Recording drums at home with Shane “Russ” Russell of Twelve Foot Ninja.

Introducing Roland Artist: Drummer Shane "Russ" Russell

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Watch the entire documentary with Russ here!

Shane “Russ” Russell of Australian band Twelve Foot Ninja is one of a new breed of exciting drummers able to pull from the long history of the artform and take it somewhere new and exciting. Roland Australia’s Simon Ayton met with Russ over a homemade espresso to discover his musical journey and what makes him tick and how he records drums at home.

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Russ's V-Drums Home Recording Setup

Russ records like so many drummers now. V-Drums kit at home with his laptop.

Never straying far from the trusty coffee machine and sharing the room with his iRacing simulator setup, Russ’s weapon of choice reflects his personality and has been built up over time to emulate his acoustic kit.

A relatively ancient TD-20 kit from 2005 forms the basis of house-trained drum setup which he’s expanded with the TD-50DP pack with digital snare and ride and numerous triggers.

See Russ explain his journey and setup below…

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Getting on the Learning Curve

 Long gone are the days of lugging drums to an expensive studio on the other side of the city, state, country or planet. 

Using his simple setup, Russ delivers top notch drum tracks with the click of a mouse.
Russ Recording at home with his V-Drums

Russ on Recording Himself

It all starts with a USB cable and ends with a mouse click.


Learn how to record your own drums here!

After the initial learning phase, with some patience, Russ has accomplished recording the drums for the last few Twelve Foot Ninja albums all on his own from home.

Russ explains the recording of the Twelve Foot Ninja albums here in detail.

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Emulating the Live Kit

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To make the transition between home and live kit as smooth as possible, Russ has recreated his live setup on the V-Drums.

Using the AUX and digital trigger inputs on his TD-50 module and SPD-SX sampling pad, Russ can add 7 additional dual zone triggers. See how to expand your V-Drums here.

Cymbal and drum positions have been chosen to work with the music and his style. 

Here, Russ breaks-down his setup and shows how it relates to his acoustic stage kit.

Been Busy? Russ Shows His Recording Process in Detail

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Integrating V-Drums into the studio environment has been the norm for many years. 

Using a combination of sounds from the module and software, Russ is able to sculpt the final sound to suit the many genres invloved in creating the music for Twelve Foot Ninja albums. 

Sounds are tuned and stacked to create massive, rich and unique sounds:No rules apply!

Together with his fellow TFN band members and mix engineer, the process is smooth sailing and means they are all on the same page even when they’re miles apart.

Enter the SPD-SX

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A long standing and ever-present member of Twelve Foot Ninja is their SPD-SX

Replacing their Sony PSP, things have come a long way since the days of mono backing tracks and tiny screens. 

Russ utilizes the SPD-SX for additional sounds including a kick drum triggered from a KT-10 beaterless kick trigger next to his main kick.

Russ explains his musical use of the ever popular Roland instrument

No Bing Bong!

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When settling on what to play, “No Bing Bong!” is the rule. Russ explains why drum parts end up the way they do and his thoughts on the creative process of coming up with the best parts for the music.

Teaching on V-Drums

Teaching and inspiring people to play the drums is central to Russ’ work both on stage and at home. 

Here, Russ explores the teaching possibilities of his V-Drums when connected to his laptop. 

He’s able to teach students anywhere in the world via Skype and delivers to them everything needed to progress quickly as a drummer. 

Notating his complex parts is as simple as recording them in via MIDI and opening them in Roland DT-1 drum tutor software.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!