Boom Crash Drum Tracks

FAQ

How exactly does this work?
How much does it cost?
How long will it take?
What should my guide track be like?
How will I be sure your drums will line up with my tracks?
How should I communicate how I want the drums to sound?
How will I be able to 'produce' the tracks?
What file format do you use?
How will you deliver the tracks?
How many tracks do you normally record?
What will the tracks sound like?
What kinds of drums do you use?
What's your room like?
What DAW do you use?
What kinds of mics do you use?
What kinds of preamps do you use?
Do you do percussion as well?
Why send tracks to you rather than go into a traditional studio?
Can't I just get great-sounding drums with sample sets and groove libraries?
Why should I use Boom Crash Drum Tracks?

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT BOOM CRASH DRUM TRACKS

How exactly does this work?
It's SUPER EASY! Send me your song, recorded to a click, and I do the rest. It really is that simple. [back to top]

How much does it cost?
This depends on what exactly you want done. Email me via the CONTACT page for a quote, and ask about a bulk rate if you need drums for multiple songs. But keep in mind, Boom Crash Drum Tracks will always be MUCH cheaper than renting a studio, hiring an engineer, AND paying for a drummer. Here, you're only paying for my time. And unlike most online session drummers, I don't charge extra fees for recording extra takes or adding percussion. You pay one fee, and I'll work until you're completely satisfied with the drum tracks. [back to top]

How long will it take?
It depends on how booked I am when you contact me, but I can usually deliver drum tracks within a day or two of receiving your guide track. [back to top]

What should my guide track be like?
It can be fully produced or hardly produced at all. I just need a sense of the overall vibe and a clear outline of the form. You can send just a voice and acoustic guitar or piano and give me some kind of indication of what will eventually end up on the track (electric guitars, strings, synths, etc.). The only requirement is for everything to be lined up to a click (more on this below). [back to top]

How will I be sure your drums will line up with my tracks?
I'm very careful to make sure everything lines up properly. If you work in Pro Tools, just send me a Pro Tools session file and I'll send you one back with the drums included. If you're using another DAW, make sure your guide track is lined up to start exactly at the beginning of your session, or at the begining of a measure (one or two bars before the start of the tune always works) and I'll make sure my drum tracks start at exactly the same point, so you'll just drop them in to your session, line them up, and you'll be good to go! [back to top]

How should I communicate how I want the drums to sound?
If you have programmed drums on your music, I'd ask you to send a version of your guide track with them included, so I can hear the direction you're going in. It's also extremely helpful to have a list of songs that have drum sounds and/or grooves similar to what you want. [back to top]

How will I be able to 'produce' the tracks?
I encourage as much production input as possible! Once I have a clear indication of what you want the drums to sound like, along with some programmed drums or examples of grooves and feels from other songs, I just go for it. Then I send you an mp3 of my drums along with the guide track, and you tell me if it's right or completely wrong or what you want changed. Then I do another take and send that mp3, and the process continues until the take is perfect. If you'd rather be involved in real time during production, we can Skype or video chat. [back to top]

What file format do you use?
I normally use WAV files at 24bit, 48k, but I'm happy to do whatever you'd prefer. [back to top]

How will you deliver the tracks?
I normally just zip them all up, upload them to my website, and give you a link to download. But if using Dropbox or some other similar service is easier for you, I'm happy to do that as well. [back to top]

How many tracks do you normally record?
I usually do inside and outside kick mics, top and bottom snare, close mics on every tom (2 or 3 toms, depending on the music), two overheads (spaced pair is the setup I normally use), two rooms, and sometimes another ambient mic behind the kit or all up in it, like above the bass drum. But here again, I can do whatever you prefer. I'm a fan of the Glyn Johns miking technique, if you're into that. Or just one overhead and kick if you want things super simple. These are your tracks, so just let me know! [back to top]

What will the tracks sound like?
This depends completely on what you're going for. Here are some things for you to consider: Kick drum: big and boomy or tight and controlled? Snare drum: dead and punchy or ringy and piercing? Toms: wide open and resonant or more muffled or Ringo-ish with tea towels? Cymbals: bright, modern sound or warm and washy? [back to top]

What kinds of drums do you use?
Check out the GEAR page for a full listing, but I have two setups that I do seem to use a lot: A more modern-sounding setup with my not-so-modern 1965 22" Slingerland bass drum and Yamaha Maple Custom toms, or a more vintage-sounding setup with my 1970's Ludwig Standard kick and toms. Snare drums and cymbals vary wildly. [back to top]

