Gavin Harrison here!

I've had a D6 since about 2008. I don't always use it - and it wasn't used on In Absentia.
Hey Gavin, thanks for the response, I appreciate it considering you're busy with King Crimson shows. It means a lot that you still respond here.

Do you recall what kick mics you used on In Absentia, Deadwing, Lewis Taylor's In Session 2005, and Fear of a Blank Planet? Your drum sound has always been fantastic, even as far back as the '88 Dizrhythmia. Again, I apologize if my constant questions are a bit of nuisance.

Anyways, enjoy the rest of your KC shows! Cheers,
Quinn
 
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J

JohnoWorld

Guest
Hello again Gavin,

A question about production if i may.

I am a man who likes a live sound. For almost all my favourite bands, I prefer listening to a live recording due to the fact that it's not quite as perfect as a studio recording and you seem to hear more. You have done many, most of which I have, but my favourite is the PT Arriving Somewhere DVD.

Was there anything specific done to the mix for these shows?

In comparison I think the drum sound / overall mix on Octane Twisted is a bit flat. Not that it is bad, it's that the Arriving DVD sound, for me, has never been surpassed in terms of live recordings.

Did you tune your kit specifically, is it due to the surround mix or is it simply a Steve Wilson trick? :)

cheers
 

Tmkmkwrz

Junior Member
Hi Gavin.
Just wanted to say I think your playing is awesome! I especially love the tonal and musical quality of your rhythms, how the gel so well with the songs and the subtleties of your 'shorter' fills and embellishments/developments of your grooves. Sorry to say, I never really managed to get into the stuff you did with 05Ric as much as your work with PT and the more recent Pineapple Thief record.

I've been trying to work on some of the stuff in your 'Rhythmic Illusions' book, but it's still a bit hard for me. I'm an adult beginner, only been playing for about 12 months so everything seems like a battle where my body won't do what I want it to do! :D However, I don't want to be a 'technically' brilliant drummer, but more of a musical and creative drummer.

Hopefully I'll get to see you perform live at the Pineapple Thief gig in Manchester!

Simon
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Lightbulb_Sun

Do you recall what kick mics you used on In Absentia, Deadwing, Lewis Taylor's In Session 2005, and Fear of a Blank Planet? Your drum sound has always been fantastic, even as far back as the '88 Dizrhythmia. Again, I apologize if my constant questions are a bit of nuisance.

I think for those albums mentioned it would have been a Beyer M88 - (I'm not 100% sure regarding In Absentia) as we had an engineer in the studio in NYC who may have added other mics.

Hi JohnoWorld

I am a man who likes a live sound. For almost all my favourite bands, I prefer listening to a live recording due to the fact that it's not quite as perfect as a studio recording and you seem to hear more. You have done many, most of which I have, but my favourite is the PT Arriving Somewhere DVD. Was there anything specific done to the mix for these shows?

I can't remember exactly what was done to those tracks.

In comparison I think the drum sound / overall mix on Octane Twisted is a bit flat.

I agree.

Did you tune your kit specifically, is it due to the surround mix? :)

I don't tune my kit any differently when playing live or in a studio - they are of course closed mic'd in exactly the same way. Unfortunately with live mixes - the drum overhead mics are usually full or guitar sounds and there's a total lack of 'usable' room sound - so you have to add digital reverb.

glad you like the sound of it anyway.

cheers
Gavin
 

tom_ac

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,

I'm a proud owner of a 14" Protean snare drum and wanted to thank you for the work and the ideas you've put into this instrument. It's a great piece of craftsmanship and looks great with my piano black TAMA Starclassic drum kit. It sounded great with the factory tuning, too, and I'm enjoying it very much. The guys in the band are overwhelmed by the power this thing puts out, rim shots are killing them :).

Well, after some playing it was time for the the usual maintenance routine: changing heads, cleaning the drum's interior, checking the screws, stuff like that. My problem now is to get this thing back in tune, especially the reso head. I've already spent some hours trying but I fail miserably. I wouldn't say that I'm an expert when it comes to drum tuning but I'm drumming for over three decades now and usually I get a decent sound from a drum. It started to make me angry so I stopped and am now here to ask for advise :). I'm using the same heads as the factory fitting: hazy REMO Ambassador on the bottom and REMO Controlled on top.

