Our Tribute to Chick

Wahnsinn, mit etwas Zeitversatz den Helden meiner Jugend beim Schwärmen zuzuhören: Dave Weckl, John Patitucci, Frank Gambale und Eric Marienthal unterhalten sich über Chick Corea und ihre Zeit bei der Elektric Band:

An der Stelle. als J. P. erwähnte, dass Dave Weckl damals schon alle Elektronik nicht nur selbst verwaltete, sondern auch zusammen mischte und dem FOH eine Stereosumme übergab, wollte ich es genauer wissen und schlug das Modern Drummer Interview vom Oktober 1986 auf:


>>“I have always been a sound nut. That’s why I have always carried my own P.A./monitor system. Now I have all the drums gated through Omni Craft noise gates, so there is no leakage and everything is clean. The system is all in stereo. For monitors, I use two sets of Eastern Acoustic Works speakers: two 15″ sub-woofer cabinets and two 15″ full- range cabinets. A Crown Micro Tech amp powers the sub-woofers, and a Carver amp powers the full-range speakers. The cross- over is handled by an Audio Arts Stereo Tunable Crossover. I use a Studio Master mixing board with six channels for drums, and the other two channels for my Linn and Simmons SDS5. This gives me control over my balance of acoustic sounds with electric sounds. Also in the rack is a Roland digital delay, Roland digital reverb, and a DBX 166 stereo compressor/ limiter noise gate. 

„My Simmons SDS5 is triggered from Detonator mic’s on my drumshells. I had my Linn customized for dynamic sensitivity. I assigned my bass drum, snare drum, second rack tom, left-hand tom, and Simmons pad to the trigger inputs in the Linn. I have the trigger sensitivity set so that I can get both the acoustic and Linn sound by hitting the drums, or just the triggered sound alone by hitting the rim. It’s rigged this way for the Simmons sounds also. Chris Anderson and David Rob wired up my rack and customized my Simmons, so that I can change all programs with a quick button push and also turn individual channels on and off with foot switches. With this setup, I can quickly get any combination of acoustic and electric that I want.“<<

Selbstverständlich musste ich das Vierer-Gespräch immer wieder unterbrechen, um im nächsten Tab Gegenzuhören. Und fragte mich, ob man im Track „India Town“ (19:46 und 24:20) nicht zufällig beobachten kann, wie Weckl gerade den Delay-Aux-Weg aufdreht?

In puncto selbstgesteuerter Snare-Hall gibt es jedenfalls eine klare Aussage:

>>“With my 13″ snare drum, I can get away with using almost no tape on the head at all. I use one little piece of tissue and tape up at the top of the drum, and my normal tuning is relatively high—depend- ing, once again, on the tune. Even in con- cert, I change the tuning of the snare drum. If I want a fatter sound, I usually detune the two lugs that are right next to the tape and all of a sudden get a big, fat, wet snare drum. On stage, I will usually boost up the reverb a lot when I do that, in order to compensate for the dryness.“<<

Abschließend noch etwas Gear & Attitude Talk zum Track „Rumble“:

>>“Rumble,“ the opening cut on the record, is the most overdub-oriented piece, consisting only of keyboards and drums/ percussion. It is a tour deforce example of artistic integration of acoustic and electronic drums, percussion, and drum machine. Unlike many contemporary recordings, which employ drum machines as lead-footed tyrants, this track shows off Dave’s ability to play between, on top of, around, and along with the machine in a way that points to new horizons in the creative use of drum machines. In other words, in this decade in which the machine has become the drummer’s most controversial friend/foe, Dave has succeeded in making it his friend—but it is also understood that he can whip his friend’s butt. „Rumble“ has become a much-talked- about cut among drummers. For those who have been attempting to analyze it through repeated turntable spins, Dave’s explanation serves as a valuable study guide. 

„On the eight-bar drum breaks at the beginning of the tune, I was actually playing along with the drum machine—playing exactly what the machine was playing, except for the hi-hat part. Then, when the solo groove comes in, it’s two completely different drum parts. Chick had programmed a Linn 9000 part—partly because he had sequenced a bass part and partly as a working groove over which he could compose. This part ended up becoming part of the feel for the piece. But I hadn’t heard it until I actually came out to California to start the album after the tour. So it was really a challenge, because I had to come up with a part on the day we were cutting it. We had discussed whether we should keep the whole part for the solo groove or just keep parts of it. I suggested that we should just let that part continue, and I would come up with something around it that would result in one combined part. I had to figure out something to play that wouldn’t get in the way of the machine, which was already a full part in itself. The Linn part is an eight-bar hi-hat, bass drum, snare drum, and cowbell pattern that keeps repeating.“ 

„Through my triggering, I was able to assign sounds in my own Linn to anything on the drumkit. The tambourine heard on the track is actually triggered from my left-hand floor tom. That became part of the pattern, so I always had to repeat it every fourth bar. The hand clap was also played by me on a Simmons pad that was fed into the Linn machine. I played on the ride cymbal, doing a looser thing, and I made sure not to play too much with my bass drum, because there was a pretty busy bass drum part already happening in the Linn program. If you listen closely, you can hear that the Linn bass drum part has more of an airy, Simmons-like sound, whereas my real bass drum is tighter with more bottom. The higher pitched snare drum with a little more ring is mine.“

„Later, I overdubbed percussion parts with cowbells, bongos struck with sticks, timbales, and cymbals. We just set up a whole bunch of instruments, and I toyed around with them. We had about six different cowbells on a stand. I just started playing a groove and Chick liked it. At the end of the solo section, there are some hits. I decided to play them on the timbales rather than on the drumset, which would have disrupted the groove. The other solo break in the middle of the solo section and the out section comprise an orchestrated written part that Chick composed with the Linn machine. I doubled that part with the drums and percussion. Recording the track ended up being a one-day creative session that really worked.“<< 

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