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Part 6 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

Acoustic-closeup

Sonically speaking, acoustic guitars have a bit of a split personality – a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There’s the way it sounds, and then there’s the way it sounds plugged in.

The rich, full bodied tone emanating from a quality guitar often bears no resemblance to the thin, choked sound that flows out of its electronic connection. It’s impractical to mic an acoustic guitar with a drummer ten feet away, so we plug it in! With mixed results. And sometimes, working with an acoustic guitar ends up being more of a salvage operation than a musical experience! Continue Reading…

Part 4 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

Bass

The bass guitar is glue that holds the band together.

I have no idea what this analogy means. I’ve heard it said about bass – and almost everything else on stage – and I cringe every time I hear it! But, I shouldn’t complain without an alternative, so I’ll offer my own view of how the bass functions in pop/rock music: Continue Reading…

Part 3 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

snare on Meeting House Oakville stage

The first time a snare drum really stood out to me was “Under the Table and Dreaming“, the album that put Dave Matthews Band on the map. It’s a 1990s classic full of rich instrumentation, funky acoustic guitar parts … and drums! Drummers were drooling over everything Carter Beauford hit, and even a total beginner guitarist like me got caught up in that ominous “crack” on two and four that defined the intro to “Ants Marching”.

When it comes to drums I believe many sound techs fall for the kick first, but grow to love the snare the most. Continue Reading…

Part 2 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

Kick this one

We’re kicking off our “Taking It Apart” series with the kick drum! Poetic, I know. And since it’s often channel #1 on the board, it’s makes for an easy starting point.

Three parts to the sound of a kick drum, as I hear it, are the “thud”, the “ring”, and the “attack”. In fact, these three sounds are found in the sonic palette of every drum! Let’s take a look at them one-by-one.

Continue Reading…