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EC did not like Nigel Olsson’s drum sound…


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Bushman

20th November 2017
My Studio

The late 70’s, I think ... At Crystal Studios, Gus Dudgeon producing, Kevin Beamish engineering on an Eric Carmen album. Eric didn’t like the sound of the snare drum. After changing mic position and mics, they spent two days trying every snare drum that Studio Instrument Rental had, and every one that SIR could borrow. Eric still didn’t like any of them. Gus talked with Eric. Everyone went home. The next morning they put up the drummer’s original drum and moved on.

That’s two days of expensive studio time and a significant SIR bill for nothing.

The snare sound is important, but hey, tune the drum, put your favorite mic on it and track it.

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Bushman

20th November 2017
My Studio

The drummer was Nigel Olsen. It isn’t like his snare hadn’t been on any hits.

https://gearspace.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/1187535-alternatives-classic-sm57-snare-drum-2.html

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Eric’s version of this story is that it was Dudgeon who spent hours setting up microphones to record Nigel Olsson’s drums, not the other way around: “Nigel Olsson was pounding on his snare drum, about one stroke every two seconds, nonstop, FOR AN HOUR. There were four huge JBL speakers mounted on the wall in the control room. They were the biggest speaker cabinets I have ever seen, before or since. We used to joke that the dial that turned the volume up had markings that said, Loud, Louder, Jet Engine, Brain Death, Gus. If you sat in the control room, you heard every hit of Nigel's snare at "Gus" volume. Then, after an hour, he'd move on to the bass drum, and kick THAT for another hour. Then each tom, and the cymbals and then they'd tweak the overhead mics, all at ‘Gus’ level. After four hours we were all like zombies. Imagine putting your head INSIDE John Bonham's bass drum for four hours while Zep played a concert. We were pummeled to death, day after day.”

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