What's your room like?
This is one thing that sets me apart for most other online session drummers. I'm in a great-sounding 400-square-foot space with wood floors and high ceilings. With the help of several acoustic technicians, I've custom-placed the instruments, mics, and sound absorption and bass trap panels to fully maximize the already-great sound of the room. I think it's a perfect space for getting a roomy yet still somewhat controlled drum sound. [back to top]

What DAW do you use?
Pro Tools 10. [back to top]

What kinds of mics do you use?
You can go to the GEAR page for a list of mics, what I normally have up is a D12 on the inside kick, my Advanced Audio CM47fet on the outside kick, an SM57 on the snare top, an SM81 on the snare bottom, Heil PR40s on the toms (but often a D112 on the floor tom), AT4050s as overheads, an SM81 on the hi-hat, and AT2050s as rooms. [back to top]

What kinds of preamps do you use?
I've got a great little Yamaha m512e board that I use for its preamps. These boards were made in the early '80s and are basically a smaller version of the popular Yamaha PM2000. The preamps are similar in design to API preamps of the '70s and honestly, sound pretty awesome. [back to top]

Do you do percussion as well?
I do! And, unlike other session drummers, I don't charge extra for percussion tracks. I usually just throw on whatever I'm hearing, but if you have specific requests, let me know. Percussion is something that tends to get lost in drum-tracking sessions at commercial studios. Usually left to the end of the session, you either run out of time and skip it entirely or just quickly record a few tambourines or shakers for good measure. After a long day of recording, those performances are never that great, and you're left to do a lot of editing to get it all sounding good with the drums. Here at Boom Crash Drum Tracks, I can take the time to get good sounds on all the percussion and deliver inspired performances that will really help your music sound great. You'd be surprised what the right tambourine sound and performance can do for a song! [back to top]

Why send tracks to you rather than go into a traditional studio?
There are many reasons!:
COST: As previously mentioned, it's much cheaper to pay for only my time, as opposed to renting a studio, paying an engineer, AND paying the drummer.
TIME: Trying to schedule a studio, an engineer, a drummer, and finding time in your own schedule can be difficult. Here, all you do is send an email and the work begins. You can "be here" for tracking if you'd like, but essentially you just send me your stuff and I do all the work, and in a day or two, drum tracks are delivered to your computer!
SOUND: I've got great-sounding gear and a great-sounding room. And drum-wise, I have literally my entire drum, cymbal, and percussion collection here, so the sound possibilities are much greater than they'd be in a traditional studio.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL: In a commercial studio environment, time is literally money, and I often find that a lot left is undone when the drum tracking is complete. You go home with lots of different takes and likely lots of splicing and editing to do. I can provide you with multiple takes if you'd like, but I normally just deliver one pristine take, usually comp'ed from the best moments of multiple takes. This saves you the hassle of doing it yourself, and lets you rest assured that I've paid close attention to making the edits sound seamless and natural. Believe me, nothing irks me more than hearing a crash cymbal's decay sound unnatural due to a bad edit!
MOST IMPORTANT - GETTING A GREAT TAKE: While I love working out of commercial recording studios and still do it all the time, the process can sometimes be taxing. Getting to the studio, setting up the drums, waiting for the mics to be set up, getting the sounds dialed in, and THEN having to deliver inspired performances -- despite bottomless cups of coffee -- it's not always the most inspiring environment. Here, I've got everything ready to go and know what needs to change with the recording gear when I switch drums. So even though I'm now the engineer as well as the drummer, the whole process is much more relaxed and I can focus more intently on being creative and delivering some killer drum tracks. And that's absolutely the most important thing of all, getting a creative and inspired performance. [back to top]

Can't I just get great-sounding drums with sample sets and groove libraries?
NO! I realize that the technology with sampled drums and groove packs, etc, is getting increasingly more advanced. But you simply CANNOT substitute a real human being playing real instruments specifically for YOUR song. I think the subtle inconsistencies in the playing of any instrument contribute to a song's character. I know that some drum programming software boast algorithms that claim to mimic a human's inconsistencies, but come on...you can't replace a human being making music with a computer program. That said, I will promise to attempt the level of sonic perfection you get with a well-recorded sample library. And I will deliver that near-sonic perfection with a whole lot of musicianship and finesse to provide you with a genuinely satisfying drum track experience. [back to top]

