That GTown Sound

What is that GTown Sound? It’s born out of how you feel when you’re inside the purple eclectic GTown Stüdio here. It’s the sense of a calming peace yet your mind is on fire with creativity.

It starts with a silky smooth bass or piano line. Combine that with a dirty rhythmic beat featuring the crack of big-bodied snare, crisp hi-hats and a washy melodic ride. The drums are centered with a large warm booming bass drum and toms that sing in harmony all accented with unique crashes that can cut through a wall of sound.

Sometimes that sound is graced with the sweet sounds of percussion, saxophone, trumpet, trombone or double bass. Other times it’s just drums.

That GTown Sound is always dynamic, building on song concepts to a big ending or release.

The recording below at the beginning of 2021 embodies a good bit of That GTown Sound. Enjoy!

Wanna Drum at Church?

Have you watched the drummers at your local church and thought about asking to see if they need more help, but just aren’t sure if you’re ready for all that’s involved?

In 2015, I approached my church worship team and have been serving behind the kit to this day. Coming from an original rock/funk/punk band background, the culture and technology shock was for real. I was quickly overwhelmed my first couple of years. But it doesn’t have to be that way for you.

Check out this video on how to avoid common pitfalls and quickly become a valuable worship team member that brings your unique musical experiences into the constantly evolving world of worship music. Afterward, check out the additional info and links below.

Recommended Podcast
Worship Dummer

Recommended Custom Mold In-Ear Monitors
Ultimate Ears Pro
Email David Gutierrez of UE for assistance dgutierrez@ultimateears.com

Recommended Online Tutorials
Worship Online

Remote Drum Tracking

Remote drum tracking for your individual song, demo or album is completed at GTown Studio in Acworth, GA. The dedicated drum recording studio is setup to get a wide range of sounds to support the desired unique mix for your project.

I look forward to helping bring your song vision to life giving you tasteful professional drum tracks to fill out your recording.

GTown Studio

Most projects receive 8 individual acoustic drums and/or percussion tracks along with the master track. I am also able to provide a video recording o the final tracking session. See our GTown Studio page at this link for a full list of available drums, instruments and recording equipment that we use.

Final tracks and video are sent to you via Dropbox.

Pricing is currently $75 per song.

Listen to a recent recording with the drums tracked by Mike’s Drum Tracking at GTown Studio at this link. See examples of the videos at this link, as well as an example of how a tracking video was recently used below.

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Drum Lessons Info

Drum lessons are available starting in half-hour blocks for snare and drum set techniques and skills as well as tips/help for playing with bands, playing to a click track and drum set audio/video recording setups.

The majority of lessons are conducted in-person at GTown Studio in Acworth, GA. A mix of in-person and virtual lessons are available. Lessons start at $20 for 30-minutes.

Initial books used for snare or drum set lessons include:

Contact Mike about the type of drum lessons you would like to start as well as scheduling via email at info@mikesdrumtracking.com or phone/text at 678-231-2752.

The Essential Tracks: ’88-’94

DFL, Stone Dresden, Black Moses: Eastside x Seattle 1988-1994. Order at this link!

This CD mixtape of sorts really came about because my sister asked for a CD of all the bands I used to be in. I tried to record all the cassette tapes to a CD several years ago, but always ran into some technical issue that I could never get past, and didn’t want to send them off to some service, so just packed everything back away. But then when I started finishing out my home recording studio last year, I realized I could just plug a tape player into my recording equipment, track it into a DAW, adjust some of the basic EQ, and have everything recorded into individual mp3’s.

I ended up being able to record each song from each cassette from DFL, Stone Dresden and Black Moses into individual tracks. I even found some demo tracks we never truly finished for Black Moses that were in good enough condition to throw on here too. Some other tapes or recordings with Mushmouth and 420 Love just had degraded too much.

One thing I didn’t have was our original DFL cassette, but a high school friend had a copy and I was able to track that into 4 15-minute recordings. Although, I didn’t put that on this CD, these are all on the Discography section of this site at this link.

