Category equipment dork

The Evolution of the Rockula Drumset pt 2

Read The Evolution of the Rockula Drumset pt 1 here

Getting the 3 piece red sparkle kit  for christmas was just the beginning of my drum odyssey
My next acquisition was the Mattel Synsonics drum module
What I really wanted was a large drumkit but I thought I could use all the different sounds on the synsonics to expand my palate
The biggest problem was that the pads were set up for a right handed person so I struggled with trying to figure out how to use it for my own purposes
It wasn’t a total bust because I made my first forays into electronics by playing Kraftwerk songs on it

All of this changed when my father bought me A SECOND DRUMKIT!!!!!!!
It was blue sparkle and the exact same type of inexpensive Sears-type  drums
A traditional 5 piece co...

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Rockula’s Reviews- Molecules Drum Company

Acrylic drums aren’t anything new
Created by Bill Zickos in 1959, mass marketed by Ludwig in 1972 and popularized by John Bonham, these drums were referred to by the un-initiated as “see through” drums
There were endless variations of both solid and transparent colors (there were even drums made of various pieces of acrylic, forming stripes and swirls)
The originals aren’t considered to be very good quality drums due to the weakness/thinness of the shells and bad bearing edges Advances in chemistry and drum making technology in general produced much better quality acrylic drums by 2001 when Ludwig reissued them
Since then, there have been countless major and independant drum companies that have produced their own version but acrylic drums have remained pretty much the same in concept since...

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observation #1234 -or- Assumptions v.s. Applications

I have been having lots of trouble mounting any electronic pads on my chrome drum rack tubes
The tubes are very strong but, as a result, conduct a lot of vibration
So much that it transfers to other pads mounted on the tube
Simply put- If you hit one pad, it makes the other ones trigger

I have avoided using electronic pad rack tubes because they seemed to weak to support all the other things I wanted to mount on them but then I noticed that speaker stand tubes were the same circumference as the rack tubes but as light/thin as the electronic tubes
Based on that judgement, I assumed they wouldn’t be able to handle the weight of mounting drums on them

I have been re-building the electronic kit and was going to mount a PA speaker on the speaker stand
As I was lifting this bulky and heavy speaker on...

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The Rockula Update 12/19/11 -or- A large number of small victories instead of one all encompasing triumph

The last few weeks have been productive
A few weeks ago, I decided to get off my ass and pull my drums out on the street in Deep Ellum
Laziness was one of the factors that kept me from doing it but the biggest one was fear of all the negative variables that were swirling in my head
Would the cops hassle me?
Would someone try to rob me or start a fight? (this is Ellum)
After getting out there and doing it, I saw that none of those fears were correct
Not only that, but I never would have thought that I could play drums for 5 to 6 hours
My recent drumming-stamina issues have been a huge issue and I succeeded in adapting my playing for the long haul
I have an idea where I want to take this and will address it in a sec

Speaking of drumming stamina issues, I have isolated two of the main causes ...

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R.I.P. Zildjian Power Smash

I bought this 18″ Zildjian “Z” Power Smash back in 2000 and have used it primarily for an in-between china/trashy crash-ride application
I played it bell up and it yeilded a ton of different textures
Lately, I have used it for Mass Torment because my other chinas were just too trashy
However, I just cracked it and am bummed
You served me well Z Power Smash and you lived a long productive life (especially for one of my cymbals)
Sorry to see you go
May the equipment gods treat you well in music gear heaven
Now, if someone would just buy me a new cymbal, that would be great
I have always wanted a Paiste Novo China
I’d like mine in 20″ please

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The equipment gods almost taketh away

Many of you who have followed me since the Livejournal days know that I comment upon the coming and going of equipment in my life by speaking of “The Equipment Gods”
When the equipment Gods giveth, they are the ones who give you the deep discount on gear that you need and materialize that “diamond in the rough” on the rack just before you enter the pawn shop
They are also the ones who taketh away when your shit breaks down, gets stolen or falls out of the van because your dumbass guitar player was drunk and didn’t shut the door properly

Last night’s brush with the Equipent Gods came in the form of a video projector
I was messing around with some concepts and had just fired the projector up and the lamp was on for about 10 seconds
That’s when the power cable came out

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Winter Touring Kit Configuration 9/14/2010

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final prep for GZ

Now that Marko has helped me tweak my loops and samples, I can start constructing the set from start to finish
Marko gave me advice early on that all samples should be sent as flat as possible to the board which makes sense
Sound as with any kind of art like painting or cooking, it is easier to add to than take away from
This means send a fairly bland signal to the board and the sound person can mix it the way it sounds best for the club and the PA
Sending too much bass is especially bad because it can sound distorted even before it gets to the board
Highs are easier to tame and get affected less by too much gain
I wish I could actually apply these techniques because I still mix like shit
Just because you watch Hell’s Kitchen don’t make you a chef

There are only a few things left to accomp...

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adjustments to the GZ performance

I have been trying to work a guitar player into the band for this performance for the last month or so and the guy looked promising at first but he showed pretty much no enthusiasm
If you have been reading my blogs lately, then you know I have been re-cutting all of the loops and sample for the live show
This is because I had made my decision to let him go but I could not tell him in person until yesterday
Luckily, he was of the same opinion and we parted ways amicably

I just finished all of the backing loops for the live show
All I need now is for Marko to put the adjustment on the levels and the EQ so that the PA will need the least abount of adjustment
My deaf ass is terrible at mixing, plus, what I like in a mix doesn’t always produce the best result out front

One of the biggest advan...

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Rasputina 7/19/2010 Varsity Theater + video shoot

Rasputina has the distinction of “being there for me” during a time in my life where I was trying to search for a way to stay relevant
Kat burned copies of “Frustration Plantation” and “Cabin Fever” when I was on tour with the fucking Von Ehrichs and it was a welcome distraction from the hell I was having to endure on that tour

I had listened to Rasputina before but those albums were pretty standard (although better than most) goth
These two albums had very interesting electronic tracks
It wasn’t the garden variety, bludgeon you over the head, NIN/Ministry type of electronics
This was subtle texture
It immediately started my wheels turning when thinking of a way to part from the tradition of 20th century electronic music
Those two albums are what I put in the category of “headphone albums”

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