• Artist: Prince and the Revolution
  • Album: Parade
  • Label: Paisley Park, Warner Bros.
  • Year: 1986
  • Producer: Prince
  • Engineer: David Z
  • Studio: Sunset Sound, LA


The kick drum, from a Linn LM-1 drum machine, gets extended and reshaped with a rhythmic bounce courtesy of an unusual reverb. The AMS RMX 16, an early digital reverb popular then (and now) had two programs called "reverse." Not actually reversing the reverb -- you'd need a time machine for that -- the program amplitude modulates the reverb tail so that it goes from low amplitude to high amplitude, getting louder, before abruptly cutting off. It behaves as if the room's impulse response is being played backwards (see below), so it was called "reverse" on the reverb unit.
Filling the space between kicks with this additional low end energy, they chose to mute the base line. As with "When Dove Cry," Prince would have another hit without bass.

While there is no bass, there is rhythm guitar, but Prince and engineer David Z push this sound into a unique place. Full slow strums on the acoustic guitar spell out the harmony, but the performance is made rhythmically staccato by running it through a gate which is keyed open by the hi-hat.

The hi-hat part is itself a montage of the LinnDrumm sample, programmed with extreme dynamics, plus a delay (about 150 ms) of the same hi-hat part, added manually by David Z -- a delay mute/unmute musical performance.


Back to the full Recordingography

Real rooms and most artifial reverb programs decay gradually to silence. The kick reverb used here ‘un-decays,’ getting louder before abruptly cutting off.  The AMS RMX-16 was used in this track.  It inspired many others to offer a similar preset.