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:123_BuiltByDelay.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

123 BPM

In The Toms Tonight

Loop #136

While I might not use single-headed toms with Pinstripes (I stick to the coated Ambassadors), one two three things that Phil Collins and I have in common is our love for Gretsch drums…. and gated reverb. Lots of gated reverb. Also, coincidentally enough, we both have major butt-chins.

With the toms on my bebop-sized kit (18″ kick, 12″ tom & 14″ floor tom) cranked up high, this four bar loop is a somewhat hypnotic, tribal pattern ending with four 16th note flams on the snare (with the strainer turned off).

Phil Collins
[audio:90_TomsTonight.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

90 BPM

My John Hughes Tribute

All day long, I’ve been reading news articles and blogs about the untimely death of legendary movie director and writer, John Hughes. Rather than write my own post about how much his movies influenced my early life (along with my entire generation), I decided to honor him musically.

The Donger need loops
The Donger need loops

Loop #87

I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to the man responsible for movies such as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club than some full on 80’s loops. In order to achieve this classic, Reagan-era drum sound, I decided to go for a heavily gated-reverb effect on both the kick and snare. I also drank an entire case of New Coke during the recording session. Throw in some Simple Minds, Mel Gaynor type patterns and you’ve got yourself a soundtrack to a party that could only end like this:

geek1

Preview Here:

[audio:106_totally80s.mp3]

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

106 BPM