Tagged: Reverb

Slippery When Wet

No, not the Bon Jovi album. The room sound.

My current drum tracking room is on the smaller side. While its modest dimensions provide certain sonic benefits (tons of attack, very focused etc), it can also make it difficult to naturally get the big and wet, Hit Factory Studio 1 type vibe on my drum tracks.

This is when I often turn to my good friend, the space designer. With a few tweaks of the decay time and EQ (the presets can be a little much), this plugin instantly transforms my 12’x12′ drum room into anything from a cathedral to a warehouse. Used sparingly, it allows me to leverage the punchiness of my tracking room while mixing in a hint of MSG.

No Jovi for you.
No Jovi for you.

Loop #109

I know you were hoping for a Livin’ on a Prayer-type loop when you saw the title of my post. So sorry to disappoint. My can of Aqua Net ran out just as I was getting ready for the session. Instead I give you a two bar loop that’s low on chlorofluorocarbons and big on reverb.

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82 BPM

When The Reverb Breaks

Loop #98

Fu Manchu Not Included
Fu Manchu Not Included

I’ll admit, I started off today’s recording session with a rather uninspired wank-fest. Not really sure about what to play, I inevitably ended up doing some mathematical-fusion-funk-jazz grooves that only Kenwood would appreciate. Then I discovered a new reverb plugin. A plugin so magical, it inspired me to play a plethora of 70’s, heavy duty, straight up rock beats. The kind of drum grooves that make you want to do disturbing/illegal things with mud sharks.

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70 BPM

The Art of the Power Ballad

It’s almost as if it were a sign from God. I was driving around earlier today, trying to think of something interesting to record and desperately scanning the FM dial for some inspiration. Then, out of nowhere, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Well, a ton of bricks drenched in obscene amounts of reverb.

Tommy Aldridge - Reverb and Aqua Net
Tommy Aldridge - Reverb and Aqua Net

“Is This Love” by Whitesnake. One of the penultimate power ballads of the 80’s, this particular track took “big drum sounds” to another level. I mean, just listen to that snare drum! I remember being 10 years old, sitting in my bedroom, trying to make my Ludwig Acrolite sound like that. Why wouldn’t it decay for twelve seconds after I hit it?? Did I need special heads? Finally, two decades later, armed with a bunch of mics and a plethora of plugins, I set out to achieve the Tommy Aldridge sound that had eluded me in my childhood.

Loop #84

For today’s loop, I set my kit up in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, taking advantage of it’s natural “big room sound”. I also placed a few ambient mics (wireless, of course) on two nearby satellites to help capture the overall “vibe”. All the while, a scantily clad Tawny Kitaen frolicked on top of my two 24″ kick drums. Just another day in the studio.

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74 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.

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74 BPM