• drums

    Improvisational duet between drums and gen AI: Jo Jo Mayer Me/Machine

    Tuesday February 13, 2024
  • drums

    Make no mistake, Karen Carpenter was a master at playing drums

    Saturday February 10, 2024
  • drums

    Bending Time

    I’ve been messing around with my drums and mic setup and I think I’ve dialed in the sound how I want it. One of the things I’ve been practicing is taking a song with lots of space and introducing little snippets of tension in the time without losing the pulse. Super fun exercise, and when done right, downright musical (not saying I have achieved this). Here’s a snippet of the song “Eat the Elephant” by A Perfect Circle that I played my own drum interpretation over:

    Tuesday February 6, 2024
  • drums

    Japan’s Only Cymbal Manufacturer

    Such a lovely video. I often think about what I spend my day doing at work, it’s not a craft what I do (industry folks may disagree), this is pure craft.

    Wednesday January 31, 2024
  • drums

    Is That a Drum Studio in Your Pocket?

    It is bitterly cold today in central Nebraska. Wind chills of -38 degrees Fahrenheit to be precise. Absolutely gross. I could have chosen to binge watch a show or two in bed all day, instead I chose to play drums for 5-ish hours.

    During my teens, playing along for hours with headphones, to Pearl Jam or Nirvana was fun, but created a lot of fatigue due to shitty headphones, blasting the music way up to counter the loudness of the drums. As I resolved to pick up the drums again, I knew that not only protecting my hearing would be important, but also recording my playing to listen back on what I can improve on would be vital.

    I came across various YouTube drummers recording their videos and noticed their drums didn’t appear to be closely mic’d, in fact I couldn’t detect microphones at all. Reading some of their equipment descriptions led me to this crazy little product from Yamaha: the Yamaha EAD-10. It’s a little stereo microphone that attaches to your bass drum and connects to a brain/processing unit (the mic also can act as a trigger for your bass drum, and you can purchase separate triggers to attach to your snare, toms etc for added sound capabilities).

    This little device has been absolutely amazing. I can connect my smartphone or laptop to the brain and record audio from my drums in near studio quality.

    Here's what it looks like on my bass drum:

    bass drum with Yamaha EAD10 microphone attaced to the hoop

    Yamaha Companion App: Rec ‘N’ Share

    Yamaha has a companion smartphone app called Rec ‘n’ Share available in the App Store or Google Play Store. This app is what makes this equipment shine. The app is functional and fairly basic (certainly could use some better design touches) but it really makes it easy to either record your drums/practice session and organize them or load a track from your music library to play along to (it even has some ML features that can split the instruments of a track so you can mute them and record your parts into the track). Its main premise is to also record video from your phone as well as the drums track so you can share on YouTube (I have no intention of publishing on YouTube).

    My Practice Sessions

    I made a commitment to play at least one hour every day. Thankfully I have stuck to this since August when I got my drum studio set up. When I purchased this mic back in November of 2023, my sessions immediately increased to averaging several hours every day.

    Here’s a sample of a drum track. I literally started a new recording on my phone, the app gives me a countdown from when I press record, and I played for a few seconds then stopped the recording and shared the track via Airplay to my Mac (the app bounces the track to a .M4A file but I can also extract a .WAV).

    Here’s a sample of just the drums:

    Drums Only:

    And here’s an example where I stripped the drums with the app from a song I recorded with one of my old Seattle bands and recorded a new drum track to the original instruments:

    Box of Knives by Motorik:

    There literally is no step 3 to this! I plug in and press record and voila! I have been extremely happy with the results, and it allows me to analyze what areas to focus on if I’m in a practicing mindset, or just jam at all hours to my song library.

    15-year-old me would be truly amazed at what technology has enabled me to do musically, and this technology has brought back a joy that I haven’t felt since I was 15.

    Saturday January 13, 2024