Dillan Wheeler (A Cursive Memory, Black Suns) is a Drummer/Beat Producer based in Los Angeles who accents and adds to the uniqueness of your track with a solid, in-the-pocket groove. Live, programmed, or hybrid drum tracks are delivered via email as high-quality stems, mixed on request.
I like to talk to the writer about the desired feel and vibe of the music in order to get on the same page. I like to know which sections they are specific about as well as where they want me to take liberties. I listen to the songs and think about what kind of grooves and feels would go well with the track. I do a few takes that may vary from each other and send them to the song writer. I commonly do 2 versions, since sometimes I can hear two different things out of a song and I like to give as many options as possible.
I track live drums and other percussion in my studio after talking with the writer about how they want the track feel and sound. These takes may be live drums or programmed depending on the needs of the song writer.
Next, I do a second round of tracking or do revisions to the tracks and make them closer to what to any other specifications the writer might have. This is also when I do any drum editing that may be needed.
Any mixing requests can be done as well, as I would send my template with channel strip settings or the entire project file after the song writer is satisfied. Otherwise, I bounce the stems and send them to the artist and/or mixing engineer.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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7 ReviewsEndorse Dillan Wheeler
Quick turnaround and very professional quality stems
Dillan is incredibly professional and responsive. He takes the his role in the song seriously and creatively augments anything you give him. Highly recommended.
Dillan is an amazing drummer and he is very easy and fun to work with! He has a great style and a nice attention to detail. I would definitely love to work with him again in the near future!
Dillan is such a great musician! The rythym that comes out of him when brainstorming and tracking blows my mind. He delivered perfect results in a short amount of time
Dillan is innovative and creative. Always came up with beats and rhythms that have blow me away. Super unique and wildly talented.
Dillan is a great guy with a great heart. Musically creative and fun to work with.
I've hired Dillan over a dozen times over the past couple of years. He is creative, a fast learner, shows up on time, and better yet, plays in time. He's got great pocket and taste, which is something you just can't teach. I highly recommend using him for your next project.
Interview with Dillan Wheeler
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: In 2007 when I joined the pop rock band, A Cursive Memory. I gained some studio experience and toured for about 4 years. During this time I also started recording projects with several other musicians. I learned the most about production and tracking when we recorded A Cursive Memory's 2010 LP, Let Love In. Since then, I have been working on indie projects and tracking for-hire with a number of bands in Los Angeles.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style has been a little bit on the funky side, incorporating that feel into different genres. I keep it conservative unless explicitly asked to play busier with fills and groove syncopation. Even if I am playing for a rock band, I like to find a way to make the groove something you can move to rather than just hammering it out. That being said, I have done my fair share of hard hitting, only when it is called for. Ultimately, My style is whatever the song calls for. I aim for my drum parts to accompany the song smoothly AND be able stand by themselves, sounding good even if no instruments were to be added.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Experimental Rock, which dabbles in many genres. Most of the projects I have been a part of have had a bit of an indie, punk, and/or R&B vibe. I have also tracked for a few Americana tunes.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Creating and holding down the groove. "Feel" and "vibe" are important concepts to me. If you are constantly trying to stand out and showcase your technical abilities, you will miss the arguably most important aspects of the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I listen to the track several times over to see what I hear in it, initially. Next, I'll ask about the vibe the writer aims for. I record my parts right away and sleep on it. I come back with fresh ears a day or two later and change the parts if they need changing. I, then, send the track over and await notes from the artist.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Meeting other people who love music.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: ALIVE: Frank Black, Rufus Wainwright, D'angelo, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala, Radiohead, Soulive, DEAD: Jeff Buckley: his vibe lends itself to very creative percussion parts. Grace still plays a big role in my development of rhythmic sensibilities.... Bowie, The Clash, Can.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jaki Liebezeit (Can), Carla Azar (Autolux), Levon Helm (The Band), Quest Love (D'angelo, The Roots), Tomas Haake (Meshuggah), Richard Mazzotta (Mewithoutyou), John Blackwell (Prince).
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Drum sessions from my studio or one of your choice in Los Angeles, Drum Programming, Beat making, and live performances. Some people send me song through email and ask me to record live drums to it from my studio. Others like to meet up and brainstorm prior to recording.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A unique groove that adds to the song's atmosphere and feel.