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Client Story (Funk-Rock)

I was contacted by a guitarist & bassist looking to record some initial demos for a funk-rock band, with a view to eventually performing live. They sent me over some mp3s with the bass, guitar and vocal parts already recorded, and I got to work.

I used quite bright sounds on the kit; a nice sharp snare accent, a nice wet kick and quite bright cymbals to cut through the complex bass and guitar rhythms. I thought my initial efforts were a bit over-the-top really, as even with only 3 instruments there is already plenty going on rhythmically, so I did another few takes focusing on keeping a solid beat down and not getting carried away into dozens of extra notes.

The client was pleased enough with the demo tracks to say that they would use them on the band's initial website pages (including social media). Honestly it's a bit of a shame I don't have time to join something like this full-time as it would be right up my street - really good quality, fun music to get people movin…

Back for 2019!

Well it's been a long time since I last updated and posted on this blog. I've been busy, not primarily with music but life has caught up with me a bit.

I've been working on some personal projects - mainly experimenting with recording electronic drums and building a growing arsenal of sounds with my available technology.

I'm still advertising my availability for 'home recording' projects of any size - my goal is still the same - to get involved with a diverse collective of musicians and provide my input, particularly on recorded drum parts.

Goals for the next few months are to expand my client base and hopefully get some sample recordings online. Also to develop my experience in MIDI drum recordings.

Recording Stereo Drum Tracks

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In this post I will describe how I use a very simple method to record Stereo drum tracks from my Roland V-Drums into my laptop. There are many guides available online about how to do this kind of stuff but maybe this will be useful too! I won't go into all the technical terms - Google it.

Recording drums as a stereo track means you can't fiddle about too much with the recording afterwards. The individual drum sounds and velocities need to be set prior to recording. It is fairly easy to re-record individual parts (e.g. a fill that went wrong during the recording, or trying a different feel) using an overdub and clever cutting/pasting. If you want to mess around with quantising and changing the instrument sounds post-recording then it's necessary to use a MIDI recording technique and VSTs.
GearThe hardware I use is as follows:
- Roland TD-15 V-Drums
- stereo jack cable
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface (+ USB cable to laptop)
- laptop running Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)…

Client Story (March 2017)

I was recently contacted by a client looking to add some drum tracks to a few demo songs. I was sent some high-quality mp3s and given the opportunity to listen and add something appropriate.

The tracks are original compositions with a kind of country/folk feel to them, but I think the ultimate aim would be to take them in a slightly different direction with a bit more energy and a more 'involved' drumming style.

After a few listens I recorded a quick playalong using my personal 'default' kit which I built from sounds in the TD-15 brain, and then started working on finding the right drum sounds for the tracks. Given the genre and guitar sounds involved on the mp3s I was sent, I've gone for quite dry and dark-sounding cymbals, with larger-sounding drums tuned fairly low. After recording a few takes I found a way to let the drums stay out of the way of the songwriting and delicate guitar playing, but still drive the songs along with more rhythm.

I sent some initial takes…

My Gear

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Here's a quick overview of my recording setup. This will give you an idea of how easy it is for me to put a drum track together - much easier than carting round a whole drum kit and acoustic recording rig.


The DrumsThe most important part of my setup is obviously the drums themselves. I use a Roland TD15-KV V-Drum kit which is just fantastic. The feel is great, the sounds are natural and it has the flexibility to provide Stereo Aux Jack and MIDI connectivity.




Audio InterfaceFor Stereo recording I use a Scarlett 2i2 interface to connect the V-Drums to my laptop. For MIDI recording I wouldn't use this as the V-Drums have their own direct MIDI connectivity. I also use the Audio Interface if I'm recording bass, guitar or keys.

The box on top of the interface is just a cheap amplifier I bought for my speakers.




Laptop & DAW SoftwareMy laptop is nothing overly special - it is a very standard HP Envy laptop running Windows 10 on 12Gb of RAM. This setup is all about keeping costs d…

PDC Drums

For a long time I have loved getting involved with all kinds of genres and projects. I have a passion for recording and love that first take where everything comes together and the track just sounds great.

There seem to be many requests out there on the internet where people are looking for drum tracks to add to existing projects. It is not easy to cart a whole drum kit and recording equipment to a location which acoustically-viable and quiet enough to get a clean recording...and then the drums might not even sound right. It can take ages to perfect the art of acoustic home recordings. And the alternative - buying some sophisticated drum software - can be very expensive.

I am currently not attached to a full-time band so I have turned my focus back to recording. I have an electronic recording set up which means I can provide cost-effective drum tracks very quickly. And the flexibility of the setup means I can tweak, re-record and polish tracks on the fly, allowing me to quickly produce …