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Recording Tutorial

Tracking Rock - Drums

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12 Videos
Length: 2hr 28min 37sec
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    Tutorial 1



    Watch Kenny go through the setup for recording live rock drums including mic choices, preamps, inputs and outputs on the interface, drum heads and tuning.

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    Tutorial 2

    The Kick Drum


    See how to properly record the kick drum, including drum head choices, drum dampening, mic choices and different mic placements. EQ and compression are covered as well.

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    Tutorial 3

    The Snare Drum


    Discover how to record the snare drum, including drum head choices, drum dampening, mic choices and different mic placements. Explore top and bottom drum head microphones and phase / polarity alignment. EQ and compression are also covered.

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    Tutorial 4

    The Toms


    Go through how to record the toms with Kenny. Both rack and floor toms are covered along with dampening, mic choices, mic positioning and head choices. EQ and compression are also looked at.

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    Tutorial 5

    The Overheads


    Learn how to set up overhead mics to record the overall drum kit sound, not just cymbals. Proper alignment between each other and the other mics on the kit is fully covered and discussed, including phase / polarity alignment, EQ and compression.

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    Tutorial 6

    The Room Mics


    Watch how to properly capture the size of the drum room, including making the room sound much bigger than it is. EQ and Compression is discussed as well.

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    Tutorial 7

    The Performance


    In this video we record the actual performance. We go through setting up a click track and headphone mixes and sends for the talent. We also cover recording multiple takes and comping.

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    Tutorial 8

    Extra Processing


    Watch Kenny add extra effects to the drums including a transient designer to control attacks, both increasing them and decreasing them along with adding IR (impulse response) reverbs to make the drums sound like they were recorded in different spaces.

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    Tutorial 9

    Elastic Audio Editing


    Go through the editing process with Kenny and see how to get the drums to land perfectly on the grid using Elastic Audio. Kenny also discusses the benefits of this method.

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    Tutorial 10

    Beat Detective Editing


    In this video, watch Kenny edit the drums to land perfectly on the grid using Beat Detective. He also discusses the advantages of this technique.

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    Tutorial 11

    Adding Kick Samples


    Learn the process of adding multiple samples to the kick drum to bring out different areas of the sound, including an aggressive kick, a deeper kick and a punchier option to be blended with the original mic'd kick drum.

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    Tutorial 12

    Adding Snare Samples


    Discover the technique of adding multiple samples to the snare drum to bring out different sounds, including a brighter snare, a fatter snare, a more lively option and a sample with a generous amount of ring to be blended with the original mic'd snare drum.

This collection of video tutorials by the one and only Kenny Gioia takes you inside Kenny's personal recording lair and shows you step by step how kenny sets up and records the foundation of any rock / pop tune, the drums. From set up to performance to editing, it's all here, meticulously demonstrated by multi-platinum engineer and producer Kenny Gioia.

Kenny begins with an in-depth introduction where he goes through the setup procedure including mic choices, preamps, input gain staging, drum heads and tuning. Next he gives you a tutorial for each of the main components in the drum kit such as kick, snare, toms, overheads and the illusive "Room" mic.

Kenny then focuses on the performance and how to ready the drummer for their take as well as click track and headphone mixes. Multiple takes and comping is also discussed. Extra processing is shown with plug-ins like like the transient designer and IR reverbs to make the drums sound like they were recorded in a different space.

Editing is next on Kenny's menu and he shows you the pros and cons for both Elastic Audio and Beat Detective Editing. Finally Kenny wraps up the series with 2 more videos on adding kick and snare samples to fatten up your drum sound.

If you record drums or are just getting into the art of recording, Kenny's methods and techniques are an indispensable addition to your toolbox, so clear your schedule and hang out with Kenny and learn his way of handling the skins today!


- not reviewed

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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