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Tricked Out Tuesdays

Today's loop was inspired by the drum set up I used on Sunday at Emmaus Way.  I used my Remo 14" Djembe, but put a Rhythm Tech "Active Snare" on top of the drum, affixing it with two bungee cords twisted around the backside of the drum.  The  Rhythm Tech Snare makes the drum buzz a bit, plus it muffles out some of the "ringing" of the drum. 

Side Note:  I got this idea from seeing Jay Bellerose play with Paula Cole so many years ago - and then when I actually did meet him (he and Paula came out to a Sixpence show once in LA - and Sixpence played a show or two with Paula) he showed me exactly how he had devised his setup - (short version:  it involved nuts, and washers, some metal brackets and a couple of springs...I made a detailed drawing...maybe I'll post that one of these days if I can find it...). 

I mic'ed the setup with a Beta 52 for the low end off of the Djembe, and used an Earthworks SR20 for the top of the drum and the bongo part.  Oh, and I almost forgot - there is a "guiro" part that I'm playing with an old pair of Vic Firth "dreadlocks." I love using those sticks/brushes for percussion elements like this. That part is also being recorded by the Earthworks mic.

There are two loops again this week.  The first one is just the main pattern (and there is a small drum fill at the end).  The second loop adds a bongo pattern.  Both loops are 8 bars long, at 81bpm, so there is plenty of space to slice this beat up, if you don't want to include the drum fill I did in bar 8.  Again, if you'd like the individual tracks - just let me know and I can email them to you.

Here you go:

November 24 Loop of the Day : Dbd 81bpm djembe buzz no bongo

November 24 Loop of the Day : Download Dbd 81bpm djembe buzz WITH bongo

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Bass Drum Beater: Felt, Wood, Plastic, MUPPET?

I've been enjoying the music of this band PomplaMoose, and their videos on YouTube.  I especially enjoy their cover of this Earth Wind and Fire song.  I'm inspired to go purchase my own "muppet" to use on my next recording session - this is a great idea.  I can't wait to try it out - Anyway - enjoy the video and have a great week!

What I did this weekend:

First off the weekend started with a bit of a let down.  Earlier this Fall I applied for an Artist Grant through our local Arts Guild, and was SO SURE I'd be the recipient of some grant money that would provide some needed funds for equipment, maintenance, and the start of a solo project, but it was not to be.  I received my "rejection" letter on Friday.  Thankfully, I had some busy days ahead to keep my mind off of the rejection and keep me moving forward doing work I love.  Here's a brief synopsis of what my weekend looked like:

Saturday was spent recording with the Philips Sisters down at a lovely home studio in Wake Forest, after the session I taught a couple of drum lessons here at my home studio, and then rehearsed with Thad Cockrell and his band for a show next weekend at the Pour House in Raleigh.

Sunday morning, I played at the Chapel Hill Bible Church, and saw the spirit of God move over the congregation and the worship band...man it was pretty intense. The congregation was asked to come up front and stand near the platform and sing together for the last hymn.  It was such a powerful moment and ended with many of us in tears...It was so neat to hear so many voices joined together like that - and so close.  Usually the space between the platform and the congregation is so far that I can't tell if the congregation are singing, but with them up close - it made for a pretty intense ending to a wonderful morning of worship.

After church, I taught a couple of drum lessons, and then headed off to Emmaus Way for an evening service there.  Christa Wells was sitting in tonight which was a treat!  I'm looking forward to hearing the podcast on Wednesday when it gets posted over on the Emmaus Way site.  Christa sounded great, and I thought our little "band" (Wade on vocals/ acoustic/ bass, Justin on electric guitar, me on drums) supported her well, though we only played one of her songs.  The rest of the songs were ones we had done before by EastMountainSouth, Sarah Groves and Maria Mckee.  Christa joined in on these as well, adding keyboard rhythm and pads along with some wonderful vocals.   I changed up my drum kit set up a little bit tonight - using a Djembe with an attached snare contraption (ala Jay Bellerose), that I could switch off and on depending on if I wanted the Djembe to sound like a "snare" or just a regular hand drum.  I liked the sound a bunch and to feature it on one of my "Tricked Out Tuesdays" drum loop posts.

