U2 - shimmer effect on "4th of July" - Gearspace.com
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U2 - shimmer effect on "4th of July"
Old 4th February 2007
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
U2 - shimmer effect on "4th of July"

I love that you are in here answering questions Kevin. It's an honour and a gift.

I have always loved the way this track sounds. It's just a bass guitar and The Edge noodling around with a slide but the treatement that is created from Edge's guitar creates this shimmery rainbow of haunting crystalline ice and mirrors around the the entire thing.

I have dabbled around myself to try an find this sound and now I wanted to ask you how it was created?

My guess is that it was sort of like this:

AMS DMX 15-80s set one side to delay about 150ms and for an octave up pitch shift with a bit of regeneration. Feed that into the Lexicon Prime Time set for a longer delay like 350ms with lots of regeneration, the top end rolled off using the onboard LPF and also with the VCO on to make the delay wobble/modulate. Then all that would feed into an AMS RMX-16 reverb or maybe an EMT 250 or Lexicon 224 with the reverb mix quite high on a Hall type setting. Then all that would feed back into the right channel of the AMS for some modulation delay on all that?

What was the gear used Kevin?

Any insight into these long chains of treatments and what kinds of settings were used on the gear would be awesome. What types of reverbs did Brian and Danny and You use on the untis like the Lexicon 224, EMT 250, AMS RMX-16? Was is Halls, Plates, Rooms, Inverse, Ambience, Non-Lin??? Were the backwards reverbs done by flipping the tape over? And what unit(s) were used to do the backwards swelling in type of reverb treatmetns?
Old 5th February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar
🎧 10 years

You are basically on track. The delay and modulation was derived from the AMS 1580. On its fader return , some hi frequencies were rolled off, then it was fed into a 224 Hall setting, probably 5 seconds but with a rolloff in the top and bottom. This return may have been equalised also. We may have added a second delay but then the delays have to be timed to the track as the net effect is blurring the chord progression.

Our last tweak would be to play with the sends on all of the returns to the point that its almost recirculating out of control, which in turn is creating a layer upon layer effect.

The backwards stuff was achieved by turning the tape over and using a long plate setting. Pretty straight forward.

In working with Brian and Dan, we did have one section of the console dedicated to "treatments". All of of our processing was pluggin in and ready to be manipulated at a moments notice to achieve a cool sound.

Old 6th February 2007 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Wow Kevin! Awesome answer.

Would it be safe to say that the majority of the treatments done on the Unforgettable Fire album were done using no more than three effects processing devices? Or was it a lot more elaborate than 3 devices on the console sends and returned on open console channels?

The AMS 15-80s, Lexicon Prime Time M93 and the Lexicon 224 Reverb.

Any other devices that were key in making the Unforgettable treametns?

I have heard that Eno likes to work with these kinds of limitations as to develop a very good rapport with the devices in order to make things with them that other people never discover.
Old 7th February 2007 | Show parent
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar
🎧 10 years

Its true that Brian enjoyed the limitations.

Yes there were certainly other effects used, Edge had a host of stomp boxes which were readily employed but it was the combining of all of them that gave that record its shimmer and other worldy sound.

The SSL was definitley used more like an effect in some instances, with all the gating and compression and keying abilities on each channel, it was easy to experiment.

We also had some good sounding plates which got utilized for reverse effects and of course our famous stone stairwell which got used as an echo chamber.

As they say, anything goes.


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