How To Get Better Drum Sounds and better Drum Mixes : Quick Tips

Our studio, Nashville Trax, is known for getting great drum sounds and great drum mixes. Even seasoned Nashville session drummers are impressed.

I hear many amateur mixes as part of our demo service and drum-tracks-online that are shot in the foot simply because the foundation, drums, just aren’t very good.

My analysis of why out drum tracks get such rave reviews and how you can get that quality too?

1. Start with a great drummer. You’re not going to get a drum track that sounds like David Northrup (Travis Tritt, Wynonna Judd, John Cougar Mellencamp) or Montgommery Gentry’s drummer, William Ellis, unless you have a player of their caliber and they’re very few and far between outside the session player world. Those guys are born with talents that are extremely rare. The biggest mistake is to use a “great live drummer” for a recording. Very few can translate their skills into playing tight enough in the studio.

2. Use a quality kit tuned to sound good in a mix and play it into the right microphones. Our Sennheiser, Shure and Audio Technica combination features microphones designed for each specific drum. Biggest mistake? Gathering up “the best microphones available” and forcing them to work.

3. Use quality preamps. For example we run our bass drum microphone through a $2,500 Avalon compressor/pre. Is it any wonder session guys often comment on how amazing and solid the kick sounds?

4. Gate and EQ the tracks individually. Gate to get rid of the bleed not needed. EQ to cut unneeded frequencies as well as to improve tone, but if you have the right microphone and EQ coming in for any variation needed specific to the song, you won’t need to worry about tone much, the drum will sound great as recorded. Mistake? Too much playing with EQ can induce weirdness into the whole mix.

I’ll do another post soon on the actual drum mixing but if all this is beyond your ability/budget then why not consider hiring a session drummer at the drum-tracks-online link above? For a mere fraction of what you’d pay for renting microphones or what you’d waste in studio time on a drummer who fails, we can provide a rock solid foundation for you to build on- b.e.


William Ellis of Montgommery Gentry

William Ellis Drummer for Montgomery Gentry

William Ellis Drummer for Montgomery Gentry

If you need a great drum track you need go no further than William Ellis of Montgomery Gentry and he’s available through Nashville Trax. Besides MG, William has performed and/or recorded with:

Hunter Hayes, Travis Tritt, Keith Anderson, Blue Merle, Steve Cropper, Aaron Goodvin, Matt Kennon, Lisa Brokop, George Ducas, Rick Derringer, Jimmy Johnson, EMP Project, and more.

He’s a fantastic choice for either live or session work in all styles.

Another great choice also available through our studio? David Northrup, the groove king. If you need drums on a pop or rock song, he’s the man. He’s also great at swing, blues … you-name-it.

David Northrup at Red Rocks

Our studio session player is ready to cut your drum track!

David has toured with many major acts including a multi-year stint with Travis Tritt. When Wynnona Judd’s drummer/husband was injured in a motorcycle accident David was the drummer called on to fill in. He’s been with us since we first opened doors in Nashville 10 years ago and has been a part of numerous recording projects. See our website and this blog for more information about David!

Both drummers are available on projects recorded in our studio (why not come in, record and meet them?) or through our drums over the Internet service, Drum Tracks Online.

All at NashvilleTrax.com


Drum Tracks Online : Nashville Trax Recording Studio Session Quality Drums For Your Project Delivered Over The Internet!

David Northrup at Red Rocks

Our studio session player is ready to cut your drum track!

Click here to order your drum track NOW!

Nashville Trax announces the addition of Drum Tracks Online! If you need a drum track in your song, you can now have a Nashville session quality player such as session drummer David Northrup or session player and Montgomery Gentry’s drummer, William Ellis,track it on an excellent quality drum kit, using excellent gear and recorded by an experienced engineer.

Replace a metronome or drum machine with real drums!

Have the Nashville Trax studio drummer lock up to your acoustic guitar or piano track then build your song from there!

Replace your local band drummer with a pro session player!

Drums are the foundation of your recording yet it’s difficult to find a good local drummer capable of playing at session quality. They may be great at playing live, but studio? That’s a completely different situation.

Loosey goosey drum tracks? Use Drum Tracks Online!

Click the link above for more information.