I was telling a few people early today that my experience at the Bible Church was one of those, "you should have been there" moments...rare and unrehearsed where a lot of cool things just happen.  It was pretty remarkable, and it felt as if God was in our midst.  There were moments like that tonight at Emmaus Way too.  I really thought tonight's set was one of our most powerful nights of music at Eway...and I'm glad I was "lucky" enough to be a part of both of these services today!

Tomorrow, I'll be teaching my usual lessons and then later on rehearsing with Luego for our show in Charlotte, on Dec. 4th.  This will be my first time playing with Luego, and I'm looking forward to it!

I'm really thankful for all the opportunities I get to play music.  I don't take any of this lightly.  Creating, playing and collaborating with others, in other words - making music - is something I treasure so much.  It's been a busy weekend, and I've got a couple of busy weeks coming up - but I'm so thankful for the work, and the joy that I experience working with so many talented folks. 

As always, I'm on the lookout for more opportunities to make music...why don't you contact me about your next project?  I'd love to help you out howvever I can.  Oh, and if you haven't tried leaving me a message using Google Voice - give it a try...just follow the directions below!

I'm digging the new look for Typepad...

Tricked Out Tuesdays

Today I've posted a couple of Tambourine Loops.  One with an 8th note feel and the other with the typical 16th feel to it.  Both have a back beat on 2 and 4.  The tempo is at 83bpm for both.  I recorded these in a tiled room (aka my shower) and am sitting here on the floor of my bathroom with my laptop sitting on my toilet.  The audio interface is up on my sink and the mic (Rode NT-4) is sitting there in my shower stall.  So, if you hear some extra brightness, now you know why.  I thought I'd give it a go, to see what would happen.  Never hurts to try right?

Also, in the middle of today's recording session my daughter (aged 4) had a bathroom emergency - which made me want to subtitle today's loops as "Poopy Loops" but I think I'll just stay with my typical naming scheme.  Here they are:

Loop of the Day for Nov 17 Dbd loop 83bpm 8th Tamb w BackBeat 

Loop of the Day for Nov 17 Dbd loop 83bpm w 16th tamb shake w Backbeat 

Oh, and I used 3 tambourines that I rarely use (I've got, like, a GAZILLION tambourines - but in the studio it always seems like the Rhythm Tech w/ aluminum jingles is the one that sounds "good" to everyone  - so that's typically the one that gets recorded the most):

  • Egyptian Belly Dancing tambourine (metal with a head)  - plays the backbeats
  • Ludwig Concert Tambourine (silver jingles (taped), calf-head) - plays the 8ths
  • African Tambourine (goat head, kente cloth color on the sides with cheap aluminum jingles) - plays the 16th shaking part
Enjoy, and I hope you find these useful or at least fun to mess around with!

Copyrights set to expire: Take Note!

"The looming problem is the so-called termination rights Congress gave to creators of copyrighted material when it amended the U.S. copyright law in 1976." - Eriq Gardner @ Law.com "Copyright Battle Comes Home"

This is really interesting to me, though like many things about publishing and copyrights, I don't fully understand it as well as I'd like to.  I first head about this via Wired Magazine and I think that ultimately the artists and songwriters will benefit from this, but it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out in the coming years. 

via Wired: 

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/11/copyright-time-bomb-set-to-disrupt-music-publishing-industries/

via Law

http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202434372952

 via CopyLaw

http://www.copylaw.com/new_articles/copyterm.html

via TechDirt

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091009/0233096474.shtml


FREE 2GB Online Storage/ Backup/ File Transfer!

My friend (producer/ songwriter/ web designer) Mark told me about this site the other day, and I've been trying to spread the word about it the past few days.  I apologize if you've seen my Twitter or Facebook posts related to it, I don't want to seem "spammy" here...but I'm really excited about the potential of this file sharing/ online backup solution.

