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  #1  
Old 05-12-2016, 05:52 PM
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Default This time, we're really mixing it up!

A whole new angle to drum videos.

4 years ago, drum industry professionals called us stupid for releasing totally unprocessed sound videos of our drums. "You must be f&^@ crazy" - "They'll sound weak". Well, the countless congratulatory messages we received told us they were wrong. Now a (reluctant) industry trend is emerging, but we're moving the game on. This summer's sessions will feature unprocessed drums in full production music performance settings, & a more eclectic musical mix you couldn't find anywhere else. Brave? - hell yes. Stupid? - quite possibly. Tracking / filming next month.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Oh, and you've got Amy Turk lined up, too! I love her harp playing, and I'm looking forward to hearing it with Guru drums.

Is that Ben on the lower left? (EDIT - Kinda looks like a younger, long-haired Andy!)

Excellent, Andy!
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Oh, and you've got Amy Turk lined up, too! I love her harp playing, and I'm looking forward to hearing it with Guru drums.

Is that Ben on the lower left? (EDIT - Kinda looks like a younger, long-haired Andy!)

Excellent, Andy!
Thanks, & yes, that's Ben :) Happy to show who's involved at this stage, but no performance details, as that would ruin the surprise. I can confirm that Ben & Amy will be performing something together, & I'm expecting special!

Additionally, we have some really wild live sessions planned. From deep to frivolous, & everything in between.

These sessions are full of risk. There's very little time available. Each primary session being set up, tracked, & mixed in one day. Unprocessed drums in this environment is close to madness. Even Pete Miles at Middle Farm Studios thinks we're really pushing our luck. In such a setting, unprocessed drums almost always sound weak & thin without the benefit of tweakery. We've got our work cut out on this one :)

I'm doing some sampling & stuff on day 4 with an extremely well known drummer & his producer. More about that (if I'm allowed to talk about it) next month.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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I can confirm that Ben & Amy will be performing something together, & I'm expecting special!
Well, that right there will make it a must see video!
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Do you mean to say that ALL of the instruments will be un-processed?

Let me start out by saying Iím an old man. To my thinking this project in heading back to the way things were recorded many moons ago. There was a time when the only engineering and mixing that was done to a recording involved separation of each instrument and the volume level of each instrument.

I donít think there is that much risk involved here. I like raw recordings.
Really, the only risk is that peopleís perception of what sounds good has changed over the last 60 years.


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Old 05-12-2016, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Do you mean to say that ALL of the instruments will be un-processed?
.
No Jim, only the drums will be unprocessed, everything else will be subject to the usual production activities, although tamed somewhat. That's the risk. Unprocessed drums in a produced environment.

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Well, that right there will make it a must see video!
Indeed! There's other good stuff too though. An 8 piece session including brass & DJ? More too, & we're really winging it here. Everything will be jammed out on the day (except Ben & Amy's session). There will be some interesting kit swap / comparison stuff going on too :)
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Sounds awesome! I can't wait. :)
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  #8  
Old 05-12-2016, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Sounds awesome! I can't wait. :)
Nor can I, but honestly, I'm slightly scared = exactly how I should feel :)

Expect some of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-IBhzEF5jk

And deeper stuff like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__xw4cnPKi4

but in a live unscripted context. Absolutely no idea how this will go, but at least we can't be accused of keeping it safe or not embracing multiple music forms :)

As for Ben & Amy, I can only guess, but I hope we do everything justice.

Last edited by keep it simple; 05-12-2016 at 09:47 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2016, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

I wish I could afford a Guru. Nobody spent an entire day on my bass drum spurs or anything and I feel really cheated.
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2016, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Nobody spent an entire day on my bass drum spurs or anything and I feel really cheated.
Hahahaha - Nice side track there ;)

These sessions are precious to me. I could take the easy path. Mainstream music forms, big production, lots of fancy "impressive" stuff, but that's not what I'm about, & I can only hope it's not what our followers want to experience either.

On a practical point, I'm crapping my pants about getting everything built in time. Shell production for this deadline is currently 3 weeks behind schedule (mostly my fault), & I have to build up 5 kits & 15 snares in just over two weeks. I've calculated it as 15 days x 16 hour days, & that leaves zero time for tuning + preparation. I'm likely to fail at some point.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

(said like Dr. Emmitt Brown in 1985's "Back to the Future")

As long as there are mics on the drums to bring the volume up to where the other instruments are............everything should be fine.

