VIDEO: working on a song, drumming

Here’s a video of me drumming. I really don’t want to say it, but this is the first time I’ve ever recorded myself drumming to one of my songs. The reason why I don’t want to reveal that is because a lot of people think I have live drums in some of my songs and I like to trick people like that. Now that I have tried this once, I will record some drums for the debut album and prolong the release even more.


In this video, I am frustrated because this kit has a hi-hat pedal that doesn’t like to be “closed” unless I press really hard on a certain spot. So there’s a lot of unintentional open hi-hats here. The kick also keeps sliding away as I don’t have it on a rug. If you watch to the end, I lose the beat because the kick has slid out of reach even though I weighed it down with a box of magazines.

Some other reasons why I do not look amused in this video:

1. I just got some new gear which was an APOGEE DUET audio interface. I used it to record the guitar and voice, but – DANG – I didn’t know it didn’t come with MIDI ports! Good thing I still have a functioning Midi interface, so I hooked that up to my keyboard as well as the e-drums for the first time ever in my entire life. What a headache that was because I couldn’t figure out why the kick was making a snare flam noise and why the snare was silent. Had no idea I was getting myself into a world of headache. But because I did that, we now have a banging song instead of a mellow drumless and keyboardless song = THE EVOLUTION OF A SONG!

2. I had no idea what beat to play during the chord change and defaulted to a disco beat which – even though it’s an easy beat to play – I still haven’t mastered because my left hand sucks. I wonder what will be the end result. Stay tuned!

3. I make a pissed off face when the synth starts up at a few spots because it’s SO LOUD and I couldn’t figure out why it was SO FREAKING LOUD… until later – it was a glitchy bus in the mixer!

4. The wired headphones were getting in the way. I have stretched it all the way from where the camera is and wrapped it around parts of the drum kit for slack. You can see me scooting under the cord at the beginning of the video. Added to the list of “Gear to Get” = wireless headphones!

STILL WORKING ON THIS SONG
This is a skeleton of a song I wrote 15 years ago. That’s right, 15 YEARS AGO. I TOLD you it takes me forever to release music. It’s a song called “Spooks” which is a crying shame because it’s not at all clever. I named it during my spy phase, see. I also named my student film production company “Spooks Productions”. Looks like I was really into spies back then. Also back then, I was using a DOS music making program and so was limited to an 8 character filename hence the one-word name “Spooks” (and “Spooks2″ actually that is technically the original name of this song). The lyrics were written years later when THE RING came out and oh boy I do not like ghost stories as they scare me. But see how the song title worked out because “spooks” can also mean “ghosts”. Perhaps the songtitle is clever after all, eh!

This song was originally creepy cheap synth sounding. Now I see it is decent enough to put on an album so I’ll probably put this song on my 2nd or 3rd album. Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned my debut album. I’m still trying to mix the 1st album for the last 8 years now!

Please enjoy this skeleton of a song with scratch vocals, guitars, synth, and drums as it will most likely change into a quantized techno song 8-16 years down the road.

5 comments
Anonymous
Anonymous

Very interesting, thanks for the write-up, navel4eve. Or should I say... Agent X?!

Is that sound you're referring to like the one at 1:12 or so? That stuck out a bit to me in places.

Glad you're sticking with your debut album. Even if you've changed so much you hate it by the time it's finished, remember it'll be new to your listeners!

navel4eve
navel4eve

Took me awhile to get the "Agent X" reference. Wow, you must be theee NAVEL4EVE expert.

What sound are you talking about at 1:12? I am talking about the synth lead when I am talking about the really loud synth sound. The one that sounds like it was played on a keyboard. I don't know how else to explain it. The one that sounds like a synthetic reedy brass sound. If you know your synths, it's the one that has a stack of three saw oscillators slightly detuned from one another with added chorus and reverb to create a phat spacious synth lead sound.

I almost gave up on the debut album, btw. Then I recently listened to it again and realized it is still fresh sounding so I will keep at it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

hehe. I guess now it's Reverend Double Agent, though.

Sorry for not being specific, I meant the open/closed hi-hat. At places like ~01:12 it stood out from the rest of the music to me, sounding more 'acoustic' (probably not the right word there).

I didn't notice anything the loud synth lead, I assumed while watching that was your badass drummer face.

Anonymous
Anonymous

lol. Hmm, so now I can rewatch the video and your expressions tell a whole new story.

Hahaha, yes, at 3:31 I totally misread that. Oh that's too hilarious.

You still look really cool, playing drums. I can kind of see how singing might ruin the mystique, actually.

navel4eve
navel4eve

Oh right the Reverend Double Agent. Good one. Didn't realize that one.

Yeah, about that badass drummer face. I suppose if I make that face, it means I made a mistake... Like the one at 3:31, I was going for a two-hit snare but ended up hitting sticks and was like "awwww crap" but it looks like I'm going "hell yeaaaah" doesn't it.

That sound you are talking about is the ride cymbal. That's another thing that is crappy about this kit. That ride cymbal only makes that "ting" sound no matter how hard I hit it or where I hit it. Sometimes I want to rock out on the ride cymbal but I can't cuz it only goes "ting ting ting".