Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Drums and Vocals

These screen shots are what I look at when I'm recording the OilCan Drive music. I'm recording through a Line 6 Toneport external box using a program called "Gear Box." This is what Gear Box looks like. Using some of the external pedals I showed off a while ago, this makes up the technical side of what I'm recording the bass, guitar, vocals, and drums through.

So, last week, using the new pedals I made quick work of the guitar and bass parts of a new song. All that was left was to do the drum recording and the vocals and I'd have a whole new song done and in the can. I had a few things to do but I figured on Tuesday I could find some free time and maybe record the drums for not only the new song but one other as well and, if I was lucky, get the vocals done too.

Little did I know how long it would take to dial in the right drums sounds on my Roland Electric Drum Kit.

What I thought might take a half an hour to get right ended up taking four days.

The good and bad thing about the Roland kit is how much you can tweak it to get different sounds. Not only can you get a decent kit, you can change snares, toms, and kick drums to make a custom kit. Then you can go in and tell it that the snare is only 6" deep, not 9", is made of wood, not brass, and has some tape on it to help mute it. You can do this to every drum on the kit.

Think you're done there? Nope.

When you finally get your kit done and programmed in you can then go and choose what type of room you're recording in. Is it large, small, tiny? Is it made of wood, plaster, or glass? And where are the microphones? Are they above the kit or below the kit next to the kick drum?

All of this had to be figured out and listened to over and over again. What I was trying to do is make it sound as close as possible that the drums were being recorded in the same type of room that the guitar and bass had already been recorded in. I wanted it to all sound like it matched.

So, being the only one here recording, I would hit play on the computer, run into the other room, jump behind the drum kit, play along with the song, end the song, run back in the other room, hit stop on the recording, and then listen to what it sounded like. If it wasn't right I'd go into the drum room, tweak the drum sounds a bit, and do the whole thing over again.

So, yeah, four days.

But, I think I've got it all dialed in and it should be easy to record these parts. Of course, I say that now. I might just sit behind the drum kit to record the song today and decided it still all sounds wrong. We'll see.

I don't know if any of this stuff makes any sense but if you happened to have seen me last week and I looked a little crazy at least you now know why.

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