Gavin Harrison here!

osi.3

Junior Member
Thanks for the information! The Apogee Ensemble is exactly what I'm looking for. -mp

edit: What do you mean when you say "it requires a desk to handle the mics and pass on the signal to them" (meaning the Rosetta 800s)? I suppose there's another piece of equipment involved?
 
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Heitor

Junior Member
Hi Gavin!

How much dampening do you use recently, especially on the snare? For an example, on the Rhythmic Designs DVD. You talk about the zero rings but throughout the DVD I don't see them in action. Or in a Porcupine Tree situation (studio or live), how do you deal with the harmonic ringing on the snare? Do you ALWAYS use the zero rings or gaffer tape or something like that? Because no matter how much careful I am with tuning the snare drum, when it comes the time to record something, it always rings too much and I have to use some dampening, especially Moongels.

Second, do you have any plans of doing something like the latest book/DVD package but with Porcupine Tree songs? Perhaps showing how to approach drum parts and fills in a more straight setting like rock, progressive, metal or pop...

Thanks for the everlasting inspiration you work gives me!
Heitor.
 

Dane777

Member
Hey Gavin,
I have two questions.

1. How do you get your ghost n grace notes heard at a live venue so clearly. At my gigs I don't think they can be heard to well. It sounds more like a fuzz/buzz. What factors do I have to look at in order to achieve clear articulation on my snare in a live environment.


2. When the band or Steve introduces a new song to you, what is usually the first step you take in putting your name on it, drum wise. What approach works best for you on most occasions when contributing your drum parts to a song?

Faithfully,
Dane.
 

Padman77

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,
I have a question about your great new DVD: In the section Discussions - Bass Drum you talk about a piece of wood at the front head. I understand the function of the wood, but I can not imagine how it looks like and how you anchor it inside the bass drum.
Also I have two general questions: Do you think that the sticks you are playing at the moment are the perfect sticks for you, or if you could create your own stick, would you change something, maybe weight, tip or else? And how do you know at which size do you have to cut down your broken cymbals, so that they fit together, or do you just try it out?
Thank you very much for answering, I really appreciate it!


(I apologise for my English, but it is not my first language)
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi osi.3

What do you mean when you say "it requires a desk to handle the mics and pass on the signal to them" (meaning the Rosetta 800s)? I suppose there's another piece of equipment involved?

There are no direct mic inputs on the back of the Rosettas. Only a "D" connector which you plug a multi core into. The mics need to go through amps first and then be passed on down the multi core to the Apogees.

Hi Heitor

How much dampening do you use recently, especially on the snare? For an example, on the Rhythmic Designs DVD. You talk about the zero rings but throughout the DVD I don't see them in action. Or in a Porcupine Tree situation (studio or live), how do you deal with the harmonic ringing on the snare? Do you ALWAYS use the zero rings or gaffer tape or something like that?


With my 14" snare drums I always use a zero ring or two. The 12" snares I tend to just place a tiny loop of gaffa tape on.

Second, do you have any plans of doing something like the latest book/DVD package but with Porcupine Tree songs?

Not at the moment - but it is in the back of my mind.

Hi Dane777

1. How do you get your ghost n grace notes heard at a live venue so clearly. At my gigs I don't think they can be heard to well. It sounds more like a fuzz/buzz. What factors do I have to look at in order to achieve clear articulation on my snare in a live environment.

I use Puresound snare wires cut down to just 8 strands in the middle - and they are on pretty tight. There's also a mic underneath the snare drum for picking up that detail.

2. When the band or Steve introduces a new song to you, what is usually the first step you take in putting your name on it, drum wise. What approach works best for you on most occasions when contributing your drum parts to a song?


I just jam along with it at home until I start to find something that I like.

Hi Padman77

I have a question about your great new DVD: In the section Discussions - Bass Drum you talk about a piece of wood at the front head. I understand the function of the wood, but I can not imagine how it looks like and how you anchor it inside the bass drum.

Velcro - or as I believe they call it in the States "Hook and Loop". There's some black "loop" stuck on the drum shell - and then some white "hook" on the ends of the piece of wood.

IMG_0327.jpg

Do you think that the sticks you are playing at the moment are the perfect sticks for you, or if you could create your own stick, would you change something, maybe weight, tip or else?

I'm pretty happy with the way they are now. I haven't messed around with the possibilities of designing a stick - I couldn't really do that on my own. To be honest nobody has ever asked me.

And how do you know at which size do you have to cut down your broken cymbals, so that they fit together, or do you just try it out?

