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"In the air tonight" vocal sound
Old 10th September 2006
  #1
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superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"In the air tonight" vocal sound

Anyone have the scoop on the Phil Collins vocal sound...and efx used ...I love it! sounds like a mono slap delay with some kind of stereo spread efx(chorus) anyhow ...clue me in! I also Love the drums in this song! Ever notice he never plays any cymbals? Very interesting.
Old 10th September 2006
  #2
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Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
phenomenal track.

phenomenal talent, all 'round.

i worked with Hugh Padgham in London a few years ago.

i'll ask him @ details next time i speak with him.

maybe Jules could get him here.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #3
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superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye ➑️
phenomenal track.

phenomenal talent, all 'round.

i worked with Hugh Padgham in London a few years ago.

i'll ask him next time i speak with him.
wow! THa would be awesome! Did mr. Padgham work on that track?? I love this song! I have for 15 plus yearsheh
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I can't comment on mics, EQ's or compression, but the effects are pretty classic.

Sounds like a slapback tape echo at around 120ms. Then another longer Space Echo (RE-201?) on the quarter note stuff... "The last time we ever met... met... met.."

Then starting with "I remember" There's some pretty serious vocoder action which comes in and out throughout the song. Sometimes it's just doing a background pad like wwwoooowww... and other times it's mimicking the vocals and also gets the 1/4 note delay like on "ever met." That gives the delay on that line the robotic chordal sound.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a quickly gated reverb that was set to the same time as the slapback delay.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #6
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superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years

heh
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #7
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
After further inspection (since the articles above said it was a digital delay) it looks like the delay unit was actually the AMS RMX16.

Not a tape echo at all. But it sure does sound like it with the degrading feedback.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #8
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Bishbashbosh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell ➑️
After further inspection (since the articles above said it was a digital delay) it looks like the delay unit was actually the AMS RMX16.

Not a tape echo at all. But it sure does sound like it with the degrading feedback.
If I recall correctly, the AMS had a preset which increased the delay feedback depending on how hard you hit it. The louder the vocal (in this case) the more the delay opened out.
I remember using that setting once and thinking "In The Air Tonight"!!

The drums are MASSIVELY compressed.... Was it the recording of this album that Hugh Padgham ordered the rewiring of the Townhouse SSL so that the listen-back mic could be used to compress the drums?
The room was stone-clad.... and could pretty much ONLY create that drum sound!
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I believe the snare drum on Every Breath You Take by the Police was recorded in the same room, with the same talk back mic. (the kick was canned). Wasn't that room actually the dining hall of the mansion?
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 15 years
"I dont know karate, but I do know crazzzzzyyy"-James Brown

I thought that was "Ka-Razor" ?

Lawrence
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Actually, I found out just this past week that Phil Collins used a 4 Track tape machine to record that song to take to the studio. When he got in the studio he couldn't get the sound he wanted by reproducing it so he recorded the 4 tracks onto tape and built other intsruments around it. That's it...hope that helps...
Old 10th September 2006
  #13
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rolo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ever notice he never plays any cymbals? Very interesting.[/QUOTE]

That's something he learned from Peter Gabriel. From the beginning of Gabriel's solo career, He rarely uses cymbals. Collins did drum work for Gabriels first few solo projects. When Gabriel asked Collins NOT to use cymbals... Collins was not up for it. After a song or two, after he heard what a unique spacious vibe the song had, he was impressed. And so after and on, Collins used Peters method on a few tracks.

Another trick Gabriel shared with Collins was to set up a room mic at the far end of the room... then Compress and gate the SH** out of the signal. Badda Bing... There you have the signature Gabriel Drum sound that everybody took from in the 80's... Collins used it on several songs including "Inside Out" off of "No Jacket Required"

Geez, I can't believe I'm remembering all these techniques, song titles, albums. I thought I killed all those cells in the 80's.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #14
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drmmrboy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolo ➑️
Ever notice he never plays any cymbals? Very interesting.
Quote:
That's something he learned from Peter Gabriel. From the beginning of Gabriel's solo career, He rarely uses cymbals. Collins did drum work for Gabriels first few solo projects. When Gabriel asked Collins NOT to use cymbals... Collins was not up for it. After a song or two, after he heard what a unique spacious vibe the song had, he was impressed. And so after and on, Collins used Peters method on a few tracks.
Ya beat me to it.

There was a record with no cymbals at all..
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #15
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
artist vs. entertainer

I am an admirer of Peter Gabriel but not so much of Phil Collins. To me, one is a serious artist and the other is a talented entertainer. This is just my opinion. It doesn't surprise me that the so-called innovations of Collins' "In The Air Tonight" were largely cribbed from Gabriel.

Parenthetically (wholly OT), I encourage everyone to check out the Peter Gabriel reissues, which were mastered by Tony Cousins at Metropolis, one of the best mastering engineers in the world.

--- c
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #16
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danasti's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The CR-78 is a classic analog drum machine, one of my all time favorites. I didn't realize that a prophet 5 was used in that track but I love that too, it's a truely awesome synth.

Great track! Thanks for the links...!!!
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #17
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Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
collins and gabriel are both wondeerfully talented and inspired musicians, and singers. and while it's true that collins has become incredibly commercial - i can't even listen to his last however many releases, he is a truly amazing musician.

i challange anyone here to create a track like "i don't care anymore". or even, "turn it on again".

to create songs and arrangements like that, deliver vocal performances like that with THAT conviction, rhythm and strength and vibe, and play drums simultaneously in the live performances, is just plain fr*gg*n unbelievable.

i would honestly challenge anyone here to be able to do ANY ONE OF THESE TASKS, as sucessfully.

nuf said.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye ➑️

to create songs and arrangements like that, deliver vocal performances like that with THAT conviction, rhythm and strength and vibe, and play drums simultaneously in the live performances, is just plain fr*gg*n unbelievable.

i would honestly challenge anyone here to be able to do ANY ONE OF THESE TASKS, as sucessfully.

nuf said.
Don Henley?

