Trigger Tutorial

Trigger Explained®

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2 Videos | Length: 22min 29sec
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    Getting Started (11:30)


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It's common knowledge that replacing "less than stellar" sounding drums in recordings is a popular practice in today's digital world. Arguably one of the most comprehensive tools for doing just this is Steven Slate Trigger. Studio guru DrFord takes you through this powerful and downright amazing studio tool to get your drums sounding like a million bucks, fast.

DrFord takes you step by step through this micro series focused on all the features and functions of Steven Slate Trigger as well as creative uses for this truly inspiring plug-in. You'll learn how to take your original drum track and have it trigger high-quality drum samples, all while preserving your original's subtle nuances and groove. You'll also see how to turn any audio source, such as beat boxing into a mic, into an amazing sounding drum track with only a few steps.

If you're ready to step-up your drum tracks to that major-release sound, look no further... Get "Trigger Explained" today.


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1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I vividly remember the beginning of the 4th grade, being asked if any students were interested in learning music. Without a pause I volunteered. At the time, and I can't tell you why, I asked if I could play Bass. At this point in music education, this specifically meant Concert or Upright Bass. I was measured, tested for Rhythm and Pitch, and given the OK. I was so excited that I ran home that day and told one of my sister's what I had done. If you knew my sister Jessica, it wouldn't surprise you that her response to me was, "You don't want to play the Bass, you want to play the Drums." Jessica has actually always wanted to be a Drummer, but in the late 70's, girls played instruments like the Flute. So she decided if she couldn't do what she wanted, I would do what she wanted. 20 plus years later, I am just glad that I had encouragement to and the opportunity to study music in school regardless of what instrument. In my Senior year of High School I sat first chair in the Jazz Band, played Timpani in the Orchestra, in secured the lead role in the school's musical theatre production of "Anything Goes." Along the way, as most young groups of friends do, I picked up the Acoustic Guitar so that I could strum with my friends outside the local coffee house and on the beach. I studied Classical Guitar Community College, and knew that music and education was both my passion and my career to be. I continued my music education at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, and earned a Degree from their Keyboard program. While there I also completed their 6 month Recording Engineer program, "R.I.T." I look back on my time at M.I. as some of the best times in my life, and I wish I could start my studies all over again.

2. What training have you had?

Most real studio training is done under a mentor, on the job. I was lucky enough to find two. Ronnie King is a famous Los Angeles session player, and his studio keys can be heard on albums from Tupac Shakur to The Offspring. What was great about working with Ronnie was his ability to switch genres on the fly, whether he was producing Punk Rock or Pop ballads. He is very talented, and taught me a great deal about instrumentation and arranging. Ronnie introduced me to my first real Engineer mentor, Robi Banjeri. Robi is a fantastic engineer who I worked with and trained under at "The Mint." "The Mint" is a famous live music venue in Los Angeles, but what most people don't know is that it has an amazing vintage recording studio hidden behind the stage. In fact, the equipment housed in that studio was purchased from Daniel Lanois (U2). I would attend M.I. during the morning and daytime hours, and then head to "The Mint" and study with Robi for a few hours. Robi would leave around 7pm, and I would work with clients until usually 2am producing and engineering. Even now, I remain great friends with Ronnie and Robi, and I have even picked up a new mentor and friend in Derek Jones (Megatrax,) who truly deserves the name Engineer. Every time we talk he teaches me new things about electrical engineering and mixing. Generally I feel honored these great engineers and producers feel like keeping me around.

3. When did you get into recording?

My first foray into recording was during the late 90's. Growing up in San Francisco during the 90's, House music and Techno was emerging and Raves were "the thing to do." Naturally I was transfixed the first time I watched a DJ spin Vinyl and complete captivate the crowd. I decided I would DJ, saved up money from my job at a local Burrito joint, and bought my first real piece of Audio equipment, two Technic 1200 turntables and a Gemini mixer. My bedroom was beginning to look more like a band rehearsal room than a place to sleep, and that suited me just fine. At that time, if as a DJ you made your own Vinyl records, it was really an accomplishment. So I asked other DJ friends of mine, and was recommended to a local Producer / Engineer named Bill Williams. Bill was sort of a Bay Area legacy, as he had his hand in creating early SF dance music. I bought studio time, and began my studio journey as a DJ / Artist. After a year of weekly sessions with Bill, I decided to buy a Pro Tools mBox1 and a Mac computer. Not long after I moved to Los Angeles and attended Musician's Institute.

4. People you have worked with/for?

I have been very lucky in the studio world, and have had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists, engineers and producers. At Studio Atlantis, I was able to assist Ronnie King on Tupac Shakur remixes and "new originals" by Johnny J, assisted sessions with 3LW, and was generally very lucky to experience working in a true "million dollar studio," which nowadays are rare. Studio Atlantis was recently purchased by "Rodney Jerkins" and is now his personal studio. After that I had the opportunity to work with the incredible Hip Hop producer Dj Battlecat, know for taking west coast funk, and morphing it into the music that created the Crypt walk. It was incredible to watch him work an MPC. Nothing was quantized ever, and he radiated an aura of cool. Just by being in the room with him you felt cooler by association. He critiqued my beat making, gave me tips, and even leant me the use his famous silver faced MPC 3000 customized by Bruce Forat. Since then I have had the opportunity to travel the united states working in studios, and playing live shows in several genres, from Country music in Nashville, to Pop Rock in Florida, and now back on the west coast I recently had the opportunity to engineer a session with Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak, and Mike Landau. Watching these professionals work is nothing short of amazing. I have also had the opportunity to work with some fantastic local talent, both in Los Angeles and every city I venture to. The best music doesn't always come from the Pro's, and the best learning experiences are the ones where you have time to make mistakes, fix them, and move forward. Up and coming artist sessions are just as important as pro sessions.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

Music has always been a staple of my life. It has been the driving force that brought me to my biggest life decisions, achievements and disappointments. Without music I wouldn't be a shadow of who I am today. For me it all goes back to the 4th grade, when I raised my hand to join the band. Being able to give others the opportunity to learn, is something I don't take lightly. Music has a huge impact on people's lives. It's proven that children who study music have better Math and Science scores, and show advanced thinking in abstract problem solving. I enjoy teaching because I want to pass along my passion, and become the mentors that took me under their wings without any consideration of payback. They taught me because I wanted to learn, with no ulterior motives. I have heard many people use the phrase, 'Those who can't do, teach'. I think this is bogus. My challenge to every professional out there is, 'Those who can do something well, should teach'.

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    Trigger Explained

    It's common knowledge that replacing "less than stellar" sounding drums in recordings is a popular practice in today's digital world. Arguably one of the most comprehensive tools for doing just this, enter Steven Slate Trigger. Studio guru DrFord takes you through this powerful and downright amazing studio tool to get your drums sounding like a million bucks, fast.

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