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  #6041  
Old 04-21-2013, 08:33 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibeachhead View Post
Gavin,

What brand In-Ear Monitors do you use?

What brand(s) do you recommend?

Any other tips/advice when I am looking to purchase In-Ear Monitors for the first time?

Thanks you Gavin!
From 2-07-2012:

Hi allanthomas

Silly question but still can you tell me which headphones you use..??
Does anyone know any good make headphones for drums specifically with good isolation??


when I'm playing at home in my studio I'm using my Ultimate Ears UE10s with a pair of maximum isolation shooting muffs over the top of those. On stage I use Sensaphonics 3D Ambient 'in ears'

--- Gavin has pretty much exhaustively answered questions regarding his equipment; try the "search this thread" function.
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  #6042  
Old 04-21-2013, 10:01 PM
gibeachhead gibeachhead is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
From 2-07-2012:

Hi allanthomas

Silly question but still can you tell me which headphones you use..??
Does anyone know any good make headphones for drums specifically with good isolation??


when I'm playing at home in my studio I'm using my Ultimate Ears UE10s with a pair of maximum isolation shooting muffs over the top of those. On stage I use Sensaphonics 3D Ambient 'in ears'

--- Gavin has pretty much exhaustively answered questions regarding his equipment; try the "search this thread" function.
Thanks for the info. I was looking for askgavinharrison.com, but it doesn't exist anymore, I was sure it would be answered there.

I searched the thread and couldnt find any answer the the last question.

Gavin, please feel free to answer this question if you wish: Any other tips/advice when I am looking to purchase In-Ear Monitors for the first time?
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  #6043  
Old 04-21-2013, 10:45 PM
euphoric_anomaly euphoric_anomaly is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyar Khosravi View Post
Hello .
What happended to the site askgavinharrison.com
i got answers of some of my questions there .

now my question is what is the time signature and snare accs in "what happens now" after e-guitar pattern and befor 3/4 rhythm ( At Live in DVD ) . you know which polyrhythmic i mean , if you dont i will post exactly the address by Seconds.

Best Regards .

Elyar Khosravi.
The middle section of what happens now goes as follows:
The guitar (same riff as anesthesize) is in 5/8.
Gavin plays 7/8 between the bass/snare with a 3/16ths (or dotted 8th) on the ride.
The bassist plays 7 along with Gavin.
After many bars of that, they all slip into 12/8 (or 4/4 in triplets).
I can't tell you the exact placement of the snare accents..
hope this helps
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  #6044  
Old 04-22-2013, 12:33 AM
Elyar Khosravi's Avatar
Elyar Khosravi Elyar Khosravi is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by euphoric_anomaly View Post
The middle section of what happens now goes as follows:
The guitar (same riff as anesthesize) is in 5/8.
Gavin plays 7/8 between the bass/snare with a 3/16ths (or dotted 8th) on the ride.
The bassist plays 7 along with Gavin.
After many bars of that, they all slip into 12/8 (or 4/4 in triplets).
I can't tell you the exact placement of the snare accents..
hope this helps
Thanks Euphoric_Anomaly for the answer. how you sure about time signature , i'll concentrate on it. if you are not sure please tell me, or if you connected with G.H tell me i have some more question :) thnx.
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  #6045  
Old 04-22-2013, 02:55 AM
euphoric_anomaly euphoric_anomaly is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyar Khosravi View Post
Thanks Euphoric_Anomaly for the answer. how you sure about time signature , i'll concentrate on it. if you are not sure please tell me, or if you connected with G.H tell me i have some more question :) thnx.
No problem man. I've read the same question you had before, and Gavin's response to it. I'm too lazy to hunt down the exact thread, but I was going from Gavin's response. I myself wouldn't have been able to figure it out. lol
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  #6046  
Old 04-26-2013, 07:02 AM
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szokematyi szokematyi is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi Gavin!

My question is about how drum placement can/could/should affect tuning.
I just bought a new Saturn IV (Trans Ash Burl Burst finish), which has 2 rack toms and 2 floor toms. But I'm considering placing the smaller floor tom to my left, next to the hi-hat. This way my hands would be free to use floor toms and rack toms and the snare without crossing over or having to turn too much to the right. But would it affect how I should tune them? Because the tune-difference would be quite big between the 12" rack and the 16" floor in case of a "tom run-down" (like 10"->12"->16"). Or is this not an issue? I know that this too is personal preference, but is there a proven fault in retuning them, or leaving the tuning as it is, or something? I'm probably not the only one who's thinking about placing toms like this, and I was hoping that you or someone you know tried this once and knows the pros and cons of this placement/idea.

Thank you in advance!
Cheers,
Matthew

Last edited by szokematyi; 04-27-2013 at 09:47 AM.
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  #6047  
Old 04-27-2013, 03:48 AM
Nige86 Nige86 is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hey Gavin, just wanted to say I finally received my 12x5 premium protean package today here in Northern Ireland! It is a fine instrument and so well thought out and meticulously manufactured. It is joy to play and I'm already thinking I can actually use it as my main snare in a lot of situations (like church etc.) Thanks again for designing a fantastic drum and not just a cheap drum with your name slapped on it.

Also, would love to have you and 05Ric in Ireland in the near future!

Nigel
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  #6048  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:48 AM
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Sjogras Sjogras is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by szokematyi View Post
Hi Gavin!

My question is about how drum placement can/could/should affect tuning.
I just bought a new Saturn IV (Trans Ash Burl Burst finish), which has 2 rack toms and 2 floor toms. But I'm considering placing the smaller floor tom to my left, next to the hi-hat. This way my hands would be free to use floor toms and rack toms and the snare without crossing over or having to turn too much to the right. But would it affect how I should tune them? Because the tune-difference would be quite big between the 12" rack and the 16" floor in case of a "tom run-down" (like 10"->12"->16"). Or is this not an issue? I know that this too is personal preference, but is there a proven fault in retuning them, or leaving the tuning as it is, or something? I'm probably not the only one who's thinking about placing toms like this, and I was hoping that you or someone you know tried this once and knows the pros and cons of this placement/idea.

