While I’ve been able to mix and edit in my studio since I moved in, today was the first day that my kit was mic’d up and ready to record. I’m actually set up in a temporary room inside of my house (my wife loves this) while I figure out how I’m going to wire up and properly soundproof the carriage house. Are there any electricians in the New England area who will work for beats?
My current tracking room is much livelier than the one I was in prior to the move. With lower ceilings and hard wood floors, it’s a lot LOUDER and brighter than its predecessor. Over the next few days, I’m going to focus on taming some of the harsher frequencies and acoustically tuning the space. Until then, it’s great for laying down grooves that are supposed to sound raucous and dirty.
Today’s loop pays homage to “Check Your Head” era Beastie Boys. I opened up the snare and went for the ringiest sound possible while depending heavily on ambient room mics to capture the entire kit. During the mix, I took the stereo drum bus and used a pitch shifter to lower the overall loop by four semitones. This really beefed up (I promise to never used that adjective again) the sound of the groove while retaining the original tempo and feel.
Ever since the infamous SNL skit featuring Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell aired on April 8, 2000, drummers around the world have been forced to endure countless “more cowbell” jokes. Every time you even think about overdubbing some cowbell on a pop song or including it into a latin groove, you can guarantee a slew of tired punchlines and horrible impressions from those around you.
For me, it got so bad that I stopped using a cowbell all together. It just wasn’t worth it. What was once a staple in every drummer’s sonic arsenal, quickly became nothing but a comical cliché
I might be a white kid from Iowa, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get down with some hip hop. As I’ve mentioned before, groups like RUN-D.M.C. and The Beastie Boys played a significant role in my musical development. Due to the fact that many hip hop beats are sampled from some of the funkiest albums ever recorded, playing along with these tracks is a great practice tool for drummers. Repeating the same one measure groove, over and over, without any fills, while keeping it in the pocket, sounds simple…. until you try it.
Today’s loop is inspired by the production and feel that Jurassic 5 captures on this album. I fuzzed things up a bit and tried to emulate the warm, punchy sound of an old, vinyl record. I also grilled up some burgers and prepared them “animal style” to get in a West Coast frame of mind.