Astro-Drummer

Drums

Finally a Drum Related Post – Hi-Hat Tip

by on Feb.25, 2008, under Drums

Here is a tip I hope you will find useful.

When I am not playing double-bass patterns, my foot rests on the hi-hat pedal. When I do hi-hat clicks with the foot, I used to keep my foot on the pedal and try to keep the beat, but I found that beat was rushing. What I do now when I add clicks with the hi-hat is I lift my foot about 3 inches off the pedal after each click. I found the timing improved and I did not have to concentrate as much in keeping the rhythm.

I hope this little tip is helpful. Keep on jammin’!!!

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Another Clip – Test for Echo

by on Jan.22, 2008, under Drums

There are so many Rush songs that I enjoy playing. One of my favorite songs is Test for Echo from the self titled album. This song has a variety of styles which makes it a challenge to play. Watching the “A Work in Progress” DVD (when I still had good vision) did help in my practicing – and I practiced many months on this one song.

 Test for Echo

While there are a few mistakes in my interpretation, and the start was a bit tricky (there is no way to cue the iPod to a delayed start), I am very happy with this recording. I hope you find it enjoyable as well. The kit sounds are based on the Professor’s Pack from V Expressions Ltd.

Click here to hear the song – and thank you for listening. 

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The ToolBox is Open – and a Rush Clip

by on Dec.13, 2007, under Drums

The ToolBox page has been updated with 29 clips. These clips are designed to inspire – add some fills to your playing as well as some great exercises for double-bass.

I have also added a song to the sounds page – my first recording of a Rush song. I chose Prime Mover from the Hold Your Fire album.

Comments are welcome. 

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V Expressions Releases Professor’s Pack

by on Dec.11, 2007, under Drums

V Expressions Ltd, a company that produces custom modeled sounds for the Roland V-Drums, has released the Professor’s Pack. 

This pack features drum sounds from the Professor himself – Neil Peart. There are 20 kit sounds that span his career from 1974 to 2007, from Working Man to Far Cry (of course, Neil did not join the band until Fly By Night). The expansion kit works on the TD-20 and TD-12 modules. Some kit sounds are extended to include addition tom or percussion sounds.

The complete list: Working Man, Fly By Night, 2112, 2112 EXT, Closer to the Heart, Closer to the Heart EXT, The Trees, The Trees EXT, Jacob’s Ladder, Jacob’s Ladder EXT, Freewill, Tom Sawyer, Tom Sawyer EXT, New World Man, Kid Gloves, Manhattan Project, Time Stands Still, Show Don’t Tell, Roll the Bones, Roll the Bones EXT, Double Agent, Limbo, Limbo EXT, Ghost Rider, Spirit of Radio (Live), Spirit of Radio EXT (Live), Far Cry, Limelight (Live), Limelight EXT (Live).

The pack also includes some bonus kits from John Bonham, Jeff Pocarro, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tim Alexander and Mike Portnoy. 

The kit sounds are fantastic and well worth the price. The sounds are rich and vibrant and appear to have been a labour of love.

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Sound Clips Uploaded

by on Dec.03, 2007, under Drums

As promised, sound clips are ready to listen to. Visit the ‘Sounds’ page to listen. There are a total of 15 clips for now. I will work on some more, including interpretations of favorite Rush tunes. 

I hope you enjoy them. 

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Happy Thanksgiving

by on Nov.21, 2007, under Drums

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am currently enjoying vacation at my folks house in Texas. The weather was good for a few days but it looks like freezing weather over the holiday. They are actually talking snow on the weekend!

Having this vacation gives me time to listen through my recorded practice sessions. By the time I return next month, I will have the clips ready for upload. They sound pretty good to everyone here who has heard them. I just hope they sound good to you.

I have five clips ready to go, but there is only dial-up at my parents house. Uploading media files would be painfully slow – especially when the modem wants to disconnect (noisy phone line).

Logic is proving to be a very cool program, but there are a lot of features I need to learn. With my wife’s help in reading the manual (I can’t read because I am legally blind), I hope to be well versed in the program in a few weeks – maybe months.

I can write these posts with the help of the zoom feature in OS X and iListen.

Thank you all for reading and have some good food tomorrow. Mom’s making a turkey so I plan to eat well! 

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An Update to the Roland Kit

by on Nov.11, 2007, under Drums

I have expanded the kit a bit, using all available inputs with the addition of two more cymbals. The photo below shows cymbal number one placed above the hi-hat. Also, notice I have added a Pearl Hi-hat clutch which is a great tool for double-bass work. This had to be modified – sharing parts from both the Roland clutch and the Pearl clutch.

Cymbal Pad and hi-hat cluct

The other cymbal pad has been placed between the ride and crash and serves as a special effects cymbal – like a china type or swisher. In addition, you may notice the Roland SPD-20, and 8 pad percussion system. This is self contained and has expansion inputs numbering four. I have yet to decide to expand on that – maybe a foot trigger but we’ll see.

The SPD-20 serves as my percussion voice with a wide variety of bells, tubes, chimes, percussion hits, sound effects and many more. There are 700 sounds in this so it will take some time to figure out what I want. Right now, the output is connected to the Mix-In on the TD-20 module, but I can connect the SPD-20 to the TD-20 via MIDI but I haven’t figured that one out yet.

SPD-20

If I may, I would like to share my view when I practice. It’s one that is difficult to beat I think. It can be very peaceful – and cool with the window open.

Pacific View

I have recorded several bits of my practice routine and will soon upload them to the “sounds” page. I have also decided to work on a new page called “ToolBox,” and will contain clips of a variety of items one can apply to a solo or performance – like samba rhythms, double-bass work and much more.Look for that!

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