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Re: Re: Drum machine
Matt Davignon wrote:
"For performances, I usually recommend AGAINST using a drum machine.
I've yet to see a show with a drum machine playing pre-composed
rhythms, where I didn't think the show would've been better without
the drum machine. (No beats is better than canned beats)."
It's funny Matt, but as a professional drummer, I'm supposed to be the guy
who really hates drum machines, especially, repeating one or two bar
but, in fact, I love it when people are really creative about using
static drum machine parts.
For some reason, I love that this approach is not human..............that
it is static
In fact, I've found that the more minimalistic a drum machine part is and
it is in the mix, the more interesting I find it in the composition. A
drum beat with no
variation doesn't have a lot of natural 'energy' so I find that you can
actually add some energy
by calling attention to the fact that it IS static and unchanging.
Also, by having only a single bar length (or possibly two) and by being
it actively engages the mind of the listener to 'contribute' rhythm to a
piece in much the same
way that an incredibly simple but funky bass line can sometimes make
people 'hear' other syncopations
in a part. Faced with abject minimalism from a sensory standpoint, the
human brain 'makes up' things.
Sometimes, in this way, having only one single 16th note offbeat in a two
bar rhythm of otherwise
8th note grooves (any of Parliament/Funkadelic's drummers) can actually be
a much funkier approach than putting in a zillion offbeats (David
Also, the juxtaposition of the different kinds of artificial timbres that
with a drum machine (especially analogue and synthetic/found sounds)
playing a one bar loop,
and the fact that it's feel is so rigid
and mechanical with real and expressive and nuanced playing that one could
never get from even a
cleverly programmed drum machine by a human being makes for a really
delicious set of possibilities.
If it's done cleverly, aesthetically, and extremely minimally I think it
a kind of energy to a piece that rivals just pure playing.
But then, again, statically playing repetitive interlocking grooves is
why I love live looping.
I was telling Mogli (Eric DeArantanha) during a Rhythm Intensive lesson
today, that though I appreciate
the use of feedback in many loopers performances that I still haven't run
out of ideas using
the mere stacking and processing and dubbing of static, feedback-less
parts (my brother, Matthias Grob
is now rolling in his grave, and he's still living).
I guess that what makes art so compelling is that there is a lot of room
for all different kinds of passions and approaches to making music.
I sure love what you do, my friend. That's a fact, for sure.
yours, Rick Walker