Vater Welcomes The Drum Lab

Vater Welcomes the Staff of The Drum Lab to their Education Family

Vater Percussion is very pleased to welcome the entire staff of The Drum Lab in Sacramento, CA to their Education Artist Family. Now using Vater sticks exclusively are Serge Lysak, Chris Brawley, Christian Midthun and Mai-Tsaro "STIXX" Johnson.The Drum Lab is Sacramento’s first and only school of drumming.

 The Drum Lab opened their doors in May of 2005 and in doing so set a new standard for drumming education in the Sacramento area. Now with over 130 students, The Drum Lab continues to offer a comprehensive, hands-on education in contemporary drumming techniques and styles.Each of The Drum Lab’s instructors specializes in a different musical style. They help each incoming student choose the instructor that best fits the style of music they want to learn. The staff also encourages students to move around periodically from teacher to teacher so that they can absorb as many influences as possible.

 “For years I would bounce from stick to stick and not quite have that perfect stick or I would have issues with the consistency of other stick brands. After using Vater’s Los Angeles 5A, I quickly made up my mind and noticed a big difference in the quality and consistency that Vater delivered over the others. Also to add to this, the company and the people that I work with at Vater are just incredible. Adding in all these factors, I feel very fortunate to now have myself and the other instructors of The Drum Lab become a part of the Vater Family!” -Serge Lysak, Owner of The Drum Lab



Posted by Chad on Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:52 AM

Jake Smith-In The Studio


Royal Bliss songs come together in all different shapes and forms. Whether it’s impromptu jams during practice, ideas written by individual band members on acoustic guitars at home, or drunken jams on the road in the bus – they all end up being fine-tuned and refined in our rehearsal space in Salt Lake City, UT. For the most part, the band members each bring their own part of the song to the table; then, we all give “constructive criticism” on the ideas – Taylor, (lead guitar) gives me his 2 cents on my beat or fills and I give him suggestions on chord changes and riffs – and then we go from there.  Since there are 5 members in our band, and we all write, it can get a little like “too many cooks in the kitchen,” but, we’ve been doing it for over 12 years now so we know when to pick our battles and when to let each other speak.  Drumming-wise I tried to be straight forward and simple on this album while still throwing down a mean heavy rock feeling in the beats and fills. 


After writing 30 or so new songs, it was time to get the opinion of a few other people outside the band and take things into a studio. For the most part everyone was on the same page with what songs were the strongest and most liked. We ended up doing Pre-Pro in SLC for about a week, took a break for a month, toured a little and tried some of the songs out with a few crowds in different cities. Then we brought around 22 songs to the 2nd Pre-Pro in Nashville, TN where we’d be recording the album. Our producer, Brian Virtue (Chevelle, 30 Seconds to Mars, Jane’s Addiction, Deftones) helped us weed out the rest of the songs that didn’t fit the band/producer’s vision for the new album and we landed on 12 songs and 1 of 2 additional options to finish the album with 13 total songs. We concluded by fine-tuning the individual parts and pieces of each song that was going on the album. 


For tracking I used VATER Josh Freese’s H-22 O’s. They were the perfect fit for recording because I could be quick and agile when I needed to, while still being able to hit hard and solid for optimum sound quality. I played on a 5 piece kit with hi-hat, ride, 3 crashes, and one china. The room I played in was pretty big with high ceilings and sound-proof dampening boards where needed. Each and every piece was mic’d. The snare and kick were mic’d with 2 mics each, hi-hat mic, ride mic, 3 overhead mics, and 2 room mics. On the first day of drum tracking we took about an hour getting each individual drum’s sound dialed in…then at the beginning of each day and through-out the day of tracking we’d stop and make sure the sounds were staying consistent with the song we were tracking at the time. All-in-all drum tracking took around 4 days total. Recording never goes perfectly, but I can say this is the smoothest things have gone for me in the studio to date. KEEP PLAYING! 

Posted by Chad on Friday, August 06, 2010 10:09 AM

Jess Bowen July 2010

Jess Bowen from The Summer Set talks with Vater about growing up with drummers in her family, why she uses the Vater Universal and more....

Categories: Interviews
Posted by Chad on Monday, August 02, 2010 10:13 PM
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