Category: Wanking

Built On Delay

Loop #138

For this loop I decided to take the opposite approach to producing. The “Costanza Method” of recording, if you will. As I’m sure most of you already know, effects and audio processing are typically applied during the mixing process, after all of the tracks are recorded. However, for this session, I applied a variety of sonic sculpting tools to the master bus BEFORE recording a single note. Sure, I checked the levels to make sure everything was copacetic, but I wanted this random stack of effects to play a leading role in the creation of my loop.

The Costanza Method

What you hear in the mp3 below is the exact same thing I heard in my headphones as I was recording and ultimately, dictated what I played. The signal chain; absurd amounts of compression->massive Whitesnake-style reverb->super fast and tight gating->crazy stereo delay with pitch-shifting.

What sounds like a pretty busy groove (and a bad acid trip from the 80’s), is really just me playing a very minimal 4 bar phrase with a tom fill at the end. It’s the 16th note delay that fills up the rest of the track, precisely bouncing around the stereo spectrum due to the abundance of gating applied to the entire track. Had no gates been used, this loop would be messier than a groupie at a Monsters of Rock festival.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

123 BPM

7 Days

I’m not referring to the lame Sting song (ok ok, I admit I like it… relax), I’m talking about the seven days I just spent on vacation in Mexico. Without going into too many details (most of which, I can’t really remember anyway), my wife and I just returned from a much needed getaway to Tulum. A place where the sun is hot, the beer is cold and the tacos are cheap. In other words, my Heaven.

Watch out for the Green Fairy

Loop #126

To celebrate the return from my seven day vacation, I decided it would be appropriate to record a series of loops in 7/8. Here’s a two measure snippet from today’s session, the rest of which, will be made available to my loyal and extremely good-looking subscribers on April 1st (not a joke).

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

135 BPM

Quintuple the Pleasure, Quintuple the Fun

While cleaning up my studio and preparing for the big move, I stumbled across a folder of notes and lesson materials from my Berklee days. Inside this folder was everything from Max Roach solo transcriptions, to South Indian rhythmic cycles, to 4-way independence studies. Flipping through the pages of sheet music was like stepping into a time machine and being transported back to the grimey, unventilated practice studios on Mass Ave. Awh, the good old days.

Casey Scheuerell - Teacher of Odd Things
Casey Scheuerell

While taking a closer look at the contents of the folder, one page of handwritten transcriptions jumped out at me. Quintuplet based grooves?? It took me a few minutes, but I finally remembered the source of the music. It was from one of my lessons with the great, Casey Scheuerell. I studied with Casey during my last two years of college and learned a tremendous amount from him. Not just about drumming, but also about the music business as a whole. We spent just as much time talking during our lessons as we did playing on the two kits he had set up in his office.

From the archives
From the archives

Loop #85

You Zappa Heads and prog-rockers will enjoy today’s loop. It’s geek funk to the fullest and should probably never leave the confines of your own studio. Loosely based on the above transcription from my lessons with Casey, it’s a 4/4 groove with quintuplets on the hi-hat and a 2+3 rhythmic phrasing. To make things easier for tracking to a click, I actually recorded this as a halftime groove in 5/4… just listen to the shaker for the 8th note pulse. Anyway, I’d like to see someone try to dance to it. Let the math rock begin.

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

158 BPM

Excessive

Excessive crash cymbals? Check.
Excessively large 2B drum sticks? Check.
Excessive amounts of reverb? Check.
Excessively loud brass snare drum with coated blackdot heads? Check.
Excessively nerdy gear checklist. Check.

Excessive bass drum diameter
Excessive bass drum diameter

Loop #81

Why just use a touch of compression on the bus when you can throw limiters on every individual track? This loop comes from the “more is more” school of mixing.

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

74 BPM

Shred Fest ’09

I’ve been busy prepping for the big audition and haven’t had much time to blog …. BUT I did hit the record button whilst working out some hot licks. Billy, are you listening??

Blas Elias approves this loop.
Blas Elias approves this loop.

Loop #43

This loop is actually a scientific experiment to see how many notes I could squeeze inside of one measure. Go ahead, try to write a song to it. I might need to add a new category called “ridiculous”. For now, this will reside under “wanking”.

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the Logic session here. (68MB)

Get the .wav file here.

115 BPM

ECM.

Recently I’ve been digging through my collection of albums on the ECM label. It’s been a refreshing change to the over-compressed (then compressed again to mp3) music that’s usually jammed into my eardrums throughout the day. ECM records tend to have a very distinct, clear and present sound that are particularly complimentary of cymbal work.

Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette

Several of my favorite drummers have recorded on albums produced and released by ECM. The two that have probably influenced my playing the most are Jack DeJohnette and Peter Erskine. I highly recommend checking out Jack’s work on the Keith Jarrett trio albums or Peter’s 1992 record, “You Never Know”.

Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine

Loop #32

Today’s loop is inspired by all of those great ECM recordings. It’s also a great opportunity to fine tune my overhead mics (and play fills over the bar line).

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the Logic session here. (98MB)

Get the .wav file here. (w/ keys)

Get the .wav file here. (without keys)

123 BPM

Wanking.

wank (wangk) Chiefly British Vulgar Slang
tr. & intr.v. wanked, wank·ing, wanks
As a noun, denoting a clever technique or person or the result of such cleverness. May describe (negatively) the act of drumming for drumming’s sake.

bozzio_205

Loop #31

Me. Wanking.

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the Logic session here. (92MB)

Get the .wav file here.

72 BPM