My problem is, to have the same pitch on all lugs, the lugs surrounding the gaps where the snare wire crosses the bearing edge require almost two turns more to reach the same pitch like all the other lugs. I would think now, that this applies uneven tension to the rim and of course to the drum's body. I'm a bit hesitant to tune the drum like that because uneven tension on a wooden drum to me seems like a pretty bad idea. On the other hand, I'm sure the craftsmen at Sonor and yourself must have been aware of this so either this is perfectly ok and I shouldn't worry, or I'm missing something very basic but important here.

But even if I just go for equal pitch (checking with a tune bot), the drum sounds terrible: no articulation, nasty overtones, flat sound. I try to follow your tuning method (using both drum keys, go finger-tight first, apply tension in small steps and always check the pitch before applying more tension) as precisely as I can.

Is this snare so hard to tune or where's the trick? Do I worry too much about the uneven tension? Do you have any tip or further advice that I could follow?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers
Tom
Germany
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
Hi Lightbulb_Sun

Do you recall what kick mics you used on In Absentia, Deadwing, Lewis Taylor's In Session 2005, and Fear of a Blank Planet? Your drum sound has always been fantastic, even as far back as the '88 Dizrhythmia. Again, I apologize if my constant questions are a bit of nuisance.

I think for those albums mentioned it would have been a Beyer M88 - (I'm not 100% sure regarding In Absentia) as we had an engineer in the studio in NYC who may have added other mics.

Hi JohnoWorld

I am a man who likes a live sound. For almost all my favourite bands, I prefer listening to a live recording due to the fact that it's not quite as perfect as a studio recording and you seem to hear more. You have done many, most of which I have, but my favourite is the PT Arriving Somewhere DVD. Was there anything specific done to the mix for these shows?

I can't remember exactly what was done to those tracks.

In comparison I think the drum sound / overall mix on Octane Twisted is a bit flat.

I agree.

Did you tune your kit specifically, is it due to the surround mix? :)

I don't tune my kit any differently when playing live or in a studio - they are of course closed mic'd in exactly the same way. Unfortunately with live mixes - the drum overhead mics are usually full or guitar sounds and there's a total lack of 'usable' room sound - so you have to add digital reverb.

glad you like the sound of it anyway.

cheers
Gavin
Legend, cheers bro, much appreciated as always
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
tom_ac

My problem is, to have the same pitch on all lugs, the lugs surrounding the gaps where the snare wire crosses the bearing edge require almost two turns more to reach the same pitch like all the other lugs. I would think now, that this applies uneven tension to the rim and of course to the drum's body. I'm a bit hesitant to tune the drum like that because uneven tension on a wooden drum to me seems like a pretty bad idea. On the other hand, I'm sure the craftsmen at Sonor and yourself must have been aware of this so either this is perfectly ok and I shouldn't worry, or I'm missing something very basic but important here. But even if I just go for equal pitch (checking with a tune bot), the drum sounds terrible: no articulation, nasty overtones, flat sound. I try to follow your tuning method (using both drum keys, go finger-tight first, apply tension in small steps and always check the pitch before applying more tension) as precisely as I can.

I usually tune the bottom head REALLY tight but the 4 lugs either side of the snare wire a bit less. The "snare bed" part of the bearing edge will not give you the chance for completely even tuning. It's the only head that I tune this way. Apart from that - whenever I put on a new head (especially the bottom of a snare) it takes a few days for it to settle in. The top is head is lower in pitch than the bottom head. If you scroll back a few pages on this thread - you'll find a recording of my drums (starting with the 14" snare drum with the snares "off") and you can hear the pitch I choose.
best of luck

Gavin
 

Heck99

Member
Hi,

I'm beginning to work my way down the rabbit hole of recording drums, and as I'm learning I wanted to pick the brain of someone who has been able to produce great natural sounding drums without oversampling and making the drums sound like a bunch of different individual parts and less like a collective instrument.

