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Thread: Michael Jackson | Instrumentation | What did they use?

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    Default Michael Jackson | Instrumentation | What did they use?

    Hi Guys.

    I have never seen such a thread here and i think it's time to discuss that.
    So, especially on MJs music it's hard to figure out what Instruments (keyboard, drum machines etc.) they used. Most of the albums sound so unique that it's very hard to find out if you were not there in the studio.
    Lots of musicians might be here in the forum besides me. So let's start with some information i found out over the last years.


    As far as i know for the Drums most of the Tracks had real recorded drum sets which sounds all similar in the tracks.
    But there are 3 Tracks which had a Drum-Machine used.
    "Thriller", "Wanna Be Starting Something" & "Baby Be Mine" had used a Drum Machine which was released in 1982 called "Linn Drum". As far as i can hear it they used the LM1-Linn Drum + 808 Claps. Though i think for some of the tracks they used real Hi-Hats. The "Beat It" intro also had a Drum-Machine intro. I didn't find out which machine they used exactly but it sounds similar to nowadays trap music (which i don't like). A very similar (almost same) sound can be found on a drum machen released in 1992 called "Alesis SR-16" which i have. This is for sure not the machine used since this one was release a decade after Thriller.
    Also the "Beat It" intro had that famous "Gong-Sound" which came from a "Synclavier-Keyboard" which was released in the early 80s. All over the thriller album you can hear the famous "Fender Rhodes" keys and probably Synth-Sounds from the "Yamaha CS80" & the "Roland Jupiter 8" Keyboard.

    Those drum-machines and keyboards are expensive nowadays. But there are near-identical sounding alternatives to use on the computer:

    Linn Drum:
    Aly James Lab has released an exact emulation of the Linn Drum-Machine a while ago and it's awesome. It includes not only the LM1 sounds. It comes with 2 more sound banks including the Oberheim DMX Drums, which were heavily used on the 80s.
    I think it's around 40 dollars. VERY RECOMMENDED. It's called "Aly James Lab - VProm".

    808 Drums:
    I've never bought them cause they were included in my DAW. Also those sounds are still in the pop-music today. So probably
    this will be included in a lot of free-downloads.

    Arturia has released a near-identical emulation of that. You will find it. Arturia Synclavier. AMAZING!

    Fender Rhodes:
    A very good alternative for that is the "Scarbee Mark 1" from Native Instruments.

    Yamaha CS80:
    Arturia CS-80

    Roland Jupiter 8:
    Arturia Jupiter 8V

    So i hope people can share they're knowledge here. Would be awesome. I also can add more to the start-post about the Bad Album and Dangerous

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    Default Re: Michael Jackson | Instrumentation | What did they use?

    Forward to 3.28, the Beat It intro

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    Default Re: Michael Jackson | Instrumentation | What did they use?

    So, this is from what I have found out so far:

    - That catchy drum machine loop that plays during Beat It was mostly likely sequenced on the Roland TR-808.

    - Gear-wise, the Synclavier was the main star of the BAD album with other synths such as: Yamaha DX-7, Roland D-50 and JX10, Oberheim OB-1, and the Mini Moog. In terms of drums machines, there were not only percussive sounds from the Synclavier but from the Linn 9000 and maybe even an Oberheim drum machine. Some of these synth sounds may have been recorded and processed on the Synclavier.

    That's all I know; I wish I knew exactly what gear was used in what songs. It's pretty easy to pinpoint some of the certain sounds (like the Yamaha DX-7 bass patch in Another Part Of Me and Leave Me Alone) Keep in mind that when recording some of these albums, Michael wanted to use the latest in music technology and make new sounds that allowed his music to stand out above the rest.
    Last edited by MikeFann; 13-03-2019 at 01:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Michael Jackson | Instrumentation | What did they use?

    Very cool info there


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