Gavin Harrison here!

ageis1

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,
First of all I must say you are one of my favourite drummers, and someone who continues to inspire me musically. I have been playing drums for 7 years and can't get enough of you playing!!
I’m writing to ask you a question about your books / dvd's. After confirming with my local drum store in Australia that I am able to order in your books and DVD's, I wondered which product of yours I should get. Originally, I was going to get your book 'Rhythmic Illusions', but once I realised that your DVD 'Rhythmic Visions' was pretty much the same thing except in video, I didn’t know what to get. Would you recommend getting the book, DVD or both? I should mention that this will be my first real study into rhythmic 'illusions'
I have a TV and DVD player in my drum room if that changes anything? haha
Thanks very much Gavin!
Andrew
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi AronMapex

I wanted to know what you think of these drums = http://drummerworld.com/forums/showt...ght=arcs+drums
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMQ5f16sd2M


they look very well made and sound good too!! Best of luck with them.

Hi Fox622003

would you recommend getting a really good sound card (one with 8+ inputs) and connecting the mics directly to the inputs? or getting a say, decent sound card and a good mixer, regulate from there, and have all the mics in just one track in the PC?

Personally I'd go with a mixer - but there's no need to have all the mics go down to one track in the computer. Of course it depends on the mixer and the card too. If you can find a mixer that has multiple outputs (some of the small Mackie's have 8) you can record on 8 discreet channels onto your computer and give yourself a lot more flexibility in mixing the drums inside the computer.

Hi tommykry

1. My whole band and I ( sound tech, and stage people also ) Purchased tickets to see your show at The Moore Theatre, Tuesday September 15, 2009 in Seattle Wa, Why are you guys playing the Moore and not The Paramount? i think last time you were here it was the Paramount? And will you guys be supporting a new studio CD for this tour?

We're not always in charge of exactly where we play. We have an agent for that. Sometimes it's down to the availability of certain venues on certain nights. I seem to remember playing at the Moore last time we were in Seattle. We will be supporting a new CD for this coming tour.

2. If you know or remember, On the Arriving somewhere live DVD recoding in Chicago, Were you using only one mic on the kick drum (sm91?) or 2 mics, i read your Faq and i think it says you use 2 in the studio but only one live, the kick sound on the live DVD is a perfect kick sound to me. And do you still only use one mic in the kick for live today or 2 mics?

I had one SM91 in the bass drum for that DVD recording. On the last tour I used an Audix D6 as well.

3. If you know or rememer What kind of vocal mics are Steven and John using on the Arriving somewhere live DVD?


I think they were Neumann KMS 105.

Hi ageis1

I’m writing to ask you a question about your books / dvd's. After confirming with my local drum store in Australia that I am able to order in your books and DVD's, I wondered which product of yours I should get. Originally, I was going to get your book 'Rhythmic Illusions', but once I realised that your DVD 'Rhythmic Visions' was pretty much the same thing except in video, I didn’t know what to get. Would you recommend getting the book, DVD or both? I should mention that this will be my first real study into rhythmic 'illusions'

I think a good place to start is with the first book "Rhythmic Illusions" and the DVD "Rhythmic Visions" and see how you get on with those. The book and the DVD are connected and explain my fundamental theories and concepts about creating 'illusions' in rhythm.

cheers
Gavin
 

Fragile

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,

I've (and so has my drum teacher) been trying to work out two drum fills in the song "Fear of a blank planet", The one at 4:30 and the one at 5:01. Could you you possibly explain them, maybe with drum notation?

Thanks
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
Hey Gavin, I've just noticed there's a windows error sound on the studio recording of "The Sound of Muzak" (at about 2:05) you guys are probably aware of it, but if not, a funny one to tell Steven about :p.
Oh and by the way, you mentioned checking out some of the small Mackie's, I searched on Amazon and thought this one was pretty cool for recording and maybe small to medium venues, even for all the instruments. What do you think?
Thanks a lot for your answers, they've been really helpful.

All the best, Fox.
 

SantiBanks

Senior Member
Hi Fox622003

would you recommend getting a really good sound card (one with 8+ inputs) and connecting the mics directly to the inputs? or getting a say, decent sound card and a good mixer, regulate from there, and have all the mics in just one track in the PC?