Thank you in advance!
Cheers,
Matthew
Hey, you'll get more answers posting this in the "Drums" forum for instance. Well, I have a similar setup myself, except the "gap" is from a 10" to a 14". Both are tuned D, but an octave apart. Regardless of your setup, tune the drums to where they sound the best by themselves, while still blending well with the others.
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  #6049  
Old 05-05-2013, 12:17 PM
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Dustondrums Dustondrums is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi, Gavin!
As you told before you set footboards on your pedals at -18.3 degree. I've tried to use this settings on my Speed Cobra and noticed that footboard doesn't touch the cobra coil while i play. And i wonder if you use cobra coil in your pedals?

Last edited by Dustondrums; 05-05-2013 at 02:36 PM.
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  #6050  
Old 05-08-2013, 09:55 PM
DaftMule DaftMule is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi Gavin. Just wanted to wish you all the best for the workshop in Portsmouth on Friday. Looking forward to seeing you there!
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  #6051  
Old 05-11-2013, 09:30 PM
Sam Sanders Sam Sanders is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hey Gavin

You were awesome in Portsmouth yesterday. Was gonna ask about that fill in Fear of a Blank Planet, but then you explained it. I was also gonna ask about Slippin Away, but you explained that too! :) Just on thing; the five stroke sticking you explained... is that what you call a Blushda? As I use it a lot, but have seen others swapping the drag part of it around.

All the best

Sam (guy who was wearing a black cap)
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  #6052  
Old 05-12-2013, 11:38 AM
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Gavin Harrison Gavin Harrison is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi anokus

1. When you play drums with other musicians, what do you listen to? Do you listen to each instruments individually or listen to all of them together? What should a drummer/percussionist listen to while playing music with others?

I listen to everyone - unless I think they have a poor sense of time that it's going to annoy me. Sometimes I might take out things out of my headphones like keyboard pads, strings and choirs or sound textures that are filling up the mix and aren't going to help me play the song.

2. Can you suggest some methods/techniques to improve the sense of time? By the sense of time I mean keeping the groove in the pocket and knowing when the tempo is fluctuating.


Ultimately if you want to get good at 'timing' you've got to get good at listening. Recognise when things maybe out of sync between your hands and feet and practise to very slow clicks. 30 - 40 bpm.

3. When playing solos/long fills how do you keep track of the ONE? Do you count the beats simultaneously in your head?


I never count when I play. I have a 'sense' of where '1' is probably from practising to records over the years. Develop a good sense of syncopation and you won't get lost.

4. How do you come up with new ideas of grooves and fills?

I do a lot of improvising - and anything I stumble across that I like the sound of - I either write out or film it on my little Zoom Q3HD.

Hi HutchinsonDrummer

I've been fortunate enough to do a few tours of the US so far with my own band. We do not have any type of label support, so everything we do, we do out-of-pocket ourselves. We're not necessarily looking to get onto a label, but we're amazed at the number of other bands who are more "radio friendly" than us get picked up by labels. Being in PT yourself, a band that is also not necessarily "radio friendly", how did getting onto to bigger labels like RoadRunner even happen? I'm not looking for advice, and i'm definitely not looking for handouts/ways to get onto a label. I'm just curious as to what the story is behind PT and maybe some other bands you've sessioned on.


Before we signed to Roadrunner we were signed to Warner Bros (Lava) in the States. The albums sold well - so it was an easy choice for Roadrunner to invite us to go with them. Not that much of a risk for them. Before Warner's the band was with Snapper records and the records sold relatively well too - so it was a logical step.

Hi humberto

Did You have some plans go start a tour(with PT or 05ric) in America(especially south america of course)???

Not at the moment.

Hi Croc

I just received a 12 x 5 Sonor GH Protean snare drum. What a beautiful little beast it is and the sound is incredible! Thanks to you and Sonor for collaborating on such a well thought through product.

Great - I'm glad you like it.

I am in the process of buying cymbals for my new acoustic kit (coming back from electronic drums) and I am weighing my options. I note you play 13” hi-hats while the trend seems to be going towards larger diameters. For the types of music you play, what do the 13” hats do better than other sizes?


I chose those K 13" Hi Hats because I wanted quieter hi hats. It's one of those instruments that get all over the mics. I really like the sound of them and they are very versatile - but I also play 14" K Constantinople too - a very different sound but I love the sound of them.

Hi euphoric_anomaly

A question about the opening bars of Identitas. I've read that you stated it's a 27 note grouping. Which could be split however you choose. Do you maintain a steady (3) bars of 9/8 for each set? I've been listening very carefully to count the notes, and was wondering if you include the 3 hi-hat *chicks* with the left foot during the (4 notes on the tom, 1 accent on the snare) part. I'd try to transcribe it, but you saw my last attempt with What Happens Now, and I don't feel like making a fool of myself again.

I don't maintain a steady 9 through the opening bars. I just hear that pattern melodically and follow the twisted logic of the sticking and arm movement. I haven't transcribed it - (I'm sure Terry Branam would make an excellent job of it).

Hi Elyar Khosravi

now my question is what is the time signature and snare accs in "what happens now" after e-guitar pattern and befor 3/4 rhythm ( At Live in DVD )


I'm pretty sure there's been a transcription of that rhythm somewhere on this thread. Anyway euphoric_anomaly got it right "7/8 between the bass/snare with a 3/16ths (or dotted 8th) on the ride".

Hi szokematyi

My question is about how drum placement can/could/should affect tuning.
I just bought a new Saturn IV (Trans Ash Burl Burst finish), which has 2 rack toms and 2 floor toms. But I'm considering placing the smaller floor tom to my left, next to the hi-hat. This way my hands would be free to use floor toms and rack toms and the snare without crossing over or having to turn too much to the right. But would it affect how I should tune them? Because the tune-difference would be quite big between the 12" rack and the 16" floor in case of a "tom run-down" (like 10"->12"->16").


I would tune them however you want - who cares about "tom run-downs"?

Hi Nige86

just wanted to say I finally received my 12x5 premium protean package today here in Northern Ireland! It is a fine instrument and so well thought out and meticulously manufactured. It is joy to play and I'm already thinking I can actually use it as my main snare in a lot of situations (like church etc.) Thanks again for designing a fantastic drum and not just a cheap drum with your name slapped on it.

Thanks - I'm glad you like the design of it. It's a 'no-compromise' snare drum. I'm going to play these two snares for a very long time so they had to be just right.

Hi Dustondrums

As you told before you set footboards on your pedals at -18.3 degree. I've tried to use this settings on my Speed Cobra and noticed that footboard doesn't touch the cobra coil while i play. And i wonder if you use cobra coil in your pedals?


