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Topic: Drummer in Taurus II and Family Man?, Is there any?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Ugo Offline




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Posted: April 20 2004, 21:39

I initially thought of making a poll out of this, but I realized that the options would've been too complex, so I'll just ask it as straightforward questions. :)

1) Is there a drummer on Taurus II? I know that Mike's colourful tracksheet for the piece contains various 'Linn Drums' indications, but some drumming (e.g. in the loud bit right after the "Deep Deep Sound" sung section, and under the massed-up guitars at the very end) sound very real, natural to me. I doubt that a Linn machine, at that time, could be programmed to emulate so perfectly a real drummer... :)

2) Similarily, is there a drummer on Family Man or is it just Mr. Linn again? [I remember those funny credits on some early Stock/Aitken/Waterman 7-inches: "Drums: A Linn", and sometimes even "A. Linn"... :D]? Throughout the song, the drums sound to me very un-Linn-ish and very MorrisPert-ish. :) Morris is credited on the booklet as playing percussion and keyboards... maybe 'percussion' includes also drums, through the whole album, except for "Five Miles Out" (the song), where Graham Broad is credited as the drummer. [The booklet of Queen's album "A night at the Opera" contains the following credit: "Roger Taylor: percussion". ;)]

Please tell me what do all of you think about this.


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 21 2004, 13:06

Um, well, Taurus II indeed has a lot of drum machines. But, thinking twice, yes, there are some bits that could have been played by a real drummer. It might be Morris Pert, indeed, but I'm just a-guessin'.

On Family Man, there could be a real drummer, actually. At least to my ears, they always sounded too spontaneous to be a drum machine... except for those super-loud tom-toms, which sound very Linn-ed to me.

Well, this is what my ears tell me, at least!


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Jammer Offline




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Posted: April 21 2004, 14:05

I very much doubt the drums are synthesised. Try as I might I can't get the drums in Brandon's Taurus 2 cover to sound as real as the original. (You can find my drum parts for it in the 'Discussion' forum if you're interested) After hours and hours of transcribing the drum part and hundreds of repeated listens I can definately tell you there as real as Philips' Tama drums on Crises and Discovery. Perhaps it's Mike Frye, the other percussionist credited with Pert. Who plays the drums in the Wembly concert? Also compare with the clearly synthesised drum sounds on QE2 and you'll notice the difference.

I have some questions about this too: Is there a copy of this tracksheet that details the sections of Taurus 2 anywhere on the web? Would I be able to find this on any LP release of FMO, or is it quite a rare thing to come across? Also, was the 'Linn' a type of early drum machine?
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: April 21 2004, 15:56

@ Jammer: The tracksheet is here. Linn is a maker of drum machines and other electronic devices; things like the Linn 9000 were popular throughout the 80s and the early 90s (Stock/Aitken/Waterman), and sometimes they're still used. :)

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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: April 21 2004, 16:57

They're definitely real. Whether Morris Pert or Mike Frye, I don't know - it could be both of them in different places. I can't say I know their styles well enough to be able to tell them apart.

The most intriguing thing is the drums on Taurus II are double tracked in a lot of places - there's a drumkit panned to each side. You can hear that on the intro, but it's maybe easier to notice in the Deep Deep Sound leadup. The section just before the outro is a good example as well, when the tom fills ping pong from side to side. I can't say I own any other records where drums have been double tracked like that.

The Linn was the first sampling drum machine - they evolved, via the Linn 9000, into the Akai MPC machines, when Roger Linn went to work for them.
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: April 21 2004, 18:46

Thanks very much to everyone. ;)

@ Sir Mustapha: you're right, those toms are definitely synthetic. They sound very like the toms in a Phil Collins song, "Don't lose my number" (on No jacket required), whose drums were all programmed on a Linn.

@ Richard: I never noticed the panning you're referring to. I guess I'll have to listen more carefully the next time I put Taurus II on. :)

P.S. (off-topic): There's a remix of a Madonna song, "Over and over" (I guess it was only included in a compilation album called "You can dance"), where the machine drum track is doubled by real drums and percussion. Of course it's not the same effect as here, but you can clearly hear two drum tracks in there, one of which is very obviously not real. :)


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Jammer Offline




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Posted: April 22 2004, 18:19

Hey thanks Ugo for the link - it was right under my nose all along. It's fascinating, like an early Amarok cover. It'll probably come in handy

I wondered if the drums were done on more than one track. Without listening too closely it does sound like a great number of cymbals and toms. I noticed the Deep Deep Sound bit has the main hi-hat panned near the centre, but there is another lower track of it on the far left. The extra track isn't too conspicuous. Could this have been an alternative take that they decided to leave on to beef up or space out the sound?

In the case of FMO, the drum machine was used to emulate real live drums and is quite different from those at the beginning of Sheba and the heavy delayed snare near the beginning of Crises
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EeToN Offline




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Posted: April 22 2004, 19:29

In the 'Sana rosana' part in Taurus II there are Linn drums till 18:59 and after that real drums come in IMHO.

Family Man is very suspicious - there aren't big changes among the volume and characteristics of the hi-hat sounds - or at least I couldn't notice it. But they have definitely more live sounding than those in Taurus II (compared to the 'Sana rosana' part).


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larstangmark Offline




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Posted: July 14 2021, 03:52

Quote (Korgscrew @ April 21 2004, 16:57)
The most intriguing thing is the drums on Taurus II are double tracked in a lot of places - there's a drumkit panned to each side. You can hear that on the intro, but it's maybe easier to notice in the Deep Deep Sound leadup. The section just before the outro is a good example as well, when the tom fills ping pong from side to side. I can't say I own any other records where drums have been double tracked like that.

I can think of two examples right away - "Needles in the Camel's Eye" by Brian Eno and "Der Mussolini" by D.A.F.

Also, Morris pert and played unison with various drummers a lot in Mike's concerts from this period. I think he does this in "Taurus I" from the Montreux DVD.

I don't think for a second that the drums on "Five Miles Out" is a drum machine. The playing is not machine-accurate, and the drums just sound too good


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pauken Offline




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Posted: July 14 2021, 04:53

Definitely real drumming over the top of Linn drum machine on both Taurus II and Family Man (and Orabidoo and Five Miles Out). In fact the only track that doesn't have the Linn drums on it (that I can hear) from the FMO album is Mount Teidi.

The Linn drum machine at that time had a limited range of sampled sounds and there's no way that all the drum sounds on that album came from the Linn, quite apart from the timing and feel of the drumming which would also be impossible to replicate on the machine. I think the double tracked drums was Mike Frye on one side and Morris Pert on the other playing (more or less) in unison, a setup they replicated live.

The drums in Family Man are a real drummer (I suspect Mike Frye) trying to play in a machine-like way. The way the kick drum very slightly anticipates the beat at times is definitely a person. Without wishing to dismiss the great playing on this album, neither Mike nor Morris were in the same ballpark as Simon Phillips or Pierre Moerlen when it came to drumkit playing, not even close.
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