Tokyo Seoul--Zomeki Minus
Zomeki is a
fast, simple Japanese dance rhythm, essentially "swung
eighths." You hear this rhythm underpinning a lot of
Japanese traditional music. I used this piece to
fine-tune the velocity response of the drums. There is
no processing outside the player's output, other than
raising the overall level of the original 64-bit mix for the
MP3 conversion. The dynamics are all generated by
velocity, no MIDI volume changes were used in the sequence.
section was programmed on a weighted keyboard controller
(SL880), a tempo, using the "Keyjam--Detail Stack."
It's a virtual ensemble representing a total of six players,
drums and rims only, no blocks I programmed it with
five MIDI tracks.
the piccolo woodblock roll, I switched to the "ZEN--All
Instruments Stack." The rhythm changes to a less
traditional, more pounding groove. I also added the
piccolo woodblocks to this section, which cut very well
through even thick textures. I performed this section in a
single pass with the Zendrum ZAP controller (www.zendrum.com).
design consideration for Tokyo Seoul, from the
sessions to final product, was a desire to use these
instruments as more than "Big Bangy Boomies." That
part is pretty easy when you're talking about a drum that
weighs more than a person, and was the low-hanging fruit of
the overall effort.
challenging, and frankly rewarding, aspect of the design is
being able to sustain energy and musical intention at all
dynamic levels, and to move from one level to another
without what I'd call "credibility problems," those gaps in
either dynamic coverage or hit counts that shatter the
listener's suspension of disbelief.
I did not
want to use round robins and other sampler techniques to
arbitrarily vary separate hits. I wanted to always
know exactly which sample would play in a sequence.
So, this required even more depth, but all to the good.
The additional sampling depth gave us even more dynamic
resolution and range.
Finally, I really wanted the collection to sound equally
credible whether used in a thick mix, or all by itself.
hear our conceptual approach in context, pay
particular attention to the soft "groove" sections in the initial Zomeki
portion of the demo. The goal was to provide enough
definition that we could successfully replicate the
performance of live players in a studio, even on very long,
dynamically static ostinato sections that tend to reveal samples
in a poor light. I think
we succeeded, and that sequences produced with
Tokyo Seoul get you very close to the sound and feel of tracking
real drums in real space, played in real time...even when
unaccompanied by other instruments.
despite the fact that the library sounds "slick" right
out of the box, it is actually quite raw in terms of sample
content. This gives you significant latitude when
programming. You could build a very credible part
using only half of the samples for any given element, and
pitch-shift or even double-track at pitch. Unless
you're extraordinarily (as in freakishly) able to hit the
same velocity over and over, you'll likely never trigger the
same sample twice, even "abusing" Tokyo Seoul
Seoul...Korean Buk, Japanese O-Daiko, and Piccolo