It depends if you have the cobra coil set back or forwards. On the right pedal I don't really use it (and it's set fully forwards). On the left pedal I have it set fully back so it is being used.

Hi Sam Sanders

Just on thing; the five stroke sticking you explained... is that what you call a Blushda? As I use it a lot, but have seen others swapping the drag part of it around.

It's not what is called a 'blushda'. However there is a RLRRL sticking there but they are not played as 5 equal notes in a blushda.

cheers
Gavin
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  #6053  
Old 05-12-2013, 11:52 AM
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keep it simple keep it simple is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

How are the new snares going Gavin? I hope they're proving popular, they deserve to be. It's rare for a drum to be designed such that the features are all working towards a coherent "real world" result.
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  #6054  
Old 05-14-2013, 09:47 AM
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Terry Branam Terry Branam is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Harrison View Post
I don't maintain a steady 9 through the opening bars. I just hear that pattern melodically and follow the twisted logic of the sticking and arm movement. I haven't transcribed it - (I'm sure Terry Branam would make an excellent job of it).
Well, here's an attempt at the "Identitas" pattern. Now the real question is: where does Gavin actually hear these subdivisions? Hope this is in the right ballpark...



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Last edited by Terry Branam; 05-14-2013 at 10:21 AM.
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  #6055  
Old 05-19-2013, 10:23 AM
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SantiBanks SantiBanks is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi Gavin!

Thanks for the very enjoyable and entertaining clinic in Rotterdam! I had a very good laugh that evening, your impersonation of the Shaggs was spot on and very convincing (which I find actually pretty hard to do myself).

Very nice to hear some of the other big band arrangements. Laurence did an amazing job arranging these songs. Any idea when the full album comes out? Looking forward to hear that in surround!

A more "production minded" question: did you try to use parallel chains when mixing your drums (for example parallel compression as opposed to direct compression) and if so, did you like it?

Cheers,
Santi
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  #6056  
Old 05-19-2013, 12:52 PM
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Phil Brodermann Phil Brodermann is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi Gavin, quick question just out of curiosity; any recent live performances of individuals or groups that stood out to you or that you enjoyed particularly?

Are there any artists that you would love to see live but haven't had the chance to?

Cheers, Phil.
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  #6057  
Old 05-21-2013, 01:54 AM
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heaven'stef heaven'stef is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hey Gavin,
great clinic at Session Music in Frankfurt. Glad to hear you Brits warm your feet the same way as "ze Germans" (next question, what's warmer: maple or birch? Not just sound-wise...) ;-)

Righty, got something on a serious note too; the one piece you played was "Cheating the Polygraph" in a big band version, right? Did SW play/record all that music or was it someone else?

Another thing, I recently drove up to the SONOR HQ at Aue/Bad Berleburg and did the factory-tour with Rainer Dreisbach.
(btw. can only recommend this highly to any drummer; had high expectations as I play SONOR for 20years myself now, and I regard them as the top-brand. And tbh it was even better than I thought, absolutely brilliant.)

They were producing and testing the 14" PROTEANS when I was there, I am amazed how much work and craftsmanship goes into these drums...
How often do you stop by or travel to the factory? Projects like the PROTEAN snares surely required a lot of input, testing, designing etc.
Did you do communicate with them only per email, phone etc or were you at SONOR HQ yourself to work with the team there?

Keep up the great work, hope to see you again soon.

Kind regards
Stef

Last edited by heaven'stef; 05-21-2013 at 05:01 PM.
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  #6058  
Old 05-26-2013, 04:24 PM
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SantiBanks SantiBanks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven'stef View Post

Righty, got something on a serious note too; the one piece you played was "Cheating the Polygraph" in a big band version, right? Did SW play/record all that music or was it someone else?
He played Cheating the polygraph, Futile and The start of something beautiful in big band arrangements in Rotterdam. These where all arranged by arranger/bass player Laurence Cottle (he is amazing, check him out!).
Not sure which big band is actually performing (but there is probably no SW playing along…)

@Gavin: will these big band versions be released soon? I believe you said somewhere in an interview (or maybe here) that there where even 96/24 surround mixes of these big band recordings.
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  #6059  
Old 05-28-2013, 07:54 PM
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CareyCopelandCameron CareyCopelandCameron is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Happy Birthday Gavin,
I wish you all the best!!!


PS:Its my birthday,too...;-)
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  #6060  
Old 05-28-2013, 08:23 PM
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henri henri is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Happy B, Mr Harrison.
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  #6061  
Old 05-29-2013, 03:55 AM
Franiov Franiov is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

happy Birthday ! Feliz Cumpleaños , from Argentina
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  #6062  
Old 05-30-2013, 09:16 PM
humberto humberto is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi Gavin

I have two questions in my mind:

first: which kind of wood shells do you prefere in your home studio and in one live situation, i mean birch in studio or maple......

second: your custom bells, did you cut crashes and take the bell off or.........; and which
cymbals you cut, or you asked to zildjian people do...... , and tell me more about your bell support, because i cannot understand how you make ....

Thanks
Humberto
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  #6063  
Old 06-01-2013, 10:31 PM
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Gavin Harrison Gavin Harrison is offline
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Hi keep it simple

How are the new snares going Gavin? I hope they're proving popular, they deserve to be. It's rare for a drum to be designed such that the features are all working towards a coherent "real world" result.

They are selling exceptionally well. Better than we ever hoped for - thanks.

Thanks to Terry Branam for the transcription.

Well, here's an attempt at the "Identitas" pattern. Now the real question is: where does Gavin actually hear these subdivisions? Hope this is in the right ballpark...

I think I feel it as all groups of 4/16ths and then 2/16 on the very end - so the melodic tom pattern feels displaced in the second half. So more like a bar of 7/4 and a bar of 6/4 + 2/16.

Hi SantiBanks

Very nice to hear some of the other big band arrangements. Laurence did an amazing job arranging these songs. Any idea when the full album comes out? Looking forward to hear that in surround!

It is amazing in surround. We're a long way off finishing it though.

A more "production minded" question: did you try to use parallel chains when mixing your drums (for example parallel compression as opposed to direct compression) and if so, did you like it?

I never use parallel compression.

Hi Phil Brodermann

any recent live performances of individuals or groups that stood out to you or that you enjoyed particularly?

