Video Post Collection

Danny Cruz video posts

10 on a Scale of 1 to 5

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

If I could give this piece of music and video a 10 on a scale of 1 to 5, I absolutely would! In fact, on my site, I can! So here it is! Came to My Rescue by Hillsong United, a song also known as Be Lifted High.

Every time I listen to this song I get wrapped in goosebumps and all my hairs stand on end. I decided to look it up on YouTube and share it with you guys. Praise God!


Drumming Video – Jam Solo Opportunity – A Musical Intermission

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

For the last two months or so I’ve been bringing you a blog post a week. I’m trying to abide by that rule. I’m working on a rather long and complex post at the moment. Needless to say it won’t be ready for this week’s post. As many of you already know, I’m a designer but I’m also a musician in my spare time. That explains my @sixstringsensei Twitter username just in case you were wondering. So, while I work on the new article which will then release next week, I’ll leave you all with a brief musical intermission. I present to you my latest drumming video… Jam Solo Opt. Enjoy! -D


Garageband Tutorial Video Soundtrack Crash Course

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

The Garageband Logo

I put together this 20 minute video to help non-musicians create soundtracks for their YouTube videos using the royalty-free loops in Apple’s Garageband. Using anybody else’s music in your videos can result in copyright infringement. Let’s face it, unless it’s a high budget production where you can afford to pay somebody for a license, you’re better off building the soundtrack yourself.

You’re probably here because you watched the video on YouTube. If not, see the video below. I encourage you to click on the YouTube logo in the player. It will send you to the actual page of the video where you can select to watch in high definition 720p. Trust me, it makes a big difference.

Furthermore, after the video there are instructions on how to download for the actual working file of the project for free. Edit: As of right now (Feb 6, 2011) the file is not available to download yet. I will be setting that up very soon. In the meantime, you can contact me if you want the file right away.

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Promo Videos for RavX Cycling Lights

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

This is mostly a graphic design blog, but as many of you already know, my interests are many and I stray from the topic sometimes.  However, video filming and editing shares a very close relationship with graphic arts.  I recently created two promo videos for RAVX Inc. to help promote 2 of their new cycling lights.

The first one was recorded mostly with a GoPro HD Hero camera while mountain biking at night in North County, San Diego, CA.  Most of the photography and some of the smaller clips were shot with a Canon 7D SLR camera with a 60mm EF prime macro lens.

The second video was recorded with the same Canon 7D and a couple of studio soft box lights and a pair of fluorescent hard lights. It was supposed to be something quick and was to be done in about a days worth of work. We had to reshoot some of the hand sequences since we were coming up with the “script” as we moved along, but in the end it came out pretty good.

Due to time constraints, I quickly put together a soundtrack in Apple Garageband for both videos. It was what I had available on the computer I had on site and I had to make it work. Usually, building the soundtrack for a video is considerable more time consuming and I reserve that to Apple Logic Pro.


Go Pro Drumming Surf Green

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Mapex Saturn Drum Set

This video was proudly featured on the homepage for a few weeks.  If you’ve been around, you might have watched it already.  Otherwise, this is your chance.  You won’t want to miss one of the best videos in my 2010 drum series.

Surf Green is a modern surf rock song inspired by Miserlou by Dick Dale. This is an original piece written by me. I recorded the guitars using an American Ash Stratocaster HSS and an Ibanez Jet King II. The amps used were a Mesa Boogie Lonestar Classic with Vintage 30′s for the clean reverb parts and an Egnater Rebel 20 for the distorted lead parts and the outro. The bass was done with a Warwick Rock Bass plugged into an old Line 6 TonePort UX2.

Enough! Let the video do the talking.

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Prove it to the World New Punk Rock Drumming Video

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Copper Snare

Finally! After a couple of months of having babies, surfing my brains out and working multiple artwork projects, I put in some time to edit another drum video.  This is the 4th in the series filmed with Go Pro HD Hero cameras.  Recorded during the latest Christmas holidays, this one features a song written by my wife and I where she also does the vocal and bass parts.  I play the guitars too in this project that we call “Right is Backside”…a name that comes from the term used by surfers to describe those that ride a right breaking wave with their backs to the wave.  (That would be me).  Can you guess at what time this vid was recorded?  Enjoy! -Danny

RiB Prove it to the World Drum Video by Danny Cruz from Danny Cruz on Vimeo.


New Drumming Videos from the Early 2010 Series

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Danny Cruz gets ready to record the next track.

Let’s keep this one simple guys.  What do you think?  Can we?  My posts are usually long and drawn out so let’s try and get straight to the point on this one.  Below are two drum videos from the early 2010 series.  The first one is a cover of the Kings of Leon hit Sex on Fire from the album Only by the Night.  It’s actually the first video in the series but I somehow ended up posting it now.  It is doing great on YouTube at the moment and people are really liking it.  The kit is my Mapex Saturn Special Edition Birch.

