Brooklyn Vanguard: A Post-Bop Jazz Drum Sound Pack
sound packs
The title 'Brooklyn Vanguard' on a field of green with white, orange, pink, and yellow shapes

A beautifully tuned, remarkably detailed and sensitive jazz kit recorded from a Gretsch USA kit. The name Brooklyn Vanguard comes from the drum manufacturer’s, rich Brooklyn history. Gretsch operated a factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for many years.

The Recording Process

The Gretsch USA kit we used in this pack can be seen in many Sunhouse instagram posts - it often is outfitted with mesh-heads to show off the pure electronic capabilities of the Sensory Percussion system, but, it sounds amazing when equipped with traditional heads!

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Sunhouse co-founder, Tlacael Esparza, has owned this kit for many years and it includes a 20-inch kick drum, 12-inch rack tom, and 14-inch floor tom.

For the Brooklyn Vanguard recording session we chose Evans Calftone heads to maximize the authentic jazz drum sounds.

We chose a 14-inch Ludwig sparkle-wrapped snare drum to complement the Gretsch.

The full kit was recorded with just a coincident pair of two close mics (Electro-Voice RE20, and AKG-c214). Each drum was close-miked with this pair, and then after one drum recording was finished, the mic system was moved to close mike the following drum. The mics were fed into an Apollo Twin interface, and recorded into a DAW with 96,000 Hz sample rate.

Tlacael was the drummer for the session, following the maximal-realist protocol that we developed for these detailed acoustic drum models: three velocity levels per zone with five hits per level.

For the snare, he recorded at least 30 samples of each of nine zones (center, edge, rimshot center, rimshot edge, rim shoulder, rim tip, damped, cross stick, and stick shot) with both snares-on and snares-off. For the toms he recorded the same nine zones, and for the kick he recorded open, closed, rim shoulder, and rim tip zones. Ultimately, there are 602 raw samples powering the Sensory Percussion 2 drum mappings we created.

The Sets

The flagship Brooklyn Vanguard set is the first set in the pack, and is simply a one-to-one, detailed preservation of Tlacael’s Gretsch USA kit. When you explore the expressive detail in this set, take note that you can turn the snares of the snare drum on and off with a top-level macro.

The other sets in this pack are more “out there” mappings. We found when the snare was pitched up, it is has something of a reggae sound, and built Dub Vanguard around that concept. The Industrial Vanguard set has been processed with macros and controllers for a more avante-garde vibe.

Single Drum Brooklyn employs a concept that we developed for drum machine mappings. We map a time-keeping sound (like a hi-hat, but in this case a rim) to the low velocity hits across the wh0le drum. If you hit the center or edge of the drum hard, you get a kick drum, if you hit the rim you get a kick sound. If you play a rimshot, you get a combination of snare, tom, and kick.

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