Tag Archives: online session drummer

Why losing customers is sometimes a good thing!

12 Mar

You’d think that for someone running a small, one woman business, losing customers would be a bad thing. Well, from a financial point of view, that’s the case, but when you look at the bigger picture, sometimes it’s a good thing.

The reason some people need my recording help in the first place is because they’re having trouble finding a good drummer to join their band.
Recently I’ve heard from a few of my past drum track customers saying they’re really pleased because they’ve finally found a good, reliable local drummer to be in their band. And it seems that having good quality drums on their recordings has helped them find this drummer (their words, not mine!). They’re finding more interest in their music from drummers because the drums on their recordings sound so much better and more interesting than dodgy, repetitive midi stuff, and so their music is much more able to stand out from the crowd of “drummer wanted” ads.

A lot of people I record for are looking for a session drummer not a permanent drummer, so will come back again as and when they need more drum tracks, but for those who are having me record their drum tracks because they can’t find the right drummer locally and would ideally like a permanent drummer to be part of their band for rehearsing, recording and gigging, then I’ve ultimately helped them achieve what they wanted.

Basically it means that I’m losing some customers because I’ve done a good job, and that’s why it’s ok. They may need drum tracks again at some point in the future, and in the meantime I can continue finding some more shiny new customers with new music and new ideas from all over the world. It’s one of the things that makes what I do enjoyable.

I’ll write again soon, but in the meantime why not have a quick peek at my latest video, a little upbeat number with brushes. Thanks Caro Emerald!

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Decisions, Additions and The 2nd Law

15 Oct

Things have been pretty busy since my last blog post. Studio-wise there’s been good and bad. My computer died :x, but I’ve got some great new monitors :). I’ve recorded loads of drum tracks and have been listening to some new music.

So the PC in my studio developed a black “Screen of Death” and is completely defunct (in a way that the guy who looked at it has never seen before!). My laptop’s been tiding me over for the last week or so, but I definitely need to invest in a new computer asap. Which brought me to the PC or Mac decision. The problem with asking other people’s advice on this matter is that you inevitably get into a PC vs Mac thing and it ends up a bit like Coca-Cola vs Pepsi – people tend to love one and hate the other so you can’t always have a helpful discussion. Anyway, after MUCH deliberation, I’ve decided to go the Mac route. I’m hoping they bring out a new iMac in the next few weeks so I can get one with better specs. So while a dead computer’s bad, it’ll end up good, because a new computer is always a good thing!

Here’s the last thing I recorded on the old computer (sadly I had to edit the video on the laptop though – seriously painful, but we won’t go into that!):


Dead computer aside, it’s all been going in the right direction. My new monitors have just arrived and they sound excellent – everything’s so crisp. They’re making mixing a real joy, so once I get the Mac, the studio’s gonna be well kitted out.

KRK Rokit RP5 G2’s, they look good and sound great!

I’ve had a really busy couple of months recording drum tracks (on course for my second record breaking month for numbers sold in a row!). There’s been plenty of really good rock and blues tracks and a very well crafted Velvet Underground style song that I got the brushes and tambourine out for. I got a couple of lovely testimonials too, which really bought a smile to my face.

Finally, I did squeeze in some time to have my birthday (lots of eating and drinking) and one of my presents was the new Muse album “The 2nd Law”. The first track’s great and should totally be the new Bond theme. After that, there’s some really good songs where they’re on form, but I wish they’d have avoided the dubstep influence in a couple of the songs. They’ve got the potential to be good songs, but are just crying out for some proper Dom Howard Rock drums!

Cheers for reading, I’m off to check for new imac release date rumours!

Drum studio build #10. Drum roll please….

17 Jul

Oh yes, I’m delighted to say that the drum studio is finished and good to go!

There was a minor mishap that involved me having to shoulder barge one of the doors down (the less said about that the better, I may find it funny one day……) but otherwise, all’s gone great :-). We had to play around a bit to find the right door seals, but finally arrived at the best solution on the 3rd try. I can honestly say they’ve made a massive difference to the amount of sound coming through the double doors.

Studio door seals

Well fitting seals on both doors have made a big difference to the soundproofing.

