Recording Drums in Modern Rhythm and Blues

No Thumbnail Available
Harrison, Charese
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
As a drummer and an audio engineer, I have been interested in learning how knowledge in separate disciplines inform each other. For example, when recording an acoustic drum set, one must consider musical, technical, and architectural influences on the results. Learning how these interact highlights the importance of each area and benefits listeners who understand that music is a subjective art form as well as deliverable medium. Objectively, producers’ technical choices during a recording like drum tuning and microphone selection, affect the resultant sounds, which may vary between styles. For this project, my primary focus was recording an acoustic drum set for modern Rhythm and Blues, a pop music genre that combines elements of jazz, gospel, and blues. For the audience to understand objective choices in music, it can be beneficial to compare sonic differences between specific techniques. To accomplish this, I conducted an experiment to showcase how instrument tuning, acoustic spaces, and microphone choices affect the sound of studio recordings. Using these recordings, I illustrate the impact subtle differences make in capturing sounds from an acoustic drum set in the context of a modern rhythm and blues arrangement. One of my goals for this project was to gain knowledge and experience and to become a better audio engineer, achieving sounds with knowledge of how to capture compelling sounds consistently.