Pro Audio

The sound of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham, quantized

What if Led Zeppelin were subjected to the tyranny of the click? Youtuber Rick Beato has carved up a couple of grooves by John Bonham to demonstrate.

In YouTuber Rick Beato’s latest, he undertakes the sacrilegious task of snapping the immortal John Bonham groove to the grid.

Why would you do that, I hear you ask? The can the answer can be filed in the “computers have ruined rock music” column.

john bonham

First, we’re allowed revel in the push and pull of the trademark John Bonham feel, then Beato sets to work on slicing up the drum track and snapping it to the grid in Pro Tools.

What results may not be the downright trainwreck you might expect. Instead, constricting the groove to a robotic tempo makes it feel impatient, sterile and uninspired. In short, still an excellent performance, with Bonham’s signature swagger all but extracted.

Of course, there’s no law that says we need to turn on the click – it’s just one of the modern rigours that we can habitually and mindlessly conform to.

A lesson for all, no doubt. Don’t be afraid to loosen it up a bit.

For more of Rick Beato’s fascinating and often historically illuminating videos, visit his YouTube page.