Since then it’s been working on sound absorption to sort out some of the high frequencies that were a bit excitable! Some thick wool serge stage curtains and acoustic foam tiles strategically placed have done the trick.

Most excitingly, enquiries about drum tracks have been coming thick and fast over the last couple of weeks and I’ve put the studio to use right away. It’s made the recording process so much more enjoyable being able to do it from home, and the results are excellent (I’ll record a new video soon so you can hear). I’m also getting sent some really good songs to play on too which makes it musically rewarding.

And finally…….

Online Session Drums studio build

Before

 Before and after pics, it’s soundproofed AND looks better!

After

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the studio build over the last few months. Hopefully you’ll read about how everything’s going with my online session drumming over the coming months too. I’ve really appreciated people’s feedback, encouragement and interest. The process took longer than I’d imagined and was more stressful, but I can already see that it was worth all the effort and then some! It’s worked every bit as well as I could’ve imagined.

Look out over the next couple of weeks as I’ll be putting up a whole album of studio build pics on my facebook page.

Huge thanks to SB, RB, VIMB and PG for their not inconsiderable help.

New OnlineSessionDrums website LIVE!

30 May

I’ve completely redesigned my website (with a little help from Christian and Abeer).

It’s just gone live, so check it out at: www.OnlineSessionDrums.com

It’s got a funky new logo and more info for people who are interested in online drum tracks.

Online Session Drums drum tracks logo

New logo for Online Session Drums

 

In drum studio related news, keep an eye out in the next week, it should be finished, yay!!

Drum studio build #5. Work, work, work.

13 Apr

Work on the studio has stopped for a few days as I’m busy tutoring on a wind band course and playing a weeks run of ‘Titanic’ the musical (the Percussion section has been demoted from the pit so I’m watching the conductor on a monitor, always joyous!).

We’ve completely finished doing the rockwool and plasterboarding the ceiling (was pretty tiring on the arms) and the wall plasterboarding is mostly done.

This weekend I’m intending to finish all the plasterboard and hopefully put up the double doors (chunky fire doors). I’ve never hung a door before, but have borrowed a mates plane in case I need it. Wish me luck!

The website redesign’s coming along nicely too and I’m starting to think about any extra bits of equipment I want in my shiny new studio, now we’re talking 🙂

Drum studio build #3, nailing it so far ;-)

5 Apr

So, how is the female Online Session Drummer (with a little help from her friends) getting on with building her drum studio? So far, so good thanks! Here’s a quick rundown of the last couple of days.

We took up some strategically chosen floorboards, filled all the space between the joists with Rockwool (10mm RW3 if you’re thinking of doing it yourself!) and then put the floorboards back, replacing any dodgy ones with new ones (this all took considerably longer to do than to write….).

Floorboards up, Rockwool at the ready!

Next, and possibly the bit my back and knees appreciated least, I used acoustic sealant to fill all the gaps between the boards, joy…. and left it to dry for a bit.

Acoustic sealant

My best bit of acoustic sealant work!

Then we covered the whole floor in Soundproofing mat.

Soundproof barrier mat

Soundproofing mat

Today’s last act was to put the first bit of studwork timber round the perimeter of the floor ready to (hopefully) get the whole studwork frame done tomorrow, there, I’ve written it, we’ll see! (oh yeah, and then I’ve got a gig as well tomorrow night, should be a rest!).

I’m also in the middle of redesigning my website OnlineSessionDrums.com to hopefully coincide with the finishing of the studio, quiet times for the Brockster! Right, time to put my feet up, where’s that glass of wine?

Drum studio build #2, Fun with floors

1 Apr

So, everythings’ s been measured and ordered. Wickes.co.uk, studiospares.com and soundservice.co.uk are all several pounds better off thanks to me! Yesterday saw the first day of work. Here’s the studio before I started (note the ‘special’ colour of the walls):

Online Session Drums studio build

Studio before

Plus a special message (I’ve always wanted to graffiti a wall that I own!):

Wall graffiti

Shortly after,  I’d taken up both the laminate floor and underlay and was ready to take up the floorboards:

Floor up!