Personally I'd go with a mixer - but there's no need to have all the mics go down to one track in the computer. Of course it depends on the mixer and the card too. If you can find a mixer that has multiple outputs (some of the small Mackie's have 8) you can record on 8 discreet channels onto your computer and give yourself a lot more flexibility in mixing the drums inside the computer.
To jump in on it a bit more; as Gavin says, its what you want to accomplish. You could make a mix of the drums on a mixer and record the stereo feed. You could also get a soundcard with mic inputs (I can recommend mackie and presonus. They both sound very nice with a not so high pricetag. Im not sure how focusrite sounds) which gives the advantage of having every piece on a separated track. You could do that with a mixer too (if it has direct outs or enough busses to suite your needs) but then you need two pieces of equipment.

The last option is using one of the newer generation mixers with a computer option (usually a firewire/usb expansion board fitted inside the mixer). If you want a full digital desk (which means that you can save presets, have flying faders) then the Tascam DM24 is a good choice aswel as Yamaha (they have more models but they cost more).
Soundwise (and a bit cheaper but not fully digital) the Mackie Onyx series is very good. You can have a 12 or 16 channel mixer with firewire option. That gives you a normal analog desk with everything on it (including very good preamps! the Onyx preamps really sound sweeeeet) but every channel can be recorded over firewire.

Allen & Heath has also a new range of mixers which do the same as the Mackie. They cost a bit more and I haven't heard them yet so I cannot comment on the quality of the pre's.

To be honest, a mackie desk with firewire option gives the best of both worlds and makes it a flexible setup (because mixers are always handy to have and if you can record them easy with no extra soundcard, then that seems a good feature to me).
Soundquality and buildquality are good (preamps are top!), I think their drivers are very reliable now they are out for a few years and the prices are not a lot if you concider the other options and functionality.
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
To jump in on it a bit more; as Gavin says, its what you want to accomplish. You could make a mix of the drums on a mixer and record the stereo feed. You could also get a soundcard with mic inputs (I can recommend mackie and presonus. They both sound very nice with a not so high pricetag. Im not sure how focusrite sounds) which gives the advantage of having every piece on a separated track. You could do that with a mixer too (if it has direct outs or enough busses to suite your needs) but then you need two pieces of equipment.

The last option is using one of the newer generation mixers with a computer option (usually a firewire/usb expansion board fitted inside the mixer). If you want a full digital desk (which means that you can save presets, have flying faders) then the Tascam DM24 is a good choice aswel as Yamaha (they have more models but they cost more).
Soundwise (and a bit cheaper but not fully digital) the Mackie Onyx series is very good. You can have a 12 or 16 channel mixer with firewire option. That gives you a normal analog desk with everything on it (including very good preamps! the Onyx preamps really sound sweeeeet) but every channel can be recorded over firewire.

Allen & Heath has also a new range of mixers which do the same as the Mackie. They cost a bit more and I haven't heard them yet so I cannot comment on the quality of the pre's.

To be honest, a mackie desk with firewire option gives the best of both worlds and makes it a flexible setup (because mixers are always handy to have and if you can record them easy with no extra soundcard, then that seems a good feature to me).
Soundquality and buildquality are good (preamps are top!), I think their drivers are very reliable now they are out for a few years and the prices are not a lot if you concider the other options and functionality.
Thanks a lot, that was very useful. Did you happen to check the one I am thinking of buying after Gavin mentioned Mackie? Here.
It seems like a decent option, it allows for USB recording, and also for just outputs through a sound card (AND it seems nice for up to medium live situations), although I'm not sure if you've had any experience with it, I still think you'll probably be able to tell me if it's a good idea to get it or not by the specifications. I need to get a decent soundcard anyway, since I invested some in a good PC, but left the onboard soundcard to expand it later.

Fox.
 

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
Hi Gavin,

I've (and so has my drum teacher) been trying to work out two drum fills in the song "Fear of a blank planet", The one at 4:30 and the one at 5:01. Could you you possibly explain them, maybe with drum notation?

Thanks
Hey Fragile,

I transcribed one of the fills you're asking about. Here's a link for you:

http://www.drummerworld.com/Drumclinic/gavinharrisonfear.html

Here is some more stuff to check out as well:

http://www.askgavinharrison.com/transcriptions

Hope it helps!

