Interview with Andy Marsh of Thy Art is Murder


Metal Drum Programming


Lesson Info

Interview with Andy Marsh of Thy Art is Murder

Before and he comes on I just want to give a quick intro to him which is he's the guitarist of the really awesome death core band diehard is murdered which is on tour right now in summer slaughter and the reason I wanted to bring him on was because he's not a drummer I wanted you guys to have a a guitar player to talk to about this stuff because I know most of you guys aren't drummers and most of you guys have toe work with drummers and you have to translate your ideas from up here to the middle or two on actual real life drummer so wanted to talk to him about some of the challenges and you know the challenges and methods that he uses tio actually actually get this stuff done in real life um you know, whenever you guys are ready to have him on I am ready for him this well how's it going yeah, I'm good. How are you? You know, which is wichita? Are you guys doing on that tour, man how's it going having forward crushing correction it's been better than the last good to use in our own so i...

t's fun to be back as well. Well, thanks for thanks for joining us, man and I know that you guys that you had to kind of rush to a hotel tio make this happen so then I wouldn't go to mexican folk have to rush back again here you are yeah it's funny but I just I just want to talk real quick about how you got started in music because I think this is really interesting you told me that you didn't even start playing music until you were twenty years old which I think is just interesting and uh inspirational for people who I think that they have to be virtuosos at the age of ten and you know and be like really, really amazing from childhood and if you don't do that uh you have no chance of ever making it in music and here you are someone who started at the age of twenty it's not amazing it certainly would have been a big help to be a bunch more so ten I'm sure um I think I think you have to kind of things that you have to balance and what is his time and one is effort over time so if you can concentrate the massive amount of fitting a smaller amount of time great we can spread that out over a longer period of time decided pretty light I guess for my life that I wanted to do music so I focus a lot more energy into a shorter amount of time to be out of get some kind of career I guess if you want to call it that what kind of energy would you say you had tio focus like and you give people specifically amount of time yeah time like hours per day kind of thing um some days over twelve some days you know, I wouldn't touch anything to do with music but I dedicate a lot of my mental energy to focusing on preparing or or how to organize myself for the next week or for the next month or setting, you know, short term mid term and long term goals as well all the same things all the same things that people read in every single cheesy self help book er is actually true about setting goals and you don't have to be it not about it I read a lot of interviews with people that have been successful and they have diaries and all kinds things mind it's more I'll go have a coffee and a cigarette and think about what I'm gonna do for the rest of the day was I guess most people there might kind of meander off with their thoughts it's just important oh always kid what you want to do in the back of your mind and focus on that? Well, you know, I think if someone wants to get really really good at programming this kind of stuff or you know whatever it is get good at mixing uh just become a good producer is that something that you have to start in your teenage years and if you don't you're screwed like you can start this later but I think the key is you have to have a very directed focus you have to pick where you want to be and work towards that diligently and I guess uh without you know without stopping so do you mind telling people how you started playing guitar just that they know that just so that they don't so they don't think that we're just making this up out of thin air yeah um I flight rugby in a in australia where I live at the moment well for some of the and that was pretty much my whole life and that I crushed like pretty much straight down into my face this whole side of my face got caved in and I said no more rugby few going the hospital for the rest of grade twelve and I got my mom to bring me guitar magazines and I learned to read guitar tops didn't even on the guitar I figured out how to read the tubs and uh yeah so what I got out of the hospital I kind of sort of knew how to play guitar but I've never actually held so you learn how to play guitar in your head by reading guitar magazines in a hospital bed and then after you got out and went back to real life you started to play guitar and what you got? You applied the stuff you read about to the instrument like I'd already done back reverie. Such a main. When you play, get top, the average person who doesn't play guitar might listen to a certain range of music. But when you include that instrument in what they do in their life, it might make them want to look at other bands that, you know, guitar driven. Then I wouldn't have found bands like train bitter and a whole bunch of other shredders if it wasn't for reading time magazine. So by the time I was out already knew where to look to find, you know. Okay, so step one is you do. So step one is you did your research. Um, and then what? You locked yourself in a room? You told me for twelve hours a day, sometimes just working in john patricia e books with the metron arm. Yeah. Yeah. That's important. I