Chris Tschuggnall

+Tight Drums and Arrangements

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9 Reviews (1 Verified)
Chris Tschuggnall on SoundBetter

Hi, I’m Chris! I have 15+ years of experience in session drumming and recording. Career highlights are tours and recordings with The Cinematic Orchestra, Ólafur Arnalds and Konzerthausorchestra Berlin. Besides drumming I am also a composer mainly writing for strings and Cinematic styles. Some of my music recently got used in "Game Of Thrones".

Having studied both classical percussion as well as drumset and composition, I am working in the music industry since more than 15 years now, playing concerts worldwide in a wide variety of different styles with international and diverse artists.

Besides recording drums and touring, I am also a composer writing music for different genres and international productions.

Having experience in both being a drummer as well as a composer and music producer, I'm always looking for the full picture of the composition:

What does the piece actually need from me? How can I help the music to tell it's story the best way? What is the producer's or composer's intention? How should it all sound together in the final mix?
I always try to ask those questions first and then start my approach from there.

I’d love to help you with your productions. Just get in touch!

For more references check out my website and the Soundcloud playlist on the lower right side of this page for audio examples in a variety of different styles.

All the best,
Chris

Awards:
Cannes Corporate Award (Gold, Best Webisodes)
Golden Award of Montreux (finalist certificate)
Music and Sound Awards - Best Sound Design (Finalist)
Cannes Lion - Best Original Music (nomination)
Adfest - Best Original Music (Bronce award)

(Picture by Maximilian König)

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.

9 Reviews

Endorse Chris Tschuggnall
  1. Review by Jason Earley
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    I had another great time working with Chris! His songs are awesome and are always fun to sing. I'm super grateful to get to work with him!

  2. Review by Brandon Chase
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    Chris was a dream to work with! He sent me a killer song that was easy to lay down my own interpretation on. Hope we can work together again!

  3. Review by Jason Earley
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    I had a fantastic experience working with Chris! He brought an amazing track and song for me to sing. Super nice guy, quick responses, and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend him!

  4. Review by Birds Hill Music
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    Wow, that was fast!! Working with this incredibly gifted musician is super inspiring and I am more than happy with the recordings! Thanks so much, Chris! See you next time!

  5. Review by Jenny G
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    3rd song with Christian and it was another wonderful collaboration! Beautiful track, amazing communication about what was needed for the vocals, and overall an awesome project with great vibes :) Thanks again for everything Christian!!

  6. Review by Jenny G
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    Second song with Christian was another wonderful experience. Beautiful music and all around great energy :) Thanks so much Christian!

  7. Review by Jenny G
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    Christian is an absolutely wonderful client to work with! He is clear with what he is looking for, has easy and kind back and forth communication as well as really amazing and inspiring music to work with :) Looking forward to the next songs!

  8. Review by Charlene
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    Christian and his team sent me a very, very beautiful song that was well written and produced. It's rare to get such a gift like that. It makes a singer feel they can easily slip into the feeling and performance of the song which is such a joy. And very professional people too, highly recommend.

  9. Review by Heloise Lefebvre
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    Christian is very dedicated and versatile: technically brillant and resourceful, he will elevate your piece to the best it can be.
    I've worked with him on several projects and I must say it was always a hit.
    He is a very talented multi-instrumentist and a remarquable drummer and percussionist. I hired him on my last 2 records, he found the matching drum sound each piece required, with a perfect feel and tightness.
    Moreover, he's a wonderful composer and arranger, easy to communicate with, always well prepared for the recording sessions. Highly recommended!

Interview with Chris Tschuggnall

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: Together with my studio colleague Michael Edwards, I was commissioned to write 13 short pieces of music for the "Konzerthausorchester Berlin". The task was to arrange and orchestrate everyday Berlin city sounds like traffic, birds, eating Currywurst ;) etc. for a symphony orchestra. To write the score and be responsible for so many musicians having to make weird and unusual sounds with their instruments was a big challenge but also an incredible experience.Aand the outcome is amazing! Check it out on YouTube!

  3. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  4. A: I am working out of a nice sounding small drum room with great drums and cymbals, where I can achieve fantastic drum tracks for many styles. Anyhow, for some purposes, having a bigger room with many distant mics or having that DW modern drum kit with 7 toms is absolutely necessary to achieve a desired sound. So in case I’m getting a job offer, I think it’s only fair to only say yes to a commitment if I also think that I can fully deliver the desired sound and performance.

