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How I Got That Sound: Tim Palmer

Pearl Jam ‘Black’ By Joe Matera
Published September 2021

How I Got That Sound

English producer and mixing engineer Tim Palmer began his career in the early ’80s as an assistant engineer, and by the time he turned 21, had scored his first number one as a mixing engineer with Cutting Crew’s ‘(I Just) Died in Your Arms’. He would go on to work with music heavyweights such as David Bowie, Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, Goo Goo Dolls, HIM and countless others. Asked to nominate a favourite sound from his extensive career, he chose the song ‘Black’ from Pearl Jam’s hit debut album Ten, which he mixed in 1991.

“The intro to ‘Black’ starts off with a solo rhythm guitar played by Stone Gossard, which has a slight Rolling Stones feel to it. On top of that Eddie Vedder ad libs some vocals, then at the end of this intro piece, the band kicks in, with the bass sliding down into the verse and drums, guitars and vocals all entering together. At the beginning of the mixing process, when I turned up the faders, I immediately discovered I really disliked the intro as it was. I found the guitar sound they had recorded to be a bit flat,...

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