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The Making of Afro-Latin Percussion Part 3

Posted on 27th September 2013  · 
So as Ed mentioned in his last post our recording sessions went well - like a good party, it develops its own momentum. fun flows. time flies. stuff piles up. Tomorrow's cares are scoffed away.

Often I would laugh out loud in the control room as Ed was playing because his performances were just terrific. I knew we were capturing lots of musical energy. Both of us listened back and felt great about it.

Then it hit me. We produced many, many hours of material that would have to be edited and formatted. I realized the work was just beginning (and because I was still having fun, the party wasn't really over; it just moved to my studio in Baltimore).

One challenge in the post-recording process was identifying which musical phrase to cut into a loop. Often Ed would play extended phrases that would last more than eight bars and he would improvise and add nuances along the way. In keeping with our original plan to capture as much human feel as possible, for the first round of edits I chose parts that needed no editing at all. If they sat comfortably with the groove, mission accomplished.

After that, minor tweaks were made to some cuts in order to keep the loop from hiccuping. All of the loops received some minor compression and EQ roll-off. The post-recording process was the same for both volumes although I preserved more low-end for the instruments featured in Volume 2.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and editing the Congas which will feature on the up and coming Afro-Latin Percussion Vol 2. They are so warm and tribal and infectious! The patterns are a blast to listen to on their own in my opinion. I noticed my head would unconsciously bob up and down whenever I heard the Congas like I had some sort of uncontrollable bodily reaction - I confess did. When mixed with other percussion parts or a strong back beat, these Conga loops just deepen the groove to another dimension entirely. I can't wait to use them myself.

The Timbales are killer too especially when your track needs some real zest. You'll hear a good number of traditional patterns with cowbell. The fills are electric! I was surprised at how well the Cajon fit with the various grooves we used to record to as a click track. I thought the low end of the Cajon would fight with the kick drum but with a little attention to detail they sound great together. Same with the Djembe. That drum produces lots of low end too but with some mixing mindfulness you won't have any problems.

Look for Ed's next post about how the instruments in Volume 2 work together and you'll get some new ideas for your own work.

For more info and to listen to the demo's of Afro-Latin Percussion Vol 1 please visit our product page here

Written by Jeff Truman for Wave Alchemy








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