Mark Schulman’s “A Day in the Recording Studio” gets a review at MusicPlayers.com!
Artist: Mark Schulman
Album: A Day In the Recording Studio
Genre: Instructional, Drums
Bottom Line: Schulman graciously and clearly lends some experience to aspiring pro drummers
In both personality and appearance, Mark Schulman is justifiably referred to as “The Rock Star Drummer.” Though we first caught sight of Schulman as the current drummer for pop singer PINK, he has worked with everyone from Velvet Revolver, Sheryl Crow, and Stevie Nicks to Foreigner, Billy Idol, Destiny’s Child, and Cher (among others).
Already carrying a rather impressive resume, Mark is so much more than that. He is a world-renowned drumming clinician, motivational speaker, music educator, writer/producer and trained audio engineer who is co-owner of West Triad Recording Studio in Venice, California. This brings us to the subject of one of Hudson Music’s latest releases: A Day In the Recording Studio.
At the very beginning of the program, Mark quickly lists the range of topics that he wishes to discuss like tuning, microphone techniques, and his system of charting music. Admittedly, when first hearing about this instructional package, we were expecting a program that chose to focus primarily on the technical nature of recording hardware and software. However, Mark favors a more all-encompassing approach that delves into all of the different aspects of being a functioning drummer in the “hot seat.” Thus, he takes the time to discuss the nature of studio construction, gives a concise run down of the basic components of recording equipment, options and reasons behind microphone choices, exercises for working to a click track, playing techniques, etc. It’s almost as if to state that the best equipment will never truly substitute for a drummer who is familiar with all of the elements involved in cutting pro drum tracks.
The DVD is split into two main parts: the first being more of the technical discussion of equipment, while the second half is much more focused on musical circumstances. We were really impressed by how the later part of the presentation was put together. The section touches on musical arranging, rhythmic analysis, drum part construction, short hand notation for learning music quickly and developing one’s ability to feel certain lengths of standard phrases/bars (an aspect often overlooked by drummers). The musical examples used to give context to these topics are very different from one another, ranging from pop/rock to more of an indie/alternative sound, all the way up to more jazz/fusion oriented music.
At the conclusion of the DVD, we felt that the presentation was very solid. But for viewers who are less experienced with studio subject matter, we felt that there could have been some more details and explanations to a number of things briefly mentioned in the program. But then we began to read through the included e-book and consequently changed our minds. The 36-page e-book is so full of extras that no stone is really left unturned!
Mark not only includes the floor plans of his studio so that it can be used as a reference, but also includes an overview of its development including detailed architectural blueprints and diagrams that demonstrate how soundproofing was accomplished, what materials were used for the walls, etc. This sort of detail was continued through most other subjects discussed on the DVD including tuning, miking, etc. In essence, the DVD could be seen as a quick reference (or starting point) for information that is more deeply explored through Mark’s writing.
Hudson Music and Mark Schulman really scored with this release. Mark’s personality jumps off the page and screen, and he takes every opportunity he can to make light of the subject with humor. Schulman has put together a package that provides some really great information for just about any drummer at any level.