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Let the Drummer Play!

So now that I've got a rough idea for this senior project, which I'm definitely turning into a regular thing. I've always wanted to give back specifically to the music industry and I have already been teaching music to kids of all ages and even some adults.

I've had the pleasure to work at the same company that taught me what I know on the piano which eventually led me to my own pursuits in electronic music composition with such DAWS like FL Studio, Propellerhead's Reason Studios, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, and even Cubase and Nuendo for a short time. This extension to my musical journey made me fall in love with the music production process and later on with the editing, mixing/mastering, and distributing among other facets in the music industry.

So first we need drums! I first thought I would create alongside and then eventually mesh together, but I saw beauty in letting the musicians I'm incorporating into this project naturally feed off each other. So what was I to record and who?

Well, I got ahold of the drummer for Mo Jo Flo who I've known since high school and was a part of the same drum squadron in marching band. Greg Owens and I both got a start in music at a young age and have done a number of tracks with local artists and some across the country. He's a beast on the drums so I knew he'd set the tone. I just recently linked up with him in the knick of time and was able to record about half an hour of material that was plenty to start with. The plan was to get one-shots of every piece of his set, some fills, and loops of him playing different styles at various tempos.

At first, I was going to have him lock-in at certain tempos, but to get a more edgy and natural feel, I let him record with no bpm, and then I would include the closest tempo that he is at as a drummer. Based on the feedback I get, I can easily stretch the loops either up or down to the nearest bpm without any audible artifacts.

So I had him record two takes with the first lasting about 9 minutes and the second lasting around 6 minutes at 96k and 24 bits. (Will update with exactly what interface). We also had a session where he went and hit each drum ranging from 15-30+ times as well as a session that has a bunch of fills to all be chopped up and organized and labeled eventually with creative but descriptive names and metadata that will help make searching easier.

Greg's timing is really impeccable and it was awesome because I really didn't have to control or advise too much. He's a professional drummer who's sponsored so naturally he just would give me anywhere from 2-4 bars of a certain rhythm/style/feel/tempo and then switch up to something else. He transferred the files to me and I began getting to divide them up by finding the nearest bpm. This was in hopes to keep intact his natural sense of drumming often with live drums you want things to not exactly always be all the way on the beat. You may want to be behind the beat or ahead of it but things can still logically keep looping perfectly.

Stay tuned for the next update with a couple videos from the session and me making the ugly face that naturally tends to appear from time to time when I hear great music 😬


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