The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Tom Waits Percussion
Old 15th February 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Tom Waits Percussion

Hi guys this is my first post on gearslutz.
I was hoping i might be able to get some advice.
I'm working on a track right now and need to get some crazy, strange or bizarre percussion.
I have been listening to cemetery polka and I love Toms odd percussion.
It seems quite basic but i have no idea how he made these sounds.
Does anyone know what he used or how i could achieve something similar to this.
Any help would be great
Thanks
-Toby
Old 15th February 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmatikstudios View Post
Hi guys this is my first post on gearslutz.
I was hoping i might be able to get some advice.
I'm working on a track right now and need to get some crazy, strange or bizarre percussion.
I have been listening to cemetery polka and I love Toms odd percussion.
It seems quite basic but i have no idea how he made these sounds.
Does anyone know what he used or how i could achieve something similar to this.
Any help would be great
Thanks
-Toby
umm .. wood blocks, cowbell, toms, cymbal .. not as odd as he usually has in his tunes ..
Old 15th February 2017
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
ahh thank you very much, i thought it sounded more peculiar but guess not . im off too get some samples now haha
Old 16th February 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmatikstudios View Post
ahh thank you very much, i thought it sounded more peculiar but guess not . im off too get some samples now haha
let me know if there is something you cannot find or need something played .. i have some odd things here and there ...

a home depot bucket can be fun !!! do you use Kontakt by chance ??
Old 16th February 2017
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
I've actually been pondering over purchasing Kontakt for a long time. Ive seen a lot of reviews but i'm a bit off a penny pincher haha.
I appreciate the offer of help i'll be sure to get in contact if i need something played. thank you
Old 16th February 2017
  #6
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmatikstudios View Post
Hi guys this is my first post on gearslutz.
I was hoping i might be able to get some advice.
I'm working on a track right now and need to get some crazy, strange or bizarre percussion.
I have been listening to cemetery polka and I love Toms odd percussion.
It seems quite basic but i have no idea how he made these sounds.
Does anyone know what he used or how i could achieve something similar to this.
Any help would be great
Thanks
-Toby
I knew Waits when he was coming up, the guy is a closet Foley artist, so who knows?

Maybe a viewing of one of his earlier performances like "Big Time" would be useful?

I'm guessing on that song it's a wood block or a "tank plank." He also uses a vibra slap on some of his songs.

"Never trust a man in a blue trenchcoat. Never drive a car when you're dead."
Old 16th February 2017
  #7
Gear Addict
 
JTC111's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmatikstudios View Post
Hi guys this is my first post on gearslutz.
I was hoping i might be able to get some advice.
I'm working on a track right now and need to get some crazy, strange or bizarre percussion.
I have been listening to cemetery polka and I love Toms odd percussion.
It seems quite basic but i have no idea how he made these sounds.
Does anyone know what he used or how i could achieve something similar to this.
Any help would be great
Thanks
-Toby
You might want to check out Toontrack's Twisted Kit. It was designed and sampled by Michael Blair who did percussion for Tom Waits. I'm a big fan of Waits' Raindogs album and this kit really captures that sound
Old 16th February 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
Old 16th February 2017
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmatikstudios View Post
Hi guys this is my first post on gearslutz.
I was hoping i might be able to get some advice.
I'm working on a track right now and need to get some crazy, strange or bizarre percussion.
I have been listening to cemetery polka and I love Toms odd percussion.
It seems quite basic but i have no idea how he made these sounds.
Does anyone know what he used or how i could achieve something similar to this.
Any help would be great
Thanks
-Toby
A lot of the drumming on the Rain Dogs album is from Stephen Hodges (a stalwart of the Long Beach scene and, for some years now a member of the Mavis Staples Band); Stephen was well-known on our local scene in decades past (even before his Tom Waits association) for showing up at gigs with all kinds of nonstandard drum kits and percussion, including toy drum kit elements and 'found' percussion instruments like, well, anvils. (At one point, he said he had a collection of anvils for different pitches/sounds.)

