Selected Recordings – R&B/Pop
Selected Videos – R&B/Pop
Selected Credits – R&B/Pop
Album: Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
Song: “Girl on Fire”
Awards: Certified 3x Platinum, #1 in the US (Billboard Top 100)
Grammy Winner, Best R&B Album
Album: Everyday Holidays by Elizabeth Chan
Label: Merry Bright
Song: “Fa La La”
Credit: Drums, Percussion
Awards: Billboard Adult Contemporary #7
Album: Naughty and Nice by Elizabeth Chan
Label: Merry Bright
Song: “Wouldn’t Be a Merry Christmas”
Awards: iTunes Top Single #25
iTunes Top Holiday Album #4
What makes R&B and Pop drums different from other styles?
First of all, we need to decide if we’re going for a modern or retro sound.
For a modern production, we want the drums to be tight, punchy and crisp, with a really wide range of frequencies between the kick drum on the bottom and the snare drum and hi hats on the high end. Hi hat work can be busier, with more fills and interplay between the hands and feet.
For a retro production, the parts get much simpler. The drum sounds are darker and warmer, with more of the tones found in a vintage jazz set (which is what drummers would have been using in the 60s). Cymbals are much lighter and darker, and I use lighter sticks as well. Finally, tambourines, shakers and hand claps often sound great in these kinds of tracks.
How do you record R&B and Pop drums differently?
Again, it depends if we’re going for a modern or retro sound.
For a modern production, we’ll definitely use some SDCs and LDCs over and around the kit to capture tight, crisp sounds with great bottom end. We usually have a couple of gobos up to keep the room sound out of the close mics, but mic the room as well to add depth as needed. We’ll definitely have a sub kick mic on the bass drum as well, for the ultra low end boost.
For a retro production, we’ll definitely go for fewer mics, and more ribbon and dynamic models to really bring out the darker tones of the style. Often we try to capture the complete sound of the drums in one microphone, like they would have done back in the day. Don’t worry we’ll still give you lots of other mixing options, too!