Ryan's Corner

Want to Hear Stevie Wonder’s Live DEMO of the Song He Wrote for MJ, “I Can’t Help It”?

Are you ready for your musical discovery of the day?  Check out this demo of Stevie Wonder recording the classic song, "I Can't Help It", before he handed it over to Michael Jackson.  The finished "official" version of this song can be heard on Michael's 1979 album, "Off the Wall".

Our favorite part?  Stevie making up words (and random sounds) on the spot... many of which, never made it to the final version, but all served the purpose of delivering his incredible melodies to tape.

The Most Recorded Drum Set In History - Hal Blaine's Monster Kit

Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame drummer Hal Blaine played on more Top 10 hits than any other musician. In fact, he played on 40 #1 singles, 150 Top Ten singles and 8 Grammy Records of the Year. If you don't know his name, you certainly know his drumming. As a pivotal member of the loose group of crack session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", Hal played the iconic beats on such diverse hits as "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes, "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys, "Strangers In The Night" by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley's "Return To Sender", and literally thousands of other songs from the 60's and 70's. The Monster Kit was developed by Hal along with his drum tech Rick Faucher and builder Howie Oliver.

The basis for the kit was a Ludwig Super Classic Blue Sparkle set without the rack tom.The single-headed toms were made of spun fiberglass and Ludwig hardware was attached. Faucher and Howie Oliver created the mounting system in two pieces so it could easily roll into place in the studio. The kit grew out of Hal's signature tom fills - producers began to request the sweeping sounds that only eight toms could produce. Hal was so busy in his heyday that he needed two of these kits so he could leapfrog them between sessions.

Listen to a great NPR interview with Hal Blaine here:

Video: 20 YouTube Videos Playing Together In Bb

Why do we find this so oddly soothing and interesting?  We're not sure, but we're going to share it with you anyways.  Please enjoy 20 YouTube videos playing together in Bb (best viewed on a desktop or laptop browser):

July 30, 2015 by Ryan Gruss

Video: Making Acoustic Drums Sound Electronic

Drummer, composer and Loop Loft artist, Mark Guiliana (Brad Mehldau, David Bowie, Meshell Ndegeocello), walks us through a some tips and tricks for emulating drum samples with an acoustic kit and a few toys with live-band examples featuring bassist, Jonathan Maron. From preparing the snare drum with a cymbal, to deadening a floor tom with a secondary head and stacking cymbals on top of each other, these are just a few ideas to help inspire you to find new sounds from your old kit.

Want Mark's eclectic blend of rhythm and sonics on your next production?  Then be sure to check out his critically acclaimed loop and sample collection.

Mark Guiliana

Can You Keep Perfect Time? Take This Test And Find Out!

Wondering how good your time is?  Can you lock in with a beat and hold it steady?  Take the test below and find out if you're a human metronome or a bass player's worst nightmare.  

July 25, 2015 by Ryan Gruss

Video: Getting Pro Drum Sounds

Wondering how they get amazing drum sounds in one of the most legendary recording studios in the world?  Check out this behind the scenes look at Sunset Sound Studio with producer, Warren Huart (The Fray, James Blunt), as he goes over every single mic, preamp and eq used to track the drums of LA session ace, Kenny Aronoff.  

Legendary Recording Studio Pics - Part 1

Who doesn't love seeing cool pics of amazing, vintage recording gear inside some of the most famous recording studios in history?  Just thinking about the amount of hit songs that worked their way through those old preamps onto the tape machines can boggle (and inspire) the mind.  We at The Loop Loft love checking out these "behind the scenes" studio photos just as much as you, so that is why we've put together this first installment of "Legendary Recording Studio Pics".

First up, a look inside the original Motown Studio, aka “Hitsville U.S.A.", circa 1964.  A former photographers' studio, it was purchased by Motown founder Berry Gordy in 1959 & converted into both the record label's administrative building and recording studio.

Berry Gordy, Jr. at the helm.

Next up, Abbey Road's famed Studio 2, where a little known band called "The Beatles" made a smattering of small hits and and mostly forgotten about albums.  But hey, at least they enjoyed some good Chinese food while doing it (see bottom pic).

Cool?  Doesn't it make you want to bust out some ribbon mics, twist some oversized knobs and pull some levers (instead of lame, automated faders)?  

Stay tuned for the next installment, and while you're waiting, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook... and even preview some of our critically acclaimed loop and sample collections.

Drum Direktor Tips & Tricks

Wondering how to get the most out of Drum Direktor?  Every day we'll be adding a new 15 second clip to our Instagram account demonstrating some great tips and tricks for working with the loops, samples, drum pads, step sequencer and effects.  Want more info on Drum Direktor?  Click here to view the product page.

Drum Dirketor Tip Of The Day #1: Adding more cowbell by slicing it from a loop.

Step 1. Find a drum loop with cowbell in it. Step 2. Turn loop mode off and adjust the slice marker to trigger a single cowbell sample. Step 3. Use the step sequencer to create a hi hat-ish pattern using the cowbell sample.

A video posted by The Loop Loft (@looploft) on


Drum Direktor Tip of The Day #2:  Get hi-fi with the low-fi

1. Load lo-fi loops and hi-fi samples into the pads. 2. Trigger them together via the step sequencer. 3. Voila. An entirely new groove.

A video posted by The Loop Loft (@looploft) on


Drum Direktor Tip of The Day #3:  Get synthy with acoustic samples

Step 1. Find a short, acoustic drum sample with the drum pads.  Step 2. Use Drum Direktor's internal filter, bitcrusher, drive and pitch shifting knobs to create melodic & "synthy" rhythmic stabs.  Step 3. Use the step sequencer to create melodic grooves inside of the drum beat.

A video posted by The Loop Loft (@looploft) on



About Drum Direktor

The ultimate beat creator is here.  Introducing Drum Direktor FNK-4 from The Loop Loft.  A revolutionary loop player, step sequencer, drum pad player, effects unit and mixing station, all in one instrument.



How To Record Modern Drum Tracks With 10 Mics

Wondering how to get big, punchy and "modern" drum sounds?  Watch legendary engineer, Bob Clearmountain, and drummer, Matt Chamberlain, demonstrate how to capture the sound of entire drum kit when using a multi-mic setup:


Want Matt's drums on your own song or production?  Click here to check out all 15 channels of multitracks loops from his Volume 1 release!


Bob Clearmountain & Matt Chamberlain Recording Drums With 2 Mics

Engineer Bob Clearmountain (The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen) and drummer/Loop Loft artist Matt Chamberlain (David Bowie, Tori Amos, Soundgarden) demonstrate and discuss the best way to record drums with two microphones using Apogee Duet.

Want Matt's drums on your own song or production?  Click here to check out all 15 channels of multitracks loops from his Volume 1 release!