think people need to use the nodding so suddenly makes you an interesting character. Yeah, definitely had no social life when I used to practice twelve hours a day. But I think that the key right there is that you did the background research on what exactly is what you're going for and what to do and then you went and you did it and just like or someone wanted to get good at this stuff is it's good to do the background research and then you have to get in a room and just do it for a really long time until you're not crappy anymore and what about how long did it take you from when you started until you got into your first band um first shows that have a flavor in two thousand six sorry, that was about eight years ago, right after I started playing guitar um it was and what kind of band was that? I was like a lot of hardcore band I think in this day and age it's everybody's first banned because it's the easiest music how long how long was it before you got into your first like bigger band or sign bander? Well it's funny like the first one of the first shows over one two was I think the year before for been does like the biggest been in prison at the time on dh that was the first show I went to and then in two thousand nineteen years later I started during playing guitar in that this is kind of like an ironic cycle, you know, that's kind of what got me into music on a local level and then I got toe play with those guys around country okay, so basically you got your face crushed in went to the hospital red guitar book I learned it gets yankee massively that that's that's not strike it all dan okay, yeah, you know, you never told me that part so you broke your face and your hand well, I've got to go back to school like the last month or two of great twelve and well, the guys my school really good volleyball and uh yeah, it just took the buns straight out of my finger threw it across the port on dh so and then within a couple of years you were in your first sign band so I just think that that's a good lesson for everybody that if you actually, um we actually make a goal and stick to something and see it through all the way you might actually be able to do things a lot faster than then a lot of other people and with that just because I want to make sure we get everything we want to talk about your next thing which was learning recording because that directly effects how you write songs for my art but you told me that you started to learn middie programming and all that for the band itself um yeah that's ok, so can you describe that? I think like a lot of recording people that get into recording because there's an even no one good enough or no one that they can afford to be out of two do their own demos or recordings or to shed of the music with within the band to show the other guys, you know, his a reform working on. So I wanted to record my guitar riffs, and I had some random software that a friend gave me, and I could night distorted guitar sand into a computer. That wasn't enough, like I wanted to have, you know, a drum bait. So I had to figure out what may he was and how to sequence in our samples and my house tonight. Back then, he was still my house, right? Showed me like battery. Like, I think, it's my contact or native instrumental something, and you could put different samples on these little that's. What? I started things, and then he was like, yeah, and then you can put samples on there and you rot median, it'll trigger those things, and it was a really long process, and there are certainly not doing it for your band. Yeah, I was doing my band, and then I was banned list for a short period of time, so I just kept writing and writing and doing demos toe show other bands and what not ok, and now skip forward a few years and you're actually producing and you have and you're at the machine shop producing, which is a big deal. So let's, let's go straight to this middie example so that we actually talk about some music because we're going toe. We're going to get cut off by the time keeper, so ok, so let's, talk about steps that you go through in order to get a new idea from your head. Two year drummers head uh, in drummers hands had whatever you want to call it, um it say that say that you're writing a song, how does if you could define like, a four step process? How would it go from when you first have an idea all the way to when you guys have it? As really song with your drummer was the first step is only showing a rock I'm a guitar player and I will have a riff on we'll put it into the computer and then sometimes it's it's really simple, and it just needs a very straight ahead date, which he can know now that we've been programming drums for fees, we can just, you know how to program that bait so you don't, so you don't have to think about it too much at this point because you've already know what I can I can read the great really easily now so it's like I know whether snare fels if I hear it in my head across the bar or whether kicks are where the hideout of the accent is where's before I used to sit there and like camp each of the little divide is um but then sometimes it's a really particular bait on you have to kind of sometimes you gotta air drums find out you know physically move your hands like how you I think the baby is going to go and then defied those immediate placement across the bar that can be a little bit tricky and then we have to show to the drama and either he gets it straight away or he'll take the we'll dance him out the section with the drum bait to listen to it and then also again with just the click track and no jobs so he could practice to that so back when you used