With the ones that I've cut - they've usually sounded good straight away. If they don't - I just cut them smaller until they do.

cheers
Gavin
 

osi.3

Junior Member
Thanks for replying! I'm in the process of building a rehearsal room. Do you know much about sound proofing? I'm curious first if it hinders recordings if there's too much of it on the walls etc., and second, how much surface area of the walls I'm sound proofing will need to be covered, maybe a percentage estimate?

Much appreciation,
mp
 

Dane777

Member
You cut your strands to just 8?
How did you know to do that, and what would you recommend if I'm using a 3x14 free floating maple piccolo snare??
 

ChrisGau

Junior Member
You cut your strands to just 8?
How did you know to do that
If I am allowed to jump in... I just took something similar to this (I think it´s called side cutter) to cut them off...



... and something similar to that (a file?)...



... in order to not allow the cut off strand to damage your thin resonant head. As I like Gavin's focussed snare sounds, I was pretty happy with the result. It really helped me reducing the snare buzz. Don´t know whether it´s fits to your Piccolo Snare... I applied it to a 14x5 Sonor Delite Snare.
 
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SantiBanks

Senior Member
Hi osi.3

What do you mean when you say "it requires a desk to handle the mics and pass on the signal to them" (meaning the Rosetta 800s)? I suppose there's another piece of equipment involved?

There are no direct mic inputs on the back of the Rosettas. Only a "D" connector which you plug a multi core into. The mics need to go through amps first and then be passed on down the multi core to the Apogees.

cheers
Gavin
To elaborate a bit more in this;
The apogee ensemble has 4 preamps of its own which means that you can connect 4 mics simoultanously. You also have the option for ADAT which means that you can expand the ensemble with any ADAT convertor.

That can give you a total of 4 (ensemble) + 8 (external convertor) mic preamps.

As interfaces are concerned, I personally used my presonus firestudio 26 for a long time. It has 8 preamps and it's cheaper then the ensemble (and sounds smilar I think). Echo Audio just released their long anticipated Audiofire Pre8. Wonderful soundquality, top conversion and 8 very good preamps for under 700.

If you are on a mac, try to find yourself the Metric Halo 2882. Those have 8 preamps (don't be fooled, 4 have mic connectors, the other ones have fantom over jack so that means you need an xlr to stereo jack cable) and the 2882 is one of the best sounding units in its priceclass (and the class higher too) and they should cost the same or less then the ensemble (but give much more options like on board effects and even the option to record right from the interface with the 2D card which is installed in the unit that is shown in the link)

If you want an interface and a separate ADAT convertor, try Presonus or Mackie Onyx 800. They both have great preamps and don't break the bank (Mackie is what Gavin uses). Advantage of the Mackie is that it already has 192 khz options in case you are interested in that.
Focusrite just announced their new octopre MK2 which costs less then 400 dollars. Not sure how it sounds but that doesn't break the bank either… And of course there are other convertors/preamp combinations as well in all price ranges.

Another option I just thought about are mixingdesks with usb/firewire options. Mackie has a serie that can do it. I believe that soundcraft also has these. I couldn't find the Mackie's anymore at thomann but you might want to check their website.

If I can be a bit of advice, it is wise to invest in good convertors and good mics. The preamps will not make that huge significance in sound. Good quality microphones and the setup define your drumsound and quality of the recording the most.
 
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Hi gavin.
I saw on the photos taken for the newest dvd, that you put on your toms and floor toms the S-hoops.
WHY?
I already know that on the snare they're helpful, they help to save sticks, and keep rings in their place.
How this hoops can affect the drums sound to you?
My pearl drumkit have Die cast hoops on every tom and FT, but i really cannot understand the use of s-hoops on every drum.
I hope that i'm not bothering you.

I wish a good weekend to you.
Cheers from Italy
Riccardo
 

osi.3

Junior Member
Thanks for all the excellent ideas SantiBanks. Certainly not making any hasty decisions here.

Do you think the "fully-integrated with Logic" quality of the Ensemble would give advantage over the Audiofire, though? I'm using an Audix DP 5A 5-piece drum mic package in addition to 2 AKG overhead condensers, not top of the line mics, but worthy of my current setup.

From this: "That can give you a total of 4 (ensemble) + 8 (external convertor) mic preamps" do you mean it's possible to record 12 tracks at once? That would be extremely useful for group sessions.

Sincerely
mp
 

ahector

Senior Member
Gavin,

When you record at home, do you hire an engineer or do you do everything yourself? If you do it yourself, how does that work (i.e. do you have a laptop next to the drum kit or something like that)?

I do a lot of home (or rented rehearsal space that is) recording of myself and I hate having to be my own engineer. I would love to have the luxury to focus on playing the instrument and not to have to deal with the technical aspect of recording at the same time!
 