Terry
 

Leper

Junior Member
Hey Gavin,
I looked through askgavinharrison.com to no avail, so hopefully you haven't answered this already. I absolutely love the sound of your snare drum throughout In Absensia, in particular Gravity Eyelids. What snare are you using during that track? Thanks again!
 

Gus

Member
Hi Gavin,

I´m mad about the groove of 'crisis'. I enjoy very much the way the notes are settled on the bar ... I´m feeling with this pattern the same excitation that i felt with 'muzak' time ago.
To me there are more hard things to play in 'circles', for instance 'scar', but 'crisis' is simply perfect: highly musical and elegant. Great 'fusion' groove.

See you in Madrid in november!

Best regards from Spain.
Gustavo
 
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SantiBanks

Senior Member
Thanks a lot, that was very useful. Did you happen to check the one I am thinking of buying after Gavin mentioned Mackie? Here.
It seems like a decent option, it allows for USB recording, and also for just outputs through a sound card (AND it seems nice for up to medium live situations), although I'm not sure if you've had any experience with it, I still think you'll probably be able to tell me if it's a good idea to get it or not by the specifications. I need to get a decent soundcard anyway, since I invested some in a good PC, but left the onboard soundcard to expand it later.

Fox.
I wasn't aware that mackie had these new USB mixers out so I haven't been able to check them out in the store. From what I see they look pretty decent built (like the onyx series) and well you have usb which is more common nowadays then firewire (though I prefer firewire for harddisks and audio/video interfaces. Their speed is more consistent which I think is important when dealing with huge amounts of data in realtime).

I don't know about the soundquality but I think this one will be a great addition (i'm not convinced that anyone can go wrong with mackie nowadays. Their soundquality has improved over all their productranges, with the onyx leading but the other series like the vlz being improved a lot too). I'd say that this is a good value.

However, be aware of the following:
This desk allows for stereo channel usb recording which means that the master bus will be recorded, not the individual channels (which is why mackie choose usb. Two track usb recording is not a problem at all)
This is not a problem if you record stuff one by one or don't mind having everything on just a stereo track (which means you have to mix in realtime at this desk). If you want more control over the mix (lets say a drumkit miked up with 6 mics) then this is not possible after recording with this mixer.
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
This is not a problem if you record stuff one by one or don't mind having everything on just a stereo track (which means you have to mix in realtime at this desk). If you want more control over the mix (lets say a drumkit miked up with 6 mics) then this is not possible after recording with this mixer.
But aside from USB recording, doesn't each channel still have an output, which can be connected to a separate input on a soundcard? So, to record a miked a drumkit it would still allow for separate channels on the computer if not recorded via USB, right?

Fox.
 

RollMyCoaster13

Junior Member
Hey Gavin!

I know that Porcupine Tree (especially Steve) has a very strong connection with Opeth. Anyone who is a fan of both bands knows that there is a strong mutual respect between the two groups, but I'm wondering what you think about Opeth? Do you see the same beauty in Mikael Akerfeldt's writing that so many do? Any words on what you like/don't like?

Not really a pressing question, but it's something I've been wondering about for a while.

Thanks!


Alex
 

gibeachhead

Senior Member
Hey Gavin,

Any idea when we will start seeing information about the new Porcupine Tree album? Regarding audio previews, promotional images, title, etc.

Thank you as usual!
 

colinjnk

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,

I have been asked to add drums to two pieces of music that lack any sort of percussion. The music styling is very new to me, I have never played to this kind of music before - to me it sounds like a mixture of Latin, Reggae, and Soul.

I already have an idea of what to play for one of the pieces; just a light groove to keep things flowing and give it a soulful atmosphere.

However, for the more upbeat and Reggae-feeling song, I don't know how to tackle it! It's written in 4/4, with the pulse on 1 & 3 and guitar chords on upbeats.
My question is: how would you go about writing a drum part for music that's new to you?


I'm very excited to record drums for this person, I have never been asked to do something like this before (I'm only 15, haven't gotten out of the drum room much!).
 
Hey Gavin,
I was wondering why you dont follow the guitar riff (with your bass drum) on Open Car with a 4/4 on top, missing the last note (skipping the snare on the 17th note). Was it feel based or a conscious effort to not follow the guitars ?

Also I'm still kinda confused about Irrational polyrhythms. Any info on those ?