But, of course, there's a lot of drums and percussion on the album:

Michael Blair – percussion (1–4, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17), marimba (2, 7, 10, 12), drums (8, 14, 18), congas (4), bowed saw (12), parade drum (19)
Stephen Hodges – drums (1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 15, 16), parade drum (3)
Bobby Previte – percussion (2), marimba (2)
Mickey Curry – drums (17)


The transients for something like an anvil can be wicked -- but that's where a lot of the character resides, even if the tail defines the pitch and remembered timbre. For studio work where bleed from other instruments is not a critical issue, it's usually best to give metal percussion some room -- and I mean that two ways: you don't want to get the mic so close that the transient mechanically overloads the mic or that the resulting signal overloads the preamp to the extent that the transient saturates so much it loses character; the other 'room' that can be helpful if, of course, a good room -- since, after the transient, the sound of such percussion is in the continued ring of the instrument; augmenting that by letting a little [good-sounding] room reverberation into the capture may be just the thing to bring out the character of both elements.
Old 16th February 2017
  #10
Another thing that I might point out pertaining to 'playing anvil', is that striking one is not as simple as raring back and busting the hell out of it with any old hammer. I had a friend experience this the hard way when, by striking an anvil with 'the wrong kind of hammer', a piece of the hammer flew off, not unlike shrapnel, and embed itself deep in his abdomen, which took surgery to remove.

Proceed with caution. Who ever thought we'd live to see the day that percussionists were advised to wear eye protection?

Last edited by johnny nowhere; 16th February 2017 at 06:59 PM.. Reason: Hammer time!
Old 16th February 2017
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny nowhere View Post
Another thing that I might point out pertaining to 'playing anvil', is that striking one is not as simple as raring back and busting the hell out of it with any old hammer. I had a friend experience this the hard way when, by striking an anvil with 'the wrong kind of hammer', a piece of the hammer flew off, not unlike shrapnel, and embed itself deep in his abdomen, which took surgery to remove.

Proceed with caution. Who ever thought we'd live to see the day that percussionists were advised to wear eye protection?
THAT could be a very important point that I had never even considered, but it is definitely a consideration -- as your unfortunate friend found out.

If the motive force was enough to drive the fragment deep into his abdomen -- think about what such a fragment might do to something like an eye. =(
Old 16th February 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny nowhere View Post
Another thing that I might point out pertaining to 'playing anvil', is that striking one is not as simple as raring back and busting the hell out of it with any old hammer. I had a friend experience this the hard way when, by striking an anvil with 'the wrong kind of hammer', a piece of the hammer flew off, not unlike shrapnel, and embed itself deep in his abdomen, which took surgery to remove.

Proceed with caution. Who ever thought we'd live to see the day that percussionists were advised to wear eye protection?
might want to hit the Surplus Store for a Flac Vest Too !!! ouch !!!
Old 16th February 2017
  #13
And maybe heavy work gloves. In middle school I had a metal shop teacher who would hold up his right hand on the first day of class, showing half a pinkie, and say, "I thought I was too smart to use protective gear. Once upon a time."

Better yet, carefully inspect -- and think about -- any heavy objects you're banging together in any circumstance, music-making or otherwise.

(PS, I also knew someone long ago whose foot got broken when the head flew off a coworker's sledge hammer on a backswing and landed smack on his foot. Big owie.)
Old 16th February 2017
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post

a home depot bucket can be fun !!!
Here's a photo of Master percussionist Joe Craven playing the "Motel Standard Plastic Trash Can".
Don't laugh; in Joe's hands it sounded fantastic.
Attached Thumbnails
Tom Waits Percussion-carenses-joe1.jpg  
Old 16th February 2017
  #15
Did an album years ago with a band that was on a real Tom Waits trip, and they wanted to do a hidden track (remember when that was a thing?) with a bunch of weird percussion sounds. I think we used a five gallon bucket for the kick, a frying pan for the snare, and a music stand for a cymbal. Recorded the kit in the control room with an old RCA ribbon mic. The results were... interesting. The important thing is that we thought we were geniuses, or something.
Old 16th February 2017
  #16
Gear Guru
 

the percussion on a lot of Tom Waits stuff sounds to me like it was miked from a distance and had a lot of compression applied.
Old 16th February 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 
roger's Avatar
 

