Nov 19, 2009
The other night it was a group affair as everyone pitched in and built a Frankenstein drum kit for Ra Ra Riot's drummer Gabriel Duquette to play on a track called "Massachusetts". We threw up 8" and 10" Pearl Masters Retrospec toms that I tuned to resemble high-pitched Octobans. We put a cymbal on one floor tom and on the other, engineer/co-producer Andrew Maury put coins and other noisy bits which were prevented from flying off the drum by ingeniously taping a shirt over half the head. I attached 42 strand snares to the resonant head of the kick drum and we put another kick drum on it's side. We stacked cymbals on other cymbals, stuck a skewered soda can filled with change on the hi hat and threw in a cowbell for good measure. Good sport Gabe donned a hot pink duct tape head band for the occasion. 18 mics later the kit was committed to digits for posterity and you can hear it all when the record comes out. Good times...
Nov 17, 2009
Still tracking drums for Ra Ra Riot's new record. Most of the big differences as far as drum sounds have been leaning towards low-pitched snare sounds. At a recent clinic, British drum great Dave Mattacks talked about de-tuning the few top tension rods closest to the drummer on the snare which helps drop the pitch, remove some overtones, and fatten the sound. I've been implementing this a bit because engineers and producers have been requesting a deeper, fatter dampened snare sound quite a bit lately and frankly it's not something I have had a lot of experience with. Yesterday for example, we used the 14x6.5" 7-ply maple Yamaha Sensitive Series snare tensioned very slack for a great fat 70s sound. Today I pulled out my Pearl Steve Ferrone 14x6.5" brass snare and tuned it to "E" to complement the key of the song.
I'm really enjoying working at Black Dog Recording Studio. The stu-stu-studio is situated in beautiful horse country of eastern New York near Saratoga Springs, far from the madding crowd. This is the very first session at Black Dog and I gotta say I'm impressed by the way the drums sound in the main room. There's a nice 70s Sphere Eclipse console, a good selection of mics, as well as a really sweet Pearl Masters Retrospec house kit. There's always kinks to work out in any new studio but manager/house engineer Dan Vidali made sure the place was running smoothly when we got here. If you're looking for an high quality, affordable destination location in the Northeast for your next recording, give the place a call.
Nov 16, 2009
Started work last night with the fine folks of Ra Ra Riot and their talented drummer Gabriel Duquette at the brand spanking new Black Dog Recording Studio in upstate NY. Had a chance to use the beautiful maple snare drum by Italian maker Le Soprano that my friend Jerome Deupree gave me a few weeks ago. Also radically de-tuned the Yamaha Sensitive and gave it a controlled snare decay for a cool effect. More later...