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Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King

Lesson 1 of 32

Intro and Drum Head Selection

Tommy Rogers, Jamie King

Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King

Tommy Rogers, Jamie King

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Lesson Info

1. Intro and Drum Head Selection

Lesson Info

Intro and Drum Head Selection

We have one of tommy's songs song called siphon the bad blood that's on his new uh, uh, upcoming solo record of sound was the modern noise? Yeah, correct me, but, yes, we're gonna let you guys here, this song or whatever the plan eyes to basically go through step by step, everything that we did to record this song, tom is going to talk about his writing process and maybe touching on how he actually, you know, came up with the ideas for this song and put things together. And so I guess we're going ahead little check it out rights to it also should have it cued up here. Wait crushing chairs from that was it that was to complete soul as you guys will notice the very straightforward organic rock song. Um, we're going to go over everything. We're gonna go over everything starting from the drum tuning going into ah, you know, uh, muffling techniques tracking, uh, you know, drum selection, mike's election preempts election, just everything and anything relative to this song. I'm also planning...

to talk about, uh, I guess techniques and, you know, other for other styles of musical whatever other styles of drums like techniques to use for mental and for different types of players and things like that well, yeah, we'll just go over everything and you get to come will come along for the ride yeah, we're going to take a section of song so that's yeah we're not going to actually track the whole song just for time purposes but we'll do the we'll do ah good strong portion of the song go over each of the textures that we used for this particular recording and how we got the tones and things like that and you know we'll expand like I said and go into you know how to get other tones and you know other production approaches and processes for modern rock and metal um I guess should we move to the other room tony it's really getting drunk it this is what it's like to be in a reality tv here exactly just right you see, we have a beautiful dw sit here with a killer ludwig snare. Is there some pretty industry standard pieces? Uh, there's a lot of your viewers out there will know I say industry standard a lot of whatever definitely a one of the things I've learned there's some things that are standard for a reason and of ah, you know, just from years and years of trial and error, I've determined that you know, a lot of the standard stuff is a lot of stuff that you want to, um you want to start with when you know when learning to record I really feel like when you start with standards you can get a really good you can get the sounds of your customer hearing, you know, all your life whatever out a lot quicker and I think that helps you develop your your ear that helps you develop your your engineering skills quicker without you know, developing a bad you know, habits in terms of you know, dahlia lips tuning drums, donald of guitar tones you know, dialing up your mix you know, production had being things of that nature but what I'm going to start with today obviously I'm going to go through each drum or whatever and whilst I'll start primarily focused on how we tuned the drums to get the sounds that we used for tommy's record you know, which is basically just a really natural just big rock drum sound um and then also talk about, you know, some alternate tuning and muffling methods to, uh, to get more good to get some different sounds like say, if you're going to do a modern medal record or something in that nature, so uh oh yeah, I'll just dig into it I guess we'll start with the snare drum uh um actually before I get into that or whatever like I've got some notes here actually want to talk about you know, before you actually start a project or whatever you know actually start tuning the drums and liking the drums and so for you wantto like is a producer I feel it's important to try to get an idea of what the client wants sonically, like what kind of drums down they would like to have normally what I do is you know, I just outright asked the client hey, what kind of trump's down would you like aa lot of clients try to describe what kind of sound they would like but oftentimes descriptive words you know, you people translate descriptive words for tones and things differently so what I'd like to try to do is ah, is get a reference like, you know, another professionally recorded reference to kind of give me an I in audio idea of what they want their record of sound like I'm a big fan of, you know, records sounding like you know I like a really produce clean and crisp record, but I'm a big fan of records sounding like the band on their very best day not overproduce not under produced you know some clients want amore produced products some clients want a less produce product more organic, so I like to try to find that information out that will let us know where we need to go with drum tunings and muff wings and drumhead selections and and so forth so like I said I like try to get thea get the client to tell me or tow give me ah an example what of ah recording that kind of give me an idea what they would like to kick drum to sound like the tom's the snare that kind of thing and all the time is just one record and oft times of clients like hey I really like the drums on this record and that kind of let me know what I need to do to get those sounds for the client um so you know in tommy's case I guess you know this project we actually had a good friend my will goodyear which was the first drummer of between the bear to me he he played drums on the record um and his sound he's a he's a phenomenal rock germer and I really wanted somebody that had a super they were supernatural what they're playing and they didn't want to tell them exactly what to do and in his sound alone without being in a studio is just exactly what I wanted was just a natural drum sound you know I've always been drawn the charmers like matt cameron and you know the just a good solid player and you know no tricks up their sleeves and and will was perfect for that and you know we just I just wanted the drums of selling drums I think a lot of records nowadays don't sound like drums you know and that was a big point for me and we'll know that and I think you know, we definitely show how we achieve that today this kid sounds killer and yeah, I think it would be very easy to to get the tones we we had in the studio yeah, it was really important for tommy you know, like when you know in terms of you know it's more about with his project with selecting the drummer for the project it's a solo album and tommy you know, obviously he's going to play drums here today and obviously he could have have gun the drums on the record but you know, will is he's a professional you know trained you know, in percussion he's got great dynamics things like that which you know is to is really essential in recording, you know, analog drunk you recommend playing drums by yourself when you record direct you know? Yeah yeah normally like that you know you ah usually want up tio you know have some somebody to jam along with their pre recorded backing tracks or something of that nature whatever. Just just so the dynamics are appropriate for the for the song or whatever there's one thing I forgot to do I need to do the drum teaming I need to mute the overheads for the audio, okay actually I need to open the I need to open the tracking session uh should I just do that real quick yeah and then that way with everyone at home can hear everything clearly closed the session els and just opened tracking session cool and then I'm going to just arm the recording for the floor tom snare so it's only live a red light on there are awesome do you believe that's all I need to do this gave me an opportunity get some water take to exactly uh yeah oh, I guess ah to me that you know I was talking about ah you know, talking to the clients to find out what kind of sound they want like saying that helps me determine you know what kind of drum sound in tommy's case like said he wanted to really just natural you know, a drummer playing a kit type of sound obviously he was for this particular record the in this particular song there's more of a rock vibe so he wants ah, he wanted teo you know more of a rock n roll kind of drum sound you know, big take a big fat snare big tom's, that kind of thing and like said luckily will have a kit that was perfect for that um that kind of sound and it was pretty much you know he came in in the studio and everything was pretty much tuned in the ballpark for the sound already basically we've got I think the same heads on this kid that we used for tommy's record and you know obviously you know I think forest drum tones the most of the drum sound in my opinion it comes from the actual drumhead itself and the actual you know, the way the drum is hit by the player you know, people they talk a lot about what type of of of shells and things like that that they you know what type of wood and all that stuff and that does affect the tone you know, a good amount but most of the tone is in the head so I mean you can you could change heads and a radically change the tone of the drama whatever so what what heads do you have on what heads you have on there? Uh yeah these are some really some really standard heads that we chose for rocket for rock and on medal for that matter but I'm using the arino emperor heads these are coded emperors these are actually some of my favorite drum heads for the you know, for the toms and and also the snare you don't have to do is much muffling their little warmer sounding which you know I think you know big and warm was kind of a you know, a vibe that was appropriate for tommy's right record and solve this particular song I'm using a remote power sonic kick drum head it comes from the factory with some muffling which is which is really cool because out of the box that gives you really just controlled you know, big kick drum sound you know you could get a good resonate tone without you know without having a lot of overtone and ring and and so forth and I guess the cameras getting good close up but we have this little extra muffling peace so that reduces the amount of muffling that you would need to put inside the kick drum um for the type of tone we were going for on this particular recording uh snare head this is ah snare here that we have on here is actually on emperor renaissance this is the first time have actually used this head here and I'm digging it you know it's it's it's similar to the emperor but it's got a little like a darker quality I think um which actually works well since we're using a metal snare drum which is naturally brighter than a would snare drum um but yeah, this is a you know, kind of an educational situation for me here. Um yeah, I said I'll go through ah east room or whatever and I'll show you my technique for tuning and uh uh I'll go over, you know, my you know, my technique for muffling a lot of people there's a big trend for you know with no you know, to not muffle your drums now and you know, some of the most desired drum sounds throughout history there's been muffling involved. I mean, as many you guys know you in the, you know, a lot of the old vintage drums, they come with muscles built in, you know? So, you know, a lot of the vintage e sounds into the rock, you know, you know, the way drum sound you know, in the seventies, you know, you know, seventies and eighties, you know, there was some muffling involved in, you know, now a lot of people rely a week you and compression and things like that. But, you know, to me, it's I like, you know, some of the time honored traditions of buffalo wing, you know, the drums and to get the drugs sounding more the way you want it to sound acoustically on and just try to capture that as opposed to doing a lot of processing and queuing and things of that nature in the computer. So so when you for them for the non drummers, uh, in there that are watching online, what do you mean by muffling have you, uh, muffling, like, said the there's ah, there's, a lot of products on the market or whatever, but basically and you know I can do a demonstration here in just a minute or whatever but basically naturally like when you don't use muffling on drums or the head of the drumhead itself doesn't come with any muffling you get a really naturally open sustaining note but the drum produces overtones you know a syriza pitch is that you know there's a fundamental pitch or whatever but also produces a lot of ring a lot of people associate it with ring so I think you know anybody who's familiar with drums knows what it sounds like the metallica saying anger record the snare drum is an idea you know, it's a good example of snare trump sounds like when there's like no muffling you know you need yeah and you know, sometimes a little bit of that is desire you know, some people like it but you know, I personally you know usually want just that the pure percussion in the pure fundamental pitch from the actual you know, tom and, you know, drum itself so I usually prefer a little bit of muffling actually use this is just ah, you know, high density foam like weather stripping that you get from like a you know, a home depot or lowe's hardware store something like that, you know, you could get a role for a couple of books and you know, this is something that you used to work in a music store and we sold a product specifically four drums that was made this same material and, uh I remember you know, because I used to record on my parent's basement I remember they they my dad having a role of this on the wall and I was like, man, this is the same stuff I just spent ten dollars for, you know, for two enough you know to do to tom so you know, I've been using this for, you know, fifteen years, twenty years, probably two more from our drones you know, there's a lot of products on the market like moon jails things of that nature that work just the same a similar type of thing they have studio rings there like, you know, head you know, drumhead material delay on the drums that actually kill the muffling like strangely the remote power sonic kick drum head has this exact material from the factory on the drum yeah and it's, you know, part of the the the actual muffling and as you guys know there's a lot of other heads on the market that evans imad is really popular industry popular kick from head you have it comes with the, you know, a phone ringing for muffling you have a query and super kit to for the kick drum that has one into that has, you know, phone felt piece of muffling whatever that was a really traditional muffin technique to use felt on the kick drum but this is just this is what I used typically tio you know, for my muffling it's really controllable it sticks it's like you know what he said you can use it over the top and bottom so you can get the kind of the overtones out of room mikes and thing I like that also in the and these don't these don't come off into my experience is easily as you say, some of the moon jails things like the museo if you try to use it on the bottom it's going to come off you know things of that nature but you know, a lot of people use, you know, there's a time honored tradition of using duct tape you know, you see that all the time he still to this day, you know, people take duct tape and, like do all kinds of weird things and, you know, I've seen people duct tape up, you know, foam and tampons and just crazy stuff like that, you know, all over their drums t just get the ring out, but you know, the overall goals is to get, you know, the overtones out, get more the fundamental pitch and like I said, you know, with a little practice you kind of get an idea for what uh how much muffin you should use for desired sounds different heads require different amounts of muffling uh that kind of thing. So so when you're so when you're starting tio tune your kid what's the first step morning morning first thing you want to be like said obviously like you know, drumhead selection is essential you talk to your client find out what kind of sound they want tryto listen to it and like with experience, I've been able to listen to records and tell what kind of heads will yield the type of sounds they're going for usually you know, just because you know, I've done over five worked over five hundred records recording tons of different from kids but the first thing I want to do is select the head the proper heads that it's all educated guess at first really uh well I picked the head did you think you're going to work put him on the kid? The first thing to do is actually, you know, uh oh actually see the head, whatever and get the head stretched in just like with the guitar strings of your guitar player out there or a bass player stuff you know you have to put when you put new strings on, you have to stretch them where they're going to go out of team same thing happens with drum heads or whatever so you know, you really want. You really want to stay in tune as you're tracking the drums.