The Waits Room + circus-marching drums/congas/bongos/finger cymbals/saws/bells/etc/etc + sansamp (!) here & there. Classic Sansamp sound at the start of Big In Japan on Tom's 'beatboxing' & then you can hear throughout on various elements....sounds great/characterful on already characterful instruments with some room reverb in a characterful room!
Old 17th February 2017
  #18
Gear Addict
 
didlisquat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
A lot of the drumming on the Rain Dogs album is from Stephen Hodges (a stalwart of the Long Beach scene and, for some years now a member of the Mavis Staples Band); Stephen was well-known on our local scene in decades past (even before his Tom Waits association) for showing up at gigs with all kinds of nonstandard drum kits and percussion, including toy drum kit elements and 'found' percussion instruments like, well, anvils. (At one point, he said he had a collection of anvils for different pitches/sounds.)
Thanks for pointing that out. I love Rain Dogs. Stephen Hodges was amazing on Mike Watt's album Contemplating The Engine Room.
Old 17th February 2017
  #19
Get a Korg Wavedrum if you want some great non traditional sounds. A lot of great stuff and you play it like an instrument not a soulless midi groove. In keeping with his style!
Old 17th February 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
somehow i have misplaced my Impedance Adapter so i can put an SM57 through my guitar amp ... that is fun for distorting a Wood Block or Cow Bell .. split the mic so you have it direct and then through the Amp .. sweet He Zeus that is a cool sound ..
Old 17th February 2017
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by didlisquat View Post
Thanks for pointing that out. I love Rain Dogs. Stephen Hodges was amazing on Mike Watt's album Contemplating The Engine Room.
Stephen is kind of legendary around here and, of course, we're proud of his work with Tom Waits and Mavis Staples (where he's joined by fellow ex-James Harman bandmate, the bassist/multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Jeff Turmes, and by the excellent roots/blues guitar veteran, Rick Holmstrom) -- but he's also played and recorded with a lot of both local folks like Mike W and touring cult faves like Jonathan Richman. Before he and bandmate, Jeff T (who used to mix his songwriter demos in my funky project studio in the 90s), hit the 'bigtime' with Mavis, I had them penciled in as rhythm section on a bucket list dream project [all I needed was money an their OK ] that I wanted to put together before I, you know, retire the hard way. Ah, well, their good fortune is predicated on loads of hard work and decades of paying dues.
Old 17th February 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Stephen is kind of legendary around here and, of course, we're proud of his work with Tom Waits and Mavis Staples (where he's joined by fellow ex-James Harman bandmate, the bassist/multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Jeff Turmes, and by the excellent roots/blues guitar veteran, Rick Holmstrom) -- but he's also played and recorded with a lot of both local folks like Mike W and touring cult faves like Jonathan Richman. Before he and bandmate, Jeff T (who used to mix his songwriter demos in my funky project studio in the 90s), hit the 'bigtime' with Mavis, I had them penciled in as rhythm section on a bucket list dream project [all I needed was money an their OK ] that I wanted to put together before I, you know, retire the hard way. Ah, well, their good fortune is predicated on loads of hard work and decades of paying dues.
i got to record mike watt and a couple other cats in a house in san pedro a few years back .. so much fun .. and mike just came walking down the street with bass over shoulder and dragging his amp !!!
Old 17th February 2017
  #23
Gear Addict
 
JTC111's Avatar
You might find these interesting...