I was very happy to make this duet with Simon Phillips. A big thrill for me and one of the most enjoyable 'musical' things I've ever done. All written rehearsed and performed in two days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6YooxOTsus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPf39uh1Mdk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3Yx41LSmXI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV1Arl7Z2Ls

Hi heaven'stef

Righty, got something on a serious note too; the one piece you played was "Cheating the Polygraph" in a big band version, right? Did SW play/record all that music or was it someone else?


No Steve didn't work on it. Everything was arranged by the brilliant Laurence Cottle - who also played bass on the song.

Another thing, I recently drove up to the SONOR HQ at Aue/Bad Berleburg and did the factory-tour with Rainer Dreisbach. They were producing and testing the 14" PROTEANS when I was there, I am amazed how much work and craftsmanship goes into these drums...How often do you stop by or travel to the factory?

I go to the factory pretty much every year or two. The Protean project took about 18 months and most of it was done on email and video conferences on Skype with the developing team headed by David Schulz. They sent me many prototypes and I requested changes and gave feedback along the way. I'm very happy with how they turned out.

Hi humberto

first: which kind of wood shells do you prefere in your home studio and in one live situation, i mean birch in studio or maple......

Maple in both situations.

second: your custom bells, did you cut crashes and take the bell off or.........; and which
cymbals you cut, or you asked to zildjian people do...... , and tell me more about your bell support, because i cannot understand how you make ....


The bells were all cut from Zildjian crash cymbals with the medium cup size. 13" to 17".
The bell support is made by Sonor in their 'Basic Arm' range.

thanks for the birthday wishes.

Cheers
Gavin
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  #6064  
Old 06-03-2013, 11:26 AM
atman atman is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi Gavin, this is a beginner drummer from Spain. I once heard from you that you had never practice speed itself. Then how did you manage to play as fast as you do nowadays?
Nowadays I intend to play "The Funky Beat" by David Garibaldi but seldom I reach 80 bpm. because I play a flam when things should work at unison.
Do I try again as faster as I can? or is it a matter of working independence exercises at slower tempos and then time will bring the conquest of faster tempos???

I hope I made myself understood, cheers, Alberto.
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  #6065  
Old 06-05-2013, 02:30 AM
tradgrip tradgrip is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hi Gavin,

I hope all is well with you! In the past you had mentioned your lack of fondness for electronic triggers and e-drums, in general. However, fairly recently you've incorporated the newer Wavedrum in both a live setting and recording as well as checking out the newer Gen16 Zildjians. Can you see yourself incorporating some of those items into your setup as more of a "regular" part of it or for your needs, are they best used/utilized in a more clinic-type of setting?

thanks!
Michael
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  #6066  
Old 06-06-2013, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Greetings from Romania Gavin!

First of all I'd like to join all the other people who have shown their admiration to you, you are an exceptional musician! Such a role model for so many people, including myself, a big music enthusiast of all genres and an amateur drummer. You taking the time and answering all these questions shows just how down to earth you are.

I red 70+ pages of this thread, and I got most of my questions answered, but I chose 1, the easiest I could think of to post myself. I hope it has never been asked before:

How come you never crash your rides ? I was (re) watching some of your youtube videos and it just hit me, I don't think I ever heard you crashing a ride cymbal.

That's it, thanks again for doing this and we're all looking forward to your next projects!
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  #6067  
Old 06-11-2013, 10:09 PM
Theyoungdrum Theyoungdrum is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Hey Gavin, I recently picked up a Pearl ICON rack and some PCX200 clamps I ordered just came in, I was wondering if those were the ones you used. Also, I was wondering how you go about mounting your toms, like clamp positioning and stuff like that. I LOVE the way your toms are a perfect straight line like that and I'd love to know how I could get my three toms like that.
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  #6068  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:23 PM
Robthedrummer Robthedrummer is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Gavin, I really don't have much to say other than thanks for being an inspiration! And keep up with your drumming excellence! Hopefull I get to see PT some day in the States.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:02 PM
funkmonster funkmonster is offline
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Hi Mr. Harrison,

I'll number my question topics, if you don't mind. I do have a loooong list, I hope you don't mind. :) Many questions on improvisation, however.

1. Quoting you:
Quote:
there have been times where I REALLY didn't feel like playing - and that usually happens at some point during a long tour when I don't feel well (heavy cold/flu or food poisoning).
I have several questions about this. If you do feel unwell during a long tour, is there much chance for you to reschedule the gig? And how do you prevent from getting sick on a long tour? Needless to say, Vitamin C helps a lot, but I've heard that on tours you rarely get enough time to eat and sleep properly, and I presume that since you'll be crossing a few borders you're definitely not immune to all local sicknesses even with a bucket load of vitamin C in your stash somewhere. So how do you usually deal with these circumstances? And what do you do to avoid food poisoning? (Like, avoid fast-foods or something?)

2. In your early gigging days, I'm sure you wouldn't have had the luxury to have the perfect drum setup for you all the time. Say if the drum set is a 4-piece and you have practised your parts on a 5-piece, or worse, you've practised on a 4-piece but the set you're provided has no floor tom (3-piece), how do you go about that change? That is, assuming you weren't using your drum set and didn't know about this until you arrived at the gig. I have a similar problem as I'm currently a music student, every time I attend my performance workshop I end up using a crap old 4-piece yet my drum notations may have 5-6 toms notated. If your answer is "improvise" (or not), then it leads into question 3.

3. I struggle with improvisations, but thankfully I've experimented and learned a few successful methods helping that, like practising short phrasings and limb independence. I used to think, "What drum should I play?", but that was frying my brains so now I tend to think, "What sound am I after?".

The problem is, most of the time I'm not using my own drums... I used a friend's drum set once for a workshop. I never got to play on it properly until my performance, which I found out in my drum solo section that the drums did not sound at all like how I wanted them to, and it pretty much killed my solo. Is my perception on how to improvise flawed? Either yes or no, is there a way to go about these situations where you may have to improvise on a badly-tuned drum set? (Minus the snare drum since I always bring my own.)

4. I have a huge issue with drum setup, and it's not just a 4-piece or 5-piece issue, it is my traditional grip which is what I use 99% of the time these days. I main that grip for personal reasons; being born left-handed, my biased culture has forced me to use my right hand for just about anything I do everyday since I was a kid. Trad grip is my current solution to establishing left-right coordination. Before my trad grip days I almost gave up playing drums because I could instinctively play a tom fill leading with the left hand, and stop short at tom 1 super confused because I then realised all too late the leading hand changed (I play the crossed-hand method on a right-handed set).