It's called "DropBox"

I really like it for a few reasons.  It works - easily, and efficiently.  Simple to figure out and use.  It will save me download and uploading time when I'm transferring large session files to clients and studios, and allow me to sync my media between my various computers and the web.  It will also allow me to backup some of my files and create shared folders that I can use for specific recording projects and creative endeavors (songwriting, graphic design, photos etc).

The free account is 2GB and through referrals you can bump up that account in 250MB intervals for a maximum of 3GB more.  So essentially, you could get up to 5GB of storage for FREE!  So far I'm up to 3GB, and I'd like to see if I can max it out to the 5GB - if you want to help in that, here is my referral link:

https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI5NzYxNzE5

But otherwise, I just think this is really cool and easy to use.  The way it works is:  After installing the application on your computer, it puts a Folder in "My Documents" (on a PC) or in your "Applications" (on a MAC) and you also have the option of being able to "tell" it where you want the DropBox folder to reside.

You do this on all of your computers (and I even think they have an iPhone DropBox too), and whenever you move a file to the DropBox folder, it almost immediately is available in all of your other DropBox Folders on your other devices.  I updated the DropBox folder on my PC with some loops and other audio files the other day, and also did the same with a large mp3 recording of a recent house concert - and it was on available on my MacBook with in minutes and with two clicks - one to open the file, the other to play the file.  Had I tried to do the same with something like YouSendIt, it would've been a longer process - upload using the YouSendIt uploader (making sure not to go over their file size limit), hit send, open the email program on my MacBook, click on the link to YouSendIt, download from the YouSendIt website, and once it was on my MacBook - unpack the zip file, and then - finally! - click on the file!

I know that there are a myriad of other file sharing services like this ( I was trying to use SoundCloud for this purpose for a bit) and regular dedicated off-site services such as the ones my friend Bob recently passed along to me in an email:

"Here are the two backup services I was telling you about:
 
 
 
A friend recommended Jungle Disk (he suggested it's best for working with files remotely, which appeals to me), so I'm trying it out (I pay month-to-month, so if I don't like it, I can always switch). If I had much more, I'd probably switch to something with a flat rate. Jungle Disk charges $2.00 per month plus 15 cents per GB per month."

But I like the ease of use, simple and direct design, and "flow" of DropBox.  I've already created a number of shared folders, back-upped some photos and, collaborated using this application - and I've only had it up and running for about a day!

So all that to say:  if you are looking for an easy to use, simple to install, online backup and file sharing application...check out DropBox - and while you're at it, show me some 250MB "love" by clicking on my referral link!  

https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI5NzYxNzE5

And once your up and running, what do you say we do a project together - work on some songs, let me do some drum part playing and arranging?  The amount of time we save using DropBox to share files, will give us more time to create some awesome music together.  Click here to drop me a line and let's talk about what you have in mind!

Tricked Out Tuesdays

Today I have two loops for you.  These are a bit basic compared to my other ones, but they are still chock full of layered percussion goodness as well.  My intent with today's loop was to create a somewhat basic 16th note shaker pulse, albeit with some character so as not to get too pedantic. I recorded through my Rode NT4 Stereo Mic, and the loops consist of:

  • LP Rhythmix Egg Shaker with LP Rhythmix Conga Shaker (played at the same time in one hand)
  • A pair of Vic Firth "Puilis" (by Emil Richards) provide the back beat
  • And my jingle crunch shaker thingy (a mix of jingle bells, tambourine jingles and LP One Shots) that I sometimes will mount on my hi-hat provides the half-time "crunch" on beat 3

If you care to have each of the above elements separately, just drop me a line with the subject heading "Loop of the Day Nov. 10th" and I'll email you the separate elements as soon as I can! 

The tempo is at 100 bpm and there is a bit of a quarter note pulse from the shakers.

