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Drum Conditioning

The following is an excerpt of Instrument & Vocal Recording: The Hal Leonard Recording Method (Book 2), 2nd Edition by Bill Gibson. For more on this subject, follow Bill’s Drum Genie blog and check out his free Drum Genie app for the iPhone and iPad.
To get good drum sounds, it’s necessary to be familiar with drum tuning and dampening techniques. A bad-sounding drum is nearly impossible to get a good recorded sound from. A good-sounding drum can make your recording experience much more enjoyable.
     If the drum heads are dented and stretched out, cancel the rest of your appointments for the day. You’ll be spending a substantial amount of time getting an acceptable drum sound.
     If the drums aren’t high-quality instruments, there’s a good chance that the shells aren’t smooth and level, and there’s a possibility that the drums aren’t even perfectly round. If this is the case, the heads won’t seat evenly on the drum shell and there’ll be a loss of tone, detracting from the drum sound.

Tuning

Often, the primary difference between a good-sounding drum and a bad-sounding drum lies simply in tuning. The standard approach to tuning involves:
• Tuning the top head to the tone you want
• Making sure the pitch is the same all the way around the head by tapping at each lug and adjusting the lugs until they all match
• Duplicating the sound of the top head with the bottom head

Hal Leonard Recording Method – Book 2: Instrument & Vocal Recording – 2nd Edition by Bill Gibson

This edition addresses new equipment and software concerns that affect the way excellent recordings are made. Updated text, illustrations, photos, and video examples add to the power of the previous edition, plus new techniques and considerations are presented as they pertain to additional recording scenarios. You’ll learn what you need to know about capturing the best vocal and instrument tracks possible, no matter what kind of studio you are working in or what kind of equipment is used.

Bill Gibson has spent the last thirty-plus years writing, performing, recording, producing, and teaching music. He has written more than thirty books and produced several videos covering important audio concepts. His style is acclaimed for straightforward and understandable explanations of audio concepts and applications. Gibson, an instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle, is also known for his work helping Quincy Jones author the book Q on Producing. He has developed curriculum and currently teaches online sound courses for Berklee College of Music in Boston. The courses have been very helpful to an amazingly diverse international student body. Gibson lives in Seattle, Washington, and serves as a trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and also on the National Advisory Board for the Recording Academy’s Producers and Engineers Wing. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

Updates to The Hal Leonard Recording Method

The six-volume Hal Leonard Recording Method, the world’s first and best-selling recording method that takes the aspiring professional from the beginning of the signal path to the final master mix, has been revised and updated with the release of the second editions. The series provides easy-to-understand explanations of the entire recording process, addressing both standard equipment and the latest software and technology; hundreds of photographs and illustrations; and much more.

These new editions feature free downloads of dozens of audio and video examples that amplify the material taught in the books. “This will fast become the norm with all of our products that traditionally come with CD or DVD content, making access to them easy and downloadable directly to your preferred media player,” says Bill Gibson, author and Music Pro Guide series editor for Hal Leonard.

The entire Hal Leonard Recording Method will be available at the Hal Leonard booth (#364) at the Audio Engineering Society Convention to be held Oct. 21-23 at the Javits Center in New York. The updated Book 2 will also be available. Visitors to the Hal Leonard booth will be able to enter a drawing for a chance to win the complete six-book set.  The drawing will take place Sunday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m.

In the update to Book 1, Microphone & Mixers, 2nd Edition ($39.99), Gibson helps readers take their first steps in a truly organized path through the entire recording process.  Topics include:

  •  How professional microphones work, which to choose and why
  • Understanding the signal path from microphones to mixers and how to operate these critical tools to capture critical recordings
  • Explanations of the most up-to-date tools and techniques involved in using dynamics and effects processors.

Book 2, Instrument & Vocal Recording, 2nd Edition ($39.99), addresses new equipment and software concerns that affect the way excellent recordings are made.  Updated text, illustrations, photos, and video examples add to the power of the earlier edition, and new techniques and considerations are presented as they pertain to additional recording scenarios.

Readers will learn what they will need to know about capturing the best vocal and instrumental tracks possible, no matter the studio or equipment in it.

The other books in the Hal Leonard Recording Method also are being updated and revised and will be released in this order over the next six months:  Book 3 Recording Software & Plug-Ins, Book 6 Mixing and Mastering, Book 4 Sequencing Samples & Loops, and Book 5 Engineering and Producing.

Available for purchase here from Hal Leonard Books.