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A few months ago Twin Cities local CBS news channel WCCO ran this story¬†(video) on my friend Jason Gerling. He’s an inspiring and contagiously encouraging guy with an amazing story and a deep passion for music and drums. He’s also a great player with a rad vision for a kick drum shell sub woofer.

Jason’s kit features a 22″ bass drum that is actually an 18″ speaker cabinet, with the speaker facing the drummer and the ports facing the reso head. A handful of misc triggers are placed around the rest of the kit so the kick samples can be fired from different locations, with some of them even placed on the underside of cymbals. Jason is able to recreate full kick/snare patterns, complete with fills, using only his arms.

The rig includes a DM5 brain and a bass amp, which can run DI to the house while also sending signal to the kick drum speaker. Jason even put a mesh head with a trigger on the batter side of the kick, allowing a non-wheelchair player to attach a pedal and play the kit that way.

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I had a chance to play Jason’s sub-kick while he was testing it out at the Risen Drums shop… it’s legit. The advantage in Jason’s concept is for the drummer and the other performers on stage to feel the air movement of the kick, something that has long been missing from electronic kits. At one point we set up an acoustic kick with a pedal next to Jason’s sub-kick with a trigger. I played the same groove and switched kicks every two bars. We leveled the bass amp volume and EQ’d the tone until the two kicks were almost indistinguishable. Of course there was slight a tonal difference, but at that point Jason’s concept provides the amazing option of cycling through his hundreds of kick samples to find the appropriate tone for the room or the song.

Check out the linked video above and give Jason a shout on Facebook!

Happy New Year, blog readers!

A few months ago I had the privilege and pleasure of joining my new friend Billy McLaughlin and a pile of other great Twin Cities musicians in recording Reinhold Niebuhr’s powerful Serenity Prayer. What an important message.

Be blessed in 2015!

This is some pretty inside humor, but I loved every second.

HT: Robert Christenson

Hey everybody… greetings from NYC. Sara B tour is in full swing and we are having a blast.

With Sara B in mind I’m posting this link for the shaker that I use on our live performances her single “I Choose You.” It’s a caxixi (pronounced “kah-shee-shee”) made by Toca. It’s made of synthetic materials but sounds great and I’ve been using the same one for over 15 years.

In other news, my new friend James Williams is playing drums with Emily King (one of our tour’s opening acts) and he is THROWING DOWN with some cool aux tambos incorporated into his kit setup. I’m gonna hunt some of those down and try to keep up with him.

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Ginger Baker is a well-known musician, and most of what he’s known for is positive.

But now he will also be known as a terrible person to interview.

HT: My Facebook Feed

… to put an electronic drumset behind a drum shield. Sigh.

Oh look... my two favorite things.

Oh look… my two favorite things.

Hey guys! I get another opportunity to hang at the Drum Channel studios in the LA area tomorrow. Tune in and watch Cobus and I discuss time signatures and roto toms and china cymbals and double pedals and gongs and wood blocks! You know, all the essentials…

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Terry Bozzio, keeping it real.

Terry Bozzio, keeping it real.

I’m somewhat of a late-comer to the I’d Hit That podcast, so many of you probably already know that it rules. But in case you haven’t heard about it… CHECK IT OUT.

I’m listening to the latest episode on Hal Blaine right now. So good. It reminds me of this quote I heard somewhere:

“If you want to learn the insider perspective on the way a musician plays, don’t study their fingers on the instrument during the gig, but rather their demeanor as they interact with their friends or argue with the club owner about getting paid at the end of the night.”

This quote is describing the reality that all of us make art mainly out of the context of our actual lives and our experiences as humans, and not our specific education as musicians. The I’d Hit That interviews really get into that side of things, talking with legendary players about their lives and not just what kind of kick pedal they use.

I’m a fan.

Hey blog reader friends!

For those who may not know, I’m featured in the July/August issue of Drumhead Magazine! It’s a great article by my new friend Michael Aubrecht. What an honor it was to do the interviews with him, let alone to have had him contact me at all! Awesome.

For those who already knew about this, I found a pdf of the article on Michael’s personal website! This rules because now you can read the article if you’ve been having trouble finding a hard copy, which I am told can be tough.

Once again, a huge thanks to Michael!

Look at this! I'm in a magazine! And I'm smiling and looking to my right and holding a Dark Energy ride!

Look at this! I’m in a magazine! And I’m smiling and looking to my right and holding a Dark Energy ride!

PS: The above-linked pdf is a pre-edit to the actual print that ran in the magazine. Most notably, my super boss photographer buddy Nathan Dale Larso, who took all the photos, is actually named Nathan Dale Larson. “Larso” = wrong… “LarsoN” = correct.

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