Beats Working....Yamaha and Hoo-Hah.

August 1, 2017

Yamaha and Hoo-Hah. Sounds like a perfect marriage. An endorsement anyone? This week it's Hoo-Hah drummer Tony Holt. Here he sheds some light on the technical jiggery pokery involved and the general goings on in the way the band approaches bringing the songs to the stage... 




I use an electronic drum set. There, I said it. Recently someone remarked that I should use a traditional acoustic drum set, but it's not quite as straightforward as that... When I started drumming with the Hoo-Hah Conspiracy, we took a while to decide on how we would play live. Jonathan's music is complex, and often multiple layers typify his approach to song writing.


Of course, we bring a lot of energy to our live performances, but at the same time we also wanted to recreate a beautifully balanced stereo mix so our audience could enjoy the wonderful stories within the songs as much as the melodies themselves. That's a big ask when you've got a mic'd up acoustic kit and guitar amps blaring away on stage. We've also got quite sensitive ears so we wanted to keep noise on-stage as low as possible.


This presents something of a problem for a drummer, as drums and cymbals are loud! I've got some great sounding maple drums and top of the range cymbals, but these just didn't fit the bill for the Hoo-Hah Conspiracy live.

 So we decided to ditch the acoustic drums and amps and go for a hi-tech set up, with the drums centred around an electronic kit. Rubber drum and cymbal pads are fixed to an aluminium frame and connected to the 'brain' of the kit, an electronic module which detects signals when the pads are hit. The brain is connected to my MacBook which has software installed that turns the 'hits' into extremely high quality drum and cymbal sounds.


Within a blink of an eye, these sounds run through an audio interface to our digital mixer, which receives all the other instruments and sounds, and feeds the front of house speakers. The result is top quality, crisp and controlled drums plus a crystal-clear mix for my in-ear monitors. It's an altogether different discipline for a drummer to play live with a set up like this, but it really makes a difference as the overall band mix sounds amazing out front.


Come along to a show and hear it for yourself..


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© 2019 Jonathan Markwood's Hoo-Hah Conspiracy

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‘Hear the sound beat down the door and revel in the appreciation that someone else thinks like you’

- Liverpool Sound & Vision 8.5/10

'Absolutely brilliant !'

Adam Crowther

BBC Music Introducing

'Track after track of catchy tunes...If you are a fan of Bowie or Talking Heads or Peter Gabriel, 10cc or George Martin's work with the Beatles, then this album will be a perfect addition to your collection.'

Krimson Collective Magazine

'Soaring choruses...a festival kilter, edgy with mainstream feel of Dodgy, Squeeze, Beck & Eels. We owe Hoo-Hah Conspiracy a big thank you for their trouble’

Express & Star Newspaper