As much information as possible on how classic breaks were recorded

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?
KVRer
16 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from United Kingdom

Post Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:51 am

Hello everyone

I’m a producer who like a lot of people has sampled classic breaks in the past, and now I’m looking to replace them with drum vsts and plug-in effects, so I am looking for as much information as possible on which drummer played them, what drum kit they were played on, what studio they were recorded at, and what equipment was used to record and mix them. The breaks I am mainly looking for information on are Bobby Byrd - Hot Pants (I’m coming, I’m coming), Led Zeppelin -When The Levee Breaks, The Winstons - Amen Brother, The Incredible Bongo Band - Apache, and The Soul Searchers - Ashley’s Roachclip.

Many Thanks

Anthony

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KVRAF
29277 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:56 am

"Led Zeppelin -When The Levee Breaks" is played by John Bonham (obviously). ;)

KVRian
858 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from Netherlands

Post Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:09 am


KVRian
1071 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:37 am

There is a guy on bandcamp with the same focus who comes pretty close. Forgot his name :?

KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from United Kingdom

Post Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:41 pm

Hi

Thanks for the quick replies guys, I’ve been researching for some time and I’ve already got some information.

The one I’ve more or less got covered is When The Levee Breaks. From what I’ve read, John Bonham played a new Ludwig Kit and it was recorded at Headley Grange on a stairwell with the microphones at the top and the kit at the bottom to get that big room sound, it was compressed with a Helios F760 compressor and then sent through a Binson Echorec delay unit to tape, and then the tape was slowed down to make it sound even bigger. What I wanted to know was what the closest compressor in VST format would be to the Helios F760; I was thinking the Urei 1176 in all buttons mode as it’s also a FET compressor but I’m not 100% sure. There is actually a preset on Superior Drummer 3 called ‘Levee’ so I will use that as a starting point.

Hot Pants would have been played either by John ‘Jabo’ Starks, or Clyde Stubblefield, James Browns drummers as Bobby Byrd was one of James Browns backing singers and he produced that track, but I don’t know what kit, what studio or equipment. I have no information on the Amen Brother break or Ashley’s Roachclip.

I did check out the Barry’s beats tutorial, but the playing isn’t an issue, it’s the sound of the drums more than anything. I need to be as close to the originals as possible because I’m re-recording some tracks I did in the 90’s where I have already sampled those breaks and need to replace them both sonically and rhythmically.

Many thanks

Anthony

KVRAF
3031 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Post Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:28 pm

The AD ludwig kit is great for stuff like the old zeppelin drums. The other kit that was originally the motown kit in their retro expansion is great for lots of other things. I've found the trick is using way lower velocity than you would expect for most of the pattern and having a heavy fast compressor to catch harder hits. Then it is usually a matter of balancing the room and OH with the close mics (or with no close mics as was often the case with vintage breaks.

I use addictive drums for most of my own breaks when I need something authentic but legal. When AD doesn't do it I can usually get what I want from the drum drops libraries I have.

If you really want to get things to be setup the way they were for specific records, I would suggest going down the youtube rabbit hole. There are lots of videos showing vintage recording processing and microphone placement for a ton of songs.

JJ
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from United Kingdom

Post Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:05 am

Hi

Thanks for your reply. I’ve now got a plan, I’m not going to re-program the drums, I’m going to use the original breaks as source material, break them apart into their individual parts using accusonus regroover pro, convert them to midi using melodyne, and then probably use abbey road drums 60’s early or 70’s open kit for the amen break, the ‘levee’ ludwig preset on SD3 for when the levee breaks, BFD3 funk breaks preset for hot pants, and the abbey road 70’s tight kit for ashley’s roachclip and apache. Then I’ll overdrive the individual channels with the uad studer, parallel compress into distortion with the uad 1176, then use the match eq function on ff pro q3 to match it to the original, then use the lofi drum loop preset on abbey road vinyl, all on the drum buss. Then as a final touch I’ll run them through my old Akai S950 and pitch them up or down to get that 12 bit crunch. If that doesn’t do it I don’t know what will.

Many thanks

Anthony

KVRist
236 posts since 3 Apr, 2012

Post Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:13 am

Check out the Toontrack Funkmasters expansion and this video which has an accompanying sample pack.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJqz_x4U ... =emb_title

:tu:

KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from United Kingdom

Post Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:58 am

Hi

Many many thanks for that post c bomb. I checked out the YouTube video and downloaded the samples, very interesting although I don’t think I’d want to be playing under that house brick of an overhead mike. I got the funk masters expansion and I’ve just been triggering it from my 2box drum it 5 and it sounds badass. Looks like I might have to rethink my plans.

It’s crazy how in the old days engineers were trying to get the highest fidelity sound out of old ribbon and valve gear that had been left over from the war, and now we have the cleanest possible signal path recording into a computer we are deliberately adding imperfections to the sound using vintage gear emulation plugins and old samplers. What is even more crazy is that I was on eBay looking for a replacement power cable for my S950 and was gobsmacked to find them and S900s that were not even fully operational going for about 400 to 600 notes. You couldn’t give them away a few years ago. It’s because you can’t emulate the sound in software of a 12 bit akai pitched about, or the metallic effect of abusing the timestretch parameters. I considered selling mine, then listened to some of the breaks I had sampled with it back in the day, and changed my mind.

Many thanks

Anthony

KVRist
236 posts since 3 Apr, 2012

Post Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:47 am


KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from United Kingdom

Post Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:25 am

Very interesting, thank you. Much easier to fit into my workflow.

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KVRist
49 posts since 22 Dec, 2018

Post Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:02 am


KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from United Kingdom

Post Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:39 am

Many thanks wojf62902, got the plug-in, not had time to compare it against the real thing, but from memory it sounds pretty close, and obviously being able to automate everything opens up more creative possibilities. Now if they could just add pitch control and the time stretch engine I might start thinking about selling the 950 again.....

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KVRist
49 posts since 22 Dec, 2018

Post Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:57 pm

i've used it a fair bit, just puts a real nice filter and tone onto everything it touches. I wouldn't want you to sell your gear mate (i've just got into akai rack gear myself and I enjoy learning about old samplers) but if you really need akai timestretch in your daw I have heard good things about this free plugin; https://the-akaizer-project.blogspot.com/

KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from United Kingdom

Post Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:52 pm

Yeah I found that a while ago but never downloaded it, i’ll give it a try. Doing it on the Akai was always a bit hit and miss, sometimes it would sound great, other times awful. I haven’t used the 950 in so long I would probably have to re-teach myself to use it, I just remember it being arduous and nowhere near as easy as doing the same job in Kontakt 5. As you probably know, when you armed it for recording, you had two choices, manual which left a gap at the start of the sample which meant ages scrolling numbers back by ear because I had no wave editor, or threshold, which I used and then wondered why all my drum loops had the attack transient cut off. Then of course there was pitching the sample by ear so it looped properly, it all used to take ages. That’s probably why all your old school hip hop drum loops sound stilted, it wasn’t an exact science. But I still probably won’t sell it, nothing sounds like it, that’s why they are going for silly money. It was also my first sampler, and I’m a bit sentimental for the gear that I got in the 90’s.

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