How to figure out what they're playing

Not sure of this is the right category, but here is my question. Most of the time when I'm listening to a recording of a drum solo or some great drummer playing licks, I cannot tell what they are playing.
Is there any sort of device out there that will isolate the drummer from the other musicians, separate the left and right hands, and then slow it down so you can figure out what they are playing?
If so, please provide specifics on makes, models, pricing, etc. of this sort of equipment. Thanks!

Seller's return policy: I'm not selling. Just a question.
Listing created Sep 4, 2019

Public discussion (8)

George Lawrence, administrator

19 days ago

no. The best way is to learn how to read drum notation. Many great solos and transcriptions of songs' drum parts are online.

Frank D.

18 days ago

David,

George is right on with his points & also drummer cannot be isolated out of a retail bought recording. But, there are 5 ways that may get around this for you & might help. 4 are audio & 1 may be video.

For audio, 1st way, the cheapest way is to record the music you have onto a cassette deck which specifically has speed control that has a good range +/- speed. They are hard to find, but not costly. Record at normal speed or speed cranked up, playback at slowest setting.

2nd way (I've done this) is to do the same thing but with a 2 speed cassette deck (Marantz etc), record on hi speed & playback at half speed. The pitch of all music/instruments will be way off, but you can hear the drummer's strokes slower & check for even stroke playing too. Piggybacking on this is to buy a cheap studio recording cassette, used, (I think Teac porta-pro, maybe) which records at 3 3/4 ips, then playback on a different cassette player at normal 1 7/8 ips speed.

3rd way, there are cheap digital machines (small) that do this also, some were advertised for musicians to slow it all down for learning, but with pitch concerns...I think some also had pitch control to compensate. They're out there, saw them advertised.

4th way, more costly, is that studio recording gear can do these things, or if you know a guy that can work that out for you. It brings up the most costly idea of going to the studio & that guy (if you know someone) can play Master tapes & totally isolate the drummer on the soundboard, turning down (off) all other things on tape/digital. Costly & depends what he has there on hand to play if allowed so.

5th way can be done with video, & I'm not fluent with that, but an instructional drum video, such as Marco Minnemann releases, which shows him pro-shot in isolation (and all limbs sometimes zoomed) can be played back on video machines that also slow down the speed to watch slowly. These machines may be VCR tape or digital, & may be pricey, unless dig up a fine used one. Some drum instructional videos do slow down the playing as a new "scene" shot (as part of their retail release), so you can watch it normal (faster) speed & then the slower scene...not sure which ones, but I've seen them.

If I got any of this wrong, anyone please correct, just some tricks to pass along.

Hope this may help.

Frank D.

18 days ago

David,

One more I forgot, since I'm mostly analog, in a digital generation now.

Pretty sure you can find a computer software program that does all of my last post, audio & video, or 2 seperate softwares for those two. Look for music recording software and video editing software.

Likely cannot change a retail bought recording, but some bands did release digital downloads where you can re-engineer much of the recording & add/delete parts & instruments too (ex: see band Magenta, prog rock from Wales, allowed 1 or 2 albums this way). Instrument isolation may be possible on these, but you still need the software download to operate the "mixing board".

But, anyway, generally, these recording/editing music softwares may allow speed to be slowed down on a commercially bought retail standard download, possibly cd on playbacks. Some of these softwares are cheap, others cost more.

Enter the digital experts to clear this up !

Frank D.

18 days ago

George,

Oops, not sure if this type discussion is allowed, much respect, & don't know if I encouraged accidently. Just trying to help a member. Let us know if it should go to other forums/sites. Completely fine if thread has to be locked to discussion ! Sorry, apologies !

George Lawrence, administrator

18 days ago

Perfectly fine, Frank D. Also, you tube videos can be played at slower speeds, can they not?

Frank D.

17 days ago

Great point, I never knew that ! Thank you. :-)

David Womer

17 days ago

Thanks for all of your suggestions Frank D. !

Frank D.

17 days ago

Glad to help! Best of luck, it can work & have fun !

You must log in to send a new comment.