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Rogers Drum Kit History

In the middle of my first year of junior high school, I decided to switch from trumpet to drums. Using the money from a neighborhood paper route, I was able to purchase my first kit with the help of my parents: a Rogers R-360 kit.

This kit was a workhorse for the next 15 years. From junior high and high school jazz bands to an original punk band to jazz combo gigs to playing at church to recording sessions and finally serving me for several years of original funk and rock bands in Seattle.

These drums survived a house fire in the 90s in Seattle with only the maroon wraps melted off and tarnished hardware. After stripping off the wraps, my Mom hand painted the shells, and these were back in business!

In 2000, a 15-year rest period began for this kit as I decided to pursue skydiving full time.

In 2015, I dug these out of the closet to start practicing for an audition to play for my local church. Within a few weeks of practice, the lug hardware started to fail and crumble. I replaced my original pride & joy with a custom DW kit, but started working at the same time on restoring the Rogers drums.

After installing new lug hardware, cleaning up the bearing edges and replacing some heads, my first Rogers kit was singing again…and is now part of the Mike’s Drum Tracking recording gear. Check her out:

Black Moses Was Here…

Listening to Black Moses will transport you back to an early ’90s Seattle where the music scene was blowing up, yet most bands were just struggling to be heard, get gigs and stay together long enough to get noticed.

Black Moses under I-5 in Seattle
Black Moses “Pain”

To get to the essence of who Black Moses became, we must take a few steps back to what it was like growing up in Washington State. Music was everywhere. Starting in junior high, there were already a large number of your classmates in original bands, or playing, recording and competing in the school jazz bands or talent shows galore. If you had any interest in music whatsoever, the opportunities to grow and thrive were hitting you over the head.

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The Pursuit of Drumming…

Seemed to me that drumming was the best way to get close to God.

~Lionel Hampton

I switched from the trumpet section to drums half-way through my first year of junior high school. The trumpet was something handed down to me from an uncle, and was the only instrument I had to play for elementary school band.

In junior high school, I joined the jazz band immediately, and really fell in love with the music, so much so, that I already knew that making music was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. Yet, it seemed like such a long shot to make it playing trumpet (high school friend Jim Sisko proved me wrong by making a lifelong career on trumpet).

It didn’t hurt that the drums sounded so much more fun and the drummers seemed so cool and chill. Plus the girl-attention was off the charts. That junior high school brain made up its mind and convinced my parents to let me take up the drums.

For the next 15 years, I pursued learning drums as if my life depended on it. Everything I valued in life truly came through drumming. I had tunnel vision, but that passion was something that helped me thrive during those awkward junior high and high school years.

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New Original For 2020!

Check out this new original that started out with a bass melody I recorded. I then tracked the drums over that and decided to added a bit of djembe to round it out.

The drums were recorded with 3 mics: Audix D6 at the bass drum port, Shure SM57 on top of the snare and an Audix ADX51 overhead. The djembe was tracked with the Shure SM57 on the top head and the Audix D6 at the bottom. The bass was recorded straight into the Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre Interface.

All tracks were recorded through the Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre Interface into Ableton Live 10 Standard on a Mac. Final mixing included some EQ and Compression through Ableton.

Video was done through a GoPro HERO8 Black and the final video/music editing was done with Adobe Premier Pro. Enjoy!

Jamie’s Bass Riff…

My son Jamie plays Double Bass for the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra in their Camerata Orchestra. He also dabbles a little bit on electric bass, acoustic guitar and drums.

This song came from a 3-note riff that included double stops (two notes played at the same time). It sounds so melodic and ideas were already spinning in my mind. So after Jamie taught me the riff, I started building a melody around it.

The bass was tracked first, directly into the Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre. The drum tracks were laid down next with 3 mics: Shure SM57 on snare, Audix D6 at the bass drum port and Audix ADX51 overhead. The trumpet was tracked last and recorded using the Shure SM57

All tracks were recorded and mixed through Ableton Live 10 Standard. The video was recorded on a GoPro HERO8 Black and the final video editing/mixing was done through Adobe Premier Rush. Enjoy!