Rob Heath

Rock & Roll Drummer/Producer

5 Reviews
Rob Heath on SoundBetter

Rock, Jazz, R&B, Americana and Experimental drummer here to help you find your unique feel and sound! For over 20 years, I've worked as a drummer, engineer and producer in the best studios and venues in the world w/such inspiring and talented artists. Let me bring those experiences supporting and highlighting their artistic visions to your project.

I was brought up with popular Rock and Roll, R&B, Country and Swing music all around me. My dad taught me to play the drums, piano and bass from his stacks of Motown 45s. In college I got deep into Jazz, Indie Rock and Film Music. These days, I’m most at home when the red light is on in the studio and I'm pushing an artist's vision past the finish line, no matter our genre or sound.

I'm at my best supporting a songwriter or filmmaker's wildest imagination, especially the ones they never thought possible. Getting the feel and vibe perfect, coming up with unique and fresh sounds and parts. I love re-amping drums and manipulating sounds with guitar pedals, Tascam tape machines and children’s toys.

My studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn is a play-land of audio gear, vintage and modern drums, percussion, guitars, basses, oddball string instruments, keyboards, whistles, pipes, marimbas, vibraphones and other odds and ends bought or found on the side of the road.

I’ve played on 100s of records and soundtracks and toured all over the world, including playing at Budokan!, on late night TV and at Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble.

And don't just take my word for it, I’m endorsed! by Remo Drumheads, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Istanbul Cymbals.

So hit that contact me button above and let's start making stuff!

Send me a note through the contact button above.


AllMusic verified credits for Rob Heath
  • Julia Nunes
  • Julia Nunes
  • Tora Fisher
  • Jessie Kilguss
  • Radio Gold
  • Jessie Kilguss
  • Radio Gold
  • Jessie Kilguss
  • Radio Gold
  • Ana Egge
  • The Madison Square Gardeners
  • The Madison Square Gardeners
  • The Madison Square Gardeners
  • Jessie Kilguss
  • Jessie Kilguss
  • Laura Butler
  • The Madison Square Gardeners
  • The Madison Square Gardeners
  • The Madison Square Gardeners
Discogs verified credits for Ramblin' Rob Heath
  • Various
  • Billy Woodward

5 Reviews

Endorse Rob Heath
  1. Review by Dylan Scott Mandel

    One word to describe Rob? CHARACTER. He brings touch, feel, groove, all of the superlatives that one looking for a drummer desires. Rob cares about music, about your music, and having had this experience myself working with him, I can personally attest to the level of character that only the select few have. HIRE THIS MAN.

  2. Review by Dan Siegler
    by Dan Siegler

    I sent Rob a complicated track of mine and he recorded drums to it in his studio. The drum sound itself was perfect, sharp and clean, and he gave me a ton of different groove options to choose from. I've also had the pleasure of working with Rob live, as well as together in the studio. He's a true professional, a quick study and focuses on what's best for the material, with a songwriter's ear. I recommend Rob wholeheartedly!

  3. Review by Daniel Marcus
    by Daniel Marcus

    I’ve worked with Rob Heath many times over the last 2 decades. Again and again Rob proves to be professional, creative, personable, and caring. Rob always puts the song first, delivers great sounds that groove. The drums are properly tuned and mic’d well. There are different mic options for overheads, kick,
    And rooms so you can pick whatever option suits yours song. If you want amazing drums tracks , Rob should be at the top of your list.

  4. Review by Brian Keenan

    I have collab'd with Rob many times over the years, and it's truly rare to find a musician with a combo of skills – mastery of his instrument, technical expertise and a hard working positive attitude.

    Rob has an intuitive sense of what a song needs. His playing is tasteful and he listens/understands the source material deeply. He introduces innovative thinking to the rhythmic elements that give the songs emotion and character.

    During the pandemic Rob recorded drums remotely for an entire album - engineering everything himself and sending me drum stems with notes. Highly recommended!

  5. Review by Ronan Fitzgerald
    by Ronan Fitzgerald

    I hired Rob to remotely record drums for a song.

    I explained what the song sounded like in my head, and with just guitar and vocal tracks and the BPM for him to go by, Rob absolutely captured it. I told him when I needed the drums by, and he had them to me a couple of days before. I had a couple of revisions, which he had to me at the end of the next day, and that was it!

    Great drumming, well-engineered, efficiently delivered... what more could you want?

Interview with Rob Heath

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

  2. A: See above question. I'm proud of the Rob Heath + Kirk Schoenherr record because I think we dug deep and really found something. It was a true "pandemic record". The songs were recorded completely in isolation and were given plenty of time to mature and find their own voice. It's a very singular sounding collection of songs that live somewhere between Brian Eno, Charles Hayward and Bill Frisell.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: As I fill this out today, I'm taking a break from listening to final mixes of a record of instrumental music that I wrote, produced, performed and recorded with my pal Kirk Schoenherr. It's music that is near and dear to our hearts and we hope for it to be available by late summer.

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  6. A: Oh man, are we still asking this question? Both. But mostly digital. Analog studios are good to hem in an artist's boundaries and create a vintage vibe. Some of my favorite sessions were in studios with 2" machines and no screens. But sonically speaking, I haven't been convinced that the average analog studio beats my digital studio. Tape requires a lot of maintenance and most folks just can't afford that amount of time away from the creative process. Ultimately, I think the gear that is the most comfortable to use is the best gear to use.

