"In The Air Tonight": 5 Things About What Has Somehow Become Sport's Biggest Get-Psyched Song

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4. The actual story behind that immortal Big Moment? Boring technology. Feast your curiosity upon this explanation. Or let your eyes glaze over instead, like ours did.
Perhaps the most famous drum "phil" of all time is the product of some seriously compressed and gated room mics. Two of those mics were a pair of Neumann U87s placed about 15′ out from the drums and compressed with Urei 1176s. The other was a Coles STC Ball and Biscuit talkback mic compressed to hell and back by the SSL console's built-in talkback circuit.

The compressed drum signal was then processed through the on-board SSL gates. In addition to the room mics, the bass drum was close Mic'ed with a Neumann U47 and the snare with a Shure SM57. According to producer Hugh Padgham, the room mics made up 90 percent of the drum sound.

There will be a test. You can try to get Padgham's video explanation, but all we end up with is a repeating ad for some motel.

3. Obama doesn't get it either. President Obama invited the Super Bowl champeen New York Football Giants to the White House, and in the course of his welcoming speech he noted with some disbelief that DL Justin Tuck used "In The Air Tonight" to get ready for the gridiron. Points off for then playing the stale "I need to use that with Congress" card.

Noting that, the night before their Feb. 5 Super Bowl win, the Giants watched a highlight film with a soundtrack of In The Air Tonight, Obama joked, "I don't know about a little Phil Collins before a big game. I may try that before a big meeting with Congress."
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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly