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Thread started 06/08/23 8:27pm

rap

The Secret Origin of Prince’s Most Famous Drum Machine Beat

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Reply #1 posted 06/09/23 1:18am

WhisperingDand
elions

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Incredible article, incredible beat, one of the greatest drumloops evarr.

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Reply #2 posted 06/09/23 8:38am

TheTruth123

rap said:

https://reverb.com/news/t...OG3vH5VTE0

Interesting article. Thanks. Had me looking up and listening to Tower of Power (always thought it was "Tower Power"") and also the drummer. They were definitely a tight band. Lead singer went to jail for 30 years after a drug deal gone bad.

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Reply #3 posted 06/09/23 9:27am

lurker316

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Thanks. That was a great read.



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Reply #4 posted 06/09/23 9:35am

TrivialPursuit

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And Prince sampled or replayed Tower of Power twice (that we readily know about) in his music. I love they were on his radar over the years. He certainly learned from them in many, many ways. Horns, drums, arranging.

If you have a problem with me, text me. If you don't have my number, you don't know me well enough to have a problem with me.
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Reply #5 posted 06/09/23 9:59am

paraded

My takeaway is that...no one seems to know for sure who made this beat, including Garibaldi and Wood. There are snatches of it here and there on the demo flexi, but no smoking gun. Which means that...shocker...Prince made it?

[Edited 6/9/23 10:06am]

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Reply #6 posted 06/09/23 10:06am

TwiliteMan

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Thanks for posting!

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Reply #7 posted 06/09/23 10:33am

Vannormal

Thanks. smile Really great read & article!

-

Plus this :

https://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2017/03/the-ballad-of-dorothy-parker

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. And wiser people so full of doubts" (Bertrand Russell 1872-1972)
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Reply #8 posted 06/09/23 3:36pm

TrivialPursuit

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paraded said:

My takeaway is that...no one seems to know for sure who made this beat, including Garibaldi and Wood. There are snatches of it here and there on the demo flexi, but no smoking gun. Which means that...shocker...Prince made it?


Nah, it has a paper trail. You can dismiss it as "snatches of it here and there," but that alone is enough to know it came from other places. And because Garibaldi doesn't remember it right now doesn't mean he didn't do it. While Prince is innovative and forward thinking, I honestly don't believe he quite had that in him... not yet.

If you have a problem with me, text me. If you don't have my number, you don't know me well enough to have a problem with me.
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Reply #9 posted 06/09/23 7:15pm

paraded

TrivialPursuit said:



paraded said:


My takeaway is that...no one seems to know for sure who made this beat, including Garibaldi and Wood. There are snatches of it here and there on the demo flexi, but no smoking gun. Which means that...shocker...Prince made it?





Nah, it has a paper trail. You can dismiss it as "snatches of it here and there," but that alone is enough to know it came from other places. And because Garibaldi doesn't remember it right now doesn't mean he didn't do it. While Prince is innovative and forward thinking, I honestly don't believe he quite had that in him... not yet.


Well, I’m willing to buy Garibaldi and Wood are responsible in the way grandparents or great grandparents are responsible. But Prince seems to be the parent of the beat unless anything else is revealed.

If involved it is weird that Garibaldi wouldn’t at least go “yeah, maybe I did, I don’t remember” instead of expressing puzzlement at his own involvement. And would Roger Linn really have that bad a memory about his iconic Linn to flat out deny Garibaldi was a key contributor to its stock programming?

Sure, Prince probably heard the flexi demo, I buy that, and maybe culled some licks from it, but we have zero evidence (or correct me if I’m wrong) that anyone but him and maybe Morris sat down to painstakingly construct these two measures of iconic patterning. I know it’s hard to accept because it is the most impressive drum beat of all his beats, even trouncing Dorothy Parker, but I’d say he had it in him, in the same way he seems to have had the Sound 80 piano parts in him from the very beginning.
[Edited 6/9/23 19:18pm]
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Reply #10 posted 06/09/23 10:20pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

Great piece
I need to listen to all the audio though to determine who did what
[Edited 6/9/23 22:21pm]
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Reply #11 posted 06/10/23 1:12am

Eulonzo

The only thing I get out of a vague article like this is that Prince absolutely did this himself, regardless whether or not that drum pattern was allegedly programmed onto a demo flex or anything.

As much of a genius as he was, people still underestimate his abilities.

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Reply #12 posted 06/10/23 1:15am

bwaaatch

paraded said:

TrivialPursuit said:



paraded said:


My takeaway is that...no one seems to know for sure who made this beat, including Garibaldi and Wood. There are snatches of it here and there on the demo flexi, but no smoking gun. Which means that...shocker...Prince made it?





Nah, it has a paper trail. You can dismiss it as "snatches of it here and there," but that alone is enough to know it came from other places. And because Garibaldi doesn't remember it right now doesn't mean he didn't do it. While Prince is innovative and forward thinking, I honestly don't believe he quite had that in him... not yet.


Well, I’m willing to buy Garibaldi and Wood are responsible in the way grandparents or great grandparents are responsible. But Prince seems to be the parent of the beat unless anything else is revealed.

If involved it is weird that Garibaldi wouldn’t at least go “yeah, maybe I did, I don’t remember” instead of expressing puzzlement at his own involvement. And would Roger Linn really have that bad a memory about his iconic Linn to flat out deny Garibaldi was a key contributor to its stock programming?

Sure, Prince probably heard the flexi demo, I buy that, and maybe culled some licks from it, but we have zero evidence (or correct me if I’m wrong) that anyone but him and maybe Morris sat down to painstakingly construct these two measures of iconic patterning. I know it’s hard to accept because it is the most impressive drum beat of all his beats, even trouncing Dorothy Parker, but I’d say he had it in him, in the same way he seems to have had the Sound 80 piano parts in him from the very beginning.
[Edited 6/9/23 19:18pm]



I hear snatches of Dorothy Parker on that flexi, too.
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Reply #13 posted 06/10/23 3:17am

WhisperingDand
elions

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So wait, what,

Is the debate,

1) Whether or not Prince played the drum track himself physically,


2) Whether or not Prince programmed the drum rhythm himself into the Linn


or


3) Whether he physically played and programmed the drum track?


Admittedly I've never used a Linn or much 80s tech. My knowledge of drum sampler workstations pretty much starts with the MPC3000 so maybe that's why I'm not positive what the debate is here.


Like based on the evidence of the flexi, it seems like he just chopped and resequenced and stacked different portions of the original recording to create the final loop as we know it? Would that not be possible with 80s tech? Didn't Susan Rogers say sometimes he'd get a simple drum loop pattern in the machine but still play individual snares/kicks/hi-hats "live" during overdubs? It sounds like the simple programmed pattern/loop would be the kick/snare pattern and the hi-hats would be the more complex studio and/or machine trickery. The hi hats are almost kind of glitchy, but the basic beginning of the shuffle pattern is there in the flexi.

Like I might be corrupted by being more familiar with 90s tech vs. 80s, but it seems like all the elements are on the flexi, you just gotta mash them together on your machine.


[edit] Roger Linn developed the MPC hm... The plot thickens.

[Edited 6/10/23 3:24am]

[Edited 6/10/23 3:26am]

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Reply #14 posted 06/10/23 6:35am

paraded

Eulonzo said:

The only thing I get out of a vague article like this is that Prince absolutely did this himself, regardless whether or not that drum pattern was allegedly programmed onto a demo flex or anything.



As much of a genius as he was, people still underestimate his abilities.


Yes. The chance that anyone else programmed this specific iconic pattern, knowing what we know now, is very low.
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Reply #15 posted 06/10/23 7:18am

LILpoundCAKE

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i guess we should be thankfull that it's not wendy and lisa who programmed it. small blessings and all.


May U Live 2 See The Release of Parade SDE
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Reply #16 posted 06/10/23 8:49am

lurker316

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A lot of the comments above suggest people did not read this article closely. There is no debate about who programmed the Linn. It was Art Wood (the session drummer) trying to immitate Garibaldi.

The article quotes both Garibaldi and Linn saying Garibaldi had nothing to do with the program. Then it provides this solution to the mystery:

[Art] Wood takes a listen. He starts grinning. "Oh crap. That's me!" He explains that his original inspiration was, in fact, David Garibaldi—specifically the introduction of Tower Of Power's 1974 funk classic "Squib Cakes." [...]

"I thought that was the coolest little drum solo," Wood says. "Then Roger [Linn] asked me to make some beats up for the machine. And I said, 'If you can get it to approximate the subtleties of a real drummer, let me program this part that David played.' So that four-bar intro led off the whole thing."

Prince's contribution to the programmed beat remains unknown. "That's what I'd like to know, what Prince added to it," Garibaldi says. However, part of "777-9311" may also come from some of the other material Wood programmed on the flexidisc—including a favorite trick that Wood later showed drummer Stan Lynch of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers.


The mystery isn't who programmed the Linn. That was Wood. The myster is how much Prince altered it for his 777-9311.




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Reply #17 posted 06/10/23 8:50am

lurker316

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TrivialPursuit said:

paraded said:

My takeaway is that...no one seems to know for sure who made this beat, including Garibaldi and Wood. There are snatches of it here and there on the demo flexi, but no smoking gun. Which means that...shocker...Prince made it?


