Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's that Simple. Boom

Did you know that if one uses the word "boom" after a sentence, the sentence immediately becomes epic? Yes, epic. The term should only be used in a sentence if the point being made is epic. So.... if you don't have something awesome to say, don't say it at all and definitely don't use Boom after it.

Example: I'm a music recording major, I live by the beach, and I love life. I'm awesome. Boom.

Anyways, last Saturday I was asked to set up the DJs at the BBC because the two sound techs scheduled that night couldn't make it and no one else was answering. So I've been trained once and I only set up the stage for a full band so I was a little in over my head when I got there. I have this tendency of not trying to do something if there is a chance of failing miserably. So I wont even try. That was supposed to be Saturday night, but for some reason I tried and guess what? I totally set the entire thing up for both DJs with all the right knobs and converters and auxiliary stuff and it was awesome. I'm so proud of myself for trying because I never would have thought I could do that. I really feel like a Music Tech Major now.

Does she know what she's doing?
She's a sound tech.
Yeah, I'm a sound tech. Boom.


Monday was a fun class, we worked on Boom all class. Boom is a drum machine in Pro Tools under the Instrument Plugins. It comes with 10 different drum kits inspired by drum machines with different timbres.

There is a screen with a bunch of knobs and clickable tabs that look like a real drum machine. Up in the top left corner is a small matrix that one can punch in the beat like in FL Studio. When the little dots light up, you know that you have selected that beat (1-16) to sound. For example, on down beats (1-4) 1 and 3 are the kit drum and on the other two off beats 2 and 4 are the snare drum.

Each little light up dot have 3 different levels of velocity and intensity before the dot is turned off again. And there are 4 vertical gray bars that mark the down beat.

Each horizontal display "kick" or snare, clap, rim, tom, corresponds to the vertical instrument above the tabs.

There are 2 different options called Pattern Select and Pattern Edit. Basically, one can pattern select the pattern of grooves on the tabs and then switch to pattern edit to either clear the entire pattern, start over, simple edit, or change a sound for each of the 16 grooves per kit.


Click on the 3rd bar at the top where is says BOOM, and open a drop menu under pattern edit and select and you open up every possible sound in the plugin to mix and match different parts of all the kits!!!!!

SOOO, when you have a song you want drums for, you can edit or create all your patterns under each of the 16 tabs and then play them on the MIDI keyboard depending on the tab that groove is under!

<-------------------- Right here you can see the panning bar which controls what side of the speakers the sound will come out of so you can get a full drum set sound.
<-------------------- Here you can see the Level knob which controls amplitude or volume.

<-------------------- Next is the Tuning Knob so you can choose what tone the drums are if one chooses to use that option.
<-------------------- Here is the Decay knob which controls the length of the envelope that lengthens or shortens the decay of the waveform.
<-------------------- You have 2 buttons here to either solo or mute this specific drum sound.
<-------------------- This is the pattern you are working with such as Nine-O or Dance 1.
<-------------------- This is the name of the specif sound you are editing or using like Kick.

The speed of the beat depends on 1) the tempo that is selected in ProTools and 2) the option in the Boom plugin that is selected, either half speed, double speed, or normal speed.

You can also copy a pattern by clicking copy above the pattern you want to copy and when all the tabs start blinking, you can select the tab you want to copy the pattern to.

When in Pattern edit mode, you can use the large tabs to see only the LED light up dots that correspond to that specific sound.

Up at the top of the plugin is the drop down menu that says factory default. By clicking the + and - buttons, you can scroll through all the different beat kits.

The MIDI keyboard must be properly mapped because Boom corresponds to C3-C4 because it controls the big tabs.


I like Boom and I am excited to try hard to get the drum thing down because it is one place that I struggle. I like simplicity and so multiple layers of different instruments is really difficult for me to hear and achieve in my music. I can already tell that I am having a hard time with this concept in my video project.

Anyways, let's just try because you can't succeed or learn if you never put yourself out there. Boom.


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