me and my main concern is that songs are served, not what's loudest in the mix.

 

The drums on Avalanche were amazing, no question. When you take the talent of someone like Warne and match it with a room like the live room at what used to be Mushroom Studios - a renowned room for drums - there's little doubt the outcome is going to be spectacular. Add Pat's consistency, vintage drums, and it's even more so. The drum sounds on that album are awesome, but one thing that makes them even better is a story I have little told about that record.

 

The plan regarding it was that we would record at Mushroom and mix at the warehouse. The old board at Mushroom wasn't automated, which would have made mixing a nightmare. That said, it's the same board that Heart recorded Dreamboat Annie on, and it sounded phenomenal.

 

Before we ended the tracking session Warne did rough mixes of the songs thinking he'd do them again at the Warehouse. So when he did those mixes, without automation, they were free spirited and old school. And so, when you listen to Pledge, Avalanche, Weapon, and so forth - you're listening to those rough studio mixes. I made him keep them as used them as the final mixes.

 

When it comes to White Light, because we did 99% of the songs live off the floor, the drums were minimally microphoned. There were only 5 mics on the whole kit I believe, though it could have been less. U2 used only three or four on the drums on Auchtung I believe.

 

But when it comes to drums, all you need to do is put on Who's Next and crank it. The whole thing sounds huge. Put headphones on and you'll discover the drums are super small. It's all about how things fit in the end.

 

Matt, your interventions are always awesome for music geeks like me. That bit about Avalanche's rough mixes is the kind of thing that makes me listen to songs differently, in a good way because music geeks don't just listen to the tune but the whole thing.

 

I remember in February 2003 (sorry I have this kind of time memory :P) while I was waiting for Avalanche to come out, I listened to 30 seconds samples of the record and one thing that instantly stood out was the drums. Pledge for example is not a bit rock song but the pounding of the drums gives it its edge (and along with the bell, I think that was the point). I also love the live rendition you did on tour with the piano. Weapon amazed me when it came out. Not just the drums but the guitar part at the beginning (which I love to play), the orchestra obviously and, of course, the drums. I remember Pat got a bit of flak initially by fans who didn't like his playing but I've always loved it. The drums on House of Smoke and Mirrors are just right for the song's atmosphere. 

 

I've never thought of the drum sounds being influenced by the producer. I'm no pro like I said so I thought that it was just tuning. I've been wondering how Pat's done this for years and hearing the Montreal bootleg again gave me the idea of asking it here. The drums on the record are amazing but Pat's been able to reproduce it pretty nicely live as well. I've never heard the whole Who's Next record (other than Baba O'Riley, Behind Blue Eyes and Won't Get Fooled Again of course) so I'm definitely going to buy it and try.

 

I don't have much technical knowledge when it comes to drum recording techniques and so forth.  I will say though, that although I prefer Ian's style of playing to Pat, the drum sound on Avalanche is one of the immediate improvements over the MGB days.  I've always just assumed this had alot to do with Pat, but Matt makes it seem as though the politics of dealing with one squeaky wheel instead of four may have been a major factor as well.  

 

The drum sound on Won't Get Fooled Again is my all time favourite drum sound.  When everything cuts out except the synth and the drums prior to the famous scream, that sound is perfection, just try not to air drum that.  

 

Yeah I don't think Matt's ever worked with a bad drummer. One thing I love about him being a solo artist is that you get to hear different players playing the same songs differently with their own flavour. But if I were to put Matt's drummers in order of preference, Ian would be last. Bear in mind I think he's an amazing drummer so that's not a bad thing per se. But Pat's always been number one in my book followed very very closely by Blake who's polyvalence never ceases to amaze me. I get the feeling there's nothing he can't play. But Pat's drum sound make him the best to my ears whether it's on record or live. 

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The thing about his drum sounds is two fold. First, in the MGB days, as a producer he had to sort of fight a wall of sound that each band member heard in a different way. After the band he had vastly greater room to maneuver because it was just me and my main concern is that songs are served, not what's loudest in the mix.

 

Do you mind me asking for clarification if that was your biggest beef with the band when it came to the studio? I know you've mentioned over the years that you always wished some of the other members were willing to serve the song rather than themselves, but I was always interested what you specifically meant by that.

 

Was it only that you didn't like, as you just stated, how certain members wanted their part to be the most prominent in the mix, or was it also that you didn't like how busy certain parts were (I seem to remember you once stating you felt the drums in Truffle Pigs were too busy) when what you were going for was a more simple sonic landscape at times? Or was it all that and other things as well? 

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Wow. To have one of your absolute top favourite artists ever joining in on a blog and sharing personal/inside stories and insights is just incredible.

What a privilege.  I can never find the words.  It is truly a visceral thing.  When I actually did meet Matt I had a load of things to say, but just froze up and said a heart felt thank you! lol   

So thanks again!

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