Venimal

Junior Member
Hello Gavin,

I first heard about you from my drumming instructor Brad Schuelter at the Drum Pad in IL, and he had me listen to Blackest Eyes back in 2007 (which was RIGHT after you guys came in town) and since then I was mesmorized by your playing. Me and my older brother saw you guys in Chicago in September, and both agree, you guys were just amazing. Thank you very much for being such a great inspiration, and I look forward to the many years I will be working with your books and DVD's (yes, it will be years).

If I could ask one question of you, and if it has been asked I appoligize, but there is a fill in Mellotron Scratch at 4:56 that I also heard in the live version of Hatesong in "Arriving Somewhere..." I don't suppose you could explain that, could you?

I look forward to seeing you in Chicago on the 30th of April, and again on the 2nd of May in Detroit. I will be right up front!
 

SantiBanks

Senior Member
Thanks for all the excellent ideas SantiBanks. Certainly not making any hasty decisions here.
That is a very good decision :) Hasty decisions are usually not the right ones…

Do you think the "fully-integrated with Logic" quality of the Ensemble would give advantage over the Audiofire, though? I'm using an Audix DP 5A 5-piece drum mic package in addition to 2 AKG overhead condensers, not top of the line mics, but worthy of my current setup.
"fully integrated with Logic" is nothing fancy. It only means that you can open up some panels in Logic that give access to parameters in the Ensemble (or duet, or one or mio for that matter). It's the same as opening up the configuration panel or the audio-midi setup. Its just some fancy screens with the same functionality and a picture of the apogee in logic.

In my opinion, not really a very unique sellingpoint.

As your mics are concerned, it's not really about the quality of the mic. Sure it's a factor but I can bet that I can make the most expensive mics in the world sound like crap.

I did a lot of research on soundcards and their convertor and preamp quality. Its a very difficult topic. There is difference in audio quality between manufactors. Thats one thing that is sure. However, these can be minime.

Echo and Apogee use good components. The thing with Apogee however is that they are much longer in the ballpark and have a high reputation (which they earned with their dithering technique btw.)
You can't go wrong with an apogee. But on the other hand, you can't go wrong with the Audiofire 8, AudioPre 8 or Audiofire 12 from Echo. They have top notch convertors and good preamps too.

The difference in price is large (ensemble is maybe twice as much) but keep in mind that the audio quality isn't twice as good. For a bit better audio performance, prices are usually exponentially higher.

If you are willing to pay the price for an Apogee, then I really suggest looking at Metric Halo. You get a lot more functionality (which is useful functionality), dsp and 8 preamps instead of 4 for a similar price and the audio quality is on par or even better then the Apogee Ensemble.

If you want to do some research yourself, then I'll recommend the gearslutz forum


From this: "That can give you a total of 4 (ensemble) + 8 (external convertor) mic preamps" do you mean it's possible to record 12 tracks at once? That would be extremely useful for group sessions.

Sincerely
mp
If you buy a separate adat convertor, then you can record 12 tracks at once yes. If you buy something like the presonus and have 2 adat convertors, then you can record 26 channels at once.

Mackie did release the Onyx 1200F some years ago. It has 12 preamps I believe and is a 2 rackunit firewire soundcard. I have the small onyx, the mackie preamps are good stuff. If you want 12 channels in a box, then I'll suggest that one. However, check the mackie forums for driver support. The only thing I dislike about mackie is their support for their units. Drivers are usually not updated (my onyx is wonky now I use snow leopard…)
 

euphoric_anomaly

Senior Member
Gavin,

I was comparing drum fills the other day between songs you've recorded. There is a fill you do in "Slippin Away" that sounds almost identical (minus the chimes) to the intro of "For Lack of". Are the two fills the same? The fill involves a nightmarish combination of doubles and possibly a paradiddle or 2 with the bass drum in between.

Also, have you ever considered (just for fun), comparing the sound of your drumset between fully acoustic and fully mic'd and ready to record? I bet the sound difference would leave you pining for the microphones and preamps, haha.

Thanks for your time
Eric
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Phil Brodermann

Why is the interior of your kit black?

I just liked the look of it when you have clear heads on the bottom.

Hi osi.3

Do you know much about sound proofing? I'm curious first if it hinders recordings if there's too much of it on the walls etc.,

I don't know a lot about sound proofing. It's important that the room you are playing in sounds good to you and doesn't accentuate any particular frequency too much. If you have bare parallel walls you can get a really nasty standing wave. If the room doesn't sound pretty good - then it's better to have a lot of sound proofing material in it - and go for a 'dead' sound. At least that way you can put on some reverb and eq in your mix.

