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How I Got That Sound: Pink Floyd ‘Marooned Jam’

Andy Jackson By Joe Matera
Published July 2024

How I Got That Sound

English recording engineer Andy Jackson has worked with Pink Floyd and David Gilmour since 1980, having previously mixed the Boomtown Rats’ number one hit ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’. He is also an artist in his own right, and his latest solo album AI AJ was released in February 2024; check out Andy’s website at for more information. A favourite among the many great sounds Jackson has recorded over the years is the dry, dense drum sound heard on Pink Floyd’s ‘Marooned Jam’ from The Later Years 1987‑2019.

Rocking The Boat

“We started off in David Gilmour’s Astoria houseboat studio, assembling ideas and knocking them about, with the band set up in the studio there, which was this tiny room, about four metres square. It was so tight you couldn’t move in there. Due to space, Nick [Mason] set up a small kit, and I miked it with just the basics, four mics on the drums: an AKG D12 on the kick, a [Shure] SM57 on the snare and a couple of [Neumann] U87s as overheads. I didn’t mic the toms because two more mic stands were more than there was room for. I added a couple of mics on the Leslie [a Neumann KM84 on the top and a Sennheiser MD421 on the bottom], DIs for the keyboards and bass, and a couple of U87s on David’s guitar amp. We recorded a whole bunch of stuff as demos, working out arrangements and things like that until we got to the point where we knew what the record was going to be, so we started recording it.

Andy Jackson: "We moved to Olympic Studios and cut a drum track for ‘Marooned Jam’, but we all agreed we preferred the drum sound recorded on David Gilmour's houseboat".

Olympia Studios

How I Got That Sound: Andy Jackson - Pink Floyd

“We moved to Olympic Studios and cut a drum track for ‘Marooned Jam’, but we all agreed we preferred the drum sound recorded on David Gilmour's houseboat. We all thought it had a sort of solidity and dryness to it which was just much more suitable to the music. So, we went back to Astoria and we redid the recording, apart from a couple of bits of keyboards and the orchestra, in that tiny room. Nick set up a bit of a bigger kit, but essentially it’s the same thing. He was just rammed into a corner in this tiny room; he could scarcely get in and out of the kit. There was just enough room to get out, and one of the mics was backed entirely into the wall along with one of the overheads. It was just incredibly squashed in, but it really gave it 'that' sound, which is incredibly dense and really dry.

“Any reverberation you hear was artificial as it was added on later — basically just an Echoplate. I did cheat on that mix and snuck in some close tom‑tom mic samples to get some bottom end, because they weren’t miked, it was only on the overheads. I love the sound because it’s got a sort of neutrality to it. There’s no room tone on it at all. The room’s very dead. And we killed it further because of the fact they were all in there. We added some foam above the drums and things like that to try and get rid of any ceiling reflections. And it’s almost as if you were recording the drums in a vacuum kind of thing.

“This same drum setup used on ‘Marooned Jam’ was also used on ‘Louder Than Words’, which appeared on Pink Floyd’s 2015 album The Endless River.”

Hear The Sound

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