So without further adieu, I present the following:

Loop of the Day for Nov. 10 ("back beat" on 2 and 4)

Loop of the Day for Nov. 10 (Half-Time Feel)

Drumming on LaLa

You've probably seen the new music search results that are being served up by Google when you search a band's name.  I've done a few searches and found search results that feature songs that I've played drums and percussion on.  I thought it was a pretty handy way to put together a quick little demo of sorts.  Of course, there are some songs that aren't featured (like these two of my favorites: Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers "Lisa" and The Rolling Creek Dippers "In My Hour of Darkness") but here are a few that I've found so far (and in no particular order).  It's a pretty diverse bunch of stuff...and this just scratches the surface. 

And yes, all the percussion you hear on Rebecca St. Jame's "Merciful" is me.  I think we laid down something like 48 tracks of percussion to create the "loops" that you hear.  But if memory serves,  I think I laid down even more percussion tracks on Steve Taylor's "Shortstop" (to create the "soft-shoe" and "Adam Ant" marching drum line feel).  

If you like what you hear and would like me to play on your next project, or help in any way...drop me a line.  I love the creative and collaborative process and am always looking for more opportunities to play, record and perform!

Sixpence None The Richer

Kiss Me - 3:30

Puedo Escribir
Sixpence None The Richer - 1996 - 3:45
The Ground You Shook featuring Emmylou Harris
Greatest Hits - 2009 - 4:18
Breathe
6 PICKS: Essential Radio Hits EP - 2009 - 4:06

Rebecca St. James

Merciful by Rebecca St. James
Transform - 2000 - 5:00


The Physics of Meaning

Why Can't We Fall in Love Forever by The Physics of Meaning
Snake Charmer & Destiny at the ... - 2008 - 3:41
Aeroplanes and Hurricanes by The Physics of Meaning - Snake Charmer & Destiny at the ... - 2008 - 5:02

Steve Taylor

Shortstop by Steve Taylor
Roaring Lambs compilation ... - 2008 - 2:59

Tricked Out Tuesdays

Today is a special one...I am "babysitting" some mics for my friend Mark who is in Samoa, and I set up a couple of drums last night, my M-Audio interface, and started recording into Logic.  The kids were asleep, and so I tried to keep the sound of my drums down low, because of that I think I grabbed a bit of noise from having the gain too high on the mics...still, you'll get the idea and I think the results turned out pretty good, considering.  There are about 5 things floating around on this one:

  • Kick Drum (26" Ludwig Scotch Bass Drum)
  • Ludwig Acrolite snare played with Timpani Mallet cross-stick
  • Egg Shaker
  • Broom Brushes (playing 8th notes)
  • iDrum - adding some low end "boom" and and a bit of thuddy "electronic - ness"

I then added some compression to the kick, egg and brooms, put some delay on the snare to add some motion, and then played with the volumes on the separate instruments to get a mix I was happy with.  I hope you're happy with it too...It was a fun experiment and I hope to do it again! 

For those keeping score at home, this one is at 80 beats per minute, so set your sequencer tempo accordingly.  Oh, and I think this is a 2 measure loop too, just fyi.  Here you go:

Loop of the Day for Nov. 2nd


Creative Income

Have you heard about this?

Or you might have read about this guy...

These stories inspire me, give me hope and they're amusing too!

Hire Me!

  • I'm currently accepting new projects.  Please Contact Me for work inquiries.  I look forward to hearing from you!

My Drumming On CD

  • Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess

    Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess
    The second CD Sixpence recorded was my first with the band. We tracked the rhythm tracks in 4 days at Omni Sound studios in Nashville. Armand John Petri produced and many fans say that this is their favorite Sixpence album.

  • Sixpence None The Richer: Sixpence None The Richer

    Sixpence None The Richer: Sixpence None The Richer
    The Grammy nominated, RIAA Certified Platinum selling album that featured the breakout hit, "Kiss Me." Produced by Steve Taylor and wonderfully engineered and mixed by Russ Long, with additional mixing by Bob Clearmountain. The follow-up hit, "There She Goes" was also later added to this album.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: The Best of Sixpence None the Richer

    Sixpence None the Richer: The Best of Sixpence None the Richer
    Includes the hits "Kiss Me," "There She Goes," and "Breathe Your Name" and many other of the songs I played on and helped promote during my 7+ years with the band.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Tickets for a Prayer Wheel

