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Tracking Rock - Drums

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, so clear your schedule and hang out with Kenny and learn his way of handling the skins!

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Introduction 9m:14s

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.


The Kick Drum 13m:30s

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.


The Snare Drum 16m:58s

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.


The Toms 15m:46s

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.


The Overheads 14m:14s

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.


The Room Mics 14m:18s

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.


The Performance 7m:21s

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.


Extra Processing 11m:53s

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.


Elastic Audio Editing 11m:04s

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.


Beat Detective Editing 15m:07s

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.


Adding Kick Samples 10m:08s

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.


Adding Snare Samples 9m:04s

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.

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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