Even though Virtual Drumline (VDL) has become a widely used by specialists who share a geeky fondness for all things percussion, I frequently get asked pretty basic questions about what it is, what it can do, and why it still seems so elusive and confusing to the average newcomer. While perfectly valid, these questions are often accompanied by mouth breathing and a furrowed brow. They’re mostly the result of the fairly recent popularity of software “virtual instruments” (commonly called VIs), and how to integrate them into a compositional workflow when not long ago, people just settled for cheaper/synthy sounds built into the computer. At the trade shows we do for Tapspace, I can often be found explaining things like audio versus MIDI to band directors who just want to hear a drumline coming out of their computer speakers.
To help answer some of these initial questions of what VDL does, I spent a pretty good chunk of time a couple years ago making this “intro” video for our distributor, Hal Leonard. I never posted it because my voiceover was so painfully cheesy and fake, I just couldn’t bear to put it out in the world. Nobody likes to hear recordings of their own voice, but you have to trust me on this one. It was robot car salesman bad. So I re-recorded it. The new version still lacks the sound of a real voiceover pro, but at least I sound a bit more like a human in this one. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is. I hope it sheds a tiny bit of light on some of the things that VDL does. Enjoy!