My first attempt at video editing!
I know it’s not fantastic but I’m sure some hardcore Lebowski fans will enjoy watching a selection of classic scenes one more time.
London-based musician, arranger, producer and composer.
This started as a place to post my music, but I'd like to see just how far the rabbit hole goes...
Man, this made my day! About three years ago I wrote this song with Clara Valente, I knew it was gonna be the title track for her debut album, but I had no idea she was making a proper video for it! She e-mailed me the other day, completely out of the blue, with a link to this gem :-) I’m well chuffed!
This track is fresh out of the oven and it goes out to all you afro-beat fusion lovers - enjoy!
In the last post I described a parallel compression workflow I use in my work, but instead of setting it via sends I did it through the output, which is not the standard way of doing it, this is why:
1) Compression changes everything
Compressors affect both domains of sound: timing and frequency spectrum. Bad attack and release settings can ruin a groove, much in the same way that super-heavy compression can destroy your balance. This means that if you want to use compression in a bolder way, you must shape what you send to the compressor in order to avoid these problems. By taking care of the side-effects of heavy compression before you even send your signal to the compressor, you can really push this effect to the limit without making your drums sound weird. In other words, you must provide the parallel compression a specially dedicated mix.
2) Why not use sends?
Quite frankly there’s no fundamental reason not to. I do it via outputs because, unless you set your sends to pre fader and turn the channel volume all the way down, you will hear the pre and post compression signal at the same time, which is an absolutely useless combination. Naturally, sending your signal via output makes it impossible to hear the combination of original and processed drums at the same time, however, in my experience, I find that you end up getting equally good results either way. But If you you’re not convinced, and you want to really aim for perfection by mixing your parallel compression layer while listening to the original drums, I suggest duplicating the channels - see image below:
3 | Parallel Compression
Kevin Poll, the great engineer for Mute Records once said to our class: “Parallel compression?! That’s just a buzz word, back in the day we used to call it making things sound good!” That’s pretty much the best definition you’ll ever hear.
The idea behind parallel compression is actually very simple, it’s compression via sends instead of compression using inserts. In other words, instead of applying compression to a signal, you send a signal to a parallel compressor. Normal compression makes loud things quieter, parallel compression makes quiet things louder.
There are many ways to go about this but what I’ll describe on this post is one way of doing it, one approach that, to me, seems worth sharing because it fits quite a wide variety of styles.
3.1 | Imagination before execution
The most important thing before you start adding layers is to have a mental picture of what kind of result you’re looking for. There’s an enormous variety of sounds that can be achieved using this technique: roomy, fat, dry and in your face, punchy, subtle, dirty, overcompressed, etc. For this reason it’s extremely important you have some sort of idea to guide you through the process, otherwise you’ll be twisting knobs aimlessly hoping for a lucky accident and, even if you get it, you’ll be lost trying to reproduce that result again.
1 | Before Miking
Don’t take the drum kit as a given, tweak it, manipulate it, change it to your liking even before setting up the first microphone.
1.1 | Tuning
Arguably the most important step in making the perfect drum sound - so don’t leave it to the drummer alone - believe it or not, a lot of drummers don’t know how to properly tune a drum kit, so if that’s the case you must take matters into your own hands.
Here is a video tutorial covering the fundamentals of drum tuning, if you never tried tuning a drum kit before I strongly suggest to watch all of it at least once.
1.2 | Controlling Resonances
Even a perfectly tuned drum kit can produce weird and unpleasant resonances, specially when recording in a room with bad acoustics for drums, so get rid of them before hitting the rec button.
Here’s a nice video of a commercial solution for drum dampening called Moongel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTUzYU002jw . The drum manufacturer Evans has a whole section on sound control on their website: http://www.evansdrumheads.com/EvAccessoriesPatches.Page?ActiveID=3576 .
Obviously you don’t have to get something like that, I myself have used everything from Bluetack to credit cards to dampen drums, even toilet paper and masking tape to dampen cymbals!
1.3 | Creative Interference
Take Cage’s concept of prepared piano and use it on drums! Put a t-shirt, a cymbal, or even a handful of bolts over the snare. Colouring the sound before it hits the mic can be extremely rewarding because it gives the drummer the opportunity to play with it.
1.4 | Diversity is Key
When recording drums for a whole album try to get an extra set of cymbals and at least 2 different snares. If you can’t get extra instruments try experimenting with different tunings of the snare, different sticks, dampening cymbals between songs.
Lastly, if your drummer doesn’t like the producer fiddling with his kit too much, you can also try facing the drum kit in different directions inside the live room between songs, this also has a MASSIVE effect on the overall sound.
He smiled understandingly - much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in a life. It faced - or seemed to face - the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice on your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
On the post Bing Bands, Swing and Gafieira I talked about the “Gafieira” genre, a very popular genre in Brazil, but not very well known internationally. The young Gafieira band which is featured in that post just released a new video, so here I am, breaking a 4 month silence and bringing you the best of independent Rio! It was a real joy being part of this project and especially for recording this beautiful arrangement of one of my favorite songs ever “Samba e Amor” by Chico Buarque. So here it is: Samba and Love.
Rafael Gryner & Leandro Jardim (feat. Diogo Cadaval)
As a follow-up to the previous MuRF post, here’s my very first experience with this amazing pedal.
Although this track ended up on my first E.P. it was originally recorded as a single, way back in the day, circa 2008. Hope you like it :-)