(PS I was at the Opeth press conference in Chennai, India and someone asked Mikhail which band would he have liked to play in, other than Opeth and he promptly replied with "Porcupine Tree". I'm sure you already knew this :) )

Cheers,
Hamza.
 

SantiBanks

Senior Member
But aside from USB recording, doesn't each channel still have an output, which can be connected to a separate input on a soundcard? So, to record a miked a drumkit it would still allow for separate channels on the computer if not recorded via USB, right?

Fox.
These don't as they are not really made for multitrack recording. Mixers suitable for gooed multitrack recordings have generally one (or more) of the following options:
  • Multiple groups (4, 8, 12, 16)
  • Direct outputs per channel (or on a number of channel)
  • A lot of auxes

Because with this, the routing facilities inside the mixer (the way the audio signal flows over the circuitboard) will generate more options and circuits which means that the price goes up. Mixers with these kind of functionalities cost a lot more. Plus you will need a multitrack soundcard too.
Now you can do two things if you want multitrack:
  • Get a mixer suitable for multitracks and a multitrack soundcard
  • Just go for a multitrack soundcard with enough inputs and mic channels (presonus, focusrite, mackie, motu offer those for example) but this doesn't give you a mixer, only a way to record your audio.
  • Get a mixer which streams enough channels to a computer. Mackie onyx and the newer Allen & Heath Zed series spring to mind.

Or of course, record everything one by one :)
 

C.L. - Drum

Junior Member
Hey Gavin,

do you play the Sonor SQ² with a walnut roots finish and golden hardware at the modern drummer festival??
Which Remo- Heads are you playing?

thanks for answering!!

Cheers
Clemens from Germany
 

Gus

Member
Hey Gavin,

do you play the Sonor SQ² with a walnut roots finish and golden hardware at the modern drummer festival??
Which Remo- Heads are you playing?

thanks for answering!!

Cheers
Clemens from Germany
Hi C.L.-Drum
Check it out this: Golden Madrone!. This is the finish. Beautiful, isn´t it?.
Regards.
 

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Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Leper

I absolutely love the sound of your snare drum throughout In Absensia, in particular Gravity Eyelids. What snare are you using during that track?

I think it's two different snares. In the early part it was an old Sonor 14x5 drum that I tuned pretty high. Later in the track I switch to my old Yamaha RC9000 drum which I used on the rest of the album.

Hi RollMyCoaster13

I'm wondering what you think about Opeth? Do you see the same beauty in Mikael Akerfeldt's writing that so many do? Any words on what you like/don't like?

I got to see a lot of Opeth when PT toured with them a few ago - and I was very impressed. Mikael is a great singer and guitarist - I really enjoyed listening to them.

Hi gibeachhead

Any idea when we will start seeing information about the new Porcupine Tree album? Regarding audio previews, promotional images, title, etc.

Watch porcupinetree.com for the first announcements - coming soon.

Hi colinjnk

However, for the more upbeat and Reggae-feeling song, I don't know how to tackle it! It's written in 4/4, with the pulse on 1 & 3 and guitar chords on upbeats. My question is: how would you go about writing a drum part for music that's new to you?

I have no idea without hearing it. I usually rely on gut instinct - and try to find a way that's not too obvious. Good luck.

Hi drumbumhamza

I was wondering why you dont follow the guitar riff (with your bass drum) on Open Car with a 4/4 on top, missing the last note (skipping the snare on the 17th note). Was it feel based or a conscious effort to not follow the guitars ?

It's quite simple - I didn't want to follow the guitar riff with my bass drum. I liked the way it turned out better.

Also I'm still kinda confused about Irrational polyrhythms. Any info on those ?


It's not a term that I'm familiar with or use - but when I did a little search it seems some people think of them as quintuplets, septuplets etc.- in fact anything that is not 2 or 3 based - but I wouldn't call them polyrhythms - they're just (not commonly used) subdivisions.

Hi C.L. - Drum

do you play the Sonor SQ² with a walnut roots finish and golden hardware at the modern drummer festival??

Yes Gus is correct - Golden Madrone.

Which Remo- Heads are you playing?

The tops of the toms have Remo Coated Emperors - and the bottoms have Clear Ambassadors. Bass drum batter side has a clear Powerstroke 3 and the snare drum has a coated CS head on it.

cheers
Gavin
 
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