• Video

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    I make brush beater and stick drum tracks online for musicians. I work as a musician-engineer at Toybox Studios in Bristol UK If you’d like to work with me feel free to get in contact

  • Brush and Beater Shot

    Brushes and Beaters

    Saturday, April 14, 2012
  • ... what's that one on the left??!

    … on the left …

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012
  • ... stereo rumble overhead mic technique ... :)

    … stereo rumble

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012
  • ...in amongst the drum kit

    … in amongst…

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012
  • P1030097

    Drums

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Work Method - and general enthusiasms

Outoftheboxdrums is my take on the well-established online drum-recording phenomenon (with whole-project mixing thrown in where required).  It’s both my livelihood and my love – bitten by a bug to give legs to interesting music with fresh sounding textures – drummy and otherwise. Drums are always the support for music. They are it’s bones – the hard edges and corners of it’s structure. The aim is to transmit an emotion in the most economical way.  I’m a great follower of “the minimum voltage” to cite a term in Michael Stavrou’s  ”Mixing With Your Mind”.

To this aim, just as the sound of an acoustic guitar can be made to resonate above a pounding drum kit, nervous energy in brush strokes can put a shiver through heavy programmed beats. Microphone gain can be used to refocus the incredibly quiet as the foundation of a song’s tone. Interesting possibilities arise.

Playing drums with all the surfaces of brushes beaters and sticks confuses the ear’s regular diet. The term “acousmatic” describes an area of electronic music and also relates to music being generated behind a screen.  When you can’t hear what’s making the sound it’s all more interesting. Like being tickled.

Power is frequently attributed in drumming to volume. A light touch and tone less-so. The technique of playing in a controlled way and magnifying it brings out the humming sympathetic resonances of real thudding ringing drums. When recorded like this, pure mic signals sound punchy and three-dimensional. They get subtly better going through valves and compression. If you’d like this kind of tactile drumming for your music do get in touch. I’d be really interested to hear your project.

I’m working on a track at the moment that’s akin relatively, to the sleeve notes of Squarepusher’s Feed Me Weird Things where he allegedly experiments recording an ant walking on sand. Headphones are coming in really handy!

Recent Work

Volander – Traffic
This comes from a project called Volander that’s a collaboration of myself and Berliner, John Lemke. Traffic features the Kora playing of Moussa Kouyate cut together with John Cage talking on the activity of sound. It’s a brush and beater drum track with the occasional stick.

Paul Butler – If I Were to Leave You
A good example of a track where an overdub by the piano player means you can’t possibly fade the track out! All credit to Pete Wingfield for that particular performance. Its brush and sticks on the drum kit and one word about the bass drum: Slingerland!

Jake Downs – The Prince
A young songwriter came to Toybox last year and this is one of the tracks we recorded. An emerging talent with exciting material. Drum-wise it’s a brush and beater track in the stone room.

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