Custom Drum Tracks

Tom's Studio

I'm pleased to offer high-quality, affordable, multi-channel custom drum tracks for your recording from my fully-equipped, professional recording studio.

Any decent recording engineer will tell you that while mic placement, gain structure, and use of equipment is important, the most critical aspect of recording is the source.  One can have all the top-end gear in the world, but in order to make a truly great recording, you need players who get a big, musical sound, great time, and the experience and savvy to make the right musical decisions.  I draw upon three decades of experience in (and out of) the studio, and over a decade in my own studio, to bring an approach to your music that is solid, versatile and musical.

Below is from an interview with recording guru and preamp builder Geoffrey Daking (Modern Drummer, Sept 2005):

Q: "What makes for a great drum sound?  What's the recipe?"
Daking: "It's the drummer.  I mean, you never heard Bonham sound bad.  Some drummers just make a drum sound great.  [Bernard] Purdie would come in and sit down on a mediocre kit and make it sound great just by how he played.  I don't honestly think the drums are that important--certainly not as important as the player."

I will always strive for the greatest sound, feel, vibe and performance at the source, and capture it as faithfully and accurately as possible.


Options

Up to 16 channels. Everything individually miked. Even hi-hat, bottom snare and stereo room mics are standard. Spot ride if needed or upon request. I understand that as an engineer, producer or artist it's important for you to have options, and I will give you as many as you realistically will need.

A roughly 320-sq-ft asymmetrical room, sonically isolated and specifically tuned for a great drum balance. Neither too big nor small; neither too wet nor dry. Room mics by themselves sound fantastic and give a great sense of the ambience of the room.

The right snare drum for your song: over two dozen snares, ranging from wood to metal, tight to fat, ringy to dead, wet to dry, solid shells to ply shells, and everything in between. I couldn't possibly bring all of them to an outside studio.

Different bass drums for different applications: small, 18" open-toned for a jazz, Motown or James Brown-type of sound. Big, 18x22" cavernous rock sound. Smaller, shallower 22" and tighter 20" sounds for something in between.

Around 50 cymbals. Bright, dark, short, long. Rides of every variety. Splashes, special-FX cymbals, specialty hi-hats, etc.

It's not even remotely feasible for me to bring all this equipment to an outside session, yet all of this is instantly available, because obviously I keep it all at home. When I go to a session, I bring the gear that beforehand I deem most appropriate. However, at my home studio I often discover, through experimentation, combinations that make for a more interesting sonic palette as a result of having all my options available to me.  Having my entire collection of instruments to choose from is a luxury and an advantage.

After all that "paralysis by analysis", my main, NUMBER-ONE objective is to bring a killer FEEL to the song at hand. Nothing else matters to me, nor I would imagine to you, nearly as much.  I hope you find my recorded examples to demonstrate that.  Thank you for your interest!


How It Works 

You'll send me:

  • An .mp3, .m4a, .wav, .aiff or other suitable format of your track for me to play to (usually an .mp3 file emailed to me works fine, though a WAV or AIF will have fewer time/alignment issues due to file compression), along with an exact tempo marking (or tempo map if it changes)
  • Bit depth/sample rate info of your track: up to 24 bit, 96khz
  • A .pdf or .jpg of a chart for the song, if there is one
  • 50% of the mutually agreed-upon fee up front


After I record my initial tracks, I'll send you a rough-mix mp3 of what I recorded, then if adjustments to the performance or sound (if applicable) are needed/requested, I'll finish the process.  After you give final approval and I then receive final payment, I'll immediately upload the tracks to a file-sharing site for you to retrieve.


Pricing

Per Song (4 minutes or less*): $250

First two fixes/adjustments on each song are no charge.  After that, $25/fix

*Longer, or more complex songs may be charged more upon evaluation

Payment method: PayPal


Studio

Microphones

Shure Beta 52 (2)
AKG D112
Shure SM57 (3)
Shure Beta 57A
Shure Beta 98 (4)
Shure SM81 (2)
Michael Joly/OktavaMod MK-012 (2) (My Review)
AKG 414 TL-II
Shure KSM 44 (2)
Shure KSM 109
E/V N/D 408, 468

Monster Cable ProLink cables

Digital Hardware Setup

RME Fireface UFX premium audio interface
Focusrite Platinum Octopre 8-channel mic preamp
Daking Mic Pre IV 4-channel preamp
Focusrite ISA428 4-channel preamp
Yamaha HS50 studio monitor speakers with HS10W subwoofer

Software

Avid Pro Tools 12 (principal tracking software)
Plug-ins: Latest Avid, Waves Renaissance, Softube, many others