But seriously, I saw Collins on tour with Clapton in the late 80's. What an amazing talent. Never had the pleasure of seeing him front a band live though.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #19
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Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
DH is another wonderboy.

drummers can make some of the best singers -

and writers.

i still think PC is on a different musical level, though,

you know, with all the odd meter stuff, more cutting edge sonics, etc.

and his voice on "I don't care anymore" - mannnn, i just don't know

anyone who can do stuff like that - that's just crazy.

if i song like that, i'd have to have surgery - no WONDER

he's doing all this cheesy gentle love sh&t now -

he probably DESTROYED his voice doing those tracks in the 80s. heh

also, obviously, time has a way of mellowing us all out - even miles heh
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Every Breath You Take was recorded at AIR Montserrat, In the Air Tonight, at Townhouse London.

my recollection was the In The Air Tonight vocal sound was an AMS DDL/harmoniser set to a small delay on each side with one side harmonised a bit sharp (like 1.001) and the other side the same amount flat.
Old 12th September 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I'm surprised nobody mentioned the room. I don't have any direct info about that record, but I did do some work at The Townhouse. One night after the session, the assistant asked if I wanted to see the "In The Air Tonight" drum room. It's basically shaped like a chimney. Maybe 10 or fifteen feet square with a VERY high ceiling. The walls are irregularly shaped rock in masonry. When I clapped my hands in there, I heard that reverb. It sounded like inverse 1 on an AMS.
Old 13th September 2006 | Show parent
  #22
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Steve G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman ➑️
Every Breath You Take was recorded at AIR Montserrat, In the Air Tonight, at Townhouse London.

my recollection was the In The Air Tonight vocal sound was an AMS DDL/harmoniser set to a small delay on each side with one side harmonised a bit sharp (like 1.001) and the other side the same amount flat.

I did some sessions with Phil Collins a few years back, and he personally set the AMS DMX. If I recall, it was about 1.003 sharp, and a bit more down, like 0.995. I might be wrong about the exact numbers, but I know it was not the same amount sharp and flat. BTW, all the vocals were cut with an M88 in the control room (with headphones).

Steve
Old 13th September 2006 | Show parent
  #23
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not_so_new's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye ➑️
collins and gabriel are both wondeerfully talented and inspired musicians, and singers. and while it's true that collins has become incredibly commercial - i can't even listen to his last however many releases, he is a truly amazing musician.

i challange anyone here to create a track like "i don't care anymore". or even, "turn it on again".

to create songs and arrangements like that, deliver vocal performances like that with THAT conviction, rhythm and strength and vibe, and play drums simultaneously in the live performances, is just plain fr*gg*n unbelievable.

i would honestly challenge anyone here to be able to do ANY ONE OF THESE TASKS, as sucessfully.

nuf said.

I could not agree more....

Two very big thumbsup thumbsup
Old 2nd February 2016
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Crystal Mixing and Mastering's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm ➑️
Anyone have the scoop on the Phil Collins vocal sound...and efx used ...I love it! sounds like a mono slap delay with some kind of stereo spread efx(chorus) anyhow ...clue me in! I also Love the drums in this song! Ever notice he never plays any cymbals? Very interesting.
The Vocal effect is mainly a very short delay to give that unique sound.
Yeah Phil doesn't use hats in this song, Funny how the lack of something can really add to the brilliant drum beat.

<SNIP - leave the promo to the .sig please>

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 2nd February 2016 at 01:47 AM..
Old 2nd February 2016 | Show parent
  #25
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Crystal Mixing and Mastering's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Reverse Talk Back Mic Recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm ➑️
heh
haha, that is absolute genius. The drum sound utillised the use of the reverse talk back microphone on the SSL 4000 desk and they re-wired the desk so they could record it. :D
Old 2nd February 2016 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye ➑️
collins and gabriel are both wondeerfully talented and inspired musicians, and singers. and while it's true that collins has become incredibly commercial - i can't even listen to his last however many releases, he is a truly amazing musician.

i challange anyone here to create a track like "i don't care anymore". or even, "turn it on again".

to create songs and arrangements like that, deliver vocal performances like that with THAT conviction, rhythm and strength and vibe, and play drums simultaneously in the live performances, is just plain fr*gg*n unbelievable.

i would honestly challenge anyone here to be able to do ANY ONE OF THESE TASKS, as sucessfully.

nuf said.
Old post, but great examples of the crazy intensity Collins was capable of. Another example is 'Mama' which starts with the vocal cranked to 11 and goes up from there.

Here's to hoping he recovers from his back surgery and gives us more great music (and drumming!). Also, maybe I'll run into him around Miami!
Old 2nd February 2016 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal Mixing and Mastering ➑️
Yeah Phil doesn't use hats in this song, Funny how the lack of something can really add to the brilliant drum beat.
Petty's You Don't Know How It Feels too. They didn't record the cymbals for separation, they were going to add them later but completely forgot even after the mix. That's where good Cali medicinal will get you in trouble!
Old 2nd February 2016
  #28
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Wow, exhumed from 2006.
I read somewhere that Collins did not like his voice, and he had some auto double track thing that he would not sing without. It was used on recordings as well as live shows. Can't recall what it was exactly.
Old 2nd February 2016
  #29
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Lance Lawson's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I run hot and cold with Phil Collins. The stuff of his I like I like a lot the stuff I don't I totally ignore. However his vocal uses that kind of short delay to good effect even though I don't really like the song.
Old 2nd February 2016
  #30
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bgood's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Ahhh memories
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