Video: Recreating Sublime's "What I Got" on Drums | What's That Sound?

Bradley Nowell of Sublime (1996). Photo by Steve Eichner / Contributor / Getty Images

Drums in the style of Sublime's What I Got
Drums in the style of Sublime's "What I Got"
By Reverb
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Today, Noam and Jessica are back in the studio to recreate Sublime's "What I Got." The massive hit from the mid-'90s is once again in the cultural spotlight, following the return of the band with the late Bradley Nowell's son Jakob now at the helm.

The drums from Sublime's 1996 track are defined by their sonically interesting mix of lo-fi and hi-fi variations of the beat. Early in the track is where the lo-fi section lives, which was likely accomplished using samples and a drum machine. There's a textured grittiness to this part of the beat, as well as a slightly unnatural gated sound.

To recreate this sound, Noam started by mic'ing the Ludwig Acrolite snare and 14-inch Zildjian K-Sweet hi-hats with vintage desktop Muzak mics. These old mics have a strange, mid-rangey sound, which does a lot of work in giving the kit a lo-fi vibe before having to do any EQ'ing.

Noam also put noise gates on all of the mics for this section to make them short and choppy, and there's a lot of saturation being on used on all of the channels as well.

Kit 1, full kit Kit 1, hat Kit 1, kick Kit 1, multiband sidechain Kit 1, snare Kit 2, bot snare Kit 2, contact mic Kit 2, full kit Kit 2, kick Kit 2, overheads Kit 2, parallel distortion snare Kit 2, snare

For the hi-fi section, Noam and Jessica had to recreate a snare with a lot of length that almost sounded sampled. Jessica started by switching out the Acrolite for a Yamaha Anton Fig Signature Snare, set very loose and heavily dampened on the top. Noam mic'd the top with a Beyerdynamic 201 and on the bottom with an AKG 414.

To get some of that extra length, Noam also added a contact mic to the bottom of the snare head. While it doesn't sound especially good on its own being that it only captures sound by contact, its signal could be heavily processed without worrying about bleed from the hi-hat or kick drum.

Lastly, Noam had to figure out how to blend the two kits together to form one complete sound, which comes with its own host of phase issues that Noam had to tackle. Check out the full video above to see the complete rundown of how he did it and to hear how close we got to the original.

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