Being a trad gripper now, I run into the big problem of "why are the drums so out of reach?!", as I'm physically smaller than everyone else in my class, and the trad grip utilises an odd angle on anything. I don't mind the current in-class issues but I'm really afraid of this happening in a gigging situation. Are there any pro advice you can give me on how to tackle this dilemma?

I also practise the matched grip a lot recently due to Latin cross-stick/tom combinations. I'm also planning to buy another drum set someday with a 20" bass drum just so that the rack toms don't have to be above my shoulders. Besides I like the 20" sound more.

5. I struggle to add ghost notes in-between my accents while improvising. I've been reflecting on this and have come up with a reason; I try to think musically as if I'm soloing on bass or piano, and on melodic instruments you just need to play the first note and let it ring if it is not a staccato. On drums though, long sustains are impossible... So I assume ghosted snare notes act as the sustain one way or another.

Is there a way to mentally hear those strings of ghosted notes as say, a minim with tremolos? I keep getting lost by the sheer number of notes, and this is only for double and single strokes... Once I get to paradiddles it gets exponentially harder!

6. How do you do spontaneous improvisations with paradiddles without tangling your arms? I have learned a few ideas but they can only go so far. (I need a method to simplify all the information coursing through the neuron cells in my brain.) This is also a how-to-visualise/hear-it-mentally sort of question.

7. In my performance exam today, my right-stick flew out of my hand halfway through a song and my left-stick hit it into my face on its way up from the snare. I pretty much stopped dead for like a whole bar and although I think I recovered well after that, it is nowhere near as well as how you recovered from dropping your stick in the David Letterman show (The Chicken solo). How do you practise that?? I must say I'm always impressed how professionals recover so quickly when they drop sticks. In the video I wouldn't have even known you dropped your stick if I relied solely on my ears.

8. Do you bury your bass drum beater into the drum head? From a sound perspective, do you think that burying the beater makes an unnatural sound? All the teachers in my region teaches the "bounce the beater off the BD head" approach, whether playing foot down or heel up. I do this most of the time but find it impossible to achieve if I'm on double kicks, or playing complex BD patterns on a single kick while clapping the hats on an 8th-note pulse, or playing 200+ BPM up-tempo jazz trying to swing the notes. (This is why I avoid double-quaver BD notes in up-tempo jazz.) Another problem is that the sound engineer sometimes doesn't like the sound. I wish we have a trigger because that would solve everything but we don't. What is your take on this?

-------------------------

I think that's all for now. Sorry for the long read. I read your article in a drum mag in the library last week, and really liked what I've read. It's the article with the catch-phrase "It's all about luck." (And "practising improves your luck" is the basic message.)


Thank you, I look forward to your reply.

funkmonster

Last edited by funkmonster; 06-20-2013 at 04:34 PM. Reason: spelling, grammar mistakes
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:44 PM
Bonzo92 Bonzo92 is offline
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Hi Gavin, I was wandering which one of these Porcupine Tree albums do you like most: In Absentia, Deadwing, Fear Of A Blank Planet.
I'd like to know your best pick in terms of mixing (the whole songs, and the drums in particular). I'm studying Sound Engineering, really wanting to become a Pro, I'm sure your observations will be so much precious to me :) thank you!

Francesco.
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  #6071  
Old 06-22-2013, 03:45 PM
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Gavin Harrison Gavin Harrison is offline
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Hi atman

this is a beginner drummer from Spain. I once heard from you that you had never practice speed itself. Then how did you manage to play as fast as you do nowadays?
Nowadays I intend to play "The Funky Beat" by David Garibaldi but seldom I reach 80 bpm. because I play a flam when things should work at unison.
Do I try again as faster as I can? or is it a matter of working independence exercises at slower tempos and then time will bring the conquest of faster tempos???


I never practise to 'try to go as fast as I can' and then the next day try to go even faster. I can already play as fast as I want to (and am asked to) play. I only wish I could think that fast. Much more important is control. You have to trust that being accurate and slower is more useful to you. Things won't be more accurate the faster you go. They may appear that way because the notes are closer together and you're ears can't process the information that quickly and judge the accuracy. However - the better you get - the better your ears will get. It's good that you can hear your inaccuracies now - and the way to go improving them is to play even slower - until it sounds right to you.

Hi tradgrip

In the past you had mentioned your lack of fondness for electronic triggers and e-drums, in general. However, fairly recently you've incorporated the newer Wavedrum in both a live setting and recording as well as checking out the newer Gen16 Zildjians. Can you see yourself incorporating some of those items into your setup as more of a "regular" part of it or for your needs, are they best used/utilized in a more clinic-type of setting?

It has been fun experimenting with the WaveDrum and the Gen16s - but I can't (at the moment) imagine them in my live concert setup.

Hi dare

How come you never crash your rides ? I was (re) watching some of your youtube videos and it just hit me, I don't think I ever heard you crashing a ride cymbal.

Yes you're correct. I don't really love ride cymbals that double as crash cymbals. If they are thin enough to really crash - then I usually don't like the ride sound - plus I like to keep the cymbal reasonably stiff as it's easier to play (because it's not swinging away from me) and I can position it hanging a couple of inches over my 12" tom. I do like ride cymbals that I can slap with the shoulder of the stick as a smaller kind of accent.

Hi Theyoungdrum

I recently picked up a Pearl ICON rack and some PCX200 clamps I ordered just came in, I was wondering if those were the ones you used. Also, I was wondering how you go about mounting your toms, like clamp positioning and stuff like that. I LOVE the way your toms are a perfect straight line like that and I'd love to know how I could get my three toms like that.

I think my clamps were PCX100 and I mount them so that the opening of the clamp is on the inside of the rack facing me. It also depends what make of drum mounts you have and if there's a few inches of 'wiggle' room for them to go backwards or forwards inside their own adjustment. Some companies don't give you much room to do that. Sonor - however - have a split ball mount so that the arm can move in or out by a few inches.

