Hey Friends

I had the honor, privilege, and joy of presenting to the Art Institute of Philadelphia Audio Department‘s student-run group in the Philadelphia chapter of the Audio Engineering Society.

I presented on a topic very close to my heart, my brain, my drumming, and my solder bench.

…drum triggers…

You know, those lovely little sensors that let us drummers play into the world of electronics, MIDI, and other necessary evils. For the unacquainted, check out this wonderful introductory article from DRUM! magazine.

Here are some initial photos that students sent back to me. I noticed one or two students filing; I’ll see what I can scare up.

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set up and warm-up on my acoustic kit; a 4-piece set with Rocket Shells, a Tama Snare, DW hardware, and whatever cymbals still work (Paiste, Ziljian, Turkish, and Wuhan).
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After my was set up, I step back to let the students putting on mics to capture the acoustic sound.
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a close-up of the 2016 version of The Slab; my electronic prosthesis to my acoustic drum kit: trigger interface, sound module, sequencer, and touch-ready effects.
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the workshop started at the Oscilloscope, to look at the electrical signature output by various parts of the acoustic/electronic drum scenario.

 

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…first, we looked at the electrical signals put off by dynamic microphones…

 

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The we looked at the output of piezo disks (the vibrational sensor inside most triggers). .
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Next, we had a brief comparison of different triggering tools including Dauz “bone” pads, Roland V-drum pads, and some on-head acoustic triggers by Ddrum and Roland. We also compared/contrasted their electronic signature on the oscilloscope.

 

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Next, we move onto some discussion of how electronics incorporate into one’s drum kit setup. In my case, I’m a staunch believer in ergonomics, and incorporate electronics into the normal setup with minimal compromise to how i’d set up the acoustic drums by themselves.

 

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Now comes the roll-call; testing the audio feed from the sampler, with each drum and pad feeding its sound from a discrete output into a separate channel. In order to line-check, I have a kit of custom sound-bytes hat announce (in my voice) their respective identity.
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Time to play. Proud to see so many students heeding my lessons to “practice safe sound”
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students pile into the Control Room to hear the artificial layer (of samples triggered by MIDI) of my playing, and to hear how this can mix against the acoustic sound picked up from mics.

 

 

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