The Rudd Sound

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
You can't just get the right snare and find the right heads and get the right tuning and do it that way. Kind of a bummer
I reckon you can these days.......but in the early/mid 70's, heads were pretty much limited to Ambs, Emps and Black Dots.....no such thing as Evans, Aquarian or most of the pre-muffled heads available today.

I guess it also depend on the definition of the "right sound" too. Other than a few notable songs, there was very little studio processing put on Bonham's drum sound. And people have been chasing that one for years.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I guess it also depend on the definition of the "right sound" too. Other than a few notable songs, there was very little studio processing put on Bonham's drum sound. And people have been chasing that one for years.
True. Hard to process a specific sound when you're using only three mics at most and a huge room.

I've noticed that the less mics you use, the more the actual player comes out.
 
I don't care what people say about Phil Rudd. The man is a machine! I've just watched AC/DC at the River Plate and he is relentless. Perfect example of what a drummer should be playing for the music around him. To play like that for near two hours is feat in itself. AC/DC are about power and rock and that's what Phil Rudd delivers. He's got balls! Any younger players should take a leaf out of his book and learn how to play with great time, energy and stamina. Hats off to Mr Rudd.
 

Andrew239

Junior Member
its a bit of a shame that the studio tricks have found their way to live stuff. It would be good to hear a band as a band, just a bit louder, without all the treatments, but i guess that pony left the barn a long time ago. (and that is all bands, not just AC/DC)
Having said that, i think AC/DC and Phil Rudd are fantastic.
 

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
i think one thing missing from these equations is the simple fact that those grooves were based on Rudd's drumming. a band gels around it's players. they lock a groove and have at it. when Rudd retired for a bit and they got a different drummer, it still sounded like AC/DC of course, but just not the same. but what was missing ? Rudd.

another example of same theory. Stan Lynch with Tom Petty. few would argue that Steve Ferrone is a better drummer than Stan Lynch. but does he make the Heartbreakers sound better than Stan Lynch did ? nope. Stan Lynch was one of the prime architects of those grooves. in fact...he was a Heartbreaker. not just "the drummer".

regarding processing, you should hear how the snare on "Don't Fear The Reaper" was tracked. in addition to regular mic'ing, that signal was sent to a separate room (nicely tiled) to a speaker that was aimed at a second snare that was angled at 45 degrees or so and that signal was duly recorded, room sound and all, and fed to the board where it was mixed in with the straight signal. (if i remember correctly).

Mick Fleetwood (love his sound)'s snare on the Tusk album featured a sheet of paper on the snare head.
 
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Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I don't care what people say about Phil Rudd. The man is a machine! I've just watched AC/DC at the River Plate and he is relentless. Perfect example of what a drummer should be playing for the music around him. To play like that for near two hours is feat in itself. AC/DC are about power and rock and that's what Phil Rudd delivers. He's got balls! Any younger players should take a leaf out of his book and learn how to play with great time, energy and stamina. Hats off to Mr Rudd.
Phil's making it feel so much easier than it actually is, to play a perfect rock beat behind those songs are more like a machine than a human being, but Phil is very much human, these classic rock beats have lots of feel and emotions, listen to Brian Johnson himself telling a studio story about Phil being called a "machine"... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gOdUmVy3S0&feature=plcp
 

rest

Junior Member
I am a big AC/DC fan. I like what Phil plays and I have always thought that was fine but nothing special. What a huge mistake! Try to join a tribute band and play whole show and then you will start investigate. Just like I do. What I know from various articles is: believe it or not, Phil does play rimshots, but heavy dead center rimshots with butt end of the stick witch is something about 5B (in his right hand he use 5A). This in combination with his low tuned top head and medium tuned bottom head will give you that sort of a sound out of a five inch deep drum. But very important thing is keeping that solid heavy hit. And keep it for about 2 hours. Believe me, after four songs you will change your mind about Phil very quickly :) And what about his groove. Mr. Rudd is a master.
 
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mpthomson

Senior Member
I knew there was a technical explanation for all this because I know a stock 5x14 brass drum wouldn't sound like that on its own (without it being drowned out by everything else because it was tuned so low). However, I'm in the same boat, to get close to that sound acoustically, I was thinking something woody and really thick, but it still would have to be mic'd up and eq'd a certain way at least.
On the Let there be Rock DVD he's using what looks like a COB Gretsch 5.5" drum with a CS black dot head on it. A couple of years later he was using the Horst Link Signature wood and steel 8" drums both on record and live (certainly on For Those About to Rock and Flick of the Switch), before going back to the Symphony Signature drum that he still uses and that his signature snare is based on when he rejoined.

The snare sound on Back In Black could be either as you can here the gating very clearly on Shoot to Thrill, for instance, it's a very effected sound.
 
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