Obviously, room sound and mic placement is very important as it is hard to work with raw tracks that aren't recorded well to begin with.

I'm using Logic Pro X to track and mix my drums (currently to some of the 5/4 and 7/8 tunes on your Horizons/Illusions DVD. I'm limiting myself to only using the Logic plugins so to avoid getting caught up in trying all the many third party plugins and not learning the base DAW functions.

My curiosity is what tools you have found useful within Logic Pro X when you are mixing? For example, what stock Logic plugins do you favor?
 
Hi Gavin,

how do you do? Assuming that you´re preparing for the Pineapple-Tour at the moment. One question about your home-studio:
I´ve noticed that your kit stands pretty much in a corner of the room. The left side of your kit compared to the right side must be close to the wall and therefore kind of unsymmetrical in the room. Is that correct and how good or bad is that for recording drums? (I would try to place my drums more in the middle of a room or at least a wall to get equal signals for the overheads but maybe I´m wrong.) What´s your take on this?
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Heck99

My curiosity is what tools you have found useful within Logic Pro X when you are mixing? For example, what stock Logic plugins do you favor?

At the moment I'm using the Logic EQ, Logic's Space Designer reverb and sometimes the Apple Graphic EQ. Other than that it's all third party plugins.

Hi Robert Schmidt

I´ve noticed that your kit stands pretty much in a corner of the room. The left side of your kit compared to the right side must be close to the wall and therefore kind of unsymmetrical in the room. Is that correct and how good or bad is that for recording drums?

yes that's correct. I bought a drum riser (on wheels) so I could move it around the room if I needed to - but actually it sounds fine where it is. It didn't sound noticeably better when I put it in the centre of the room. I guess there are no 'right or wrongs' in recording drums. Just do what sounds good to your ears !

cheers
Gavin
 

tom_ac

Junior Member
I usually tune the bottom head REALLY tight but the 4 lugs either side of the snare wire a bit less. The "snare bed" part of the bearing edge will not give you the chance for completely even tuning. It's the only head that I tune this way. Apart from that - whenever I put on a new head (especially the bottom of a snare) it takes a few days for it to settle in. The top is head is lower in pitch than the bottom head. If you scroll back a few pages on this thread - you'll find a recording of my drums (starting with the 14" snare drum with the snares "off") and you can hear the pitch I choose.
best of luck

Gavin
I followed your advice and I tuned the bottom head way! tighter with the "snare bed" lugs a bit more loose. Suddenly the whole sound opened up, articulation came back, the ringing's gone. Amazing, sometimes little things do the trick. The drum is a bit lower than on your recording, but it sounds great (again) with the low tuning of the toms. Thanks a lot, this saved some headache.

All the best
Tom

P.S looking forward to see you play with The Pineapple Thief in Maastricht on the 31st. I'll be the guy waving a Protean snare drum... just kidding...
 

1morechance

Junior Member
Hi Gavin , you are incredible .
I dont know what to ask you , all questions i have in mind is disappering when i try to think if there is one , because of you, because you show me that everyone can succes . Thank you deep in my heart.
 
Hi Gavin,

as you recently posted the link of the Mick Karn record of 1995 you played on, I landed on this video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzt7dF5jwhs

and it makes me wonder how this all fits together. I mean there are half of the members of PT in a band playing together with Steve Jansen (as you mentioned one of your influences). And I found out that Richard Barbieri also played together with Steve Jansen in Japan in the early 80s.
I think I remember an interview of you saying that you met Richard in Italy during a session and that finally led to PT. But when did you found out about Steve Jansen? And did you know Steve Wilson long before PT?
Can you please tell us a bit more about how it all came together. That would for sure be an interesting story! It seems like this is kind of a network... :)

Greetz
 
Hey Gavin,

I just heard that pianist and composer Gleb Kolyadin of Iamthemorning is making a solo album and you're going to be on it! Very exciting to hear. I hope I'm not out of line here, but I'd like to share the project so anybody who wishes can support it!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gleb-kolyadin-piano#/

To everybody here, the album will be instrumental and also feature Nick Beggs (the bassist for Steven Wilson's current band) and Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater.