    Sixpence None the Richer: Tickets for a Prayer Wheel
    Out-takes and B-Sides from Sixpence's "This Beautiful Mess" CD. There were some extended jams, a live track, some moody percussion and even a re-mix done by friend and former roommate, Sal Salvador. Not only does this CD feature my drumming, and vocals(!), but I make my producing debut on this album with an angst-filled vibey take on an old Patsy Cline song.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Mega 3 Collection

    Sixpence None the Richer: Mega 3 Collection
    Includes Sixpence's first 3 CD's. Of these 3 CD's my drumming only appears on the 2nd and 3rd disc. The first CD featured the drumming of Chris Dodds, one of my favorite people and drummers.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: There She Goes

    Sixpence None the Richer: There She Goes
    CD single of the 11th hour addition to Sixpence's self-titled album which helped solidify Sixpence as a legitmate "Breakthrough Artist" according to R&R magazine. The song went on to become a Top 10 Single with an appealing video (featuring "Saving Private Ryan" star, Adam Goldberg), by director and good friend of the band, Brandon Dickerson.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Breathe Your Name / Northern Lights

    Sixpence None the Richer: Breathe Your Name / Northern Lights
    CD single of the Top 20 hit, Breathe Your Name w/ non-album track Northern Lights, from Sixpence's Divine Discontent record. Both songs feature my drumming.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Collage: A Portrait of Their Best

    Sixpence None the Richer: Collage: A Portrait of Their Best
    A compilation of the best tracks from the band's REX years. And yes, that's me in the corner with the beard and glasses.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Kiss Me

    Sixpence None the Richer: Kiss Me
    Imported Single of the most played song from the year 2000. This song features my drumming and went to the top of the charts in over 10 countries (US, UK, Canada, Israel, Japan, etc...). I also appeared in all the videos and TV appearances that helped promote this song. Interesting side note: this song was chosen by Britain's Royal Family to be played for over 200 Million viewers during Prince Edward's 1999 wedding.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: I Can't Catch You

    Sixpence None the Richer: I Can't Catch You
    Import Single of a song from the band's self-titled album. This was one of the songs Bob Clearmountain mixed and it was honor to have him work his magic on my drum tracks!

  • ...The Basics: Grow
    I was really happy how this record turned out. An honest, well produced CD by a couple of North Carolina's (and Northern California's) best songwriters. I also took the photos that appear in the CD booklet.
  • [Various Artists]: City on a Hill: Collection

    [Various Artists]: City on a Hill: Collection
    I played on the first City on a Hill CD as well as a track or two on the second CD.

  • [Various Artists]: Return Of The Grievous Angel: Tribute To Gram Parsons

    [Various Artists]: Return Of The Grievous Angel: Tribute To Gram Parsons
    I played drums with the Rolling Creek Dippers, aka: Buddy and Julie Miller, Victoria Williams, Mark Olsen, Jim Lauderdale.

  • [Various Artists]: Roaring Lambs

    [Various Artists]: Roaring Lambs
    I played drums with Sixpence None the Richer, Emmylou Harris, Steve Taylor and percussion with Burlap to Cashmere on this CD.

  • [Various Artists]: Exodus

    [Various Artists]: Exodus
    I played with Sixpence None the Richer, Michael W. Smith, and Kenny Meeks on this CD.

  • Kim Taylor: So Black, So Bright

    Kim Taylor: So Black, So Bright
    I played drums on this CD that was produced by Jack Henderson. This is one of my favorite projects to have played on. Some of the tracks feature Linford and Karin from Over the Rhine as well.

  • Frankly Scarlet: Stories I've Heard
    I played and recorded with this band back when I lived in Dallas. We even shot a video...with the Dallas skyline as our backdrop.
  • [Various Artists]: Making God Smile: An Artists' Tribute to the Songs of Beach Boy Brian Wilson

    [Various Artists]: Making God Smile: An Artists' Tribute to the Songs of Beach Boy Brian Wilson
    I played drums and percussion (timpani, chimes, beat box) on Jason Harrod's version of "In My Room" for this Brian Wilson tribute album.

