Textural, creative, dynamic drum tracks that add shape and color to your music. Drum tones and cymbal sounds chosen to enhance the song and tell your story.
I've been playing drums for over 40 years. I've done thousands of live shows in the US and Europe, and played on over 100 albums. After spending a decade in the fertile Boston music scene, my wife and I have been in beautiful central Vermont for the past 13 years.
I believe that minimal miking in a good sounding room on a well-tuned kit that's played with finesse produces the most expressive, personal drum tracks.
I have a large arsenal of drums and cymbals to create a drum sound that's best for the song.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
- Bow Thayer: "Sundowser"
- Bow Thayer: "Bottom of the Sky"
- Bow Thayer: "Live at the Chandler"
- Boris McCutcheon: "Cactusman vs. the Blue Demon"
- Boris McCutcheon: "When We Were Big"
- Jeff Berlin: "Random Misfires"
- Meg Hutchinson: "Beyond That"
- The Weisstronauts: "Featuring Perky"
- The Weisstronauts: "Instro-Tainment!"
- Catie Curtis: "Dreaming in Romance Languages"
- Richard Davies: "Barbarians"
1 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Jeff Berlin
Interview with Jeff Berlin
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: The clearer the instructions, the quicker I can meet your needs. The more specific the better. "I'm thinking of a drum sound and approach like on [insert example song here]."
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: An upright piano, a minimal drum kit, a battery powered recording device and a small solar panel to recharge it
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I'm 51 years old. I started playing at age 4, inspired by my Grandfather, a big-band style drummer. After college, I moved to Boston and was part of that scene for 15 years where I worked with many great artists. My wife and I have been living in Vermont the past 16 years. The beauty of my surroundings continually inspires me.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Always based on a solid groove, but with color and nuances added so as to not sound static or boring.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Nels Cline consistently amazes me. I love his work with Wilco, but his solo records contain some of the most inspired, instrumental, genre-defying music I've ever heard. I've been digging Madison Cunningham, Juana Molina and Brandi Carlisle lately too.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Great drum tracks aren't rocket science. My formula is: A good sounding room. A quality drum kit tuned well. Decent microphones properly placed. A drummer with a dynamic touch and finesse that can "EQ" him/herself
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Anything from singer / songwriter to Americana to instrumentals, and most everything in between.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think I have a good ear and good instincts. I'm also a good communicator. And I like trying to make the process fun and rewarding. Stress hinders creativity.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: After playing for over 45 years, I have developed my own style and sound. I'm all about helping get the meaning and vibe of the song across to the listener. A drum part should frame and enhance, not distract. I can adjust my sound to complement the mood of each individual track.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to listen very closely to the tracks I'm going to be playing along to. Subtle details reveal themselves only after repeated listens. I'll lay down what first comes to mind and then listen back to make adjustments to approach and sound, if necessary.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use mostly vintage drums from Gretsch and Slingerland. One of the my signature sounds is my 28" Gretsch bass drum. It has beautiful tone at all dynamic levels. I love thin, dark, mysterious cymbals. My favorites for recording are Spizzichino, Matt Bettis, and Paiste. For recording gear, I run Logic Pro X on a Mac Mini with a Focusrite Clarett 4Pre interface. I have an AEA R92 ribbon mic on the bass drum, an ATM650 on the snare, and a pair of AT4040s (in a Glyn Johns configuration) as overheads. A very simple, but very effective set up.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I come from an Americana and jazz background, but I love all types of music, as long as it's inspired, honest and from the heart. I love Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Deerhoof, Wilco, High on Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Erik Satie...and many, many more
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Adding drum tracks to existing songs, usually set to a click track or programmed beat