Hi funkmonster

If you do feel unwell during a long tour, is there much chance for you to reschedule the gig? And how do you prevent from getting sick on a long tour? Needless to say, Vitamin C helps a lot, but I've heard that on tours you rarely get enough time to eat and sleep properly, and I presume that since you'll be crossing a few borders you're definitely not immune to all local sicknesses even with a bucket load of vitamin C in your stash somewhere. So how do you usually deal with these circumstances? And what do you do to avoid food poisoning? (Like, avoid fast-foods or something?)

reschedule the gig? Usually the tickets have been on sale for months and many people have traveled a long way to see it. Sometimes they have flown in from other countries. They have booked hotels and flights to be there or might driven for many hours and taken time off work to do the trip. I can't announce that afternoon "I'm not feeling very well any chance we could do this next week"?
You can't really prevent from getting sick on tour. You catch a cold or flu - you may get food poisoning at any moment. I have tried taking Vitamins and echinacea and all kinds of stuff - but due to the conditions of the touring life. Low and bad quality sleep plus random eating, shaking hands with hundreds of people, and being in very close contact with 12 or so folks in the band and crew - it's almost inevitable that at some point you will get ill. Doing a job that has times of massive physical exertion getting very hot and sweaty and going in and out of air conditioned rooms etc. just compounds the possible problems.

2. In your early gigging days, I'm sure you wouldn't have had the luxury to have the perfect drum setup for you all the time. Say if the drum set is a 4-piece and you have practised your parts on a 5-piece, or worse, you've practised on a 4-piece but the set you're provided has no floor tom (3-piece), how do you go about that change? That is, assuming you weren't using your drum set and didn't know about this until you arrived at the gig. I have a similar problem as I'm currently a music student, every time I attend my performance workshop I end up using a crap old 4-piece yet my drum notations may have 5-6 toms notated. If your answer is "improvise" (or not), then it leads into question 3.

I can't remember more than a couple of times that I had to use someone's drumset instead of mine. The jobs I was doing at that point were just basic 'kick/snare/hat' types of things with simple fills so it wasn't really an issue. I would take my snare drum and my bass drum pedal.

3. I struggle with improvisations, but thankfully I've experimented and learned a few successful methods helping that, like practising short phrasings and limb independence. I used to think, "What drum should I play?", but that was frying my brains so now I tend to think, "What sound am I after?". The problem is, most of the time I'm not using my own drums... I used a friend's drum set once for a workshop. I never got to play on it properly until my performance, which I found out in my drum solo section that the drums did not sound at all like how I wanted them to, and it pretty much killed my solo. Is my perception on how to improvise flawed? Either yes or no, is there a way to go about these situations where you may have to improvise on a badly-tuned drum set? (Minus the snare drum since I always bring my own.)

I can't really comment on this as it hasn't really happened to me...and I would try as much as possible to not put myself in those situations. You may not believe this but the night before my Letterman performance (as I arrived in NYC) I was informed that my drumset had been lost and I would have to do the show on a rented kit. It gave me a pretty bad sleepless night. After a lot of stress and early morning phone calls my drumset was located and the show went ahead on my drums. I don't think I've ever been so relieved to see my drumset.

4. I have a huge issue with drum setup, and it's not just a 4-piece or 5-piece issue, it is my traditional grip which is what I use 99% of the time these days. I main that grip for personal reasons; being born left-handed, my biased culture has forced me to use my right hand for just about anything I do everyday since I was a kid. Trad grip is my current solution to establishing left-right coordination. Before my trad grip days I almost gave up playing drums because I could instinctively play a tom fill leading with the left hand, and stop short at tom 1 super confused because I then realised all too late the leading hand changed (I play the crossed-hand method on a right-handed set).
Being a trad gripper now, I run into the big problem of "why are the drums so out of reach?!", as I'm physically smaller than everyone else in my class, and the trad grip utilises an odd angle on anything. I don't mind the current in-class issues but I'm really afraid of this happening in a gigging situation. Are there any pro advice you can give me on how to tackle this dilemma?


Maybe drop the hi hat lower and get another ride cymbal on the left. Start playing matched grip all the time and play either way - left lead or right lead.

5. I struggle to add ghost notes in-between my accents while improvising. I've been reflecting on this and have come up with a reason; I try to think musically as if I'm soloing on bass or piano, and on melodic instruments you just need to play the first note and let it ring if it is not a staccato. On drums though, long sustains are impossible... So I assume ghosted snare notes act as the sustain one way or another.

Long sustains are what cymbals are for. Let them ring out and do their job. Same with the toms. Don't feel the need to play every 16th in the bar. Rolls can give the illusion of sustain.

Is there a way to mentally hear those strings of ghosted notes as say, a minim with tremolos? I keep getting lost by the sheer number of notes, and this is only for double and single strokes... Once I get to paradiddles it gets exponentially harder!

Have you studied any snare drum books for sticking, dynamics and articulations? Ghost notes will come easy once you really get into snare drum books.

6. How do you do spontaneous improvisations with paradiddles without tangling your arms? I have learned a few ideas but they can only go so far. (I need a method to simplify all the information coursing through the neuron cells in my brain.) This is also a how-to-visualise/hear-it-mentally sort of question.

I'm starting to get the feeling that you maybe haven't been playing the drums for as long as I have. Don't worry - all these things will come together over with time.

7. In my performance exam today, my right-stick flew out of my hand halfway through a song and my left-stick hit it into my face on its way up from the snare. I pretty much stopped dead for like a whole bar and although I think I recovered well after that, it is nowhere near as well as how you recovered from dropping your stick in the David Letterman show (The Chicken solo). How do you practise that?? I must say I'm always impressed how professionals recover so quickly when they drop sticks. In the video I wouldn't have even known you dropped your stick if I relied solely on my ears.

As I said earlier - you need to think fast.

8. Do you bury your bass drum beater into the drum head? From a sound perspective, do you think that burying the beater makes an unnatural sound? All the teachers in my region teaches the "bounce the beater off the BD head" approach, whether playing foot down or heel up. I do this most of the time but find it impossible to achieve if I'm on double kicks, or playing complex BD patterns on a single kick while clapping the hats on an 8th-note pulse, or playing 200+ BPM up-tempo jazz trying to swing the notes. (This is why I avoid double-quaver BD notes in up-tempo jazz.) Another problem is that the sound engineer sometimes doesn't like the sound. I wish we have a trigger because that would solve everything but we don't. What is your take on this?