  • Rebecca St. James: Transform

    Rebecca St. James: Transform
    I played on a track produced by Matt Bronlewee, that featured the London Symphony Orchestra and some very "Bjork" sounding vocals by Rebecca. I think we did about 40 tracks of various percussion overdubs for this track too.

  • [Various Artists]: Never Say Dinosaur

    [Various Artists]: Never Say Dinosaur
    My first time to work with producer Brent Bourgeois and one of my first times in the studio with Sixpence. I borrowed a whole bunch of percussion from Steve Hindalong and had a great time overdubbing frame drums, rattan shakers and the like. The track ended up sounding very Daniel Lanois-ish with some Peter Gabriel-esq type layers thrown in for good measure.

  • Phantasmic: Fluffy Vs. Phantasmic
    "Rainy Day Assembly" appears on this record. This out-take from Sixpence's "This Beautiful Mess" session was used by Tess Wiley (aka, Phantasmic) and features shaker performed by percussion wiz Lalo Davila.
  • Honey: Lost on You
    I played on two tracks from this record produced by Dan and Steve from Jars of Clay.
  • [various artists]: Here On Earth (2000 Film)

    [various artists]: Here On Earth (2000 Film)
    This Soundtrack album features two songs I did with Sixpence, one a cover of a Sam Phillips/ T-Bone Burnett song: "I Need Love" and the other, the opening track ("We Have Forgotten") from Sixpence's self-titled record.

  • [various artists]: Snow Day: Music From The Motion Picture

    [various artists]: Snow Day: Music From The Motion Picture
    Sixpence's version of The La's tune, "There She Goes" is on this soundtrack album. And yes, I'm playing drums on that song...

  • [various artists]: Bounce: Music from and Inspired by the Miramax Motion Picture (2000 film)

    [various artists]: Bounce: Music from and Inspired by the Miramax Motion Picture (2000 film)
    Another song ("Love") I did with Sixpence from their self-titled album, appears on this soundtrack. Mark Nash and I played a drum duet of sorts to get the primal heavy-handed approach needed for this wonderful song.

  • [various artists]: Dick

    [various artists]: Dick
    One of my favorite tracks. Everytime I hear this song ("Dancing Queen"), I can't help but think of Alan Partridge.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Divine Discontent

    Sixpence None the Richer: Divine Discontent
    Even though I quit playing with the band in 2001, the bulk of this record was recorded in 2000, and so my playing is featured on more than half the tracks on this record. Produced by Paul Fox, beautifully engineered by Mark Chevalier and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: The Early Years

    Sixpence None the Richer: The Early Years
    New Sixpence compilation from the REX years. Includes songs and b-sides from the early work I recorded with Sixpence - pre "Kiss Me" era.

  • Steve Hindalong, et.al: City on a Hill: Reflections on Our Spiritual Journey (Ccm Book)

    Steve Hindalong, et.al: City on a Hill: Reflections on Our Spiritual Journey (Ccm Book)
    Okay, this is a book. But I wrote the first essay that appears in the book and took all the photos that appear as well. You can actually read my essay by clicking this link and "looking inside the book." Fun, huh?

  • Various Artists: Pointfolio 1.0

    Various Artists: Pointfolio 1.0
    A radio station compilation featuring in-studio and concert live cuts. Includes, Sixpence doing "Kiss Me"(with me on drums), and Fleming and John's "Ugly Girl", Dido, BareNaked Ladies, etc.

  • : Plumb

    Plumb
    Loops, fragments of songs and lots of percussion is what I remember from this session. Producer Dan Haseltine and Matt Bronlewee made this a fun and creative time in the studio. It was great to be a part of the debut album of such a phenomenal artist (am I gushing to much here?).

  • [various Artists] : Felicity: Senior Year (tv soundtrack)

    [various Artists] : Felicity: Senior Year (tv soundtrack)
    Features "Melody of You" a beautiful song by Sixpence None the Richer that I played drums on and was featured on the series final episode (I think).