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Re: Drum MACHINES
chuck wrote, among other things:
"> I'd just like to thank you for your inspired and intelligent
> thoughts. As a trained musician, I looked down on 'Techno' and for
> I resisted the technology. About a year ago out of curiosity I bought
> Reason. Now have thousands and thousands of dollars tied up in this
> powerful musical venue.
What a sweet letter, Chuck. Thank you very much for the
You seriously brought an appreciative
smile to my face and made my day, today.
I have a similar story. I have been a professional gigging/touring and
session percussionist/drummer for a very long time
and, started seriously loopoing digitally in 1995 and, right at the cusp
the millenium change I invested in a computer music making studio
(PC based) and just threw myself into making electronic music.
I just became obsessed about it all, from live looping to computer
assisted sound design and composition.
The ability to sculpt musical sound and found objects in the computer is
just unending and for
a while I considered myself as much of a Timbralist as a Rhythmatist (as
always thought of myself in years prior).
I almost completely quit drumming at that time................really only
frame drumming for several years and only playing percussion or trapset
when I was paid a lot of money to do it in recording sessions or short
(or during drum
lessons which I continued to teach).
After a 7 year immersion in that world, I suddenly finding myself
to the world of acoustic music
with brand new ears.
I've recently fallen in love with my first great love, the drumset and I
have been learning as much as I can
about trumpet, fretless bass and a whole host of zither styled instruments
When Woodstockhausen was lamentably rained out, I found myself with a day
off for the first time in the longest
time (I"m my own boss and it's tough for me to walk away from the office
it's my house).
I spent an entire evening tuning my Autoharp, my Bowed Psaltery and my
Marxaphone (the latter to a favorite
Indian Rag: Bhairav ---- 1, b2, nat3, 4, 5, b6, nat 7, 8va) and I've
moving my new acoustic Shertler convertable pickup from instrument to
All wonderfully acoustic, but I've been throwing it through stomp box
pedals and can't wait to record some so
I can get all those juicy Cycling 74 Hipno and Pluggo plugins going on the
I've also found that I really enjoy trying to make acoustic instruments
sound electronic with acoustic methods instead of
I've even started working on an idea I've had for a long time: an all
acoustic drumset that sounds as if it was an electronic
drumset. I figured that so many people are trying to make electronics
sound 'real', 'organic' or like acoustic instruments
so I'd go in the exact opposite direction.
I've been buying really strange one of a kind proprietary effects cymbals
NAMM and the PASIC convention, where the manufacturers
trot out their latest R&D exercises hoping that the notoriously
drumset world will go for these new ideas.
They rarely do go for it, so they always sell these prototypes on the last
afternoon of these conventions.
I've amassed a really cool collection of smallish (13" and under) cymbals
that sound as if they have processing on them.
My wife the other day discovered all these cool sounds that you can make
holding a small Revere ware cooking pot lid
and hitting it's wooden handle. We got at least three sounds that are
remarkably similar to Roland TR-808 sounds.
Additionally, I've been treating drums and cymbals by putting different
kinds of chains and pieces of metal on them to cause
what I call 'acoustic distortion'.
I have a little rack that holds three little custom fiberglass tom toms
I converted to 6", 8", and 10" 'Jungle' snare drums.
I play these with little teeny 10" meinl hi hat cymbals that sound like
are normal hi hats pitched up on a sampler with a
little 14" Pure cussion flat drum, tuned low with thick black naugahyde
glued to both sides and kluged to an LP Gajate
cowbell footpedal bracket. This left side of my drumset is tuned to
sound like a breakbeat drumset pitched up
from 120 BPM in a sampler to 160 BPM. The right side of the drumset has
two terrible and very low pitched 16" 1960's
Japanese crash cymbals (when the Japanese made truly terrible
cymbals...........which I have grown to love because they are
so idiosyncratic sounding) put together loosely like hi hats. The
drum is a huge 14" X 16" kick drum (ala Bonham)
tuned really, really low and flabby........the snare is a really deep 8" X
14" Ludwig Coliseum snare drum that I have tuned
very low and with really loose snares. This side of the drumset is the
same drumset tuned down an octave so
that I have my double speed "JUNGLE" kit and a half speed "TRIP HOP"
The whole thing takes up very little space (just a little larger than a
typical 4 piece drumset) and sounds cool.
Now if I could just get some looping gigs where they'll let me set up for