I play both ways. It certainly makes a big sound difference if you have an open 'jazzy' bass drum. The beater will mute the sustain of the note. I have heard guys play where they bury the beater - but it bounces a little against the head and gives them a strange fluttering sound.

Hi Bonzo92

I was wandering which one of these Porcupine Tree albums do you like most: In Absentia, Deadwing, Fear Of A Blank Planet.
I'd like to know your best pick in terms of mixing (the whole songs, and the drums in particular). I'm studying Sound Engineering, really wanting to become a Pro, I'm sure your observations will be so much precious to me :) thank you!


That's a hard question because I'm not a subjective listener when hearing albums that I worked on for months at a time. I like all 3 albums probably for different reasons - they remind me of what was happening in my life around the time that they were made. They are a kind of reflection of what I was thinking about at those times. In Absentia was very well recorded in a very good studio in NYC - but I find it very difficult to divorce the pure sound from the music.

cheers
Gavin
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Last edited by Gavin Harrison; 06-23-2013 at 04:03 AM.
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  #6072  
Old 06-22-2013, 04:00 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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I just wanted to pop in and say how awesome I think it is that Mr. Harrison stops in and answers every question asked .

something you do not see often by people as busy as Gavin.

also.......every year I ask my more advanced students pick a tune they find very challenging and have them transcribe it

one of them picked The Sound Of Muzak .....I think he did a fantastic job on it

I would love for you to check it out if you were at all interested .....i could send you the PDF

that same student used one of your solo pieces as his Berklee audition .

and got in on scholarship by the way.....very proud

hope you are well
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:09 PM
funkmonster funkmonster is offline
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Thank you for all the replies, it really helps me get a better picture of what I'm looking for, even if it was a "never had this happen to me before". (Basically, try to avoid that situation right? Got it, sir.)

Quote:
I'm starting to get the feeling that you maybe haven't been playing the drums for as long as I have. Don't worry - all these things will come together over with time.
Your feeling's definitely correct... I'd say I've played drums for not as long as even a quarter of your practice time. I started it too late in my life, something I wish wasn't the case. No musical upbringing, education, all that stuff, unfortunate as it is but I work with what I've got. =)

The suggestion of getting snare-focused books is a really good one, though may I ask for some personal recommendations? I know of a few titles which I've been itching to get, like the Wilcoxon titles but they don't seem to come easily. My local music shop shelves are filled with "7 Greatest [insert popular band name here] Songs" books... I really want to avoid getting crap books as I'll be paying hefty shipping costs if buying through Amazon.

Once again thank you for your replies.

And hi atman, I know I'm just a nameless person here but I have to say, you're definitely not a beginner anymore if you're playing songs from Garibaldi's The Funky Beat. I can count with a few fingers of mine how many drummers among my real-life drummer friends who's actually eager to play 4-N-Matter, Escape from Oakland, etc. They're difficult in my opinion, and not many people care to raise their standards once they feel like they can play something. So I just want to say you're awesome. Keep up the good work, peace.

Last edited by funkmonster; 06-22-2013 at 10:11 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:31 PM
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SantiBanks SantiBanks is offline
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Default Re: Gavin Harrison here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo92 View Post
I'd like to know your best pick in terms of mixing (the whole songs, and the drums in particular). I'm studying Sound Engineering, really wanting to become a Pro, I'm sure your observations will be so much precious to me :) thank you!

Francesco.
Not to hijack Gavin's answer on this one; but you might have noticed that the drumsound on these three albums is all different and that the overall sound of these albums is different too.

In Absentia sounds rather bright and a bit compressed (i'm listening to the dvd-a which is a different mix I think) while Deadwing sounds warm and FOABP "low midrange fat" (for a lack of better term, describing sound is like dancing about architecture).

I think these drumsounds are all equally good but they all serve the sonic vibe of the album.

@Gavin: where the drums for Deadwing tracked at your studio? I'm asking because in the small documentary, there is a scene of you sitting with Steven in your controlroom, discussing industrial beats for Halo, but most of the documentary looks like shot in a studio (and it doesn't look like John Wesley's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonster View Post
I have a similar problem as I'm currently a music student, every time I attend my performance workshop I end up using a crap old 4-piece yet my drum notations may have 5-6 toms notated.
If you already know that you get into these kind of situations a lot, why not change the setup of your kit from time to time and practice on "smaller" kits? Maybe sometimes even removing more having just 1 rack tom and a floor?

A friend of mine did this a lot as he was left handed, usually couldn't play his own kit on gigs and played a lot of jamsessions too. He practiced left and right handed, on smaller setups. He almost played as good right handed as left handed and could play anything on the most minimalistic crappy rehearsalroom kits…

@Gavin: some other questions;
The backing track for Beyond the A has mostly just a 16th note pulse without accents. Is this on purpose and do you actually think in the different time signatures or just in 4? Im struggeling a bit with the transition fill from the small bridge to the verses (between verse 1 and 2). I always forget a note or I add one extra.

Also, there was a video from you playing something (I can't remember what it was, maybe the videos for AKG?), but you switched the 8" tom to the position of the 12" tom (so next to your ride). Marco Minneman plays with that setup a lot. Was there a particular reason to have the 8" tom there?

And last, I'm in the market for an additional monitor set. In the rehearsal clips for the GH05 tour, it seems like you have two extra monitors on the table (as opposed to the 5.1 NS10 set). Are those Genelec 1031's? How do you like them as opposed to the NS10's?
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:56 AM
Souljacker Souljacker is offline
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Funkmonster,

Just thought I'd chip in and recommend getting Stick Control by George L Stone if you want a good snare drum book. My ghost notes have definitely improved as I work through it. Concentrating on the exercises with more notes played with the left hand will be great for your ghost notes.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:54 PM
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David Floegel David Floegel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantiBanks View Post
Also, there was a video from you playing something (I can't remember what it was, maybe the videos for AKG?), but you switched the 8" tom to the position of the 12" tom (so next to your ride).
His drumsolo from the dvd :)
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:29 PM
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szokematyi szokematyi is offline
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Hi Gavin!

I remember that you used (maybe still do?) cut out rings in the inside of your floortoms sitting on top of the reso heads. Have you tried this idea with clear powerstroke3s as reso? If not, do you think it could work? 'Cause the head thickness would be the same as an ambassador, and the rings would be always where they should be. The only difference would be that the rings themselves would not be able to move as freely as a cut out ring. And if it sounds too dead, you could still cut those rings down to a smaller size to let the tom breathe a bit more.