These drums just need a good tuning with no dampening to sound their best.

Nothing to worry about.
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2016, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Hahahaha - Nice side track there ;)

These sessions are precious to me. I could take the easy path. Mainstream music forms, big production, lots of fancy "impressive" stuff, but that's not what I'm about, & I can only hope it's not what our followers want to experience either.

On a practical point, I'm crapping my pants about getting everything built in time. Shell production for this deadline is currently 3 weeks behind schedule (mostly my fault), & I have to build up 5 kits & 15 snares in just over two weeks. I've calculated it as 15 days x 16 hour days, & that leaves zero time for tuning + preparation. I'm likely to fail at some point.
Well you'd better get off the dang internet and get to work!! lol
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2016, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
(said like Dr. Emmitt Brown in 1985's "Back to the Future")

As long as there are mics on the drums to bring the volume up to where the other instruments are............everything should be fine.

These drums just need a good tuning with no dampening to sound their best.

Nothing to worry about.
If only it were that simple Larry. You're right, of course. We have the best chance of pulling this off, but it's still a risky deal.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2016, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Unprocessed live drums of yore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADwB...qPu0Au&index=2



.... next time your singer accuses you of playing 'Respect' too fast, send em' this vid.
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2016, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Getting the drums to sound great will be the easiest part...they already do. It's all the other instruments that will be the time consuming hassle getting to sound just right ;-)

I believe this is going to be awesome and so very worth it!!
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2016, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
These sessions are full of risk.
This whole venture has been full of risk mate. From the first time you hooked up with an underexposed drum maker, to the experimentation with wood species/shell construction/hardware, to the first foray into wider marketing, until now. You guys have managed to tread boldly and get it right thus far. I don't expect to see that change any time soon.

Mate, "risk" seems to encompass the core ethos of what Guru Drums are all about.


Looking forward to hearing the results!!
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2016, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Anti-marketing marketing. Next level.

Any chance of a Periscope stream of the actual session?
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2016, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
This whole venture has been full of risk mate. From the first time you hooked up with an underexposed drum maker, to the experimentation with wood species/shell construction/hardware, to the first foray into wider marketing, until now. You guys have managed to tread boldly and get it right thus far. I don't expect to see that change any time soon.

Mate, "risk" seems to encompass the core ethos of what Guru Drums are all about.


Looking forward to hearing the results!!
Thank you for your super kind words Jules. Yes - big risks, & frankly, more than is good for anyone :(

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Anti-marketing marketing. Next level.

Any chance of a Periscope stream of the actual session?
Hadn't considered that. I'll have to ask those who know more about this than me. No time to let stuff get in the way of getting the job done though.

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Originally Posted by R2112 View Post
Getting the drums to sound great will be the easiest part...they already do. It's all the other instruments that will be the time consuming hassle getting to sound just right ;-)

I believe this is going to be awesome and so very worth it!!
We will be spending minimal time on getting instrument sounds. Just the basics, but it's a pretty experienced crew, so we should be good to go.

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Well you'd better get off the dang internet and get to work!! lol
Yeah - you got that right!!!!

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
Unprocessed live drums of yore.
.... next time your singer accuses you of playing 'Respect' too fast, send em' this vid.
Holy crap that was fast!
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Hadn't considered that. I'll have to ask those who know more about this than me. No time to let stuff get in the way of getting the job done though
Should be quite easy for anyone who is already inclined, and a low impact way to build some extra press. Do let us know if you find someone to handle the logistics!
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  #20  
Old 05-15-2016, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Should be quite easy for anyone who is already inclined, and a low impact way to build some extra press. Do let us know if you find someone to handle the logistics!
I'll ask around those taking part & see if someone wants to pick it up. I'm always open to new stuff. Thanks for the suggestion :)
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Sorry, but I do not really buy into this, the concept as I understand it falls down.
Any recorded drum sound is processed; microphone placement, microphone type, desk, play back speakers. I am sure Guru drums are great but the notion that other drum makers offerings are processed and yours won't be is false.

