1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Robotic drummer

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Wiremessiah, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Wiremessiah


    Mar 4, 2017
    I recently jammed with a guy who was almost like a robot. Perfect time, even when i was off, same level (super loud) the whole time almost like he has a brickwall limiter, and cold and expressionless, didn't look like he was having fun at all. Interesting experience, because it was like he wasn't listening to me at all, and I just had to follow him. I tried to even stop a couple times to start a new jam, but he just kept going.

    He sounded good, other than the loudness, but I don't think i can handle music without dynamics. I need loud and quiet passages, and I need accent. When you play so loud all the time, there is no accent.
    Torrente Cro and Stumbo like this.
  2. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    That is problem with too loud drummers, they don't leave space for dynamics.
    I had a great drummer like that but after some time it started to bother me.
  3. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Sounds like he would be perfect for a metal band. Send him to me, please.
    Jimmy4string and knumbskull like this.
  4. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I thank my loud drummer every day... If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have the rig I have today. ;)
  5. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    I thank my quiet drummer every day... if it weren't for him, I would have lost my hearing ;-)
    And songs would sound all boring without dynamics.
    Son of Wobble and Nashrakh like this.
  6. Wiremessiah


    Mar 4, 2017
    Yep, I mean its a skill in itself I guess to be able to play the same volume consistently, even if it's loud. And the same night, i played with a punk drummer. I don't even play with that many people, and when i do I make sure they know how anal retentive I am about dynamics. But twice I played with super loud drummers, and my ears hurt. I can't imagine doing that every day. I remember going into a drum shop once, and the guy looked like an old school glam rock drummer with the hair, and he couldn't hear a word I said. Imagine how hard the waves are hitting your ears that close to the drums over and over. Screw that. I like listening to max roach and billy martin and bob moses, etc. Those guys know dynamics. I play a jazz/world kit myself, and I practice playing as quietly as possible, not because of noise, but because it's so easy to be loud, and its difficult to play drum kit quietly.

    That said, i think that type of drumming could be good for recording, and the reason i asked to jam with him is because I like his snare tone, which may be a product of hard hits.
    Nashrakh and Torrente Cro like this.
  7. Wiremessiah


    Mar 4, 2017
    I don't like having to wear ear plug though, and exposing your ears to those levels will ruing your hearing. I get the whole life fast die hard thing among rockers, but i want to at least hear while i'm alive.
    Torrente Cro likes this.
  8. i hate username

    i hate username

    Jan 9, 2006
    Hah i thought that too :)
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Maybe he just needs to hit something for a half hour or so before he settles down. I occasionally play with a drummer I can listen to and tell you pretty close to how long it's been since he sat down to a kit. If it's been a while he'll attack the thing for about twenty minutes until he's got it out of his system, then he settles down and gets with the program.
  10. Wiremessiah


    Mar 4, 2017

    We played for a long time, over 30 minutes. He's been playing his whole life. Guess he's never been exposed to good jazz drummers with dynamics. It's not unusual, most musicians don't know dynamics, and often it becomes just a competition for loudness. The guys who have been playing a long time are very hard to talk to about those things. That's why I find it very hard to find good musicians to play with that listen and give and take.
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Must be your location. Around here it's easy to find players who understand how to play in and out and when the time's right for both.
  12. Wiremessiah


    Mar 4, 2017
    Doubt it, i have move across the country, and played for decades, and find it very difficult to find people who listen well while playing. In fact i was one of those people until i started to understand mixing and engineering and producing. And i am talking about improv mostly, not songs that have defined parts. Drummers are the toughest, because their hearing is messed up and it's more difficult to control the dynamics of their drums.
  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    i must be very fortunate indeed. Finding players (including drummers) who understand the importance of volume control and when to soft pedal and when to slam, is easy around here.

    Sorry to hear about your bad luck in that regard.
  14. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Dynamics require the musicians to actively listen to one another and react. Chances are this drummer is just completely locked into his own thing, but at least he keeps time well. It's tough to play with guys like that though, because they are leading, but only because they are inflexible. I think we've all played with someone who is only locked into their part, and can't "hear" the rest of the band until it's too late!
  15. JB820

    JB820 Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2015
    Typically robotic drummers don't play too loud. I play with a guy often that is this way. No real personality, never pushing or dragging tempo.

    He's an incredible studio drummer tho.
  16. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue

    Oct 9, 2016
    Just put him on a wheeled platform and scootch him further or closer as necessary. He probably won't mind.

    JB820 likes this.
  17. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Reading the OP I immediately thought, autism.
  18. aborgman

    aborgman Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    If I have to pick one... I'll take good timing with poor dynamics over bad timing with good dynamics...

    But I generally have played with drummers who both:

    a) Played percussion in concert/symphony bands - high school or college
    b) Also play other instruments

    That means they usually have good timing and dynamics, understand theory, and read music.
  19. Those guys are great in the studio if you're working on a quick session. No nonsense, just lay it down and let the client take care of the rest. On the other hand I've worked a lot of live jobs with guys like that and it just isn't fun.
    JB820 likes this.
  20. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Put a plexi shield in front of him and mic everything.