Gavin Harrison here!

last man to bat

Senior Member
Hi Gavin
I'm interested to know, if you don't mind sharing that is, how you might deal with a producer asking you to change a drum part that you are quite invested in, especially if there is a huge departure from the feel you were after for the song.
Many thanks
Dan
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I'm interested to know, if you don't mind sharing that is, how you might deal with a producer asking you to change a drum part that you are quite invested in, especially if there is a huge departure from the feel you were after for the song.
Hi Dan
to arrive at that point there would have been some miscommunication or misunderstanding along the way. If I'm making a session for a producer - I would ask them up front "how close would you like me stick to the demo?". If they have asked me specifically to "do whatever I like" and I have free reign - then I do whatever I think suits the music (from my personal perspective). If the producer then came back to me saying that it was completely wrong - I'd be interested to know why and see if I can understand their perspective.

Then comes an interesting dilemma. How much do I really want to do this job?- or shall I just pull out and politely tell them "I believe you have the wrong drummer". Some of this of course comes down to reputation, trust and experience. The chances are - if they have specifically wanted me to 'do whatever I want' they probably have a reasonable expectation (based on things they have heard me play before) about what it might sound like. Sometimes producers have asked if I would play something similar to a thing I have done in the past.

As most sessions happen remotely these days - when you might want to try play something unusual - you don't always have instant feed back. Sometimes it takes a day or so before they respond as they might be on the other side of the planet. In the old days of being in a studio together with the producer/artist they would hopefully guide you as you were doing it.

Recording a session in my own studio I will usually record about 4 takes of the song and then edit from there. I pick the best feeling one - but might edit any special moments in from the other 3. If they come back to me and say "I didn't like the pattern in the middle section" - I might already have (on previous takes) something different I could edit in. Maybe they didn't like one or more of the fills - and again I probably have others already recorded. In any case - if they get back to me a day later - I still have the drums all set with the same sound - and I could easily drop something in. If it's more of an overall artistic decision that what I played was completely wrong - then perhaps I wasn't given enough specific information about what they were really after - and invite them to go and find a different drummer. Learn from the experience and be more insistent to get the details of exactly what a producer wants before the next session.

cheers
Gavin
 

last man to bat

Senior Member
Thanks for such a detailed reply Gavin.

So has it ever come about that a producer wanted to alter the parts that you have written for a band you are a member of, forgive me as I'm not sure who produces Porcupine Tree's albums? Or that the producer has a different vision for the song to you, albeit your band's song?

I hope you don't mind me asking.

Thank you
Dan
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
So has it ever come about that a producer wanted to alter the parts that you have written for a band you are a member of, forgive me as I'm not sure who produces Porcupine Tree's albums? Or that the producer has a different vision for the song to you, albeit your band's song?
no - actually it never happened. Porcupine Tree produced itself.

cheers
Gavin
 
Hi Gavin,
I hope you're fine despite the catastrophic circumstances of this year!

Some days ago I renovated my Designer kit and bought + installed some new parts for the "AcoustiGate" system.
I'm a former mechanic but I have to admit that I don't really understand how this "AcoustiGate" should
have an impact on the resonance of the shells.
I know you've played Designer kits for a long time and I would be happy to hear about your experiences
with this system.

Thank you very much and all the best! Hope to be able to see you live soon again!
Chris
 
J

jiklass

Guest
I have recently gotten into his drumming with Porcupine Tree, and discovered that this guy has major chops, skills and groove. What do people know about him, his equipment, and technique. Any and all information is a good thing.
He's my favorite drummer.
 
J

jiklass

Guest
Gavin is my favorite drummer. There's something about his playing that is just magical.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Some days ago I renovated my Designer kit and bought + installed some new parts for the "AcoustiGate" system.
I'm a former mechanic but I have to admit that I don't really understand how this "AcoustiGate" should
have an impact on the resonance of the shells.
I know you've played Designer kits for a long time and I would be happy to hear about your experiences with this system.
Hi Chris,
The "AcoustiGate" is very subtle indeed - and I usually leave mine wide open.
I believe the "AcoustiGate" was designed as a way to control the amount of ring a drum might have. In the old days when tom mounts were physically attached to the shell and the tom arm went inside the drum - there was a noticeable difference in how the shell was vibrating. It's very obvious once you are used to a 'new style free floating' tom mount and you back to one of the old-style drums. The "AcoustiGate" allows you to direct some of the shell vibrations into the hardware (if that's what you want) and shorten it's sustain. I still have my old Yamaha 9000 recording custom drums and it dawned on me a little while ago why I could never get a good tone from the 12" drum (until I put a RIMS mount on it). It seems to affect certain sizes more than others.

@satisfiedwimp @jiklass @TOMANO thanks for the kind words.

cheers
Gavin
 
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CM2112

Active member
Dear Mr Harrison,

I need help trying to be creative with drum parts. Because it’s mostly the guitarist who writes the drum parts, and I add on if I wish. What can I do?
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
Dear Mr Harrison,

I need help trying to be creative with drum parts. Because it’s mostly the guitarist who writes the drum parts, and I add on if I wish. What can I do?
Some good advice here, too, if you haven't seen it yet:
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
Hi Gavin,

If it's not a secret, could you tell which songs /parts are on those 2 pages in the deluxe ed. book with blurry photos of your drum scores?
I guess it could be a fun quiz, too... (for others, I give up.)
Speaking of sheet music, is it still in the plans to publish some TPT transcriptions? Can't wait!
Thanks,
Dora
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi CM2112

I need help trying to be creative with drum parts. Because it’s mostly the guitarist who writes the drum parts, and I add on if I wish. What can I do?


Sometimes when people write music and create their own drum parts they just can't hear it any other way. I guess it depends on the relationship you have with the writer and if they trust you to 'do your own thing'. I've been in plenty of frustrating situations where the writer or producer wants it one way and I can a hear it another way - or maybe I don't like their rhythmic idea and they don't like mine. I think I can come up with a lot of variations and possibilities but sometimes it just won't do and you need to play their part.

HI Dora

If it's not a secret, could you tell which songs /parts are on those 2 pages in the deluxe ed. book with blurry photos of your drum scores?
I guess it could be a fun quiz, too... (for others, I give up.) Speaking of sheet music, is it still in the plans to publish some TPT transcriptions? Can't wait!

OK the snippet of notation on page 7 is "Out Of Line" and the one on page 30 is "Our Mire". Both of them were just my working notes at the time of recording rather than note-for-note transcriptions. A book of proper transcriptions is something I've had discussions about - but there's nothing to report at the moment.

cheers
Gavin
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
Thanks, Gavin! I’ll go look for them in those songs. I love browsing that beautiful book while the album is on.
 

CM2112

Active member
Also Gavin one more question, what are your thoughts on modern metal drummers like Tomas Haake and Matt Halpern?
and who would you prefer Bonham or Peart? if you don’t mind me asking.
 
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