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

  8. A: I promise to bring my best, kindest, whole self!

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

  10. A: Play! Seriously. When this gets too serious, it starts sounding that way.

  11. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  12. A: Making a living in music doesn't need to mean being on the road 300 days of the year with Mitski. There are a ton of ways to shoe the horse.

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

  14. A: Smart phone, acoustic guitar, pair of sticks, drum pad, Aeropress coffee maker

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

  16. A: I've been at this since longer than I can remember. My dad was a drummer and he says I got my first pair of sticks at three. He gave me my first lesson at six. I studied both music and recording under Bob Breithaupt and Jim Ed Cobbs at Capital University and soon after moved to New York City. I started a band with my friends called The Madison Square Gardeners. For a minute we were a small New York City institution. That band launched the music careers of all of its six members. I've since toured and recorded with Jim Campilongo, Justin Townes Earle, Ana Egge, Fred Thomas (of the JBs) and many many others.

  17. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  18. A: This is more of an arranging/songwriting production tip. I played drums on a session that Steve Earle was producing and he talked about deciding where to put instrumental hooks and spaces as having to do with cognition of the previous section's story. I'm paraphrasing here but his idea was, if the verse has a lot to say and the listener may need to sit with that idea or those words for a second, give them that break in the form of an instrumental interlude. If the chorus is a repeating refrain and we need to move the song forward, go right into the next verse or the bridge, don't confuse or bore us with more musical interludes. It's a simple idea but can be reinterpreted a million ways. Apply it to sonics or tempo and space.

  19. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  20. A: Mary Bragg! She's an excellent producer, songwriter and singer. I've know and played music with Mary for over a decade and she is a fantastic human and incredible artist. I think maybe Misty Boyce is on here too? Ditto for her too.

  21. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  22. A: How come you're so nice and handsome? Usually I just smile and say thank you.

  23. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  24. A: What's the wildest dream you have for this project? Who or what are you inspired by? Do you have other previous work that informs this project that I can check out?

  25. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  26. A: Jump in! This is relatively low-stakes. If we do one track and we don't gel, you can move on to try someone else pretty easily.

  27. Q: How would you describe your style?

  28. A: Coffee: Black. Transportation: Public. Fashion: Black jeans and a band tee shirt. Parenting: Never underestimate the power of a whoopy cushion.

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

  30. A: Cheap Trick! That band really knows how to have fun.

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

  32. A: I work on a lot of Rock & Roll, Americana, R&B, Folk and Experimental music.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: Listening.

  35. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  36. A: Hopefully the appropriate support to bring an artist's vision to life in ways it hasn't already been.

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

  38. A: It's usually a two day process for me. I'll get tracks from an artist and setup a session on day 1, dreaming up a sonic idea that fits the song, learning the arrangement and trying out a few ideas. I'll come in on day 2 and listen down to the track a couple of times and any reference tracks and then go over to the drums where I can remotely control ProTools and my interface and hit record. I'll do 2-3 takes and then listen down. If I need to change a part or a fill or a mic placement I'll put in a few more takes but usually the first couple will do it. That's why the first day is so important.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I run a studio in the basement of an old coffee warehouse in Brooklyn with high arched brick ceilings and plenty of soft surfaces. The walls are lined with vintage drums, guitars, keyboards and percussion instruments. I have a UAD Apollo interface, Focusrite preamps, Focal monitors and tons of ribbon, condenser and dynamic mics running into ProTools. I like putting a room mic through a Marantz tape deck and a mic in the entrance way adds a nice natural reverb to my sound if that's what the track is going for.

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

  42. A: It's hard to not draw inspiration from producers like Daniel Lanois, Aaron Dessner and Blake Mills who each have their own sound and yet seem to all make each project sound like the artist who's name is on the front cover. And as far as drummers, I love the inventiveness of Jim Keltner, the dynamic range and musicianship of Brian Blade and the giddy reinvention of the instrument that both Dave King and Mark Guiliana have recently brought.

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

  44. A: I most often get asked to play drums on records. Sometimes those relationships turn into producer relationships like with the British songwriter Dave Burn who's Arizona record I produced.

SoundBetter compilation

I was the drummer and sometimes producer in this production

Terms Of Service

Exact details vary according to project, rates and terms are determined on a project-to-project basis and rates listed above are all ballpark figures. Usually 1-2 revisions and a 1-5 day turnaround.

GenresSounds Like
  • Jim Keltner
  • Al Jackson Jr.
  • Ringo Starr
Gear Highlights
  • Pro Tools
  • Logic
  • iZotope
  • Waves
  • Soundtoys
  • UA Apollo
  • Apogee
  • Sound Devices
  • Sennheiser
  • Audio Technica
  • Electrovoice
  • Sanken
  • Stager
  • Focal
  • Ludwig
  • Slingerland
  • Leedy
  • WFL
  • Ludwig & Ludwig
  • Pearl
  • Yamaha
  • Istanbul
  • Remo
  • Vic Firth
  • Tascam
More Photos
More Samples