Video: Recreating U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" | What's That Sound?

Bono of U2 performing on War tour. Photo by Pete Cronin, Getty Images

Jessica sitting at the drum set.
Drums in the Style of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
By Reverb
Download for free

Noam and Jessica are back at Rax Trax Recording in Chicago for another episode of our What's That Sound? drum series. Today, the pair is recreating U2's 1983 hit "Sunday Bloody Sunday." These drums were originally performed by Larry Mullen Jr. and produced by Steve Lillywhite.

These particular drums are super unique. The style at the time wasn't in favor of exceedingly big, natural-sounding drums, with many rock stars at the time opting for heavy processing and lots of gated reverb. But Lillywhite and U2 made different choices than were popular at the time, opting for a room-mic-heavy and subsequently roomy drum sound that feels timeless today.

Jessica is playing a Ludwig Vistalite kick drum, Yamaha Jimmy Chamberlin signature snare, a pair of 14-inch Zildjian K-Sweet hi-hats, and an 18-inch K Dark Crash.


As Noam explains, one of the tricks to nailing this drum sound and its characteristic roominess is being able to determine and then recreate the type of width that you can hear in the recording. "You don't hear a ton of snare drum that's coming from the center," Noam explains, "you hear a lot of snare drum that's coming from the sides." This means that a lot of the room mics' signals are being utilized moreso than just the dedicated single mic directly on the snare.

The all-important room mics that Noam and Jessica used today are a pair of AKG C414 UL S mics that were spread wide on both sides of the room, measured out so that they were exactly equidistant from the kick drum. All of the other mics used today were basically in support of this particular setup. Those other mics include a pair of high-end Mic Shop MS12s as the overheads, the trusty AKG D12 on the kick, and a Beyerdynamic M 201 TG on the snare.

Be sure to check out the full video above to watch how all of the mics were placed and to hear the recreated final mix. You can also download the U2 "Sunday Bloody Sunday" drum sample pack for free by clicking the link above.

comments powered by Disqus

Reverb Gives

Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music.

Carbon-Offset Shipping

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.