Register    |    Sign In   |   
electronic MUSICIAN

Drums: Energize Your Songs with Easy Percussion Tracks Barre VT

Hi-hat cymbals are supposed to beaggressive and bright, and they do amarvelous job driving everything from funk to metal. But what if you'redealing with some gently strummed acoustic guitars and the hi-hits arejust obliterating them? This was kindof a big problem, because I had programmeda hi-hat groove and allthe instruments were tracked tothe offending cymbal sear.

Vermont Violins
(802) 229-4503
24 Main St
Montpelier, VT
 
Gregories Violin Shop
(802) 476-7798
10 Hutchins Cir
Barre, VT
 
Burlington Violin Shop Vermont Violins
(802) 862-0349
200 Main St
Burlington, VT
 
Paul Perley Cellos
(802) 229-1501
452 Brookfield Rd
Berlin, VT

Data Provided by:
Burlington Guitar & Amp LLC
(802) 863-4613
202 Main St
Burlington, VT
 
Guitarsam
(802) 229-0295
71 Main St
Montpelier, VT
 
Trueline Drumsticks
(802) 485-4900
98 Mill St
Barre, VT
 
Vermont Violins
(802) 229-4503
24 Main St Ste 2
Montpelier, VT

Data Provided by:
Daddy's Williston
(802) 288-9969
21 Hawthorne St
Williston, VT
 
Guitarsam
(802) 229-0295
71 Main St
Montpelier, VT
 
Data Provided by:

Drums: Energize Your Songs with Easy Percussion Tracks

If you feel the tracking process isdone once the drums, bass, guitars,keyboards, and vocals are down, then you may be missing out on a lot of fun. Percussion tracks can be ahuge—and hugely entertaining—partof the “sweetening” phase of yourrecordings, and, no, I’m not talkingabout simply adding a tambourine toevery snare hit (that is, unless you’replanning to overdub a platoon oftambourines to rival anything PhilSpector did during his pre-jailbirddays as the creator of the Wall ofSound). After all, even basic samplelibraries offer a fair amount of exotic percussion instruments, and youshouldn’t just leave these fabuloussounds to waste away due to neglect.Furthermore, you can score non-virtual percussion instruments relativelyinexpensively by raiding toy stores, orgo the distance by purchasing professional percussion tools from yourlocal music store (or online). Whetheryou sequence or trigger samples, oractually put hand or stick to wood,metal, or drum skin, exploring the sonic and rhythmic attributes of percussioncan add new layers of excitementto a track you thought wastotally cooked. Here are three percussionoptions from a recent acoustic production of mine.

Stealing Time

Okay, there’s not much “new” intoday’s music world, but that doesn’tmean you can’t borrow a cool ideafrom a different discipline and makeit part of your own thing. For example,Cheryl Munoz, background singerand percussionist for the Ol’ CheekyBastards, also studies flamenco dancing. When she saw and heard a cajonbeing played at a flamenco danceconcert, she decided to purchase one and incorporate it into the Bastardsmix of folky, punky, Celtic music. Thecajon’s unique hand-slapped snare,tom, kick drum, and wood blocksounds now appear as the main percussiontreats on OCB’s WorkingClass Heroes and Truths [RottenEggs]. We attached an Audix F-90clip-on mic to the side of the port onthe back of the cajon, which allowedus to record the cajon performanceswith Munoz sitting in the controlroom, and listening via the monitorspeakers, rather than headphones.This situation meant she could playas if she were performing live—a“comfort” plus as she was still a newbiecajon player—and there was virtuallyno signal bleed from song track sinto the microphone.

Shaker “Hi-Hat”

Hi-hat cymbals are supposed to beaggressive and bright, and they do amarvelous job driving everythingfrom funk to metal. But what if you’redealing with some gently strummedacoustic guitars and the hi-hits arejust obliterating them? This was kind of a big problem, because I had programmed a hi-hat groove and allthe instruments were tracked tothe offending cymbal sear.

Ultimately, I decided to replace the hihatswith a shaker egg that exhibiteda sweeter, less-sizzling sound, andthe mild sh-sh-sh-sh fit in beautifully with the acoustics, kicking the groovewhile simultaneously not pilfering allthe tonal attention. I dug the effectso much that I doubled the shakertrack—one with a red egg and onewith a black egg (somehow, I fooledmyself...

Click here to read the rest of the article from EQ Magazine

Discover Emusician