The second video is a mellow and groovy halftime shuffle song provided by RHYTHM Magazine.  This one I finished mixing and editing last night.  Both vids were actually filmed and recorded the same day.  Actually, the same night.  It was late at night, sometime after Christmas.

All the details on the recording, filming and setup are in my previous post.  Click here if you want to see that one.

Again, many thanks go out to my buddy Justin and Go Pro for the use of their cameras.  Also, props to my friends Scott and Brenda for help with the audio equipment as well as advice on the filming and recording. Don’t forget to log into YouTube and give 5 stars to both of these! And… as usual, please retweet.

Kings of Leon, Sex on Fire – (Drum Cover)

Halftime Shuffle Groove – Track by RHYTHM Magazine


Jazz Drumming Video at Studio R

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Post image for Jazz Drumming Video at Studio R

I’m as nomadic as anybody else I’ve ever met.  My musical side has moved back and forth between Puerto Rico, Hawaii and California numerous times.  For that reason, I’ve had many music studios.  My latest incarnation of a studio was a spacious 16 x 18″ room in a two story building in sunny North County, San Diego.  I know my time with musical real estate is usually short, therefore I try and make the most of it.  It came as no surprise that I decided to shut this place down temporarily in order to make way for a new baby coming.  I decided I wanted to create a new series of drum videos to seal off this studio with a grand finale.  Not only are the results amazing, but the fact that they were shot very late into the night during the Christmas holidays makes for an even greater allure.

The video below is a slightly upbeat and very fun jazz track provided by the great Rhythm Magazine from the UK.  It is video number 2 in a series of 8.  Keep in mind, I’m not a jazz drummer by any means.  I’ve been playing rock for over 14 years and only started playing jazz 2 years ago.  A Dave Weckl or Steve Gadd type drummer would completely smoke this track.  Given my limited experience playing jazz, I think it came out quite well.

About the drums:

The drum kit is my prized Mapex Saturn Special Edition Birch & Walnut in Supernova Red.  This kit is the Five Star Drum Shops Edition.  I bought this set from West Coast Drums in Orange County about a year before they closed their doors.  I kept the tuning the same as usual.  I didn’t tune them specifically for jazz.  I usually tune my drums with slightly tighter resonant heads, and leave the batter heads a bit lower.  This is not as important with this kit, due to it’s larger tuning range, but has proved specially important with other thick-shelled kits I’ve owned in the past.  The drums have Remo Emperor batter heads and Ambassador resonant heads.  Given the Saturn’s super thin shells, the sound is very boomy and resonant, even when playing with bundle sticks.  The sticks I used for this recording are Vic Firth Steve Smith signature Tala Wand with a foam core.  The choice of snare is likely not the best for jazz due to it’s shallow depth.  It’s a DW Collector’s Edition Copper 4 x 14″.  My choice of Zildjian K Custom Dark cymbals however, is excellent for jazz although I use them for rock all the time.  The hi-hat is a K Custom Hybrid 13 1/4″ and the splash is a good ol’ Zildjian K.

About the recording:

“I wanted to get enough room ambiance to emulate one of my favorite Art Blakey jazz drum recordings from the 1950′s but with an obvious contemporary end result.”

I used mainly a combination of Shure SM57 and Sennheiser E835 microphones.  The single overhead microphone you can see in some of the angles is an Audio Technica AT4041 condenser.  This mic proved to be key in tying all the other microphones together.  The 7 channel microphone layout was plugged into a Mackie Onyx 1620 soundboard which was plugged via firewire into an Apple iMac running Logic Pro 8.  I added quite a bit of ambiance to the drum track using a room reverb plug-in in Logic.  When I mixed the drums with the backing track, I actually added some of that “large room” reverb to it as well.  This would hopefully make both separate tracks sit better together like if they had both been recorded at the same time.  I wanted to get enough room ambiance to emulate one of my favorite Art Blakey jazz drum recordings from the 1950′s but with an obvious contemporary end result.

About the video:

The camera angles are achieved using 3 Go Pro HD Hero digital cameras.  Given that Go Pro offers a slew of different mounting attachments, I was able to mount these exactly where I wanted them.  My favorite angle is the one where the camera sits right over my two rack toms and looks straight at me.  If you look closely you can see the picture vibrate when I hit the cymbal that sits right over that camera.  All 3 angles were played at once, in one take.  The raw footage was then brought into Final Cut, were I edited the video and synchronized it with my Logic Pro recording.  The graphics at the beginning of the video I created in Photoshop a few weeks prior to shooting.

That’s basically it.  This video was a lot of fun to shoot.  Please rate with 5 stars on YouTube and subscribe to my channel.  This is the second in a series of 8 videos that I’m releasing once per week until completed.  To stay informed of future releases please subscribe to my blog via RSS or email.  You can find the links to both on my sidebar.  Until the next one… Danny.