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Pink Floyd Drums

Post by Poirier812 » Mon May 17, 2010 4:16 pm

I don't know where this topic goes exactly but this seems right. I'm trying to get a Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon drum sound. Does anyone have any tips? or knowledge of what gear they used? Thanks.

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Post by T-rex » Mon May 17, 2010 4:55 pm

Nice timing. Alan Parsons is a guest Moderator at GS right now, you can ask the man directly!

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-engine ... n-parsons/
[Asked whether his shades are prescription or just to look cool]
Guy: Well, I am the drummer.

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Post by drumsound » Mon May 17, 2010 8:21 pm

T-rex wrote:Nice timing. Alan Parsons is a guest Moderator at GS right now, you can ask the man directly!

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-engine ... n-parsons/
And he will answer that it was a long time ago and he can't remember the details, but if you buy his videos you'll get an idea of how it happened.


I've always thought of Nick Mason as a drummer who doesn't player hard or loud.

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Post by cgarges » Mon May 17, 2010 10:25 pm

To me, Dark Side sounds EXACTLY like all of the elements involved that I know about.

Clearly, that is Nick Mason's right hand on an early-70s Paiste ride cymbal and hi hats. No doubt about that at all.

Actually, the drums sound kind of indiscernable to me, in terms of brand recognition. They're not being played very hard, and there's not much ambient quality to the recording that would identify the drum brand by sound. They're more than likely Ludwigs, but they sound like they could be Gretsch or Slingerland or Sonor just about anything else you'd find in England at the time. They probably weren't Vistalites, I can tell you that. They sound medium-tensioned to me, maybe a little on the loose side, but nothing like modern standards of "loose." The toms are definitely muffled on the top heads, but not totally dead. The snare drum is deader than the toms, and there's a characteristic "British" snare sound that's somewhat noticable there. If you watch the Pink Floyd At Pompeii movie, you'll see that Nick was taping cymbal felts to his toms for muffling. As this was the period when they were working on Dark Side, it's entirely possible that this was his muffling method of choice. Also, if you watch the version of that film with the studio clips, you can see Nick's drums in the background. They're recording in Abbey Road Studio Two and the kit is surrounded by one of the famous drumkit baffles, no doubt contributing to the reduction of ambience in the recording.

According to an interview I read with Alan Parsons years ago, the snare mic was a Neumann KM84 and that's EXACTLY 100% what it sounds like to me. If you take a snare drum and tune it anywhere near what that record sounds like and play it quietly and mic it with a KM84 run through a soft-sounding pre (Trident, Neve, etc.) and don't compress it, you'll get that sound.

I think Parsons mentioned that the toms were miked with either KM84s or KM86s. That sounds about right to me. He also said that the overheads were STC 4038s. Period-correct, for sure. The kick drum was probably a D12 or D20 or something like that.

Kepexes, being somewhat new and all the rage, were in heavy use during this recording and the original rhythm tracks were recorded to 16-track and then bounced to an additional reel (sometimes bounced down to only a pair of stereo tracks) for overdubs. The console at EMI Studio Two at the time would have been one of the solid state TG consoles. The tape machines were probably Studers.

That's what I know.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Tue May 18, 2010 6:52 am

drumsound wrote:
T-rex wrote:Nice timing. Alan Parsons is a guest Moderator at GS right now, you can ask the man directly!

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-engine ... n-parsons/
And he will answer that it was a long time ago and he can't remember the details, but if you buy his videos you'll get an idea of how it happened.

Glad I'm not the only one that noticed that. How the fuck could he not remember that stuff? It's DSOTM fer christ's sake!

And yet here we have Chris Carges offering some really great and comprehensive info. on the subject.

Thanks Chris.
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Post by Professor T » Tue May 18, 2010 7:30 am

Chris - That is the most awesome post I've ever seen here. You should record people for a living! :lol:

Also, how often does your last name get mangled? 1 out of 3 times?