  5. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  6. A: I've started to play the drums when I was 7. From Age 8-13 I also played the Cello. I was studying classical percussion (including marimba, vibraphone, etc.) at the university from age 14-19. I then did my bachelor degree in jazz drums in Berlin and finished university with a masters degree in Jazz drums and composition. My first professional live gigs I did with age 14 with local cover bands. At the time I also had my own heavy metal band, where I could start to be creative, while studying classical music and developing solid technical skills like reading sheet music, having good snare drum technique, sound aesthetics and so forth. I tried to keep an open mind for all different kinds of music. At all times, I would also compose, but merely as a hobby. When I later finished university and already playing full time with different artists, I wanted to focus on composition more again and started to write more dedicated work for film and TV productions.

  7. Q: What's your typical work process?

  8. A: I usually start with trying to get a very focused picture of what the client exactly wants from me. I think especially with drums, as so many options are available, people don't always have a finished idea/groove/or style in mind when they ask someone to get on board. So I usually try to help to fill this gap and offer solutions, based on my experience. As I have a lot of experience not only in recording drum parts, but also writing music for other people, I can often cross-reference what the intention of the composer/producer is/might be, and then try to match that intention as much as I can in the drumming performance.

  9. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  10. A: I am working out of my music studio in Berlin, where I have an absolutely gorgeous 70s Vintage Pearl Drumset always set up, ready to record. Standard setup is Kick, Snare, 2 Toms, Hat, Ride-Cymbal, 2 Crash Cymbals. Depending on the job, this might vary of course. Sometimes, including small percussion instruments in the drum setup, like putting small bell cymbals on the snare, or playing a shaker instead of hats or ride, can create a very unique and distinctive drum sound. I also think that proper tuning and drum treatment is crucial for strong takes. Depending on the track and style of music, the tuning of the drums might differ drastically to match the tone for the overall vibe. It’s also about being mindful of what the overall production concept for the track is and where the producer wants the drums to be sitting in the mix. Here’s my standard miking setup. This, of course, can be adjusted depending on needs. 2x Overheads (A/B) 1x Snare 1x Kick 1x Tom A 1x Tom B

  11. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  12. A: Analog recording (sounds a lot better) and digital workflow (is a lot easier)!

  13. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  14. A: I really like the variety that comes with the different jobs I do, and that I sometimes have to wear "different hats" for different situations. Sometimes, in a band situation, I'm expected to be the drummer, play my part and that's it. Sometimes, when recording an orchestra or writing or conducting a recording session, I am expected to be the person with the best musical overview in the room and to give directions. I like both things a lot.

  15. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  16. A: Mac Pro, Kick, Snare, Hat, Midi-Keyboard

  17. Q: How would you describe your style?

  18. A: Transparent, accurate, clean. Edgy and rough on demand ;)

  19. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  20. A: Alison Krauss & Union Station! Even though I am not professionally involved with country music at all, I can hardly think of a better example of such high level musicianship, accurateness and taste.

  21. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  22. A: For composition, most of my work is based around the Cinematic/Soundtrack/Orchestral area. For drums, I get hired mostly for acoustic, rock, jazz and experimental music.

  23. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  24. A: Even in modern production times, where one can edit everything down to perfectness in the post-recording process, I think that solid initial takes are still key to achieve great results. Those takes require accurate timing, good and consistent sound and a general fitting feeling for the piece, usually all coming with lot of experience and hard work. I spent my whole life focusing on those musicianship qualities and I'm still enjoying to grow!

  25. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  26. A: Even though I'm not professionally involved with Country music at all, I think this genre has so many musicians with an extraordinary musicianship to offer. They can make the supposedly easiest parts sound incredibly interesting, focused, tasteful and fitting.

  27. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  28. A: Coming up with solid drum parts that really fit the arrangement. And then record them.

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Chris Portfolio Soundbetter

I was the Drummer, String Arranger in this production

Terms Of Service

2 rounds of revisions based on initial brief. Any further revisions may be subject to a further fee to be negotiated in good faith as necessary on a track by track basis.

GenresSounds Like
  • Joey Baron
  • Mark Guiliana
  • Josh Freese
Gear Highlights
  • YAMAHA Club Custom Drums
  • YAMAHA Absolute Hybrid Maple Snare
  • 70s Vintage Pearl Drumset
  • Custom Spizzichino Ride
  • 15" Vintage A Hats
  • 13" Sabian Groove Hats
  • Focusrite Red8 Pre
  • Shure
  • Audix
  • Slate
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