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Recording Live Drums on a Budget

Kenny Gioia multi-platinum producer and engineer is back with yet another power packed assortment of tutorials, this time showing you how to get killer drums sounds on a tiny budget that just about anyone can afford. Get ready to bang out big beats that won't break the bank.

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Introduction 6m:16s

In this tutorial, Kenny goes through the setup for recording live drums as opposed to settling for virtual drum software instruments. With using just one or two mics, the results can be dramatic.


Microphones & Preamps 3m:17s

In this video Kenny goes over the mic choices, mic placement and setting up the computer audio interface for recording.


Drum Dampening 5m:18s

In this tutorial Kenny reveals the proper dampening of the drums to achieve the perfect amount of tone versus eliminating annoying ringing or resonating of the kit.


Recording Levels & Phase / Polarity 15m:36s

In this video Kenny shows how to correctly set up your recording levels in the DAW to avoid distortion or other artifacts. Adding EQ, Compression and Drum Reverb (IR or Impulse Response) are covered as well.


The Performance 7m:48s

In this tutorial Kenny records the final performance. He starts with setting up a proper click track, setting your inputs to tracks and creating separate headphone mixes for the drummer.


Editing with Elastic Audio 11m:26s

In this video Kenny reveals his technique for getting our drums to land perfectly on the grid using Elastic Audio, and also talks about the benefits of this method.


Editing with Beat Detective 13m:20s

Kenny now goes discusses and goes over the editing process of getting the drums in time using Beat Detective.


Kick Samples 12m:28s

In this tutorial Kenny shows you how to add samples to the drum mics to create the feeling of having close mic'd the drums. This adds punch, attack and an upfront sound. Kenny starts with the Kick drum and uses 4 audio samples which are then mixed to taste to achieve a great sound.


Snare Samples 11m:17s

Kenny continues to add samples to the recorded drum mics and layers Snare samples taken from the CLA Expansion Pack used with Steven Slate's Drums SSD4.


Tom Samples 14m:28s

Kenny wraps up the series demonstrating how he gets the Toms to sound big, by combining samples taken from the Toontrack EZ Drummer software and finalizes the drum sound.

Kenny Gioia

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I've played an instrument since I was 10. Drums and Trumpet. I'm 40 now. I can play a little bit of any instrument. Master of none. Rock bands most of my life.

2. What training have you had?

I was taught trumpet classically from grade school up until I graduated high school. I went to Five Towns College for engineering and learned that you can't just learn this stuff from school. I did graduate though.

3. When did you get into recording?

I've been recording since I was 15. Two cassette players wired to a Radio Shack mixer. Eventually I got an 8 track reel to reel by Fostex. I've used just about every DAW and I started using them before they even recorded audio. Vision and Performer were just MIDI sequencers at the time. Before they became Studio Vision and Digital Performer. I got studio jobs because I knew computer MIDI and most studios didn't. I eventually moved up to Sound Tools which was two track. Then Pro Tools made a Audio Media III card which let you have 4 inputs. Gradually I moved up from there with Pro Tools D24, Pro Tools Mix to HD.

4. People you have worked with/for?

Marcy Playground
Mandy Moore
Willa Ford
Lee Ann Womack
Paulina Rubio
Hall & Oates
Head Automatica
Cute is What We Aim For
and many more...

5. Why are you so good at training people?

Hmmm. My Mom always said "Self Praise Stinks". I think it's because I have no ability to talk like a professional announcer, or plan out my teachings. So I teach as if you were sitting next to me. Pretty much off the cuff. I think that engages people more. We're so used to hearing everything done so properly and planned out with unnecessary explanations and proper wording that the brain will actually ignore most of it. Your brain tunes it out like you're back at your desk at school. But if the teacher grabbed you aside and just explained it to you, I believe you'd get more out of it. That is what I try to do.

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