to air drum stuff um you're you're not a drummer but you still what air drum stuff did you ever notice a difference between the beats that you would give him that you did an air drum versus the ones that you would take the time to air drum and check the physical mechanics on? Um not really I mean I guess I'm a good estimate because I've played with a lot of jobs as fair enough velocity only falls throughout obeyed author of filled so when I programmed the fields, I anticipated my mind like what I had to make this physical motion I might have a compromise velocity on my left hand because it has to go, so I programmed that light up and then sometimes you see that a prediction of velocity variants come through with a real drama and sometimes it's something that you didn't even know would you know, you don't even you can't think that far ahead it's just how the human body is an instrument yeah, totally what if you have a stair row with a lot of accents? Um programming them it's very hard to get it really is a real drama I think you can get it close if you actually pay attention to how a drummer yeah really think is using massive di rt now which really comes and then going backwards and generating the middle if you ever have that luxury to be able to do that really gives you a very deep inside into hell really drummers mechanics kind of operate because you can see how how how varied the velocity of of h it is yeah, and so you will take that and actually work the velocities you get off of that data into future things that you're right, you know that you know it a little bit better absolutely it's like reverse engineering, the drama you know we don't want to replace the drama but if I've got a program drums and have it sound like one I want to know how to get its close to a real dramas mechanics as I can okay now real quick I just want to talk about your clicky pen idea um because I've got a meeting right here for your your breakdown for rain and darkness and well that's not it one second oh oh no that that was your other song that I was working with one second not that far off right it's pretty close for the horrible I'm sure it wasn't exactly right but you told me your midi is all locked up somewhere so figured I would just go ahead and get it in here but ok so you know, the hands are doing a really simple normal break down things but what's interesting about this is the kick pattern and a utility wrote that with the clicky pen so I just wantto wanna know how that loss okay, yeah, the clicky pen wasn't that one okay think clicky pen was another song for lacerations penetration? Um yeah, I like that name. Yeah it's uh it's off the loss record before the last record but uh if you ever struggling to rock break dance or patterns or sink a patient because you know it's interesting to divide the bait on the rhythm you know a different kind of way way rolled dots and use that how many actually playing how many way arrest or shown had this cool idea clicky pen and he can I don't think any of that but oh yeah as are loosely have break down all the interest in laceration penetration came to fruition you can just click a rhythm subconsciously while you're at work way doing nothing and then you get a song so I just think it's interesting to note some bands use morse code some bands throw dice I've heard of other people throwing dice uh you guys use that it's just interesting to note that, um it's not coming from a place of being inspired like like the whole romantic notion people have about writing that you hear it all in your head and then it becomes this thing you guys actually used like devices in order to help you write stuff? Yeah. All right. Cool. So then let's talk about the rain of darkness real quick. I programmed the basic breakdown for it but and I picked this song because I think it's your most popular song but also because when people come to the studio with program drums is the song that I see ripped off the most people try to rip off the break down all the time and they try to rip off the ending of the song where uh, where you do the breakdown with a bunch of fills that honestly, I think they couldn't they seem like they would be awkward fills for a drummer to play, but they're really, really unique. So I wanted to talk about how you went and got those from your brain over to your drummer to make it happen and you know, everyone should check out the song reign of darkness by the artist murder so yeah, let us know how did you do that? Ballons ah funny one it was I remember was really tricky related kind of bomb to pull it all together because of syncopation of the fate and there's a lot of strange work on the china in the in the end, right down in particular where he gets the china like four times in a row, something crazy which no one would ever do on but that's because there are other guitar by showing program that filled so he can play drums pretty well, but he's he's a little bit less flowing with midian programming than I am so he would come up with something. You know, sometimes you have to have the accidents when you're writing music was like this crazy and, you know, I spent a bit of time showing lee like his heart wanted it's very particular, you know, the breakdown was very simple but adding the syncopation underneath it and then the lead on the top is what really brought it together I think that was definitely a case of programming meaty that was very distinct for the pod like without the drums being that way I don't think the park you know rose and you wrote it you wrote a completely and middie before ever giving it to your drummer right yeah okay go whole lost out was old meted out