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What Percussion Does Your Studio Have?
Old 6th December 2002
  #1
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What Percussion Does Your Studio Have?

Another thread mentioned the lack of percussion in modern stuff. I agree. Brian Ferry's "Slave to Love" (among several other of his tunes) is one great example of how to use percussion to propel the groove.

So what percussion collection does your studio employ? Does it get used regularly? At all? Seems like mine gets used mostly for my own stuff, but I'm trying to convince other people to use it, too.

I'm building a percussion tree in my studio that will have all of my mountable percussion on it. There will be 5 cowbells, an agogo bell, large and small triangles, two tamborines, two different clave sets, Amazonian and African maracas, one three-tier cowbell (3 different sized cowbells, I forget it's technical name), an African shaker board, rainstick, 2 woodblocks, a chinese opera gong, a Turkish street doumbek, an African doumbek, bongos, LP mini timbales, a thunder spring drum, and chimes.

Hey wait, I don't have any egg shakers! Time to hit the local drum shop!!

It requires carefully placed towels to mute the stuff I don't want ringing out or resonating.
Old 6th December 2002
  #2
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 

I've got the basic stuff:

5-6 different tambourines, some with skins
3-4 triangles set
a couple cabasas
3-4 different eggs sets
4-5 claves
4-5 different size cowbells
a couple wood blocks
a pair of vintage Leedy bongos that came with a drumkit
3-4 cheapie maracas sets
chimes
finger cymbals
some jingle bells
a glock
a couple accent cymbals

I used to provide "storage" for a friend's Musser vibraphone some time ago. THAT was fun to mess with. Great to create an instant trippy vibe.

Most of the stuff gets used all the time. I often wind up playing those percussions myself on a lot of other peoples stuff too which is a nice bonus.

I woud not get congas or better bongos since you need good technique to play those right and I prefer hiring "real" percussionists on those occasions anyway.

Percs are way cool track enhancers!
Old 7th December 2002
  #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by posterchild
Off the top of my head...
Cool collection of stuff! Percussion is instruments that are struck, but I wouldn't be opposed to thwacking a cymbal with one of your recorders or flutes! If I drop your toy synth from a 3 story window and record it hitting the sidewalk I guess that counts, too. heh

Pianos are percussion instruments, but I don't have a real one in my studio. I wish!

Oh yeah I forgot to count my two 5' x 5' wood slat resonator/slap walls that hang from hooks in the live room. Tonally they're pretty close when hitting each slat with a yarn mallet. Kinda sounds like a way downtuned marimba you might expect to hear in a Tom Wait's tune, depending on how tight the slats are screwed down.
Old 7th December 2002
  #4
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 

My new fixation is tack/prepared piano. I'd like to get a cheap upright to turn into a fun science project...
Old 7th December 2002
  #5
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
A pair of egg shakers, a tambourine, maracas, and a cocktail shaker. I need to go shopping...
Old 7th December 2002
  #6
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I forgot my castanets. I don't know where they are, either. Maybe I ate them cuz they smelled like chocolate.

Also forgot my big 20 lb chunk of steel that hangs from a rope and sounds like a dissonant church bell when beaten with a wooden mallet. Has several equally spaced, equal sized holes cut through it. Looks like something that the ropes for a small ship anchor would be tied through.
Old 7th December 2002
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I got a bunch of sugar packets, they work real well miked close up. Two sugar packets work much better then one.

Important note: Don't use artificial sweeteners, they don't sound as good as the real thing. I believe it's the larger granules that make the sugar packets sound better.
Old 7th December 2002
  #8
I've got a wooden bull frog that I picked up from Epcot. Sounds just like the real thing.
Old 7th December 2002
  #9
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Knox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
I got a bunch of sugar packets, they work real well miked close up. Two sugar packets work much better then one.

Important note: Don't use artificial sweeteners, they don't sound as good as the real thing. I believe it's the larger granules that make the sugar packets sound better.

You can tell you are from NYC (smile). That is an old NYC trick. It was Jack Douglas I watched do that at Record Plant in the 70s. Then again I may be full of it and everyone does / did it. I have never seen anyone else do it any other place but NYC. We all did it after we watched him do it. . . like we thought of it! It was OURS!

Now I use an egg and everytime I think . . . "Geez this sounds better!"

*smile*
Old 7th December 2002
  #10
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I learned that trick from Frankie d'Augusta back in the late 70s. He was assisting and engineering at the Record Plant & the Hit Factory back then. Many folks in NYC were doing that trick.

Those sugar packets sound real smooth... try it, you may like it.
Old 7th December 2002
  #11
no ssl yet
Guest
cabasa, shakers, chime, rice in a pill bottle, and a flexotone. When I want that conga vibe I need a percussionists also. Or I turn to my trusty MPC WHERE have samples of probably everything in the world
Old 8th December 2002
  #12
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Knox's Avatar
 

btw . .
www.interstatemusic.com
has a hell of a good "percussion catalog" they will send you for free. It also has drum parts / kits. I don't know what their regular catalog is like, but I have 2 of their perc. catalogs. Seems pretty extensive.
Old 8th December 2002
  #13
2 x tambos

Some shakers (not enough)

I rent in an "LA box" (flight case full of percussion) fairly often..

Anyone seen or used a "HANDSONIC" ? it's a wonderful thing... I want one after a percusionist turned up with one..

http://www.harmony-central.com/Newp/...nd/HPD-15.html
Old 8th December 2002
  #14
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
I got a bunch of sugar packets, they work real well miked close up. Two sugar packets work much better then one.

Important note: Don't use artificial sweeteners, they don't sound as good as the real thing. I believe it's the larger granules that make the sugar packets sound better.

