Philadelphia has always marched to the beat of its own drum, fostering creatives and oddballs from all over. The music scene is vibrant and diverse, with no one artist sounding too much like any other. It is a tight-knit community of people making music and actively supporting each other.
From The Wonder Years and Circa Survive to Japanese Breakfast and Kurt Vile, there are countless successful artists who have emerged from the Philly scene. And Will Yip of Studio 4 Recording has worked with some the best of the best in local music. The acclaimed producer started out as a drummer, influenced by hip-hop records, which has shaped his style and taste when it comes to making records.
“I’ve been chasing the perfect snare drum since I was 12 years old,” Yip says. “I’m very picky and particular about not just the instrument itself but how you voice them, the range and dynamics.”
It just so happened that he found that perfect snare — and it was made by a relatively undiscovered company called Blackwood Drum Co.
When Blackwood founder Travis Morgan dropped off a seamless brass snare drum, Will professed that it was a game changer. “It became the most valuable instrument in my studio. It has influenced so many records. We called it the ‘magic snare.’” Together, they built a seamless aluminum drum kit that has since been featured on countless records.
Morgan didn’t start out with the intention of creating a business. He began woodworking for fun, making furniture. He decided to make a drum kit for himself, and the first he crafted was a standard maple stave kit. He realized he enjoyed the process of building drums, and in 2016 Blackwood was born.
“I love being able to create drums out of just about any piece of lumber,” Morgan says. “Whether it’s an expensive piece of ebony or broken skateboard decks.”