before any uh any like way do are on demos and pre production and refining then we take it to our producer will partney went to further preproduction on hate I think we did like three or four days of reworking a little bit iand then the drama gets given you know complete admitting on then without with jack's on so how did you make sure going back to reign of darkness how did you make sure that those filles were actually playable? Um well sean what I wouldn't call us dramas but we can sit behind a junket and play well enough on at least sit down at a desk and a drum you know, I guess well everyone is the greatest drama when they're drumming sorry it's just a matter of sitting down and you know moving your hands in such a way that I can whose how play slow down and children it's way doing things that are a little bit outside about scott grizzlies definitely a way better drama than we are, but also he knows his physical limitations and he lets us know what they are like. We're programming a section we're like all we want, reid blast lee knows I think it's fifteen begin, he can blast fifteen became faster with the snare on the downbeat on the high hat when the snares on the update he's he's not as quick with that, so we have to keep that in mind when we're pro, so you always keep in mind who you're actually writing these drums for, uh, absolutely like a fluid doing a pop rock band. Then I wouldn't be putting glass plates and then because they totally can play them, but I mean even within the scope of extreme metal, like your programming, your blast beats at certain tempos because of who is in your band eggs? Exactly, and we keep the songs within a certain temporal rain jump. I can't play guitar past aside and stayed, so why should I expect my drama to play? Drums sponsor said in st that's exactly what I was talking about earlier two people was one writing for a drummer you should always be writing for who is actually in your band, so do we have any questions you want before? We should do yeah, let me get one here. I love it from the middle sound guy. And then also fabio alloy were both asking that's this earlier few ale but I think it's great for and as well, what would your advice be to a guitarist who writes all the stuff on his own? Would you say it's a good idea to get a drum group down before getting the riffs down if you know the kind of feel you're aiming for, but just have nothing concrete down yet both but it just depends. In my opinion, it's just depends on circumstance. Sometimes you'll do one first, sometimes the other. But what do you think, andy? Um, if I feel like there's a natural transition to make in the in the song running process, like you know you want it to go from whatever the rift having the drums you having into something crazy with stock car, double kick, it's a lot of symbols, all program the drums. Sorry, because I know that's the field that I want after that section. Because, you know, the rhythmic feel, I think it's very important transitions in songwriting and then come up with the riff for the caller progression later, you know, and do the theory working, ok? Which way do we have a key change? Or maybe we have this, but at least the drums of their. And they help inspire you to play a riff that search that change. Ok, cool. I agree with everything he said. We love it. Uh, question from strata master forty one where the drums programmed on by artist murders latest album is it common to go half and half on a song with some parts program in some parts actually played and recorded video? I'm taking that to mean that the drummer is it normal to have two drummer come up with some of this stuff? And I'll just say that if I was in a situation where there's drum programming, I would keep it drum programming through the length of pre pro and I would just take what the drummer came up with and then, you know, put it into midi. But I wouldn't have half of the pre probie fake drums and happy reald drums because it would be confusing and sound like hers switching channels on the radio or tv or something. But what do you think, andy? Got to be confusing? Obviously we take out dramas, input, he might have an idea because he's, actually a drum are something that we wouldn't know. Or, I mean, if you want to have a harvard five getting elektronik trunk it, we've done that as well. Yes, that works great, because then you can just send the mideast rating the session. You have the same drum stands throughout, uh, you let drama more interpretive. Yeah, I think of the drum kit is the perfect solution for what he's saying.

Class Description

Wanna learn how to program metal drums the RIGHT way? In this half-day class, you'll learn exactly how to do it from producer Eyal Levi of Audiohammer Studios (Whitechapel, August Burns Red, JFAC).

Eyal will show you how to program fast, slow, and mid-tempo beats (and yes, that includes every kind of blast beat under the sun), fills, accents, and more. You’ll also learn the art of varying velocities and timing so your programmed parts sound realistic and natural. Plus, you'll hear from Eyal's special guest Andy Marsh (Thy Art is Murder).

If you want to sharpen your drum programming skills, this class is for you.


Michael Nolasco

First off, great class. I have wanted to learn and know how to make my programmed drums feel like what a real drummer would do, which is basically the approach Eyal takes with programmed drums. Feel free to take this down if it's not okay, but I found this site to help with learning drum rudiments:


Eyal!! Thanks for the insight on drum programming, truly enjoyed the course and definitely got something out of it. Highly recommend