Old 17th February 2017
  #24
Old 17th February 2017
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
i got to record mike watt and a couple other cats in a house in san pedro a few years back .. so much fun .. and mike just came walking down the street with bass over shoulder and dragging his amp !!!
Mike and D were two of the first guys I met from the South Bay scene. A pal and I who were in the early stages of our own band were taking the air outside the Suburban Lawns practice studio which had a series of black market shows early on and we ended up talking new band talk to the two of them, remarking to ourselves afterwards what nice -- and smart -- guys they were. Punk rock in the late 70s had such a ludicrously distorted public face (the dance of the mocked mocking the mockers, I suppose we might think of it in the abstract now) that one of the things that always charmed me in those days was how friendly, warm, and smart many in the bands were. Not everyone was a great player -- though some were -- but there were loads of great ideas and nice people. It might be the 'Camelot'-like glow of that time that made me even more cynical about the music biz after I got into it in the 1980s. But Mike seems to have pursued a path that all but ignored the gritty biz side of things, and I think that's one of the reasons he's remained kind of a beacon of -- I almost hate to say it, it sounds so corny -- integrity and artistic independence.
Old 17th February 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Mike and D were two of the first guys I met from the South Bay scene. A pal and I who were in the early stages of our own band were taking the air outside the Suburban Lawns practice studio which had a series of black market shows early on and we ended up talking new band talk to the two of them, remarking to ourselves afterwards what nice -- and smart -- guys they were. Punk rock in the late 70s had such a ludicrously distorted public face (the dance of the mocked mocking the mockers, I suppose we might think of it in the abstract now) that one of the things that always charmed me in those days was how friendly, warm, and smart many in the bands were. Not everyone was a great player -- though some were -- but there were loads of great ideas and nice people. It might be the 'Camelot'-like glow of that time that made me even more cynical about the music biz after I got into it in the 1980s. But Mike seems to have pursued a path that all but ignored the gritty biz side of things, and I think that's one of the reasons he's remained kind of a beacon of -- I almost hate to say it, it sounds so corny -- integrity and artistic independence.
i wish i could remember the 2 guys that played guitar and drums that day .. and if i could find those files .. i did the multi-track and some guys shot a bunch of Short End 16mm Film and 8mm .. all sorts of formats ..

damn it now i am going to have to dig through 3 stacks of DVD backups !!!
Old 17th February 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
I found it Chuck Treece / Ray Barbee / Mike Watt .. now here is the trailer .. this is not my recording .. this was a video camera over the drums that got the sound ... the rest was shot in another Jam / Flop House .. they Hang / Jam until the Cops kick them out then move to another one .. i need to find those files .. !!! and the pro tools sessions with video ..

"In 2006 legendary skater Ray Barbee got together with punk legend Mike Watt (Minute Men, FireHose etc) in San Pedro, CA to play a DIY show in the living room of the local punk house. We filmed the show in black and white 16mm film live... Also included are interviews, rehearsals and skating at the San Pedro DIY park Channel Street."

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/barbeewatt ..

FOUND ONE CLIP .. it was for Fuel TV .. i completely forgot .. Enjoy .. i did this studio sounding mix and the film makers said, no it has to sound as dirty as it looks !! haha

https://vimeo.com/7210784

you can see the Timecode Slate in a couple shots .. LOL
Old 18th February 2017
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
I found it Chuck Treece / Ray Barbee / Mike Watt .. now here is the trailer .. this is not my recording .. this was a video camera over the drums that got the sound ... the rest was shot in another Jam / Flop House .. they Hang / Jam until the Cops kick them out then move to another one .. i need to find those files .. !!! and the pro tools sessions with video ..

"In 2006 legendary skater Ray Barbee got together with punk legend Mike Watt (Minute Men, FireHose etc) in San Pedro, CA to play a DIY show in the living room of the local punk house. We filmed the show in black and white 16mm film live... Also included are interviews, rehearsals and skating at the San Pedro DIY park Channel Street."

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/barbeewatt ..

FOUND ONE CLIP .. it was for Fuel TV .. i completely forgot .. Enjoy .. i did this studio sounding mix and the film makers said, no it has to sound as dirty as it looks !! haha

https://vimeo.com/7210784

you can see the Timecode Slate in a couple shots .. LOL
Very cool! Very 'Pedro.

Everybody sounds good -- but Mike has a moment or two on the bass there, huh?
Old 18th February 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Very cool! Very 'Pedro.

Everybody sounds good there but Mike has a moment or two on the bass, there, huh?
haha .. RAW as it comes !!!
Old 18th February 2017
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
haha .. RAW as it comes !!!
He's always been an adventurous player. That piece gave him a nice chance to really open up. One of the things that set the Minutemen apart was their mutant funkiness. I was a big fan of that in some of the UK bands (Gang of Four, Medium Medium, Magazine), so finding the Minutemen just 20 minutes over the bridge from me was pretty damn cool.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump