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David Crigger talking about Custom Drum Tracks
Session Drumming

Take the call, hold the date, meet at the studio… then the hang, the interaction, the immersive, immediate experience of it all… there’s nothing like it, particularly for tracking multiple players at the same time.

But for drumset overdubs, it has become luxuriously expensive. Between the room, the engineer, the cartage and the scheduling hassles – it can become quite the costly chore to get a single, or a few, tracks of drumset recorded.

In light of these costs, I’ve found having a dedicated, private space for me to record, program and edit whatever drums/percussion material my clients might need has been a godsend.

To a great degree, I've been doing this for a long time. Running a commercial home studio has been part of my career mix for over 20 years, so the studio part of this isn't new to me at all. It's you, the client, not having to physically come to me to get your work done... being free of those geographical, traveling and scheduling barriers... that is the new and exciting thing at play here.

Having worked with songwriters and producers for years, I know how important getting just “the right” drum track can be, and how important communication and interaction is to that process . But I’ve found that between today’s inexpensive long distance calling, iChat and Skype, there’s no reason why we can’t “talk it down” just as we would on a regular date. Then when it comes time for me to play, I'm always off to the drum room by myself anyway. Then comes the listening, accesing, and maybe more communicating and even more playing. And while not as immediate, with mp3 rough mixes exchanged by email, and a liberal attitude towards retakes, I find the differences between this remote recording process and a regular date becomes quite workable.

And of course, if you’re on a deadline and don’t have time or desire for lots of talk and/or re-do’s, I hope my years of experience in the studio will help us get your project done right the first time… and on time.

My Studio

The centerpiece of all this is my Gretsch recording kit, which is set up, mic’d up. dialed in, and ready to go – all of the time. And of course my select collection of snare drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments – as well as some other, more specialty drumsets for when something less “all around” is desired.

The recording side of the studio is equipped with MOTU/Black Lion Audio interfaces fed by Neve and Black Lion mic pre-amps, and monitored on Genelec speakers – all connected to a Mac running Logic Pro Audio. And rest assured, whether your project’s platform is PC or Mac based – Protools, Cubase, Digital Performer or whatever, I’ve yet to run into a platform that I haven’t been able to successfully swap files back and forth with easily.

If contemplating working this way is new to you, check out my “Custom Drum Tracks” page which goes into more of the nuts and bolts of all this.

As much as creating and recording acoustic drumset performances may be my studio’s cornerstone, as well as being one of the best investments for bringing life, energy and esthetic value to most any production, there is more to modern drum and percussion production than just acoustic drumset. I’ve been actively involved with creating tracks via drum programming since the time of the early Linn Drum. But with today's tools and techniques the possibilities are even more endless. Leading to today, that involvement has grown to include loops (programming, creating and sonically manipulating) , samples, live acoustic performance editing, sound replacement as well as traditional midi-style programming.

So while some tracks/productions are best served with full acoustic drum tracks. Others need a fully electronic approach from scratch. While others might only need the existing loops/programming to be “spruced up” a bit. Basically whatever the approach – I’m here to help however I can. Whenever you're ready to get started, or want to just get started discussing the possibilities, feel free to send me an email.

Equipment List
  • Hardware
  • MOTU/Black Lion Audio 896HD(2)
  • Neve/Brent Averill 1272 pres
  • Lexicon PCM90
  • Genelec 1030A monitors
  • Microphones
  • AEA/Coles 4038 ribbons(2)
  • AKG C414 (2)
  • AKG C451E (2)
  • Beyer M201
  • Beyer M422
  • Earthworks SR25 (3)
  • Earthworks TR25 (2)
  • EV N/D868
  • Rode NT2-A
  • Rode NT55 (2)
  • Sennheiser e602
  • Sennheiser MD421 (3)
  • Shure SM-57 (4)
  • Software
  • Logic Pro Studio
  • Spectrasonics Stylus R.M.X.
  • Toontracks Superior Drummer
  • Waves plug-ins

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