What a great idea!
Old 8th December 2002
  #15
no ssl yet
Guest
So I'm sure you guys have done the Rice in a pill bottle??????

Just be sure the bottle is absolutely dry if you decide to rinse it out. Otherwise you end up with starch. And starch doesn't make for a good shaker LOL
Old 8th December 2002
  #16
no ssl yet
Guest
Of course you filter out the low end
yuktyy
Old 8th December 2002
  #17
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Tim L's Avatar
 

I've got some different size shakers, a triangle, wind chimes, several blocks of wood (what can I say, they were cheap), and a very cool hand made Bodhran from Ireland.
Old 8th December 2002
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
btw . .
www.interstatemusic.com
has a hell of a good "percussion catalog" they will send you for free. It also has drum parts / kits. I don't know what their regular catalog is like, but I have 2 of their perc. catalogs. Seems pretty extensive.
Only problem with that is I will never buy a musical instrument without hearing it first. Ever.
Old 9th December 2002
  #19
Moderator emeritus
 

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jules
[B]
Anyone seen or used a "HANDSONIC" ? it's a wonderful thing... I want one after a percusionist turned up with one..

Sure - I record them all the time - they record really well (and the Handsonic wind chime sound has become so popular in Nashville that it's become boring...).

I was doing a 4 piece gig for a while with piano, bass, guitar, and percussionist Tom Roady playing a handsonic (with a kick drum pedal). Fairly cool...
Old 9th December 2002
  #20
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by no ssl yet
So I'm sure you guys have done the Rice in a pill bottle??????

Just be sure the bottle is absolutely dry if you decide to rinse it out. Otherwise you end up with starch. And starch doesn't make for a good shaker LOL
Sadly, I've mic'ed a bag of weed before.
Old 4th April 2003
  #21
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

When my shaker sounds just aren't 'shakery' enough I get a dobra (Irish drum with large skin) and pour a bunch of rice into it, and then shake it in a kind of 'panning for gold' way.

Sounds huge and you can get all kinds of different sounds from it.
Old 4th April 2003
  #22
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covert's Avatar
 

I've got:

a bunch of tambourines
a bunch of shakers
some wood blocks
some plastic blocks
a triangle
a Zydeco Necktie
a washboard
lots of odd ****ed up cymbals
a variety of metallic junk
several bottles from water coolers
some toy zylophones
a toy piano
other random stuff

One cool thing I found recently are the Remo Senor Kelly shakers. Plastic sort of maracca like, but with two different resonator tubes, so you can change the sound.
Old 4th April 2003
  #23
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sonic dogg's Avatar
three drum sets....some other noise making crap and a drum on a stick........oh wait ....thats a banjo
Old 4th April 2003
  #24
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

What a great thread.

Looks like I'm gonna need a bodhran, a cabasa, and a washboard... otherwise I'm pretty well covered!
Old 4th April 2003
  #25
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

oh and a shekere (a gourd with the beads in a net around it).

Did I mention I have some nice bolivian goat toe-nails?
Old 4th April 2003
  #26
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David R.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
I got a bunch of sugar packets, they work real well miked close up. Two sugar packets work much better then one.
How does it sound? Sweeeeeeet.

Perc in the studio: 6 Eggs, 2 sets of clave, 2 Persian doumbeks (one skin, the other artificial head), bongos (just put new LP Handpicked heads on), wind chimes (sound amazing when stereo miked), two small jimbe, 4 talking drums (restrung and new heads for 2), some weird drum from Bali, a couple of small slit drums, 2 jaw harps, a couple of those obnoxious chinese drums that you twirl in your palms, 2 tamborines, cabassa, and more. I just can't think now. Also pots and pans from the kitchen.
Old 4th April 2003
  #27
Egg shakers
Bodhran
Talking drum
log/slit drum
cowbell ("I gotta have more..." )
Goat toenails
Triangle
Tibetan prayer bells
Prayer bowl
Chinese cup chimes/jing cymbals
Various drinking glasses/bowls
Maracas
Misc. drum cases
Old 4th April 2003
  #28
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

"a couple of those obnoxious chinese drums that you twirl in your palms"

I have this african thing that looks like a paddle with two heads, you twirl the stick in your palms and little beads on strings whack the paddles/drumheads.

Is this what you're talking about, only chinese? What is one of these called?
Our engineer is featured prominently (how else?) on this instrument on our upcoming CD, I'm wondering what to call it in the credits. So far I'm leaning towards the onomatopoetic "whackita".

Anyone know a "real" or ethnic name for this truly and invigoratingly obnoxious instrument?

You KNOW we mic'ed it in stereo.
Old 4th April 2003
  #29
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David R.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
"
You KNOW we mic'ed it in stereo.
LMAO!!

Whackita! That is it!


Oh yes, I can not forget the frame drums - one from egypt with a "snare" on it, the other a Persian Daf.

Whackita.

Whackita.








Whackita! thumbsup
Old 4th April 2003
  #30
Gear Guru
 

don't forget the peanut butter jars and tupperware tubs half filled with water- tilt them as you play and get pitch changes

In addition to all the usual store-bought and vacation-bought percussion I have some Found Objects that I keep around. One of my favorites is an old metal "hotel" type ashtray. The kind that is built into its own stand and has a spring loaded 'plunger' to dump the ashes into the bin below.

Depending on how and where you hit it you can get 10 different sounds from it. And the ZEEEeeeeee of the plunger is a sound of its own!

similarly:
An old kerosene can (thoroughly cleaned of course)
fire alarm bell (where did that come from?)
vacuum cleaner hose (whip it good!)
assorted pvc pipes
several old wind up alarm clocks
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