Good show alert.

If you live in the Boston area, then I suggest that you head out to Harper’s Ferry tonight and catch Ivan Neville’s band, Dumpstaphunk. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend seeing a band spelled with a “ph”, but this is definitely an exception. They’re about as funky as you can get and Harper’s is a great venue to see a show.

Ivan Neville
Ivan Neville

Be sure to get there early. My old friend (and former bandmate), Jonah Smith, is opening things up. He might be a white, Jewish kid from Syracuse, but he’s got more than enough soul to be hanging with a Neville.

Jonah Smith
Jonah Smith

If you see me in the crowd, come over and say hi. Or better yet, buy me a drink. I won’t be hard to miss.

Suggestions?

A lot of things have changed around here since I started the blog almost two months ago. I wasn’t really sure how it was going to turn out or what direction I was going in. I just knew that I wanted to record a loop a day (almost) and give it away for free.

In the beginning, I was just zipping up the Logic sessions and including the mp3 preview. As word started to spread across the blogosphere about some idiot who was giving away his drum tracks, my inbox started to fill up and the suggestions started to pour in. The people spoke. I listened. And I made the following additions:

– Including .wav files in addition to the Logic sessions
– Categorizing loops by both tempo and style
– Including the tempo in the file names to make browsing downloaded files easier

suggestion

What else would help make this the best and only drum loop blog on the internets? I’m currently working on some other features which I hope to have sorted out in the near future:

– Transcriptions
– A “Gruss Cam” in the studio (no funny business… unless you want to start paying me)
– SNIFTI (digital smell)

Suggestions?? Bring it.

Drum Transcription… revisited.

Last week I posed the question:

Is there any software available than can convert and transcribe audio files (specifically drums) into notated music?”

honset-bum

Many of you were kind enough to reply and suggest a variety of options. Ronnie listed several products on the market, Graham provided a possible solution in Logic, and Grant even started to code some software from scratch!

Well, I finally got around to testing this out and I decided try the “Audio to Score” feature in Logic suggested by Graham. Since I constantly work in Logic, I figured the ideal situation would be using something native to my DAW.

I fired up Logic, dragged in a .wav file of this loop, crossed my fingers and processed the audio into notation. Here are the results:

Original Loop:
[audio:161_grohl.mp3]

Logic’s “Audio to Score” transcription:

Logic Audio to Score

As you can see, the results are far from 100% accurate, but it was able to pick up on a few things (like the fill at the end). It threw in some extra sixteenth notes and didn’t pick up on all of the eighth note kick drum hits. The biggest issue seems to be when it comes to identifying polyphonic areas (ie. when the kick and hi hats are playing at the same time). Logic’s conversion software seems to only latch on to one percussive “voice” at a time.

I wanted to share my results with you and keep the dialogue going. Has anyone else had experience with this type of software… or can you suggest some other possible solutions? I would love to provide transcriptions of all of my loops but the lazy bum inside of me would hate to manually write them out everyday.

Transcription Software

I’ve been receiving a lot of request for transcriptions of my various drum loops. While I’d love to include this extra tidbit of info on my blog, it can be a rather time consuming process (especially for any of the beats filed under “wanking”).

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Is anyone aware of some amazing software (freeware?) on the market that can handle this task? Something that can spit out drum transcriptions in a matter of seconds just by supplying the tempo, time signature and an audio track.

Audio to text conversion has been available for a few years. What about something for us musicians (and drummers)? Ronnie? Peter?? Oliver??? Beuller????

No click for Lars.

larsulrich1

Music Machinery gets my vote for blog post of the week. Paul devised a “click track” detector which basically identifies who is and isn’t playing to a click on a variety of hit songs (with graphs and everything). Music and technology geekery to the fullest. I love it.

I’ve always been curious about which drummers use a click track and which don’t, so I thought it might be fun to try to build a click track detector using the Echo Nest remix SDK ( remix is a Python library that allows you to analyze and manipulate music)”.

Looks like Lars needs a red bull.
Looks like Lars needs a red bull.

Take it from Matt.

Today I received an email from someone I haven’t seen or talked to in almost nine years. Matt Fordham, an old friend from my Berklee days, had stumbled across my blog and sent me a note to say hi and check in. We had played a few gigs together while we were in school, but after graduation we both moved from Boston and lost touch with each other.

Matt Fordham
Matt Fordham

It turns out Matt now lives in Seattle where he makes his living in both music production and interactive design. He’s a talented guitar player, top-notch audio engineer, and a cool guy to boot. Other than proving that I actually had friends in college, the thing I really wanted to share with you is Matt’s EXCELLENT blog on music production:

recordready.com

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Matt is a Pro Tools guy and shares a wealth of knowledge that is useful on any DAW platform. He presents his tutorials in video format and clearly explains all of the tricks and techniques that will make your mixes come to life. My favorite is his series on creative gating. In part one, he actually shows you how to trigger the brown note from a kick drum. I shit you not.

If you’re downloading my Logic sessions, or just working with your own mixes, you need to run (not walk) over to Matt’s blog. It’s the best production tutorial I’ve seen, and I’m not just saying that because I still owe Matt money from those gigs 9 years ago.

Wave files for everyone!

I've got your wave file right here...
I've got your wave files right here...


I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for .wav files from all of you non-Logic people. In an effort to make these loops compatible with all DAWs, I will now include a stereo mixdown of every loop in .wav format. Look for the .wav download link at the bottom of each post. I started with yesterday’s loop and will try to go back retroactively and update the rest. Keep the suggestions and comments coming!

-RG