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Post by Poirier812 » Tue May 18, 2010 8:07 am

cgarges wrote:To me, Dark Side sounds EXACTLY like all of the elements involved that I know about.

Clearly, that is Nick Mason's right hand on an early-70s Paiste ride cymbal and hi hats. No doubt about that at all.

Actually, the drums sound kind of indiscernable to me, in terms of brand recognition. They're not being played very hard, and there's not much ambient quality to the recording that would identify the drum brand by sound. They're more than likely Ludwigs, but they sound like they could be Gretsch or Slingerland or Sonor just about anything else you'd find in England at the time. They probably weren't Vistalites, I can tell you that. They sound medium-tensioned to me, maybe a little on the loose side, but nothing like modern standards of "loose." The toms are definitely muffled on the top heads, but not totally dead. The snare drum is deader than the toms, and there's a characteristic "British" snare sound that's somewhat noticable there. If you watch the Pink Floyd At Pompeii movie, you'll see that Nick was taping cymbal felts to his toms for muffling. As this was the period when they were working on Dark Side, it's entirely possible that this was his muffling method of choice. Also, if you watch the version of that film with the studio clips, you can see Nick's drums in the background. They're recording in Abbey Road Studio Two and the kit is surrounded by one of the famous drumkit baffles, no doubt contributing to the reduction of ambience in the recording.

According to an interview I read with Alan Parsons years ago, the snare mic was a Neumann KM84 and that's EXACTLY 100% what it sounds like to me. If you take a snare drum and tune it anywhere near what that record sounds like and play it quietly and mic it with a KM84 run through a soft-sounding pre (Trident, Neve, etc.) and don't compress it, you'll get that sound.

I think Parsons mentioned that the toms were miked with either KM84s or KM86s. That sounds about right to me. He also said that the overheads were STC 4038s. Period-correct, for sure. The kick drum was probably a D12 or D20 or something like that.

Kepexes, being somewhat new and all the rage, were in heavy use during this recording and the original rhythm tracks were recorded to 16-track and then bounced to an additional reel (sometimes bounced down to only a pair of stereo tracks) for overdubs. The console at EMI Studio Two at the time would have been one of the solid state TG consoles. The tape machines were probably Studers.

That's what I know.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Exactly what i was looking for. These drums will fit in perfectly with a little bit of tweaking. I definitely think this is one of the best answers I've ever seen anywhere haha. Thanks!

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Post by Poirier812 » Tue May 18, 2010 8:11 am

drumsound wrote:
T-rex wrote:Nice timing. Alan Parsons is a guest Moderator at GS right now, you can ask the man directly!

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-engine ... n-parsons/
And he will answer that it was a long time ago and he can't remember the details, but if you buy his videos you'll get an idea of how it happened.


I've always thought of Nick Mason as a drummer who doesn't player hard or loud.
That's what I'm going for with this project, i wanted that drum sound that just sits in the corner and can be brought out when needed.

That's crazy. I just read some of the posts on there and you aren't kidding.

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Post by cgarges » Tue May 18, 2010 8:23 am

Thanks, guys!

I love that album and pretty much all their albums. I'm kind of an avid collector of Pink Floyd stuff. Glad to be of help.

That Gearslutz thing is kind of a bummer. They've had so many good guest moderators and I can understand a good bit of not rememberiing all of the Star Trek details, but with some of this stuff, it's like, "Oh come ON!"

I actually submitted a question about "Atom Heart Mother" and Alan's relationship to Peter Bown, but Jules didn't approve it. Maybe Alan doesn't remember who Peter Bown is. In any case, Dark Side is a spectacular album.
Professor T wrote:Chris - That is the most awesome post I've ever seen here. You should record people for a living! :lol:
You should look up the thread on the drum sounds on the early R.E.M. records. THAT'S got awesome replies.
Professor T wrote:Also, how often does your last name get mangled? 1 out of 3 times?
LOTS. It's not that hard of a name, either. Pronounced pretty much like it's spelled: GAR-jess. Soft "g" in the middle. I get paychecks made out to Chris Gargess and Chris Gargis kind of frequently. Also, I get a lot of junk mail targeted to the Latino community because people get it confused with Garces. When I got married, I told my wife that she didn't have to take my name. She wanted to, though, even though I told her she was in for a world of hurt when doing things like putting her name on a waiting list at a restaurant.

