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 Post subject: Sensei SteelHard's Recording 101 - project #2
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:44 pm
Posts: 161
Location: Perth, Australia
Okay, I hope you got something out of project 1. But let's face it, it was pretty boring. So rather than jump straight back into something that mechanical I thought maybe its time to have some fun. After watching Cedupin's entry in the competition with his kitchen-based 'drum breaks' and recently re-reading an interview with Florence and the Machine about the found percussion used on one of her early tracks (for the demo she beat on walls and stuff because they had no drums, the demo then ended up on the album) I've decided we're going to make a percussion track using found objects.

I'll put the actual exercise up later but between now and then I want to give you the time to think about possible instruments as you wander about your lives. We are going to layer up one instument at a time so you are going to need to find appropriate sounds around you. We are going to retain the 4-track rules from the last project but I might allow EQ and compression to help shape our found sounds.

So I will begin by describing parts of the drum kit that you will need to emulate and the order we will do them in.

The Drum set:

KICK DRUM - the kickdrum is the foundation. It locks with the bass and is deep, boomy and adds punch. We will probably use a lot of compression and an EQ boost to help shape this sound, bear that in mind as you search for your kick.

SNARE - the snare is the multi-functional work horse of the kit. Whether locking time with the backbeat, or changing the feel with displaced beats, accents and rolls the snare is central to most beats. The snare should be a solid crack, it should be a short and discrete sound. Note the snare has three core sounds, the regular hit, the ghosted hit (funky) and the accent (rimshot). Consider a versatile object or multiple complimentary objects. You may or may not want to emulate the sound of snare wires.

HIHAT/RIDE - the hihat/ride is primarily timekeeper. It plays the 'grid'. Quarter notes, Eighths, Sixteenths grooves. Straight, triplet, swing grooves. The hihat will often play a continuous or broken ostinato and impart a lot of feel. The hihat/ride is higher pitched, can be tight (closed hihat) or splashy (open hihat) or ring out (ride) and often switch between the tight and open sounds between song sections. Jam blocks, cowbells, and other percussion can fulfill the same function.

CRASHES - Almost exclusively for accents or occasionally ridden in a particularly boisterous chorus - they are splashy, loud and dominant. Bear in mind that we will be using a microphone. We can do loud artificially if we have to, so look to the other characteristics of the crash.

TOMS - while prominent in 'jungle drums', Toms usually are kept for accents, fills and highlights. They are boomier than the kick, deeper than the snare and are full sounding and tend to ring out (unless taped severely).

Okay, the actual project is yet to come but I just thought I'd give you a head start on looking at the world around you for its sonic potential. In the exercise I will provide some cool beats and we will layer them up one at a time and use some tools to shape them. Once we've crafted our beats you can add your own bassline and maybe come up with something organic and different to your usual sound. Hoping this one can be inspirational as well as educational!

We will record the kick drum track first so feel free to suggest KICK substitutes while waiting for me to get the actual project instructions up.

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