Nah, it has a paper trail. You can dismiss it as "snatches of it here and there," but that alone is enough to know it came from other places. And because Garibaldi doesn't remember it right now doesn't mean he didn't do it. While Prince is innovative and forward thinking, I honestly don't believe he quite had that in him... not yet.



See my above post. As the article explains, it was Art Wood trying to imitate Garibaldi.



[Edited 6/10/23 11:14am]

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Reply #18 posted 06/10/23 8:57am

paraded

lurker316 said:



TrivialPursuit said:




paraded said:


My takeaway is that...no one seems to know for sure who made this beat, including Garibaldi and Wood. There are snatches of it here and there on the demo flexi, but no smoking gun. Which means that...shocker...Prince made it?





Nah, it has a paper trail. You can dismiss it as "snatches of it here and there," but that alone is enough to know it came from other places. And because Garibaldi doesn't remember it right now doesn't mean he didn't do it. While Prince is innovative and forward thinking, I honestly don't believe he quite had that in him... not yet.





See my above post. As the article explains, it was Art Wood trying to immiate Garibaldi.




Yes, Wood programmed the Flexi demo. No disagreement there. But the demo has at most fragments of the two measures of 777-9311. I’ve listened to it several times and it isn’t anything close to the version on the album. And there is still no evidence that these two measures we all know and love exist on a Linn as stock beats, right?
Sure, Prince could have listened to these demos and sampled tiny slices or recreated them, but unless I’m missing something the huge leap from these half second fragments to the final product is still where some genius stepped in to conceive of the overall effect.
I don’t really see it as much of a mystery if all there was was this Flexi demo. The answer is that Prince altered it enormously, completely rejiggered it into a legendary beat.
[Edited 6/10/23 8:58am]
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Reply #19 posted 06/10/23 9:11am

LILpoundCAKE

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paraded said:

lurker316 said:



See my above post. As the article explains, it was Art Wood trying to immiate Garibaldi.



Yes, Wood programmed the Flexi demo. No disagreement there. But the demo has at most fragments of the two measures of 777-9311. I’ve listened to it several times and it isn’t anything close to the version on the album. And there is still no evidence that these two measures we all know and love exist on a Linn as stock beats, right? Sure, Prince could have listened to these demos and sampled tiny slices or recreated them, but unless I’m missing something the huge leap from these half second fragments to the final product is still where some genius stepped in to conceive of the overall effect. I don’t really see it as much of a mystery if all there was was this Flexi demo. The answer is that Prince altered it enormously, completely rejiggered it into a legendary beat. [Edited 6/10/23 8:58am]


yeah that was what I got from reading the article, too. so are we missing something?

May U Live 2 See The Release of Parade SDE
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Reply #20 posted 06/10/23 12:03pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

Some ppl think music is just maths, where you can easily work out the sum or root of something when its not always that logical
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Reply #21 posted 06/10/23 10:34pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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lurker316 said:


The mystery isn't who programmed the Linn. That was Wood. The myster is how much Prince altered it for his 777-9311

It's not a mystery though after including the Flexi? Some measures are similar but not exact, like paraded states here:

paraded said:

Yes, Wood programmed the Flexi demo. No disagreement there. But the demo has at most fragments of the two measures of 777-9311. I’ve listened to it several times and it isn’t anything close to the version on the album. And there is still no evidence that these two measures we all know and love exist on a Linn as stock beats, right? Sure, Prince could have listened to these demos and sampled tiny slices or recreated them, but unless I’m missing something the huge leap from these half second fragments to the final product is still where some genius stepped in to conceive of the overall effect. I don’t really see it as much of a mystery if all there was was this Flexi demo. The answer is that Prince altered it enormously, completely rejiggered it into a legendary beat. [Edited 6/10/23 8:58am]

like funkyandthebabysitters above me implies we don't have like an exact math % breakdown, but he did for sure "flip" the "sample" like all the great drum samplers in history going purely by the flexi... He had stock sounds and core elements, but 100% altered the order and "feel" of how they were delivered. More J Dilla than Puff Daddy from a more hiphop sampling perspective. You can tell this just trying to recreate it using the Flexi elements in modern software, let alone true tech from 1982.

Also the shuffle pattern seems like where most of the adjustment/flipping came in, and the shuffle is easily the most important/innovative part of the beat and totally looks forward by like 3 decades to trap music which never gets mentioned, maybe cause average Prince fan probably doesn't like trap.

[Edited 6/10/23 22:43pm]

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Reply #22 posted 06/12/23 5:44pm

woogiebear

"777-9311" (The Time), "Make-Up" (Vanity 6) & "Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)" (Prince) are all EQUALLY DISGUSTING BEATS!!!

cool cool cool

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