To DD, or SPD? That was the question

I’m still working on my novel…But I’m not in the mood to talk more about that yet. Needless to say though I’m climbing on and I’m seeing more of the peak.

This post is to say that I’ve finally (stress) begun working on a music demo. Technically I should’ve started late May but I have a wonderfully boring story about order delays for equipment and then wrestling with familiarity.
Today though I feel (or maybe yesterday to be precise) is the day that songs brewing since sometime in 2007 are finally hitting the canvas.

I’ve begun laying down a drum track using a Roland SPD-20, which to those in the know is deemed as V-Drums in a box (i.e. a compact electronic kit of high calibre) .
I’ve found step recording by MIDI helpful in maintaining a human feel yet allowing me to edit my performance in a less painful way than pure audio. Plus given the odd trigger issues with electronic kits (or, read as an excuse for not hitting properly), this is the sane way to record with these units.

Until last year I had a long-serving acoustic drum kit, but I sold it.
I don’t own a car for travelling to be easy, it was hard to record without buying an expensive mic set and frankly it was consuming too much space and annoyed my old neighbours even when purchasing muffle pads.
In 2004 I purchased a cheap Yamaha DD-55 electronic drum set which due to it’s size I was able to take to a friend’s house and play thrash metal covers. Eventually we thought about writing songs, just for fun. I had been in bands with this person before in my teens but they never flew; in fact I semi-retired in 2001 in my early twenties.
The DD-55 isn’t a patch on my SPD-20 (in fact there’s a large price difference alone, including all accessories) but it sounds good enough and is responsive enough for indoor play, so I essentially thank that for pursuing any form of music. I had dabbled with software drum machines (ReBirth, and Orion) and still do, but I still like playing live most.

Earlier this year we accumulated 11 songs (writing very slowly), so I thought, okay, this is getting a bit proper, I’ll buy something a little more advanced to record with and here I am – nailing track 1 of a 4/5 track demo. We have a band name, have a demo name and of course song titles. But I feel very self-conscious about saying anything more until we have some product to give, I’m very aware this could all go wrong and this all becomes just talk.
Essentially we’re taking this one step at a time. I’m not looking for a label ( is anyone now?) and haven’t even thought about playing live; we’ll consider those questions as they unfold. For now I just want to record what we made, and if it flies that’s good. But first and foremost this is for ourselves – and I think that’s healthy. I’m not at the age (though not that old) to really care much about rock star aspirations or whatever.  Also, a current book I’m reading is hammering home the fact that happiness is found more easily in what you already have and what’s more realistically attainable given your situation.

Now I’m losing sight of what I’m trying to say…But yes, there is something brewing. Not much ingredients in the pan yet, but the gas is on. Watch this space. We may share some stuff as it’s being cooked.

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2 thoughts on “To DD, or SPD? That was the question

  1. Watching this space.

    Ok, back to the kitchen & do it! Do it for us procrastinators who buy instruments and don’t get around to using them! 🙂

    P.S. Tip: Don’t let anyone register the domain name of your band name before you do.

    • Good idea! I think we found a name that’s actually quite simple but hasn’t been used at all (according to bandname.com); will reveal all in good time, but it won’t be a very exciting revelation. 🙂

      Had a bit of a dodgy day trying to record today, but you learn and you try again.

      I promise there are no songs about about a certain supplement…

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