December 29, 2003

One Day, Twelve Tracks  [ Edit ] 

I just got back from the one and only day of drumset recording for Lis Harvey’s upcoming album. We had a day and a half in which to work, and we pulled the important parts off in one day.

There are twelve tracks on the album, all of which have some element of drumset, some of which have electronic drums. I’ve spent most of the last three or four weeks programming drumset outlines and final electronic beats for the album. Some are nothing but practice tools, to be thrown out after Lis lays down her scratch vocal and guitar tracks (which are also done). The other will be used in various places.

Nothing I’ve done, in and of itself, is particular challenging. The challenge has been getting all of it completely done in the incredibly short timeframe we’ve had. Following today, it seems absurdly possible that Lis may have most of a record done when she finishes in nine days (or so).

The working relationship was very easy. Duncan Watt is the producer of the album, and we’re recording at his home studio. Originally we were going to record the drums at his home studio, then we were going to use an outside studio, but we finally did. I don’t think we would have been able to finish all this stuff if we hadn’t been at his house.

I played a huge Sonor drumset (I only used four pieces, but each weighed 85 pounds), signature series, with a couple different snare drums, and some Sabian cymbals. It was definitely not my usual setup or sound, but I like the experience of trying out different instruments. Sonor drums are renowned for their weight and thickness — to get a good sound from them, you have to hit harder than you would with thinner drums like mine. They seemed to record well.

Tomorrow we’ll be working on hand percussion. I have my bodhran, and a new doumbek that was a Christmas present from my brother, a mean drummer in his own right. Combined with DW’s resources, we should have a pretty fun day tomorrow. I’m going to write down some of the gear we’ve been using, with whatever comments I can get out of DW about it.

I was up at 4:30 AM to drop off my wife and brother at the airport, so I should really be getting to bed. Good idea.

Posted by Joe | TrackBack
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