Beastie Boys Samplers

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.
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guillermotin
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Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by guillermotin » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:08 pm

I would like to know what samplers were used by Beastie Boys on their early years, most notably on Licensed to Ill album.

I would risk it was an E-mu Sp-1200, but I can't really be sure.

Any hints?

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by walkathon » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:24 pm

Heh, good question actually. the SP1200 dropped in '87, Licensed to Ill dropped in late '86, so no dice there. POSSIBLY an SP-12, however. Regardless, FWIW, plenty of 808 throughout that album, and it turns out the drums on Fight For Your Right ... are a DMX played live, albeit with a different snare chip.

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by guillermotin » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:39 pm

Thanks for the input, it's cool to know about other gear aside from samplers on that album too.

So, I've ruled out the SP-1200. Was the Sp-12 capable of holding the lenght of the Led Zeppelin's Levee Breaks loop used in Rhythm' n Stealin'?

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by walkathon » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:22 pm

Hmm, an SP-12 w/ turbo could handle that loop. That, or they could've done the 'sample at 45rpm, then slow it down' trick.

Strangely enough, having trouble finding out which sampler Rubin used on his early tracks ... this book might know:
:ugeek:

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by Z » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:17 pm

My collection of Keyboard magazines is at my furniture shop. I doubt I'll have time to look for it tomorrow, but there's a "Rap" issue from 1988 and I'm pretty sure the engineer on Licensed was interviewed. I know a lot of gear was discussed (mostly drum machines, of course).

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by Hair » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:12 am

Not sure on Licened to Ill, but from the mouth of one of the Dust Brothers via Sound on Sound..
"...We did all of Paul's Boutique on an Emax HD, which was mono and 12-bit and had a 22kHz sampling rate. So we had plenty of experience of the primitive domain of early sampling: low bit rate and low sampling rate. But we've never been in love with the degraded sound of those early machines, we were always trying to make samples sound better. We had Pro Tools in our heads before it even existed. Since both John and I came from a computer background, we knew what computers were capable of, and we were kind of bombed that the samplers were still so lo-fi or hard to use.

"The sequencer we used on Paul's Boutique was very primitive software called Texture by a guy called Roger Powell. This was when computers still had no user interface, it basically was just a bunch of letters and numbers across a green screen. After that we used this very primitive sync box, the JL Cooper PPS1, that allowed us to sync the computer to tape. We also had an Allen & Heath console with very primitive automation with which you could create mute events. So we basically filled all tracks on a multitrack with loops, and arranged songs by using these automated mute things. It was such a painful process. I remember thinking 'God, why couldn't we just have a timeline across a screen and chunks for each sample and a visual representation for the waveforms across the time line? Why do I have to sit here and type all these numbers and MIDI times?'"
Edit: according to this post: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/5806795-post46.html the samples on LtE were tape loops and live scratching?

Edit 2:
"On Licensed to Ill, we didn't even have any samplers. So the stuff that's looped, we actually made tape loops. We'd record the 'When the Levee Breaks' beat onto a quarter-inch tape, and then we'd make a loop and that tape would spinning around the room, dangling on mic stands, going around in a big loop. And then, in order to layer that with something else, we'd have to actually sync it up, physically." - Adam Yauch, excerpted from The Skills to Pay the Bills (2005) by Alan Light
Sick.

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by LoopStar » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:35 pm

in an interview for Propellerheads, Adrock states he had used the sp1200 until getting Reason


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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by guillermotin » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:03 am

Thank you for all the replies, there's some amazing info here!

I've come across this excerpt from the book "Perfecting Sound Forever" by Greg Milner (highly recommended reading by the way):

"Especially as hip-hop developed, loops became a valued musical commodity. Steve Ett, a recording engineer who worked with several hip-hop artists in the eighties, including Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys, was known for going to great lengths - literally - to satisfy his client's desire for loops. The music for "Public enemy No. 1" on Public Enemy's debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, began as a "pause tape," which is made by stringing together bits of records recorded onto cassette. You keep the tape on Pause, and release the button when the record gets to the part you want; the moment that part passes you hit Pause again, turn back the tape's reel a tiny bit, and cue up the next part. By the time the song was ready to record, the music amounted to a passage of thirty-eight to forty seconds that needed to be looped enough to last for the duration of the song. Ett placed a microphone stand in every corner and sent the tape spinning around the room, held aloft by the tension of the tape against the stands. The tape would flow over the playback head, and then around the circumference of the room, and then back to the tape machine to start the journey over again." (page 331)

This excerpt does not specify whether or not this procedure was adopted during the production of Licensed to Ill, but the procedure described is remarkably similar to the info Hair shared a couple posts ago.

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by guillermotin » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:58 am

The deleted scenes from the interview is even more informative:



Check around 5:45, where Adrock tells about him and Yauch made the tape loops from Levee Breaks. And there are other pretty interesting stories as well.

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Re: Beastie Boys Samplers

Post by code green » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:41 pm

Loved that interview (both parts)--thanks so much for posting.

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