Chris Garges
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Tue May 18, 2010 8:44 am

cgarges wrote:That Gearslutz thing is kind of a bummer. They've had so many good guest moderators and I can understand a good bit of not rememberiing all of the Star Trek details, but with some of this stuff, it's like, "Oh come ON!"
Epic bummer, in this case.
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue May 18, 2010 9:28 am

man...garages...your ears are frightening.

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Post by Bro Shark » Tue May 18, 2010 9:52 am

OT rant:

Even if you nail the exact gear, setup, room and tuning: I challenge any drummer alive to play even remotely like Nick Mason. To be able to play so quiet, so evenkeeled, and so nuanced at slow tempos without wavering, sounding bored or impatient, and always finding just the right elements of flair and fills... just, wow.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue May 18, 2010 11:09 am

you know...i have a friend, coincidentally named nick, who's not really a drummer, but whenever he sits down at a kit it's instant nick mason. he somehow instinctively has that right hand thing DOWN.

anyway, i just wanted to say....if you sat me and CG down in front of a pair of speakers, put on a record and asked for our thoughts on the drums, i'd be like "yeah...those drums sound pretty good. nice ring on the snare..."

garges would be like "well, clearly that's a 1974 vistalite kit...orange....the snare is obviously a black beauty with puresound snares, both heads tuned pretty tight, coated ambassador on top with 9/16ths of a moongel on it. the kick is probably 24x14, batter head sounds like an emperor tuned pretty low, no front head. toms are 13x10 and 16x14, tuned to B and F#, respectively. sounds like the drums are about 5 feet in front of a brick wall in a 23x36 room. D12 on the kick, 57 on the snare, 460B's for overheads and 87's on the toms. sounds like 4038s for the room mics. drummer's playing with wood tip 2b's. he had two bowls of multigrain cheerios with hersheys chocolate milk for breakfast and had a fight with his wife before leaving for the studio. i think the cocaine the producer was snorting was 92.746% pure, but as we're listening to a remastered version of the original i can't quite tell. i'd have to dig up my vinyl copy to be sure...."

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Post by Professor T » Tue May 18, 2010 12:23 pm

if you sat me and CG down in front of a pair of speakers, put on a record and asked for our thoughts on the drums, i'd be like "yeah...those drums sound pretty good. nice ring on the snare..."

garges would be like "well, clearly that's a 1974 vistalite kit...orange....the snare is obviously a black beauty with puresound snares, both heads tuned pretty tight, coated ambassador on top with 9/16ths of a moongel on it. the kick is probably 24x14, batter head sounds like an emperor tuned pretty low, no front head. toms are 13x10 and 16x14, tuned to B and F#, respectively. sounds like the drums are about 5 feet in front of a brick wall in a 23x36 room. D12 on the kick, 57 on the snare, 460B's for overheads and 87's on the toms. sounds like 4038s for the room mics. drummer's playing with wood tip 2b's. he had two bowls of multigrain cheerios with hersheys chocolate milk for breakfast and had a fight with his wife before leaving for the studio. i think the cocaine the producer was snorting was 92.746% pure, but as we're listening to a remastered version of the original i can't quite tell. i'd have to dig up my vinyl copy to be sure...."
that's awesome. I feel the same way. "uhh, hey, that's a china cymbal!"

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Post by ott0bot » Tue May 18, 2010 12:52 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:man...garages...your ears are frightening.
haha! and totally awesome. you should make a Garges "Audio Analyzer" plug-in, with witty comments and all. I'd buy that.

great comments

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