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by Tao Bon Fu

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Beeswax 05:24
Unapologetic 04:04


I am completely Unapologetic if my cymbals are too loud. Paiste Signatures sound awesome and, I'm not competing with any vocals. This whole Tao Bon Fu project has become a lesson on how to record drums. I have used Shure SM-81s for overheads which I borrowed from Alex the Dark Squirrel. I love the SM-81s however, on the next album I will be using B.L.U.E. Dragonfly overheads.

Kick: AKG D-112 inside, off to one side, pointing at the beaters at an angle. AKG P420 outside in (cardioid, -20db). That will stay likely the same.

Snare: SM57 top (of course). Bottom is Oktava MK012 with a -10db pad.

Toms: mostly EV N/D486 with a Shure Beta 56 on the 18" floor tom and a EV N/D408B underneath. I am going to change the 15' to a Beat 57A and add a 16' tom with another Beat 57A that belongs to Alex. The EVs sound good on the smaller toms but, I am having issues with them on the larger toms.

Room mics: I used an AKG P420 in figure 8 in front of the drums about 5 feet, at about the level of the toms with the capsules faced left/right. Sometimes I used a Audix F-15 lined up the figure 8 but, this is not a good use of the F-15. I Tried a B.L.U.E. Spark there but had phasing issues. Neither worked. Not sure How I'm going to use the other P420 going forward but, I does make a decent room mic.

Room mics (con't): I had the only B.L.U.E. Dragonfly I had at the time over my left shoulder, pointing kind of at the hi hat and snare. I sounded great but, I don't know if it sounded great just because the Dragonfly is so awesome. I will try an Oktava mk-319 there in the next setup.

Recorded with a Presonus Audiobox 1818VSl with a Presonus Digimax D8. Sonar X2 Essentials/Windows 10/ Intel i5/16 gigs of ram and a bunch of HDDs and SSDs.

Toms: Pearl Masters Custom 4 ply from late 90s early 2000s (rectangle badge)
8,10,12,15,18. Evans G2 coated
Kick: Pearl Masters Custom extra 8 ply(?) 22x18. Evans EQ3 and a EMAD reso. Remo Kevlar patch for the beaters. DW5000 double pedal with the plastic side of the beaters.
Snare: Pearl Free Floating 5.5 inch. On previous tracks I have used the brass Free Floater but, I got my copper one dialed in and is the only one on this album. Evans SD Dry.

Cymbals: Paiste Signature
Ride: most of the time 20" Dry Dark but, the 22" Power Ride is in there a bit.
Hi Hat: 13" Dark Crisp top with a Zildjian Z Dyno beat bottom.
Crash: 15" and 18" Fast, 19" Power or a 16" full, I don't think the 18" heavy China made the album but the 2002 14" china did. 8" and 10" splashes.


released May 7, 2021

All songs written, performed, recorded and produced by Tom Hapeman


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Tao Bon Fu De Kalb, Illinois

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