What I Did On My Summer Holiday

I've never really been away, but I'm back.

So what have I been up to? Well...

My head has been full of drums.

  • I sold off my old drum machine on ebay, after a week rising from GBP35 to the dizzy heights of...GBP36.27.

  • How many variations are there on the maraca? Put it another way, how many usefully different gradations are there in the parameters which describe a synthesised maraca/rice-shaker/gourd/shac-shac sound in any one of the half-dozen drum synthesis techniques?

    Put it more musically, you might perfer your maraca sound to sound crisper, duller, noisier, higher, longer or whatever in whatever piece of music you're making, so how many catalogued alternatives might concieveably be useful to you...and how do you make them?

    Now ask the same about your bass drums, snares, djembes, doumbeks, congas, bongos, hi-hats, cowbells and handclaps. If like me you're using filtered white noise, you'll soon find yourself wishing there were some way to automate the process of cycling through permutations.

    And if you're like me, you'll spend a week finding a way to do just that, so having worked out the ranges of initial pitch, final pitch, transition curve, filter slope, amplitide curve and length, you can program them in, go to bed, and hopefully find it's just finishing when you wake up.

    At one stage I had 450 kick drums. Now I'm much more restrained with 135. With only 14 hi-hats, 41 congas, 45 handclaps and 30 variations on one kind of snare drum. 1010 sounds in all, in the current set.

    Including 54 maracas.

  • But if you can do it with the white noise filtering method, how about the additive method? Why not indeed.

  • And then there's other methods, which just begged investigation.

    All this, of course, started from the vague thought that the 53 drum samples I made a few months ago and have been using for Darqroom songs could use just a little more variety.

    There's only six maracas there.

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