Cheers,
Matthew
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:26 AM
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dr_flam dr_flam is offline
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Hi Gavin,

Mirco from Italy here.
Can you give some hints about the tuning of your Protean snares? For example what is the difference in tuning bewteen the two? I guess the 12" will be some pitches higher than the 14".

Thanks.

Sorry if this question has been maybe already posted.

M.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:07 PM
kerrek kerrek is offline
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Hey Gavin, I have a question about your riff in Bonnie the Cat. I know you say that it's in 4/4 time, and I cognitively understand how that's true, but I cannot help but feel it in (7+9)/8. My question is something to the effect of this: What makes it a syncopated 4/4 rhythm as opposed to a mixed meter? (And on a broader level, what is the underlying difference between syncopation and meter changes? To me, they are often indistinguishable because I can see both perspectives equally well.) Is it in 4/4 because you, as the composer/architect feel it in 4? Is it in 4/4 because you as the drummer feel it in 4? Or are both ways of viewing the rhythm equally valid and subject to the listeners' interpretations?

Simply put: In your opinion, who decides the meter: the writer, the performer, or the listener?
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:48 PM
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Gavin Harrison Gavin Harrison is offline
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Hi Anthony Amodeo

every year I ask my more advanced students pick a tune they find very challenging and have them transcribe it. one of them picked The Sound Of Muzak .....I think he did a fantastic job on it I would love for you to check it out if you were at all interested .....i could send you the PDF

It's nice to know that folks feel inspired to transcribe my drumming. Unfortunately I don't have time to check all the transcriptions properly and I'm sure your student spent some quite considerable time on it.

Hi funkmonster

The suggestion of getting snare-focused books is a really good one, though may I ask for some personal recommendations? I know of a few titles which I've been itching to get, like the Wilcoxon titles but they don't seem to come easily. My local music shop shelves are filled with "7 Greatest [insert popular band name here] Songs" books... I really want to avoid getting crap books as I'll be paying hefty shipping costs if buying through Amazon.

The Wilcoxon books are good and Fred Albright Contemporary Studies For Snare Drum is excellent (but quite hard). Stone's "Stick Control" is very good too. Anything that will getting you working on accurate articulation is the key.

Hi SantiBanks

The backing track for Beyond the A has mostly just a 16th note pulse without accents. Is this on purpose and do you actually think in the different time signatures or just in 4? Im struggeling a bit with the transition fill from the small bridge to the verses (between verse 1 and 2). I always forget a note or I add one extra.

You can divide it in your mind anyway you want. It does all add up to 4/4 but I think of the verses as 9+7 9+7 9+7 7+9. Coming out of that and playing fills - is not easy.

Also, there was a video from you playing something (I can't remember what it was, maybe the videos for AKG?), but you switched the 8" tom to the position of the 12" tom (so next to your ride). Marco Minneman plays with that setup a lot. Was there a particular reason to have the 8" tom there?

It's from my second DVD - I just moved it there to shake things up a bit and see if got me moving about the toms a little differently.

And last, I'm in the market for an additional monitor set. In the rehearsal clips for the GH05 tour, it seems like you have two extra monitors on the table (as opposed to the 5.1 NS10 set). Are those Genelec 1031's? How do you like them as opposed to the NS10's?

They are Mackie HR824s. I actually set off to buy the Genelec 1031s but when I compared them in the shop I thought they sounded too good. Possibly flattering the music in an untrue kind of way. The Mackies just sounded flat to me and therefore I thought they would be more useful as 'monitors'.

Hi szokematyi

I remember that you used (maybe still do?) cut out rings in the inside of your floortoms sitting on top of the reso heads. Have you tried this idea with clear powerstroke3s as reso? If not, do you think it could work?

Yes I still do that. They have to be independent from the skin otherwise it won't work as a 'floating gate'. Pieces of cotton or cloth will also work well in the same way - but it's a bit unpredictable where they might land on the bottom head after any particular hit. The rings always go back into the same place.

Hi dr_flam

Can you give some hints about the tuning of your Protean snares? For example what is the difference in tuning bewteen the two? I guess the 12" will be some pitches higher than the 14".

I tune them for whatever the song requires. I always follow this tuning method http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdma3m5LUzs and just try to find the right pitch that suits what I'm trying to play. Of course the 12" has a different character and has more 'pop' in it's attack. The 14" has more body to it so between the two of them I can usually find what I'm looking for. I usually have the reso head tighter than the top head.

Hi kerrek

Hey Gavin, I have a question about your riff in Bonnie the Cat. I know you say that it's in 4/4 time, and I cognitively understand how that's true, but I cannot help but feel it in (7+9)/8. My question is something to the effect of this: What makes it a syncopated 4/4 rhythm as opposed to a mixed meter? (And on a broader level, what is the underlying difference between syncopation and meter changes? To me, they are often indistinguishable because I can see both perspectives equally well.) Is it in 4/4 because you, as the composer/architect feel it in 4? Is it in 4/4 because you as the drummer feel it in 4? Or are both ways of viewing the rhythm equally valid and subject to the listeners' interpretations? Simply put: In your opinion, who decides the meter: the writer, the performer, or the listener?

Good question. When I composed the rhythm I thought of it in 4/4 - but that's not to say that you might prefer to hear it another way. Both are valid. You might hear a 'feel' difference in the way that you play it - when you think of it in another time signature. In my second book (Rhythmic Perspectives) I examine this in depth.
For instance when working with an orchestra - let's say we have a piece that has some 'funky' syncopation in it - they might struggle to make that sound good if you force them to read it in 4/4. So if you rewrite it in a way that the funky accents are more on the downbeats (by using a series of odd time bars and possibly even changing subdivisions) they may find it easier to play and be able to nail it in a more accurate sounding way.
I remember my Dad's (big band brass) generation not loving to read 16th notes - but when it was written out as 8th notes - and the tempo doubled - they breezed through it. Whatever is easiest on your eyes. I really don't like to read 32nds especially if there's dotted notes and rests in there.
To the listener it sounds exactly the same. So the time signatures are just there to help you perform it in the easiest way. Sometimes I have rewritten parts in a different way because (to my eyes) it made more sense than the way the composer had scored it out.

It's also true that once you hear it one way - it's hard to un-learn it - and hear it another way. That has caught me out a few times.

cheers
Gavin
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