Thursday, May 28, 2015

Busking in New York City



Lately I've been hitting the Subways with my homemade mini kit. Busking in NYC is something I've always seen others do, but never did it myself until recently. I'm still learning the ropes, but so far it has been a fun experience.

I decided to go with only an acoustic drum setup since not having amplification increases the amount of places you can play legally.

This is the rig that I came up with. At first I was considering making a small kick drum, but size and difficulties of stabilization made me change my mind and go with a standing bass drum that I actually hit with my stick. I used an old Ludwig Rocker 13" tom and removed the bottom head, then attached a tiny 8" concert tom with three long wing bolts. I used dry erasers and gaff tape to pad between the toms. 

On the top of the 8" tom I cut some plastic zip ties and taped them to the side of the head to create a snare-like sound. This worked surprisingly well and the snare has quite a pop when cranked up tight and hit with a rimshot. 

The bass drum was muffled with duck tape and gaff tape, and it has quite a surdo quality. What you see in the middle are two stainless steel chinese cookware lids sandwiched together to make a hi-hat like instrument, to the right of that are agogo bells, then on the left a cowbell and one of my Brazilian tamborims

last but not least is a wooden spoon and a small shaker taped to some old running shoes. I wedge the jam block under the leg of the snare stand I'm using to support the set and use the two foot noise makers to keep a steady time while I play my patterns over top. 

Most of the beats I've been experimenting with are Samba based, since this setup sorta lends itself to that style, but also have been working in some more experimental patterns as well. Overall this setup is making me think way outside the box as how to play the drums, since my right foot is no longer the kick, but I have to think about how to make a bass sound using my hands. 

The people have been very responsive and have had many photos taken, video and people talk to me. I still want to make it a little more unique somehow though in the near future. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Batucada LP in the works!

A few years ago I started working on a project of all batucada drumming songs. I wasn't able to complete enough for a full LP, so the tracks got put on my album, Coruja.

I've recently been thinking how much I'd like to do this again, but this time really complete a full album in the style of "Batucada Fantastica" by Luciano Perrone, I started digging through the old recordings I made and found a few that I had never finished and already completed one for the album.

Once I get the whole thing done I'll  post it on Bandcamp and it'll be streaming on all the major services. For now you can check out my first track completed off the up and coming LP.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

back online!

Hey all my readers, I'm back up and running here. I never really went away, but my energies were focused on other sites. But there's some things I feel like only belong here, so I did some cleanup on the site and little by little will be being updated.

Feel free to click around and and explore!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Demonic Sweaters

Just wanted to let all of you know that I haven't been updating this site as much these days because most of my time is being spent on my newest project Demonic Sweaters Feel free to head over there and follow me on tumblr. All of my newest releases are located there.

Thanks,

Justin

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

G-Stomper for Android & New Demonic Sweaters

Ever since my first Android smart phone I could see the possibility of composing on these tiny touchscreen devices and quickly started downloading a plethora of apps and software synths. I even played around with apple mobile stuff like Garageband. All of them were cool, but nothing to really really create on in my opinion. Many of the Android apps were wonky, or unstable, some pretty cool, but just more like toys. iOS has some good ones that are stable like Garageband, but it seems to be more like a wannabe DAW and honestly just wasn't that fun to use even though it is high quality. 

Then recently I was wanting to make some electronic music again, but had grown tired of using Cubase, Ableton, with midi controllers ect... and was considering purchasing a hardware sequencer or groovebox until I happened to stumble upon G-Stomper, a beatmaker sequencing app for Android. 

Just by hearing the demo on this app I could tell that this one was a higher quality than many, and I really liked the familiar hardware-like layout of the gui. I installed it on my low-end $69 nextbook 7 tablet and was really impressed with it's stability, quality of sound and ease of use. Not only that, it had a full PDF manual, active soundcloud group, as well as a user forum with some very helpful and friendly people, so I quickly dove in and spent the past two weeks focused on working strictly in G-Stomper

What came of it is the third Demonic Sweaters release, this one fully focused on electronic music, as well as even including a few dance tracks, which is something I had never really attempted before. I had a great time making this album, and did it all on my nextbook while either laying in bed, riding the subway, standing in the middle of midtown Manhattan, or basically anywhere I had a spare moment. 


The author of G-Stomper is very active on the forums as well as quick to respond to any questions or just friendly chat which is really cool. The app is really easy to use your own samples, you just put them in a folder, copy them to your device then point G-Stomper to where they are and load them up. Workflow is very similar to groovebox style sequencers, you get buttons where you assign samples then select which sample you're using and start sequencing. There's also a note view, built-in assignable fx like dalay, distortion, bit crusher, and my favorite, a whole bunch of analog sounding filters that are completely automatable and sound great.

This is the must have app for making music on your Android device. I did all this with a crappy single core nextbook, a nexus 7 or other quadcore tablet would really be fun!