It would be better to just state the mic set-up / signal chain and let the drums do the talking.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Depends on the definition of "unprocessed". I guess in the pure sense, it could mean strike drum, sound wave travels through air to people's ear canals. But you would have to be there Live exactly when drums are being struck. If were taking about a microphone in proximity of drum set for the purpose of sound reinforcement and/or recording then yes there is a signal chain and that signal is in effect "processed" by microphone eq and dynamic characteristics and also placement. Assuming no mixer or mixer eq is flat and no FX turned on, then it would be just the coloring of the pre-amps of the mixer that have an effect on sound. Then a A/D conversion which should have only very small effect depending upon freq / sample rate. So your right, you always have a signal chain, as simple as it may be. So begs the question, what is this experiment about? What is the definition of "unprocessed" in this context?
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  #23  
Old 05-15-2016, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

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Sorry, but I do not really buy into this, the concept as I understand it falls down.
Any recorded drum sound is processed; microphone placement, microphone type, desk, play back speakers. I am sure Guru drums are great but the notion that other drum makers offerings are processed and yours won't be is false.

It would be better to just state the mic set-up / signal chain and let the drums do the talking.
I agree with you on one level, but not another.

I accept that I'm using the term "unprocessed" too widely. Mic placement (especially if heavily relying on proximity effect) and the entire signal chain including mic selection are all processing of some sort or another. Even the quality of cables used has an affect, & the playback medium (headphones, speakers, etc) certainly has a huge impact, although I have no control over that. What I'm referring to, & perhaps should be more specific about, is the overt or covert use of classic shaping tools such as EQ, compression, reverb, etc.

Where I disagree, is the clear difference in approach we've taken to most drum recordings over the last 4 years compared to the majority of drum company's official videos being regarded as false. We refer to our recordings as "honest capture", & that we stand by. EQ, compression, reverb, & a host of other manipulation tools are often used in "official" video releases. Even some that try hard not to make it obvious still do. There is a growing trend towards honest drum capture in this context, but those videos / companies are still in the minority. I like to think we've played our part in encouraging that approach. Either I'm over-rating our contribution, or the appearance of other video productions claiming similarly directly after we started on this path is pure coincidence. My knowledge of the industry tells me that very little happens purely by coincidence.

The reason for using EQ & other standard studio manipulation tools is obvious. Their use significantly enhances the finished audio presentation, & that's fine, but listeners need to know & understand that. Our direction is to present something that's real world, easily achievable by anyone using our drums, & offering a foundation soundscape that can then be produced according to the results desired. We rely on a good sounding room, good drums, well tuned, basic heads, no muffling, common sense mic placement, & affordable microphones. Even regarding proximity effect, we back the close mic's right off (distance), & drive the majority (if not all) of the capture from the overheads & room mic's (except the bass drum mic. Even the snare mic (in a kit capture) is commonly hardly in play. In other words, we try very hard to emulate the sound in the room.

I don't believe the concept "falls down". Quite the reverse actually. We're utterly honest about what we do, & why we do it. Ask anyone who's ever been involved in these sessions to describe the absolute adherence to those honest capture principals, & they'll report complete compliance without compromise, & sometimes to the detriment of the finished result. There's been many occasions where the use of a little EQ would have better represented the sound in the room, but that step is never taken without complete disclosure, & is resisted at almost all costs. The only exception was the "Drums vs. bass battle" with Yolanda Charles. We had to dial back the bottom end of the 24" walnut set because it loaded the room so much.

All of this is in stark contrast to the bulk of official videos out there. Even if well disguised, their never ending search for "impressive" still dominates, and as a marketing tool, why wouldn't you go that way when many consumers never peek below the surface. As for letting the drums do the talking - I think that's pretty much what these video productions do.
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  #24  
Old 05-26-2016, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

Thought you'd all appreciate a few shots of the shells & hoops necessary for the session drums. Quite a bit of work to say the least, & this isn't all of them!!!! Reckon I've got another 10 days work @ 28 hours / day to get me there. Completely doable :( Just started bearing edges.
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Old 05-27-2016, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: This time, we're really mixing it up!

That orange hue is hypnotizing. So nice.
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