Bonzo's Ludwig

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bigbobblack
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Post Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:22 am

For the last 9 months I have been the proud owner of a Ludwig Amber Vistalite kit. (The one Jon Bonham played in Led Zep) 26" bass drum, 14, 16 & 18 toms, 402 Supraphonic snare drum. I worked hard to pay for this bad boy but live and studio its a beast!! :twisted:
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Shalaq
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Post Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:52 am

Can you say something more about this drumset? I have a Mapex Saturn Pro 22x18 12x9 16x13 18x16 and I want to achieve a similar sound to Bonzos on my bands EP. Any suggestions?
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bigbobblack
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Post Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:09 am

Shalaq wrote:Can you say something more about this drumset? I have a Mapex Saturn Pro 22x18 12x9 16x13 18x16 and I want to achieve a similar sound to Bonzos on my bands EP. Any suggestions?


Well in the studio the kit caused the engineer a few headaches because the the large sized drums resonated so much, especially the bass drum which was very 'boingy'. They initially tried to stuff the bass drum with damping - which was sacralidge. I wanted the kit specifically for the Bonzo sound. So after a bit of research and getting the producer in who'd worked with Bonzos set up in the 70's I found out that to get that sound the mic's were set up at least a foot from the drums and the overhead mics were set really high which gave the room for the drums to ring. Current day studio bods *hate* this way of mic'ing drums for some reason - but insist! Also I would recommend batter heads quite tight in the studio and the resonator heads quite loose as that gives t he big sound and reduces the 'boing'!

If you want to hear some of the results check out the MP3's at www.myspace.com/ageofreason - does this help?
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Shalaq
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Post Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:27 am

All I knew about Bonzo's sound comes from the Jeff Ocheltrees video and an article in MD about miking. I know about The kick miking with 2 mic's- one about 10 inches away form the head and the 2nd one a few feet away. I'll probably use 1 mic, but I'll place it about 10-20 inches away from the head. I have very little muffling, but my kick has plenty of attack and low end, so I hope I'll catch both the attack and the actual tone of the drum.
As for the rest of the kit- I'd love to use 3 or 4 overhead mics- 2 overheads set up in an X fashion- the left one catching the stuff on the right etc (I've figured out that's the most natural way of miking, as my cymbals are angled towards me), one mic for the hihat(placed on the bottom) and one under the ride cymbals.
I will almost certainly use drum mics to capture the attack- I like my drumset to sound as one instrument, so I don't care about the ring of the drums- they blend together and create a good sound.
I will use 2 ply coated heads on my drums and 1 ply clear(or coated- I haven't decided yet) heads on the resos.
When I studiet Mr. Ocheltree's video I realised that the toms are tuned very high for their sizes- the 14 sounds as a 12 inch tom etc. So I guess I'll tune the 18 and 16 floor toms fairly high and use little or no muffling, while the 12 tom will be tuned fairly low, so I'll achieve a "high pitched 14 inch tom" without that huge size(I don't feel comfortable playing a rack tom this big).
Thanks for your info.
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bigbobblack
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Post Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:33 am

Yeah, the bass drum will only need one mic as you said. I have the original Remo back dot which are two ply. As for the hi-hat/snare - we found the best sound came from one mic situated underneth but between the two (so you still move some air). For some reason, the fasion is to have the mics practically touching the drum heads like a trigger, but the whole point of an acoustic drum is to move air - well thats how I like it anyway!
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Animal
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Post Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:06 am

To get that HUGE Bonzo-sound you'll definately going to need 2 mikes, pluss several ambience-mikes. Ambience mikes is the real secret behind the Led Zeppelin drum sound in studio.

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bigbobblack
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Post Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:45 pm

*goes misty eyed...* Bonzo AND the same kit as me... :D
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loop
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Post Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:50 pm

Post some pics of it, dude :)
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Post Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:03 pm

lemme guess....$2,500..from musicians freind? money well spent!!! sweet kit!! :D
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hug it out bitch!
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Animal
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Post Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:33 am

loop wrote:Post some pics of it, dude :)


Yeah! We want to see! :D
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bigbobblack
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:07 am

Animal wrote:
loop wrote:Post some pics of it, dude :)


Yeah! We want to see! :D


If someboy can tell me how to post pictures on here, I gladly will! (I'm a web retard I'm affraid)

OR you can go to www.myspace.com/big_bob_black and have a look

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loop
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:06 am

dim my eyes if they should compromise
bigbobblack
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:23 am

Dale
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:18 am

Shalaq wrote:Can you say something more about this drumset? I have a Mapex Saturn Pro 22x18 12x9 16x13 18x16 and I want to achieve a similar sound to Bonzos on my bands EP. Any suggestions?


Bonzo's sound was generated by who he was and the way he played. I don't think it's possible for you to get a sound close to him unless you sample his playing and use those sounds. Just get the best sound you can get out of yourself and your own equipment.
I don't know what I'm talking about!

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bigbobblack
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:04 am

Dale wrote:
Shalaq wrote:Can you say something more about this drumset? I have a Mapex Saturn Pro 22x18 12x9 16x13 18x16 and I want to achieve a similar sound to Bonzos on my bands EP. Any suggestions?


Bonzo's sound was generated by who he was and the way he played. I don't think it's possible for you to get a sound close to him unless you sample his playing and use those sounds. Just get the best sound you can get out of yourself and your own equipment.


I'm not sure I fully agree - thats a bit of a simplistic point. I take the point, but having played the same kit for nearly a year now, live and in the studio, you can definitely hear where *some* of the sound comes from, after all, it was built to his own specification. Owning the same kit doesn't make me *play* like John Bonham and as you rightly point out, that was an amalgum of him and the way he played - and I'm not looking to do that. Some of the sounds he produced ('When the Levee Breaks' for example) the drums sound huge and resonate like madwhich is largely due to the kit and the way it was recorded rather than the way i was played. Thats what I was looking for. I don't wan to replicate him - I want to grab some of that magic sound.