Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Solly Plays Heavy Metal


Back in the early eighties I was at Seth Snyder's db Studios in Miami, doing a Judas Priest album with Tom Allom producing. The drum tracks had been recorded in the drummer Dave Holland's studio in Ibizia Spain. There were no songs written when Dave recorded the tracks. Just hours of various intros, fills, verses and choruses. The guitarists and singer spent several months writing songs and riffs to the drum tracks. We would then make safeties of the drum parts on 2nd 24 trk and cut the songs together. We'd add bass, millions of guitars and vocals and Tom mixed the record at db.

Tom hated the drum sounds from Spain, so I came up with the idea to use Seth's mechanical/solenoid drum machine to replace the kick and snare. Seth had built a machine that would strike an actual snare drum with a stick and you could mic and record the new snare. You triggered the solenoid "arm" with a cue send from tape, the signal then passed through a big wooden box with different light bulbs wired as resistors. You changed the velocity of the hit with a different wattage bulb! He also had a seperate output wired to a bass drum beater and you did the same procedure to record a new kick....we don't need no stinking MIDI!

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