reviewer | Carlisle, MA USA | 12/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD appears to be a copy from the original VHS tape with material copyrighted 2000. The sound quality is good but the picture suffers. On the DVD cover, Tony is shown playing relatively new Yamaha DTXtreme pads and head with his acoustic drums. On the DVD he's playing Yamaha pads, electronic head and sampler that are all obsolete. Most of the equipment he's using was replaced more than seven years ago by newer models. Some instructional material like stick control and rudiments never go out of style but this DVD is about live electronic music. Demonstrating the "new" features of moldy oldy equipment just doesn't cut it.
The DVD contents consist of 2 volumes.
Volume 1 - Introduction, fundamentals, constructing basic drum kits, editing sounds, reverb, filters and delay, alternate groups, using the HH pedal, improvising, jungle grooves, advanced features, multiple notes on each drum, stack/alternate modes, MIDI, mapping and playing chords, gate time, velocity crossfades, MIDI cables and backup.
Volume 2 analyses four songs and the use of the MU100R vocoder (circa 1997).
There are also some short Q&A clips, opinions on educational applications, the convenience of electronic drums and a 15 second clip of a live concert.
Volume 1 is roughly the same as skimming the Yamaha instruction manual. You still have to read the manual to use the features. Some important features like live and MIDI recording, trigger threshold and sensitivity and MIDI mapping are not covered. Great new features like Yamaha's ability to use .AIF files on SD memory and internal sampling are not covered at all because of the dated equipment in the DVD. Since Tony is sponsored by Yamaha, Roland electronic drums and those of other competitors are never mentioned.
Volume 2 has aged a little better. Tony demonstrates how to use the features introduced in Volume 1 to create songs. Techniques for controlling and arranging melody, bass, program changes, samples and loops are demonstrated. A creative technique, that may have been invented by Tony, is the combination of live vocal, vocoder and electronic percussion modulation. The vocoder technique alone may justify the cost of the DVD. Unfortunately, Tony says less than 50 words (speaking through the vocoder) on how this (now obsolete) vocoder works.
It is (way) past time for an updated DVD.