Class Description

Get an inside look at how things run in the studio with Tommy Rogers & Jamie King in this Studio Pass.

Tommy is the vocalist for the progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me and has worked with Jamie to produce most of the band’s albums. In this class, they’ll share their signature approach to production and detail the process they used to record Tommy’s latest solo album “Modern Noise”.

Both Tommy and Jamie aim to track songs that sound organic and real. In Studio Pass: Tommy Rogers & Jamie King, they’ll show you how things should run in a studio to get a final track that sounds like the band on their best day, but not over-produced.

You’ll learn about the role good pre-production plays in getting the best sound and what you should do before you ever set foot inside the studio. You’ll learn about the recording process as Tommy and Jamie track drums, bass, vocals, and guitar for a song from Tommy’s solo album. They’ll also deconstruct Pro Tools sessions and talk about how performance impacts the final arrangement.

If you want to learn how these guys work in the studio, don’t miss your chance to hang for two days with Tommy and Jamie and get a behind-the-scenes look at their process.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Jamie King - Tommy Rogers - Gear List.pdf

Jamie King - Tracking Template.ptf

bonus material with enrollment

Tommy Rogers and Jamie King - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Zachary Towne

Thanks for two outstanding sessions. Tommy, Jamie and the Creative Live folks really did a great job elucidating the studio recording process for producing honest, listenable, and powerful rock and metal recordings. I particularly appreciated the individual treatment of each instrument as well as how they all integrate into the mix. I found Jamie's methods to be straightforward and effective and I'm really looking forward to applying that to my own production.

a Creativelive Student

Another well done class from Creativelive. A glimpse into the daily life of a pro musician and pro engineer. Some great advice, tips and tricks that anyone can use to make better music. Was hoping they would get more into the business side of things, they did briefly discuss it towards the end, however a more detailed, longer discussion on the topic would have been good. You do learn some cool ways to record and mix. Some of these are obvious, some not so much. I am sure that for most people you will get something of value from this class.


This was an awesome 1st half of the course! Jamie touched on so many things that I've always had questions about in the production environment. I can't wait for the second day! This course is a MUST HAVE!! I will be purchasing it soon!! Many thanks for the Livestream!