Why should I use Boom Crash Drum Tracks?
I know there are other options out there, but I believe there are many qualities that set Boom Crash Drum Tracks above the rest:
--Most importantly, I can guarantee you'll be happy with the performance itself. Take your time and listen to all the audio examples of my playing here on the site. I promise to deliver a unique and inspired performance on every song. Boom Crash Drum Tracks isn't a factory, churning out bland, emotionless drum tracks. I spend time with each project to create something genuine, and I like to think that you can really hear the difference.
--Sonically, you'll get drum tracks that sound every bit as good as what you'll hear from the world's best recording studios. I'm not recording in my bedroom or basement. This is a dedicated studio set up specifically for recording drums, and you can definitely hear the difference.
--My prices are very competitive, and I don't nickel and dime you with add-on charges for extra revisions or percussion tracks or extra editing. My prices are all-inclusive, so you pay me once, and I'll deliver everything you need.
--Lastly, because it can be a bit strange to be here in my studio, by myself, recording drums for people thousands of miles away, I make every effort to keep you involved and collaborate as much as possible. This is YOUR music we're working on, and I never dismiss that fact. I won't settle for anything less than your satisfaction. [back to top]

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT BOOM CRASH DRUM TRACKS
"I feel like I just got my ass kicked...by myself...but with someone else moving my hands and making me hit myself."
-The In and Of, Buffalo, NY

"All I can say is that was F@*kin' outta sight brother. Knocked me out. Drums sound sweet as hell. Good smart work"
-Steve Lyman, Professional Songwriter, BMI, Denver,CO

"Thanks so much. You are the knight in shining armor. We are mere damsels in distress. Thanks for all of the dragon slaying and general swashbuckling that you do so well with those big sticks of yours."
-Thomas Laufenberg, Phoenix, AZ

"Your drums sound awesome and you captured that tight/gated Steve Gadd/Fleetwood Mac '70s sound perfectly."
-Russell Quinn, Stamford, CT

"Again, thanks for your energy and skill. This is one of the best experiences of my life."
-Ola Göransson, Stockholm, Sweden

"It's so exciting to hear these drums come alive and just lift this track up! This is everything I wanted it to be! Thank you for making this such an enjoyable experience. I really didn't know what to expect when I first wrote you, but I'm so glad I did. You're a class act."
-Micah Davis, Jacksonville, FL

"Dude, it's perfect. Seriously, exactly what I was hoping for. There's nothing better than listening to your solo drum tracks. Everything you do is so musical, you almost don't even need to add any other instruments. It's the perfect blend of technical and tasteful. You're so good, it makes me puke."
-Sam Means, Phoenix, AZ

"The sound is amazing. Loving the sound of your cymbals and your room has a great ambience."
-Ryan Kris, Adelaide, Australia

"I wanted to say thank you so much for playing on this project. Your playing is simply amazing and really took the songs to another level. It's really been an honor to work with you, and I really appreciate how accommodating you've been through the whole process."
-Craig Wallach, Phoenix, AZ

"What can I say? That was perfect! Bravo. I think it maintains interest and drives the song without getting in the way of anything. Keep playing like that and I will be a poor man."
-Leon Portelance, Sacramento, CA

"Awesome!! Great job, John, this sounds perfect. I think you really captured the feeling of the song and made it rock!"
-Linus Hasselström, Stockholm, Sweden

"Everything worked out perfect. Good job man, good played, clean recorded!"
-Chris Schatz, Austria

"You rocked this! I love it...I can't think of any changes I'd like you to make...I wish I could get you in my band!
Tyler Cameron, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

"WOW! This is exactly what I had in mind, it felt like a much better version of me playing it actually. Literally, I'm blown away."
-Craig Allen, Lansdale, PA

"John was a pleasure to work with! Not only did he really understand where i was attempting to take my song, and what style of percussion might fit, but he also really allowed the song to flesh itself out and develop naturally, as it would if we were recording in the same room. The drums sound great!"
-Kallan Phillips, Perth, WA, Australia
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Again, check out the LISTEN link above to hear samples of Boom Crash Drum Track recordings. And if you want to hear more of my playing on projects I've recorded elsewhere, click HERE. Enjoy!