Learning How to Record Taiko Drums for Pop Music
Are you an engineer that wants to record taiko drums? Are you a taiko drummer interested in collaborating with artists from other genres? Or are you just a taiko nerd like me? In this blog series, I’d like to share what I learned about recording taiko drums in a pop music context
The fact that you’re reading this means you and I are both taiko nerds. You want to record taiko drums, and you probably play taiko too. You, me and 0.0000001% of the global population share the same interest. Certainly, we should get together and have coffee. Or, if you’re in LA, please drop by my studio.
Save Some Time – Summaries On How to Record Taiko at the Bottom
I wrote blog posts for each taiko drum cover. In each article, I analyze what went wrong in the previous recording, and try to address it. I did this for the performing, recording, and mixing process. If you don’t want to read the full articles, you can scroll to the bottom of this page. I posted a short summary of what I learned next to each video.
Lessons Learned – Taiko Performance Perspective
I picked 7 songs from a pretty wide range of music genres. The first couple tries were pretty much trying to figure things out from a logistical and ergonomic perspective. Once I had a setup I liked, I tried playing what “sounded natural.” In other words, I tried playing something similar to what we’re used to hearing in the particular genre of music.
For some songs, I tried to get the Taiko to sound like an 808 hip-hop kit. For others, I played closer to what a percussionist might do on a similar track. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I was “walking on eggshells” in a musical sense. I was tip-toeing around, trying not to overstep my bounds in the music. As a result, I really wasn’t adding anything unique.
This realization forced me to explore my own sound in a pop music context. Over the course of recording the 7 covers, I was able to find a very rough blueprint of my sound. It’s by no means complete, but I now have a starting point to playing almost any genre of pop music.