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“I’ve spent days sampling drum sounds, cataloguing them and all that. It’s incredibly time consuming, [but] that’s good to do when you don’t feel like writing, so you still keep going. You’re still in the studio and you’re still working.”- Peter Frampton

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July 2010

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Summer is hot, and so are the rhythms—RECORDING’s July issue is packed full of great information on drums, beats, and percussion! In this issue, we bring you three fantastic tutorials that are guaranteed to get you up to speed on the best rhythm tracks you can deliver.

Joe Albano serves up a doubleheader this issue, completing last month’s miking primer with a long look at drum kit miking, and then walking you through an informative step-by-step case study on drum replacement. Michael Nickolas completes the trifecta with a look at why some recording musicians can’t get drum loops to sound good in their songs... and how you can avoid the simple mistakes that lead to blah rhythm tracks.

We have a lovely slate of drum-centric reviews on tap, with drum-heavy reviews of mics from Earthworks, Mojave Audio, MXL, and Granelli Audio Labs, plus a look at drum-track creation software both well-established (Toontrack DFH Superior) and brand-new (FXpansion BFD eco). We round out our rhythm coverage with a quick listen to percussion libraries from Sony Creative Software and Big Fish Audio.

Also in this issue: another look at the legalities of keeping your music yours, reviews of the newest mic preamp from Grace Design, a road-ready audio interface from PreSonus, and more! If you’re into the beat, you won’t want to miss the July RECORDING!

Pick it up now on the newsstand... and so you get your next issue early (and save on cost), why not hit the big red Subscribe Now button on this page and have RECORDING delivered to your door each month?

Reviews

Earthworks SR40   |   Reviewed by Dave Martin

An intriguing take on drum miking, with a mic whose frequency response is stellar.


The folks at Earthworks continue to explore the possibilities inherent in their original QTC1 design (reviewed October 1998), finding new app......Expand

Mojave Audio MA-101fet   |   Reviewed by Dave Martin

This small-diaphragm condenser mic is versatile on drums and more.


Mojave Audio’s newest offering is the MA-101fet, a small-diaphragm, solid-state condenser microphone with interchangeable cardioid and omnidirectional capsul......Expand

FXpansion BFD Eco   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The Big Friendly Drum instrument now comes in a cute but mighty entry-level version.


FXpansion has made a lot of friends with its BFD drum instrument. This program, which runs in standalone mode or works as a plug-in within ......Expand

Grace Design m501 Preamp   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The legendary Grace clarity, now available in a 500 Series module format.


Grace Design is well known in the audio industry for high-quality, boutique-level microphone preamps and monitoring solutions. For over a decade, the ......Expand

MXL Drum Cube and A55 Kicker Microphones   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Affordable additions to the drum mic closet, each with its own interesting character.


Ten years ago, if you could not afford a large-diaphragm condenser microphone, MXL got you in the game and got you tracking.

......Expand

RECORDING's Showcase Of Sounds   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Big Fish Audio Cinematic Percussion, Elemental Studio Percussion, and Epic Drums; Sony Continental Drift and Continental Drift: Aftershocks.


The newest libraries in the Sony Sound Series: Loops & Samples catalog, Continental......Expand

Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0—A Walking Tour   |   Reviewed by Greg Hurley

Watch us build a drum track with this powerful drum-sample instrument, and hear the results online!


Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0 has become my main go-to drum instrument for producing high-quality drum tracks here in my pr......Expand

PreSonus FireStudio Mobile   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This FireWire interface is compact, rugged, clean, and comes with a wealth of cool extras.


Like its predecessor the Firebox (reviewed December 2006), the PreSonus FireStudio Mobile is a 1/3-rackspace box in the “Max Rack” fo......Expand

Once Over—Reviews In Brief   |   Reviewed by Dave Martin and Paul Vnuk Jr.

Granelli Audio Labs G5790; Old Jersey Music Lab Drum Wallet.


... many years ago Shure Brothers manufactured the 545S and the 546; both could be considered as predecessors to Shure’s SM57, and are microphones with short bodie......Expand

Features

A Drum Miking Primer   |   Written by Joe Albano

We follow up on last month’s mic locker article and lead into this month’s issue on drums and percussion with a basic look at drum mic setups.


Ah, the drums—probably the single most complex acoustic instrument most project s......Expand

The Fine Art of Drum Replacement   |   Written by Joe Albano

When your drums sound weak, you can replace them with better ones... but the process requires skill and patience. Read and learn!


The virtual recording studio has acclimated even the most fervent traditionalists among us to ......Expand

DAW Details   |   Written by David Summer

Tips and tricks for working with clicks.


A click is just a tool, and those who say it causes the music to become “soulless” and “robotic”, imposing an artificial constraint on their music, need to realize that it’s not the t......Expand

Create Your Songs With Drum Loops   |   Written by Michael Nickolas

Basic arranging techniques can keep your loop-based compositions musical rather than mechanical.


Think of “loops” and the concept of repeating the same thing over and over comes to mind... which is why some music creators st......Expand

It's Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 4: The Business End, Part 1   |   Written by Todd Gascon and Bruce Kaphan

Turning your music work into a viable business that’s well-established against legal attack is more complex than you may realize, but it’s not impossible, and yields real benefits.


There has never been a better time for us i......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Scott Dorsey

IC Replacement: Plug-And-Play Audio Improvement.


Back in the 1980s, a company called Precision Monolithics, Inc. was in the business of selling specialized integrated circuits to the audio industry. They had a nice variety o......Expand




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