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Overdubbed drums and a funny splice
Old 17th March 2008
Lives for gear
scottwilson's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Overdubbed drums and a funny splice

1. I'm curious about the technique you use for overdubbing separate drum takes. The first time I noticed it is on Willie Nelson's version of 'The Maker' where you retained the drum track from Acadie's version but added another take (or two) specific to his track. Another example with slightly less distinct takes is 'Where will I be' on Here is What Is. Are these happy accidents, or are you giving the drummers a specific direction, approaching it with a specific goal? Are there any techniques used during tracking to help them work together, or is most of that work done in the mix?

2. I am wondering if there was any truth to the rumor I heard (it's possible I'm hearing things now that it's been planted in my brain) that 'Wynona' (on Wynona, of course) is spliced together from two different mixes (at about 2'30").

3. Perhaps related, I read in an interview that you may from time to time run one track through another track's mix for inspiration, serendipity, or whatnot. Can you point to any specific instances where that may have ended up on a release or even influenced a track in a particular way?

4. I'd also like to commend you on your approach to online distribution with redfloorreccords.com including uncompressed and DRM free audio.

You noted that you received special permission to distribute Wynona and acquired the rights to Acadie. Was that a difficult process? Is there anything you'd like to share with other artists in how you came to the conclusion that this was the right approach for you? Have you received any feedback from industry folk?


Old 17th March 2008
Gear Head
Daniel Lanois's Avatar
🎧 10 years
1. The twin drum kit idea came about because I had an already existing drum part that was magical, and as usual, I always built on top of something that has magic in it. If I had not had the existing drum part I would not have gone after the twin drum kit idea. Try listening to Bob Dylan's Time Out Of Mind where we actually had two drummers live in the room. The song "Can't Wait" is a nice success. My current policy: I don't tell drummers what to play.

2. Very much true. In fact at that time, cutting from one mix to another, even to a 3rd or 4th mix was standard practice. In my experience with my own renegade manual mixing a certain mix may have a stand-out section but the rest might not be great. I make a note of the great section with the view of chopping it into the final mix. There have been extremes of this technique, mixes done in different studios on different consoles.

3. I still use this technique today. You can also try running your multi track backwards for surprising new melodies. Check out an Eno record called Apollo. The track by the name of An Ending (Ascent) is an example of a great backwards result.

4. We're trying to make it easy on people and of course the full fidelity wav files is in keeping with my dedication to high quality.

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