Hi Dane777

You cut your strands to just 8?
How did you know to do that, and what would you recommend if I'm using a 3x14 free floating maple piccolo snare??


The 8 strand thing maybe a sound you like or not - I don't know if it will suit your drum - that's up to you. I actually pull off the outside two wires either side and then file down the solder so there's nothing sharp sticking out.

Hi ItalianRicky

I saw on the photos taken for the newest dvd, that you put on your toms and floor toms the S-hoops. WHY?

I like what they do to the sound of the toms. I find die cast rims suck up too much of the tone and sustain. The S-Hoops are rigid like die cast but without the above problem.

Hi ahector

When you record at home, do you hire an engineer or do you do everything yourself? If you do it yourself, how does that work (i.e. do you have a laptop next to the drum kit or something like that)?

I do everything myself - but I don't like to do any real engineering stuff when I'm in 'playing' mode. It seem that it uses two completely different sides of the brain. That's why I make sure that everything is set up properly before I begin. I have an Apple blue-tooth keyboard next the drums so that I can operate Logic from there.

Hi Venimal

If I could ask one question of you, and if it has been asked I appoligize, but there is a fill in Mellotron Scratch at 4:56 that I also heard in the live version of Hatesong in "Arriving Somewhere..." I don't suppose you could explain that, could you?

It's basically just triplets - and at various points I hit the open hi hat with my left hand. I don't think of it as a worked out fill. I quite often have an idea for a fill that has some loose parameters - and that way I know roughly what it's going to sound like - but I also know that there's some surprise in there because it's not exactly worked out. Having concepts for fills is much nicer than just having a 'library' of fills.

Hi euphoric_anomaly

I was comparing drum fills the other day between songs you've recorded. There is a fill you do in "Slippin Away" that sounds almost identical (minus the chimes) to the intro of "For Lack of". Are the two fills the same? The fill involves a nightmarish combination of doubles and possibly a paradiddle or 2 with the bass drum in between.

I don't know if it's the same - but if the bells aren't in there - then I guess it can't be. If you've got my latest book/dvd there's a clear break down of that exact fill from "For Lack Of"

Also, have you ever considered (just for fun), comparing the sound of your drumset between fully acoustic and fully mic'd and ready to record? I bet the sound difference would leave you pining for the microphones and preamps, haha.


I don't think I really understand the question. The only way I can compare is to listen to my drums as I play them acoustically - and then hear a recording of them. The difference in hearing the drums live as I play them and hearing them coming out of a pair of speakers - is such a completely different experience - I couldn't draw a comparison. No mics in the world can really capture what you're really hearing live as you sit at the drums. In the same way a video camera doesn't really capture what your eyes see...we've just become very accustomed to the result.

cheers
Gavin
 
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Just Drums

Silver Member
Gavin -

Shane Fowlkes of Just Drums in VA. We're Virginia's only Pro drum shop and one of the largest on the East Coast.

First of all, you have a HUGE following here in our shop. Our staff and a lot of our students admire your work with Porcupine. We were thrilled to hear of you coming to Richmond VA (The National venue) on May 11. A lot of us are planning a "field" trip to come see you guys that evening.

Question - I'd like to see if you'd be interested in or available for an in store appearance since you'll be in town. Would you be up for something like this?

We did this a couple years ago when Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz came to town for a show. Jon came and visited our (old) shop and then we took a few of our students down to the venue before the show. Jon was gracious enough to let us come back stage before AND after the show. Our students LOVED it. Check it out:
http://www.justdrumsonline.com/events/07082008.aspx

So anyways...please drop me a line to see your schedule allows for a visit to our store on May 11.

-Shane
shane.fowlkes@justdrumsonline.com
804-794-1667
 

steste50

Junior Member
Hello again Gavin,

U pay a lot of attention to the sound, so talking about the bass drum have u heard of/tried this Kickport made by Pearl (www.kickport.com)? If so what do U think about it?

Thx a lot,
Ste
 

NeuroAxis

Member
Gavin -

I just had sort of a technical question. I was watching this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0qk169ilxI

in which the drummer discusses a sticking of 5 (R L r r L) that you use a lot. I've been experimenting with this sticking and creating fills out of tacking on two kick drum notes at the end to make it a group of 7 (sounds great, by the way, and very challenging to line up with the click when voiced as 8th notes, 16th notes, 32nd notes, 8th note triplets and 16th note triplets, nevermind quintuplets and septuplets).

I noticed also there was a video awhile ago where you talked about fills using linear hand-foot combinations (I think it has since been taken down though).

But I was just curious about the use of the terminology 'linear.' What makes it a linear fill? Is it just because it's based on the repeating sticking pattern?
 
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