Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I am most productive when I have all my toys and tools laid out where I can access them instantly like some kind of Bat Utility belt or something. I am truly a better painter if my bass amp is plugged in and near by.

When I moved into my new studio space, I set up the computer  right away, but it took a couple of weeks to get the space ready for my first easel. Since I built the wall sized easel, I’ve been so much happier working on the computer based projects that have nothing to do with the easel or my paintings. I’m working on 2 portraits at the moment and things just don’t feel right. There’s a misalignment in my universe.

It didn’t take long to realize that my recording studio was still in boxes. As I slowly started unpacking my gear, I was relieved to see everything out in the daylight. I had a couple of ideas of how I wanted to set it all up, so I started putting the drum stand together. I love the tubular frame, because it has so many possibilities for setting things up. I wanna keep it trimmed down and minimal so I’ll start with only 3 pads and the kick pedal. Just enough for writing, recording and performing live. I have a tendency for writing songs that I can’t play live, so I’m trying to avoid that by limiting my instruments.

This video was created very quickly for the tech heads that dig this kind of thing. It’s a minute and a half project that took most of the day to document.

I recorded 3 tracks, one at a time. Since this is the first time I’ve used the latest version of GarageBand, I chose the preset “Electronic”. It has some good interment choices, but I need to add my favorite instruments from my previous versions.

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First midi track was the hi hat sound using a single pad on the TD-5 and the Boutique 808 drum kit with it’s default settings.

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I played the metronome so I could hack away at the beat, then I quantized my performance and moved to track 2 which was the Epic Electro drum machine. I used the snare pad and the kick pedal for this section. Again, I quantized my messy performance when I finished.


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Last track was the Pulsating Chords synth.

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The default setting on the Pulsating Chords synth made my very simple rhythm sound pretty sophisticated.

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If you look at the midi notes you’ll see they were really simple beats played with the snare and crash pad with a kick every so often. The bottom line was the kick pedal and the top two were the snare pad and the crash pad with the stick being bounced rather than struck.

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I’ve always loved playing my midi drums wired into synths. They make an unexpected surprise when you play live. I’m a horrible drummer, so my early acoustic drum kits had a bass drum, snare, hi hat and crash and a Boss SPD8 drum pad (in place of the mid and hi toms) that was running through a synth. I could play a simple and horrible beat while making synth sounds too. In the hands of a real musician it could be a pretty cool performance, but for now it’s me in Lakeland trying to finish a painting.


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