Touring drummer for Grammy winning artist Michael W. Smith. Composer for TV shows on MTV, ABC, CBS, Discovery, Bravo, and many others, as well as commercials for 1800 Tequila, Dunkin Donuts, and Vistaprint.
I work full-time in Nashville, TN as a drummer, composer, and producer. I have recorded on tons of records, singles, commercials, and soundtracks that have aired all over the world.
My approach to creating music with artists is about finding the heart of the song and magnifying it. If we can make the music focused and honest, the message will be received by the listener. Tell me about yourself! Tell me what inspired the song! Tell me what you hope to instill in a listener. I love digging in.
I record drums, mix, and produce music out of my home studio. My main room for tracking and production is acoustically tight and versatile, and I am developing a 750sqft live room that will be used for big, wide open drum sounds. Together, we will use my collection of vintage drums, eclectic percussion, and sample libraries to create virtually any groove or texture you can imagine.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
10 ReviewsEndorse Chris Leidhecker
I've had the pleasure to work with Chris on a few mastering projects and I cannot overemphasize the high level of his work, professionalism, and workflow.
Chris Leidhecker is one of the most reliable, musical, and joyful I've ever worked with. His drumming is creative and consistent, and he excels in finding just the right element to bring new life to a song. I can't recommend him enough!
Chris has played drums with me for the past 3 years, and has also mixed/mastered one of my EP's. He is an incredible musician all around!
I had Chris track drums on a short film I scored and it was an extremely positive experience all the way through. Communication, file sharing, and most importantly musicianship! Got exactly what we needed, and the production crew liked it so much that his playing ended up being the music for the trailer! Will definitely be calling him for all future projects.
I've worked with Chris on projects for years now and he has never let me down. He is versatile and multi talented. If you want a drummer, he can play for you. If you want an engineer, he's incredible. If you want him to produce, he will take your project to the next level. He's a wonderful collaborator, and has helped my projects over the years grow into things I'm really proud of. Whatever you need, Chris is your guy, and you will love working with him!
I always like my own music more after collaborating with Chris. His arrangements are exciting and thoughtful. As a drummer, his playing is explosive yet sensitive, and ALWAYS in the pocket. He has a creative ear that allows him to craft distinct drum sounds for each project. (This guy's snare drum collection is insane. And just wait until you hear about his 1950's tube recording gear.)
Chris is one of the most creative and proficient musicians I’ve ever worked with. He was enthusiastic, easy going and could think outside the box when I wanted him to. I had so much fun working with Chris and I look forward to making more music with him in the future!
Worked with Chris on this really strange and cool art folk project. He brought it to the next level, really beautiful sounds, tight groove, and lots and lots of creative layers. I loved the way he thought about constructing his parts. Like each individual drum had its own voice and melody, that came together to create a rich groove. The best part is, when I went back to comb through the million takes we did, I hardly had to edit. Every take was musical and tight.
He was very patient and kind throughout the entire recording process. Very professional, and on time. Highly recommend.
Fantastic to work with! I’ve used Chris on countless projects for session work as well has having him produce and mix music licensed by MTV, MTV 2, Discovery Channel, CW, CBS, Big Ten, HGTV, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, NFL, NBA ect. He has great command over his technique but serves the song every time.
Working with Chris is a dream. He’s incredibly attentive, organized, and patient with getting the best performance and sounds. I appreciate his willingness to have an open mind and explore new ideas. I always feel confident behind the mic because Chris is a wonderful producer and is able to tell me quickly what’s working and what’s not working. Also, his down-to-Earth personality is super warm & inviting!
Chris is an excellent musician, player, and producer. He was not only played on my album, “No Gavel, No Sword,” but he also helped produce the entire project and mixed all 10 tracks! I’m so happy with how the album turned out and am incredibly grateful for Chris and his talent, hard work and diligence.
Interview with Chris Leidhecker
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: In the past year, I recorded drums on two songs for MWS' most recent studio record, A Million Lights. I respect Michael a lot and loved helping to create something so sonically adventurous and exciting for him. I also recorded drums in 2017 for an album, Signs, by an alt-rock trio called The Neverhawks. It's raw and honest; I'm very proud of it.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently in June 2018, I'm producing and mixing an EP with some talented artists geared toward sync licensing, recording drums on 20+ tracks for a rock opera that my brother is orchestrating, and arranging 8 pieces for a university percussion ensemble in Pennsylvania.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Chris Biano is a good friend and excellent vocalist. He's also a fantastic graphic designer, videographer, and editor.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Ideally, analog. But currently mostly digital :)
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Building lasting relationships with people. Of course I love playing drums and making music, but the relationships are so fulfilling.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Will I get multitracks? Yes, and you will get a mixed stereo sum as well. What if I want to change something? No problem- you get three revisions for free.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Probably the idea that a studio musician for hire is more interested in quantity of work than quality. I am very invested in creating the best music we can create together. If it takes longer, that's fine with me; it will live longer.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your goal for this music? What bands or artists did you draw inspiration from?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do research and figure out what you are looking for stylistically! All musicians have different influences and strengths.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Kick, snare, hat, laptop, Ampex 501
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I studied music at college and graduated with a music education degree. After that, I lived in the SF Bay Area where I gigged and taught lessons for about two years before moving to Nashville. My 5 years in Nashville have been a steady increase of touring, recording, and writing music. Certain parts of my career, like writing music for TV or touring with MWS, are things I could never have imagined but am so thankful for.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I have a thorough understanding of the drums and how they can be creatively used to create the perfect part. I've studied and practiced drums for years, and I've played everything from rock bands to chamber orchestras.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Currently, Vulfpeck. They are playing raw, tight, unapologetic funk and I love it.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Take as much time as needed to make your source audio to sound great so you don't have to spend hours trying to doctor it up in post-production.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I'm working mostly in pop, pop-rock, indie-rock, country, americana, Christian, and various forms of jazz.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Finding the groove. The more I do this, the more I just want everything to feel good.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Discuss the heart of the song or track with the writer and then immediately capture my first instincts for the parts. Sometimes these end up being the final parts, sometimes they don't. I do believe there is something special in our "gut" musical reactions, so I like to document them no matter what.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I record into Logic Pro X via a UAD Apollo 8p. I have some API and Ampex tube preamps that I run through depending on the instrument and desired sound. I'm using a variety of dynamic, confessor, and ribbon mics by Shure, Audio Technica, and SE Electronics.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: As far as current drummers go- Aaron Sterling, Ash Soan, Steve Jordan, Terence Clark. Those guys are really musical drummers both in the studio and on stage.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Typically, I'm being hired to write and record all drums/percussion on a song or track. I work with songwriters, artists, bands, and composers, so the workflow changes based on the end-goal of the music. Recording for an album cut usually looks a little different than recording for a TV or film soundtrack.