The Grinder

After putting my stomach and liver through “The Grinder” (aka Thanksgiving), I figured it would only be fair to do the same with my loops. Digging into some of the other new features in Logic 9, I discovered just what I was looking for: a virtual distortion pedal appropriately named “Grinder”.

Freshly Ground Beats
Freshly Ground Beats

Loop #110

Today’s loop takes what was once a pristinely recorded, 16th note-heavy funk groove and runs it through the digital equivalent of something you’d find behind your local meat counter. Pending any FDA recalls, this loop should be safe to consume, as long as it’s stored in a cool area and cooked thoroughly before serving.

Preview Here:

[audio:109_thegrinder.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

109 BPM

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.

Preview Here:

[audio:82_slippery.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

82 BPM

Tip of the day

Via synthopia.com:

Special Secret Groove Sauce: Gruss’s RSS feed has MP3 enclosures – which means it’s a podcast and you can subscribe to it with iTunes and get the free loops delivered to your ears automatically.

In iTunes, navigate to Advanced – Subscribe to Podcast and paste in his feed URL: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ryangrusscom

Feed me loops
Feed me loops

Note I had no idea this was possible but I think it’s awesome. It turns out the files delivered to your iTunes library are the full-blown 48khz WAV files… not just the MP3 previews. Subscribe via RSS now and start automatically stocking up on the free goods!

Save the Beat

I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing tired, canned dance beats. I don’t even like dance music. But if I have to hear it while out in public, away from the safe confines of my iPod, I might as well try to improve the quality of the drum sounds. The world has been overrun by shitty producers with their 808 samples and re-mixed Ableton Live schlock. And don’t even get me started about the kitten DJs who spin said schlock.

Stop the madness.
Stop the madness.

Loop #108

How does one try to come up with fresh sounding dance loops? Start with something that sounds nothing like a cliché electronica beat. In this case, it’s using brushes to lay down the groove. Chopped up with a touch of gating, peppered with some growly floor toms and sautéd in some extra trashy hi hats, I give you my first dance loop intended to make this genre a little more palatable (especially when served alongside a $14 gin and tonic made by someone like this).

Preview Here:

[audio:118_brushparty.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

118 BPM

Request #2 – Mellow Acoustic

Loop #107

Here’s my loop response from the following request:

“I’d like something that can go behind a slow acoustic guitar without taking over.”

Brushes - Russ Kunkel Style
Brushes - Russ Kunkel Style

I immediately thought of Russ Kunkel’s brush-ballad playing from those early 1970’s James Taylor records. I tuned the snare down nice and low, kept the groove nice and simple and rounded things out with a bit of reverb.

Preview Here:

[audio:70_mellow.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

70 BPM

Request #1 – Dubstep

Loop #106

For today’s first loop request, I make my foray into the grimey world of Dubstep. A half time feel with some extra thick bass and a crunchy, gated snare, it sits right in the 139 BPM sweet spot of your garage. I’ll be including the rest of the loops from this session in Volume 7.

DUBSTEPteeeeazk

Preview Here:

[audio:139_DubStepB.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

139 BPM

Taking Requests

I’ve decided to try a little experiment today. I’m going to lock myself in my studio, with nothing but Logic 9 and my Twitter feed running, taking loop requests and producing/posting them live, every hour. It all starts at 2pm EST. Just tweet your request to @ryangruss with #looprequest in the message. Name any style, tempo, genre, artist etc. Anything goes. Polka to punk. Yanni to Yngwie. Let’s do this.

You think I'm joking, but I'm not.
You think I'm joking, but I'm not.

Tweaking

Maybe that fourth cup of coffee was a bad idea? Today’s caffeine overdose has pushed me to the limit, causing my palms to sweat, my heart to palpitate and my drumming to be completely obnoxious.

My Target Audience
Today's Target Audience

Loop #105

A two measure loop with enough ghost notes to fill eight measures, this groove is short on restraint and heavy on bass. Get your glow sticks and lollipops out, the kids are going to love this one.

Preview Here:

[audio:144_2muchcoffee5.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

144 BPM

Let Me Tell You About Chach

Every winter, when I travel home to West Des Moines, Iowa to celebrate Christmas with my family, I also take part in a “reunion concert” of sorts with some old friends from high school. Fourteen years ago, just before packing up my bags and heading to Berklee, I teamed up with some other members of my high school jazz band to find a way to get into bars without a fake ID. The solution? Start a funk band. And give it a really bad name.

At first we were called Pushin’ Chunky. Then we were D.I.M. (Drunkards In Motion). Several years ago, we somehow transitioned into the rather unfortunate moniker, Chach. Our name may change a lot, but the set list never really does. Stocked full of quintessential bar-funk-soul-r&b-band standards such as Sex Machine, Superstition, Everybody’s Everything and Pass The Peas, it’s three hours of music that we can pull off on an annual basis… without a single rehearsal. Consistent? Yes. Tight? Eh. Tight enough.

Chach - Circa '95 - Excuse the shirts.
Chach - Circa '95 - Excuse the shirts.

Loop #104

In preparation for this year’s Chach-fest, I’ve been brushing up on the ‘ol funk chops. Today’s loop is one of the many Kenwood-esque grooves that will be making the annual appearance down on Court Avenue. Two measures, some swung sixteenth notes and an open hi hat on the “one”. It’s what the best bar bands are made of. And yes, it looks like I finally quit the drum replacer habit.

Preview Here:

[audio:95_ChachB.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

95 BPM

Happy 11/11!

As a card carrying member of The CAC, I feel as if it is my duty to wish you all a happy 11/11! And if you live within a 111 mile radius of NYC, I hope you will be attending the big event tonight.

CAC_11_11_09_invite_v4

In honor of such a grand occasion, I figured I would link back to my 111 BPM loop. The first and last loop I’ll ever play at that tempo. Hail the wale! Hail the wale!