For those who want a taste of his work, here's the video for the song "Chalk & Coal" from the latest Iamthemorning album, Lighthouse, which featured Colin Edwin (of Porcupine Tree), Mariusz Duda (of Riverside), and Gavin. Additionally, it was named the Album of the Year at the Progressive Music Awards!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsNDyoGE-2w

Just wanted to share that! Hopefully the project catches more attention - it's going to be killer!

Also Gavin, have you heard of the funk band Vulfpeck? Their drummers are excellent and Bernard Purdie occasionally plays with them live! I think you'd quite like them. Here's one of their most popular songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRHQPG1xd9o. Would love to hear your opinion if you have the time.

PS: Excited for video footage of the upcoming Pineapple Thief tour! Hope it goes well!

Cheers,
Quinn
 
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euphoric_anomaly

Senior Member
Gavin,

I was just wondering if you ever focus on your breathing while playing? Do you ever tense up before a fast rip down the toms, almost like you're holding your breath until the fill is complete?
I like to think that being "in the zone" is really just a cute metaphor for meditating. I've noticed I reach a mental stage while drumming where I don't feel the energy I'm exerting as much as normal, and everything just flows naturally and easily. But once the song is over, I'm exhausted, as if I was holding my breath the whole time.
This happens even when I'm playing my electronic drums (I haven't played an acoustic kit in years, and if I had one, my neighbors would be beating down my front door).

Thanks
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Robert Schmidt

as you recently posted the link of the Mick Karn record of 1995 you played on, I landed on this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzt7dF5jwhs
I mean there are half of the members of PT in a band playing together with Steve Jansen (as you mentioned one of your influences). And I found out that Richard Barbieri also played together with Steve Jansen in Japan in the early 80s. I think I remember an interview of you saying that you met Richard in Italy during a session and that finally led to PT. But when did you found out about Steve Jansen? And did you know Steve Wilson long before PT?


I was listening to Steve Jansen (in the band Japan) in the early 80's (check out the amazing "Tin Drum" album) and then later when he was playing on his brother's records (David Sylvian). I met Richard when we worked together with an Italian artist called "Alice" in 1990. I didn't know Steve Wilson until I met him just before the "In Absentia" recording.

Hi euphoric_anomaly

I was just wondering if you ever focus on your breathing while playing? Do you ever tense up before a fast rip down the toms, almost like you're holding your breath until the fill is complete?

I try not to - but I'm sure I do hold my breath whilst playing something strenuous - and so it becomes more tiring.

cheers
Gavin
 
Hey Gavin,

How much of Cheating the Polygraph and Mother & Child Divided is written by you? I know that you play guitar (in fact you play on Nil Recurring) as well as bass... so did you come up with some of those parts too, or just the drum grooves? If not, how much input did you have over the other guys' parts?

Enjoyed your new Pineapple Thief Vic Firth video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6hR7ejT9RU :) Is that blue stuff on your snare just the paint/wax from your sticks? Sounds great as always. Also, what ride is that? And is that a 20"+ crash on your left? Sounds fantastic.

Lastly, I've always meant to ask you this: do you play the percussion in the In Absentia outtake "Meantime", or was it programmed by SW? It was released with no credits on Burningshed as a digital download awhile ago, and I've always liked it. :)

Cheers,
Quinn
 
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Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
Hello Gavin,

I just wanted to tag on to the question above, and see if you'd mind giving a run down of the cymbals you used in that video for us gear nerds. :)

I hope the tour with Pineapple Thief is going great!

-Jonathan
 

tom_ac

Junior Member
Hello Gavin,

I just saw the video where you demonstrate your updated signature stick (Gavin Harrison - "Tear You Up" by The Pineapple Thief). When I tried this stick some time ago they were a little too long for my taste but I liked the feeling, the rebound, the power they provide and especially the grip. What did you change in the stick's design? Did they become shorter by any chance? :)


Thanks
Tom
 
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