Michael Cheong opened Michael Drum Planet drum school in April 2009. He recently held what he said was the first Drum & Microphone Workshop in KK, at UMS Recital Hall.
Contributors to the workshop were Audio-Technica from Japan, BET acoustic speakers from Spain, AVS Professional Sound and Lighting company, and Michael Drum Planet.
Michael said Part I of the clinic was a demonstration how to apply and practise the most important and commonly used techniques in drumming. He gave a solo drum performance, and talked about actual recording techniques, followed by a Q&A session.
Second was a presentation on sound systems. JD, who is the guitarist and sound engineer of Malaysia’s award-winning band Pop Shuvit, explained and demonstrated how best to record drum sounds: where to position the mics for live recordings and in the studio, and other practical information.
“How often do we have big companies like Audio Technica (from Japan) and BET Acoustic (from Spain) come to KK, showing the power and the beauty of good sound quality? And for FREE?” said Michael.
“I used to perform at SEA Games, Bukit Jalil and many big concerts in KL, and got the opportunity to experience those high-end sound systems, but not here. Now people here had the chance to listen to such great sound.”
I asked one person who was there, what he got out of it. Zekiel K. Keridau said he couldn’t believe Michael was giving a free workshop.
“I just can’t believe it! Since most workshops charge RM20 or RM30 and even hundreds of ringgit just for a one day event. This was two workshops at the same time, a drum and a mic workshop.”
He said workshops are important to him because he can see the practical application of techniques, not just the theory.
“This particular workshop (mic) opened my eyes toward how sound works and how can I make use of it. The drum workshop that Mr Michael conducted was the first workshop that I went to that had a close-up camera to what Mr Michael is teaching, kudos to that 🙂
Zekiel said he went to the clinic for knowledge. “It’s for the knowledge! I’ve been into music since I was a small kid, seeing my brother playing the 24 chinese drum, then I thought, “Wow cool! I wanna do that too!
“Even though I’ve majored in Physical Education, my passion towards music never stops. I’ve been fortunate enough to study drums under the tutelage of Mr James S Gonsilou from Rock School, theory from Miss Zoe, Legato Music and Guitar from Mr Jay Roy, Hollywood Music.
“Why so many teachers? Because I’ve been using my study allowance to study up all I can know about music in my life. ( I even spend RM500 for a flight ticket to KL this July, to see a world-class drummer in action, which is Benny Greb). My friends have RM1k hand phones, RM5k laptops, and even party all night long with their allowances. But to me, I rather spend it on education rather than on something that will wither away.”
Zekiel aims to become a session drummer, and maybe a band coach later in life.
“My dream is to open up a music school just for the natives here to learn and share. Never mind the fees, is the knowledge that counts. And if possible, try to educate the Sabahan peoples’ mind about music — instead of listening to others, why don’t WE create it for others to listen?”
Michael said Audio Technica is organizing another drum workshop in PJ, Penang and JB, and they have invited him to participate. They were quite happy with the whole program here.
“Audio Technica said they may do another workshop in KK.” He added that he hopes even more people will take advantage of it the next time round.