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Microphone Month 2

Hands On: East West Storm Drum 3

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart bring his immense collection of exotic percussion instruments into your studio and lay down tracks for you? With East West Storm Drum 3, you’ve got the next best thing! Storm Drum 3 is a massive percussion library – more than 85GB provided on 11 double-layer DVDs for install on your hard drive – covering Hart’s private collection of instruments, from the traditional bongos, tablas, rainsticks, Taiko drums, and frame drums to one-of-a-kind instruments such as “The Beast” and the “Double Headed Tree Drum.” There also are shakers, metal bowls, chimes, cymbals, and much more. The whole thing is managed by East West’s latest PLAY 4 virtual instrument, which is compatible with Mac and PC, 32- or 64-bit, and in such formats as VST, Audio Units, RTAS, and AAX – including AAX 64-bit support for Pro Tools 11.

Each instrument in Storm Drum 3 was recorded at East West’s Studio 1 in Hollywood, using five mic positions, which you can blend and process as you like in PLAY’s mixer. In addition to individual instruments, there are also loops performed by Mickey Hart, Greg Ellis, and Chalo Eduardo. The loops can sync to tempo in your DAW.

The massive catalog of percussion is divided into seven categories, making it easier to locate exactly what you want. From powerful impacts to stirring percussion textures, Storm Drum 3 provides a wealth of inspiring material to choose from. Where else are you going to find a playable 12-foot redwood tree branch that you can combine with a deer hoof shaker? And then mix with a gourd marimba?

East West’s Storm Drum 3 truly is an incredible collection that can be put to use in a wide variety of situations; the obvious ones include film scoring, New Age, and world music. But don’t stop there, the instruments here can add new flavor to any musical style or production.

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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