While I’ve been playing and teaching drums in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years, I’ve learned a lot about recording and producing music while collaborating on GrooveZoo.
When I started playing recording was all analog and only available in professional studios. It meant taking your drums to the studio setting them up and then letting the studio guys go about setting up the mics. Then it was time to set levels. The engineer would direct you through each drum hitting one at a time and then moving on to the next one. Then the voice of God via the talk back mic would say “now play the whole kit” And then voila! the drums would be ready to record.
I learned a lot about hitting consistently, not overplaying and all the other things that go with playing in the studio. But I never really learned what was going on in the control room. Sure I would ask questions about mics and what this did or what that was., and I’d get answers that made sense but also made me scratch my head and go “huh?”.
I don’t think a person really learns something until he or she actually goes through the process of doing it themselves. So there I was, a seasoned session player that would be completely lost if I had to engineer the session myself.
The home recording scene was just emerging a few years later and was very different then than what it is now. I wasn’t involved in that whole scene as we would go to a professional studio to record. But on one particular occasion my band needed a demo to get gigs. We were broke and one of the guy’s had a Tascam 4 track cassette recording device. So we went for it on our own. The demo got us gigs and got into the hands of a record company who offered us a contract. Even a low budget recording can get you somewhere in the music business if the music is good – and trust me this was as low budget as you could get and the music was really good.
Thanks to computers and low cost, high quality hardware interfaces the digital home recording thing went mainstream. This was a good and bad thing as session drummers could no longer survive on just session work, so they had to generate income from other sources. So session drummers began to set up home studios where they could work anytime they wanted – on their terms. And then came online music collaboration.
GrooveZoo for me has been great because I can work with anyone at anytime out of my own studio. It’s been a huge motivating force for me to learn the ins-and-outs of recording my own drums. With the Secret of the Pros tutorials and a few months of trial and error I can now set up my mics, set levels and get the sound that I like. I’ve always enjoyed learning new things and recording my own drums is off-the-charts, satisfying and fun.
I still have a lot to learn about the recording side of things, but the help of the Producers on GrooveZoo and the Secret of the Pros video tutorials have bee a huge help.
And here comes the biggie…I learned all this stuff for free because GrooveZoo is FREE! Also, with my drum student schedule I don’t have time to take a course in recording. However there’s always time to do session work
Another great thing about Groove Zoo is that you can use your previous and new work as demos and post them to your artist page. Then you can send people to your artist page (example: groovezoo.com/your name here) to check out your playing. Heck you can even put a slamin groove into an open session and invite players in to build a tune around your groove.
How freakin cool is that?