In The Air Tonight

  • Artist: Phil Collins
  • Album: Face Value
  • Label: Atlantic Records
  • Year: 1981
  • Producer: Phil Collins, Hugh Padgham
  • Engineer: Hugh Padgham


Gated Reverb
Compressed and Gated Reverb, actually
Compressed and gated room ambience on the iconic tom fill and subsequent snare drum back beat, courtesy of the reverse talkback compressor on the SSL4000 mixing console. This is a refinement of the effect first applied on Intruder, by Peter Gabriel.

Slap Echo
Slap echo on the lead vocal throughout.

Quarter note echo on background vocals for key words. But it's clearly pre-Digital Audio Workstation, as the echoes slip in and out of the pocket. Note in particular the word "met" from the line "...we ever met" right before the iconic drum fill of the universe. It falls behind the beat. While it might be a technical mistake, we wouldn't have it any other way today. It now lives among those moments of sonic art that we listen for, sing along with, and even celebrate in their just-off-ness.


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