Charles Streeter, widely known as Streeter, is a drummer, producer, composer, bassist and keyboard player who’s worked with such artists as Chaka Khan, The Jacksons, Jennifer Lopez, Stephanie Mills, and DW3, and he’s currently on tour with Tori Kelly. He’s also the founder of his own band, Streeter & the Tribe.
Streeter & the Tribe consists of Charles Streeter on the drums, bassist Darryl Pruitt, guitarist Thomas Crivens, percussionist Jarvis Payne, Darry Sanford and Chris Carter on the keys, and vocalists Carla Barnes Anderson, DeCarlo Williams, Ja’lizza Kirk, and Stephanie McCoy.
[LEWITT] Streeter, can you please tell us about how you’ve transitioned from being a drummer for these great, famous artists to starting your own project Streeter & the Tribe?
[Charles Streeter] Last July, I decided to move from Los Angeles to Memphis, Tennessee – and at first, I had the idea of putting together a cover supergroup. So I called all these who’s-who musicians and singers to put together this badass band, and it turned out that everybody had heavy schedules, which made it really hard to get together for rehearsals. So one day, I just decided to go to the studio with whoever was free and available to play around and see what happened. Literally the first day we did that, a song came together and we were like: maybe we shouldn’t be a cover band after all. Maybe we should do original music … and next thing you know, it hit like a whirlwind. I’m very grateful, especially to Darryl – he’s a former student of mine, you know, and he’s an amazing bass player, producer, composer, and recording engineer in his own right.
[LEWITT] You recently recorded your debut EP Get Up. Please tell us a bit about your experiences with LEWITT microphones.
[Charles Streeter] I use the LCT 550 on vocals, and on drums I use the DTP Beat Kit Pro 7. As soon as I’d plugged in the LCT 550, the clarity and the crispness right out of the box – with no compression or EQing – sounded amazing. It sounds great on female vocals as well as male vocals. I also use it as a room mic whenever I’m tracking rock tunes with my drums. It works amazing for that application, as well. We have a song called Let’s March where we used the LCT 550 to track the drums, which we then overdubbed several times to make it sound like a marching band section.
[Darryl Pruitt] Yeah, the LCT 550 is really versatile. Another thing I noticed about it is its ability to handle sound pressure. It always stayed clear and never distorted, and the sound was really easy to mix.
[Charles Streeter] The DTP 640 REX is amazing on kick drum because it has a condenser and a dynamic capsule in one housing. You can get so many sounds out of it. I started using the DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 when I was on tour with Jennifer Lopez. I used them on tour with Tory Kelly, as well, and the engineers really loved working with them. These mics are so versatile! I can use the same mics in a small club or in a stadium, and I can go to the studio with them and get a clean, crisp sound – and that speaks volumes for me.
I’m using the MTP 440 DM on snare, and before I’d started using that mic, my front of house engineers had always had trouble with rimshots. No matter whether I was using the front of the stick or the back of the stick, they still had to make an adjustment – but the MTP 440 DM captures both with no issues. Even when I’m recording in the studio and playing sidestick, I have no issues.
[Darryl Pruitt] I’ve also used the MTP 440 DM to record the guitar amp. And the mic has this particular polar pattern that causes great off-axis rejection. That really helps you to capture the source, especially on the snare. I mean, with the SM57 on the snare, you’d get a lot of hi-hat bleed or crash bleed – but the MTP 440 DM captures Streeter’s dynamic range on the snare perfectly, so it was pretty easy to carve out the snare sound. I definitely attribute that to the way the microphone’s designed.
[Charles Streeter] I sent Darryl the raw drum tracks, and he mixed them. Darryl, what can you say about the mixing process?
[Darryl Pruitt] I’m not a super-professional mixing engineer; I’m still learning. One thing I tend to have trouble with is getting great tone on toms. But with the latest record we worked on, we recorded the toms with the DTP 340 TT, and they came through the mix amazingly. With the DTP 340 TT, you can actually have someone like Charles Streeter – who’s a great drummer but doesn’t have so much experience with microphone positioning – record a five-song EP all by himself. I mean, he just took the DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 and placed the mics on his drum kit, and the sound that came out just blew me away.