Greetings, drum loop enthusiasts of the internets! Welcome to my first official post under my brand-spankin' new blog, Ryan's Corner. Some of you may have followed my past musings over at ryangruss.com, a website that has gone somewhat stagnant over the past year as I've been busy with all things Loop Loft... but I'm finally getting back to my roots and ramblings. I'll be using this blog to give you a behind the scenes look into everything we do at The Loop Loft, as well as give you some (free) samplings of productions currently in process. So please, sit back, crack open a beer, subscribe to this RSS feed and please, try not to be too offended by me.
This week I've ramped up the recording process for The Loop Loft's next drum loop collection, "Hip Hop Beats". And these aren't the typical 808-style drums you'll find in most hip hop drum collections. These grooves are recorded on a live kit (think Questlove-style drums)
So, when recording hip hop (as with any other genre), I try to find certain musical tracks to draw inspiration from. I load an iTunes playlist with artists like Jay-Z, The Roots, J Dilla and even a little Digital Underground for fun. But the artist used for today's session was a little unexpected.... Katy Perry.
Trust me, I hadn't intended on this... it happened first while driving to Starbucks for my 5th iced coffee of the day and flipping through the radio stations (this is actually kind of hard when you have caffeine-induced shakes). I stumbled on a track I hadn't heard before and recognized Kanye West rapping over a slow, halftime groove with some cool doubletime hihat work on the top. I assumed this was his song but then I heard Katy Perry's highly processed and autotuned yet, annoyingly-catchy vocals over the chorus. Confused and intrigued at the same time, I fired up Shazam to get to the bottom of this.
And sure enough, my iPhone told me it was a track called "E.T. feat Kanye". A song I'm sure I'll be hearing over and over and over in subsequent coffee runs. So, before I totally got burned out on this song, I decided to set up a session at The Loop Loft and get my interpretation of the groove on tape.
Consisting of a "boom boom clap", We Will Rock You-esque cadence and some 32nd note hi hat action (if you're feeling this at 75 bpm), it's part crunk, anthemic rock and bubble gum pop, all at the same time. I didn't go with the over-the-top, thunderous drum sound, but chose to keep it pretty natural, with a dirtied up, reamped snare and a touch of sub-bass on the kick.
So, there you have it. A behind the scenes look into why and how I do things at The Loop Loft, along with the first outtake from an upcoming loop collection and some insight to my caffeine addiction. It's definitely not straight hip hop, but with Kanye's name on the source track, I figured it was close enough. Check out the audio preview below, grab the free download, and click here to subscribe to upcoming blog posts!