Only at this point did I realise that I actually had no idea how to get up the floorboards without damaging them, one call to a builder friend and a trip to my local DIY store later and I was sorted!

I’ll outline the next steps in my next post, so far so good, and I’m having fun (no hammer or splinter injuries to report!).

Drum studio build #1

28 Mar

So, if you’ve read my other blog posts, you’ll know I’m about to build a home studio to record my drums in. The house is bought, the room chosen and I already own the recording gear. All systems GO!

I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time researching the best way to do it (for the space and budget I have) and all the possible products (I swear they double the price of EVERYTHING when the words ‘acoustic’ or ‘soundproofing’ are involved).

Tonight it’s time to get out the measuring tape, do some calculations and then order exactly what I need, easy ;-). Building starts next week (with the help of someone a little more experienced with studwork/plasterboard/rockwool than I, ie. my Dad!) and I’ll keep you up-to-date with the process and any scrapes and injuries that happen along the way. Maybe if you’ve got a studio build in mind you can learn some stuff that works and quite possibly some stuff that doesn’t!

Brockster

New additions, whoops….

18 Mar

It’s been a busy week of drumming in lots of different styles, but there’s also been a new addition!

As a drummer there’s ALWAYS something else you want, be it another cymbal that gives a different sound or will suit a certain style, a new snare or any number of other bits and bobs you simply can’t live without, it’s never ending. I recently discovered that recording gear takes this to a whole other level of madness, it’s infinite! I’ve got loads of extra bits to buy lined-up for the new studio, but in the meantime I’ve accidentally bought another drum kit 😉  This one will be for live work and means I can have my favourite kit set-up and mic’d in the studio all the time, so I can get a great sound quickly. That’ll leave the new kit for gigging and one for jazz (either studio or live) – see, I definitely didn’t have enough drums before!

Have a good weekend, just off to watch the footie!

New drums

Upwrapping my shiny new kit!

 

Er, please Sir *raises hand*, what’s an Online Session Drummer?

28 Feb

I’ve had a pretty busy last week or so. What with the minor thing of moving house (how can two people have SO much stuff?) and gigging in Amsterdam. The best thing about the move is that I can now build a studio at home – much more about this to follow in the next few weeks.

While I was away in Amsterdam, as well as doing a really fun gig and having very little sleep (late night, early airport pickup…), I managed to get chatting to a few people about what I do and they’re now interested in getting some drum tracks. One thing struck me whilst talking to them though, not everyone knows that Online Session Drummers even exist, let alone what we actually do. So, I thought I’d take a few sentences to explain to the uninitiated what I do as an Online Session Drummer (OSD). Who knows, it might be exactly what you’re after!

In short, I record custom drum tracks on acoustic drums in my studio (soon to be new, purpose built fancy studio at my house!). This means that bands/musicians/songwriters who are recording songs but for some reason don’t have a drummer (don’t know one, don’t know one that can play in time…..) can get top quality drum tracks for their songs. Even better, it’s an affordable option as you don’t have to hire a drummer and a studio separately.

People email me an mp3 of their song and we discuss any ideas they might have for the drums. Sometimes that might be by telling me what drummers or bands they like, sometimes I copy midi drum tracks and sometimes I get to use my creative genius to come up with the whole part all by myself!! Every project’s different which is great.

I then listen to the song a few times and probably jam to it too, trying out different beats before recording the drum tracks (I’ve got various different kits/snares/cymbals to get the right sound).

I’ll do a basic mix of the drum tracks before emailing a demo mp3 over for a listen (this demo’s free, people only pay for the tracks when they’re happy). Usually they’re blinded by my skill and musicianship and want to snap up the tracks right away ;-). Occasionally they want something done slightly differently so we make a few adjustments.

I send the finished drum tracks to people as individual raw wav files (if people fancy doing a bit of mixing themselves or are going to get it mixed professionally) or can do a stereo mix of the drums with EQ, compression etc. that can be imported straight into a DAW and you’re ready to go, whichever people prefer.

So that’s what I do as an Online Session Drummer, record bespoke professional drum tracks – and people don’t even have to leave their houses to get ’em, you can’t go wrong!

Ta for reading, Brockster.

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