Teaching myself music theory.

My boss went away for a holiday to Florida for three weeks so I picked up a few extra shifts at work which helped me pay off my lay-bys but I’ve missed some time to myself. Naturally musicians who work in music shops get tempted easily by the constant flow of new gear coming into the store. I am no exception. At least my studio is getting better equipped for these free days…

Today I have been tending to my household obligations and what-not, listening to some Jungle mixes from Echo Chamber label owner, LQ (continued from a Jungle rinse out yesterday at work) and also adding some new stuff to my ‘music theory folder’ at the local library.

I’ve bought a few guitar-focused music theory books (from Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace) and have compiled some diagrams into a folder as an easy reference when practicing scales (in standard tuning). I am enjoying this process very much after fumbling my way around a guitar for many years.

Two books I have bought which I recommend so far are:
‘Music Theory’ by Tom Kolb (Hal Leonard)
‘Chord Tone Soloing’ by Barrett Tagliarino (Hal Leonard)

Today I also had a ‘Big Mud’ by Tym Guitars arrive in the mail thanks to Patrick from Key Out (from Sydney) who I am helping with pre-production for his/their new album. The muff-style fuzz is a welcomed addition to my arsenal of effects and I used it to practice some arpeggios this afternoon. So far I have enjoyed Patrick’s guitar playing and I look forward to hearing the band’s progress.

If you are interested in having me help you with your music project as a collaborator, mentor or consultant please get in touch as this is stuff that I enjoy to do.

My ‘music theory folder’ and some pedals.



Building a modest mic-kit.

It’s been almost two years back in Melbourne and I’ve collected guitars, an amp and effects pedals. Slowly building up a studio again, kinda from scratch. The next logical step was to find a way to record myself.

I already have an OK firewire sound-card and Logic Pro X plus plenty of great audio plugins. I did some research about cab simulation technology (by the likes of Two Notes) and amp modelling (Fractal Audio, Line 6, Kemper, etc) but that is a very expensive way to get some audio onto my laptop.

Something felt right about choosing an analog route and it’s been a much cheaper way to document my guitar playing. I bought an sE 2200a IIC from a mate first of all, plus a mic stand for recording vocals. Then I found a secondhand Shure SM57 in great condition at Music Swop Shop and bought a small boom stand for it so I could record my amp.

I decided that I also wanted to try my hand at recording acoustic guitar so I did some Googling and found some articles on recording acoustic guitar in stereo. At first I used both the mics I owned (with an addition small boom stand) but today I picked up a new sE7 from Manny’s which I got on sale for a great price. I’ve just done a quick test with my guitarlele to see how it sounds and I have a long way to go to getting a decent sound with it, but it’s fun to have a go.

Rick Beato has a good combo amp micing video that I watched last night and I am keen to experiment with that. Rick sparked my interest in getting a Sennheiser MD421 which is now on my shopping list. I really enjoy the videos on his YouTube channel.

I think it will be super nice to have a small mic-kit in my home/bedroom studio. It seems that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have some useful mics around to play with.

sE7 and sE2200a II C with Anuenue Guitarlele

101 ‘Dry’ vinyl snares pack

Here’s a pack of snares taken from vinyl records that have a ‘dry’, paper-like sound that aren’t wet with reverb or room sound that make good material for layering.

I have two other packs coming with deeper sounding snares and also a ‘tight’, snappier pack. Please DONATE when you download my sample packs as it helps me to continue to procure these useful tools for you.

16-24bit WAV at 44.1kHz. Some would have been sampled through an Akai MPC2000XL and others directly into Ableton or Logic.

Happy producing.

DOWNLOAD THE SNARES PACK HERE

30 rimshot samples from vinyl

Thanks to Alex Sleeper I was able to get Bandcamp to allow me to include ZIP file downloads on my account which will make delivering sample packs much easier now. All you need to do is write to them and ask nicely.

Today I added 30 rimshot samples that I recorded from vinyl records which should be useful for a bunch of genres including dub, reggae, dubstep, RnB, hip-hop and also good for layering to add some snap or click to your snare.

I hope you get some use out of these sounds and the other vinyl percussion I have posted on my Baddums Bandcamp page.

Happy producing!

DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLES HERE

20 random vinyl kicks

I wanted to get my vinyl snares mega-pack out today but there’s a lot of other stuff that I had to prioritise instead. There was a folder of loose vinyl kicks on my hard-drive so I thought I’d share these to tide you over.

Just like the dirty snares pack, you can use these samples to layer with a synth-kick sample to make a grittier kick sound. I use the Bazzism plugin for making kick-drums but there’s plenty out there, including Big Kick and Punchbox (to name just a few).

This reminds me of a masterclass from the Sound On Sound website which is an oldie from 2012 but explains the technique.

DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLES HERE

20 free dirty snare samples

Most of these drum samples were recorded using my old Akai MPC2000XL and all of them come from my days of record collecting and sample digging. Most have been converted to Mono and are 16bit, 44.1kHz WAV files.

This pack is great for adding a layer of ‘dirt’ to your snare sound as they are very frequency-rich. Just filter/EQ them and shape with an envelope to your needs.

Here’s an article from Attack Magazine for those of you who are new to layering snares. They have a great website with many electronic music production tips.

DOWNLOAD VIA THE BADDUMS BANDCAMP PAGE

53 free analog synth-bass samples

Inject a little analog flavour into your digital music production with these raw, single-oscillator waveforms recorded from real hardware synthesizers.

Load them into your favourite sampler, sculpt with a filter and an envelope and tweak to taste. Double them up and de-tune for a sinister Reese bass. Add LFO for classic wubs.

‘Klippeklistredag’ means ‘cut and paste day’ in Danish. At Christmas in Denmark it’s a tradition to make your own Christmas decorations. In December 2015, Copenhagen-based electronic music school, Rumkraft had their own version of this where the guys invited everyone to come along and try out a bunch of equipment, collect samples and enjoy the ‘hygge’ vibes with mulled wine, coffee and snacks. I had a really nice time and these are the sounds I recorded.

DOWNLOAD VIA THE BADDUMS BANDCAMP PAGE