Video: Recreating '80s Stadium Rock Drum Sounds from Heart, Kate Bush & GNR

Heart (2019). Photo by: Ethan Miller / Getty Images. Kate Bush (1980). Photo by: David Redfern / Getty Images.

Over the past few weeks, engineer Noam Wallenberg and drummer Jessica Burdeaux have teamed up to demonstrate how to create some classic drum sounds. So far, they've shown us how to nail The Smiths' effects-laden beats and recreate Prince's famous LinnDrum sound using an acoustic kit. Today, the duo is turning their attention to classic stadium rock sounds.

In order to get the quintessentially big, punchy '80s drum sound of bands like Heart and Kate Bush, Burdeaux starts with a series of standard-sized acoustic drums—12- and 13-inch rack tom, a 16-inch floor tom, a 22-inch Ludwig kick, and a Ludwig Supralite snare.


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Next, we move on to Noam's domain and take a look at how we shape and manipulate those drum sounds with recording and mixing techniques. "What sounds like really, really long tails on the drums are actually really short drums that have artificial reverb tails," Noam explains.

"So, in the '90s, it was all about adding length to the drums themselves. In the '80s, it was about shortening the drums and using the tails from an AMS reverb or a Lexicon reverb or something that would just add this really long, beautiful tail and make it sound larger than life."

After walking us through how he mics up the kit, Noam gets into the additional processing that can bring your drums into that big, deep, punchy '80s sound. Be sure to check it out in full above.

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