May 23, 2018 10:26 PM   Subscribe

Claudio Passavanti of Doctor Mix breaks down Michael Jackson's post-disco classic Thriller.

Part 1: Intro and Drums 5:59 (feat LinnDrum)
Part 2: The Bass 4:32 (feat Mini Moog)
Part 3: Synthesizers And Pads 8:49 (feat Jupiter-8)
Part 4: Rhodes Piano 9:55
Part 5: Additional Synths & Organ 15:00
The full song 5:14
Behind the scenes
The real deal (short edit)
posted by lmfsilva (9 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Part 2: The Bass 4:32 (feat Mini Moog)

I wouldn't be surprised if the original track has electric bass and synth bass on it - a technique used elsewhere ion the album ("Billie Jean"), and which turns up on a lot of 80's tracks (like "Let's Dance").
posted by thelonius at 10:42 PM on May 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks for posting this - I had seen just the "Rhodes piano" part a couple of weeks ago. Its a lovely way of illustrating - to musicians and non musicians alike - just how much goes into the creation of a song like this.

(I'm a fan of Rick Beato's "What makes this song great?" series - which is in the same vein. For example "Every Little Thing She does is Magic")
posted by rongorongo at 10:51 PM on May 23, 2018 [11 favorites]

What I love about this genre of Youtube videos is for a moment you can see the genius of talented music producers. As a music layman, I do not understand much of what's going on, but I can hang in and let it wash over me and further my enjoyment of the music the next time I hear it.

It's like peeking under the hood of some fantastic machine where you can just barely make out how the gears and glass arabesques mesh together, but not understand how someone might come up with it in the first place.
posted by Enkidude at 1:52 AM on May 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Nerdness falls across the land...
posted by pracowity at 3:12 AM on May 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Nice to see how these sounds are made.

As an addition, this is a Q&A thread with MJ's engineer Bruce Swedien. Lots of anecdotes and production techniques, not all about Thriller but there's some really nice info to be found.
posted by Kosmob0t at 3:19 AM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Kudos to Dr Mix here for trying to use the original instruments wherever possible - including bringing in his mates to play the brass parts. There is a serious amount of work behind that final "full song" video.

The missing part, of course, is the vocals -also fiendishly tricky in their own right. Here we might want to listen to Shannon FM who has this video on how to sing Thriller. Or maybe Dabeat76 who will tell you how to sing like Michael Jackson.
posted by rongorongo at 3:46 AM on May 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Michael Jackson was phenomenal, but if it were not for QJ, Rod Temperton and Steve Porcaro...
posted by DJZouke at 6:17 AM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

oh and Bruce Swedien
posted by DJZouke at 6:18 AM on May 24, 2018

You need a Vincent Price impersonator too :)

And that LinnDrum machine must have been brand spanking new in 1982. (and now I'm going down the vintage drum machine rabbit hole)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:17 PM on May 24, 2018

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