Zach Simao

Music Producer Drum Programmer

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7 Reviews (3 Verified)
Zach Simao on SoundBetter

As a drummer and producer, I draw on my wide range of experiences in the acoustic world to create electronic productions that feature organic grooves and strong melodic ideas. I work to put the humanity of a song in the spotlight.

My approach to production is unique because I have such a strong background in acoustic music and the drums themselves. Having spent time working in studios, I understand how balanced all the elements of a track need to be. I understand how sounds work and which go well together. I understand the full songwriting process from iPhone demo to mastered recording. That means that when I’m working on a song, I'm able to see all the pieces as well as the whole. I have no ego about doing what’s best for the song, and I love working with artists to figure that puzzle out.

Those years of playing drums have also helped inform my production style for programming electronic music. I understand the ins and outs of groove, and I take the time to make sure that my productions retain that human element.

As far as services, I offer:

--Drum Programming, if you want someone very familiar with the instrument to add some to your track. This can range from very natural sounding drums to hard-hitting electronic drums. Whatever the song need.

--Production, if you need help taking a song from a demo to the final product.

I'm easy-going and care deeply about music but don't take myself too seriously. I like to keep sessions light and fun. Please reach out!

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

7 Reviews

Endorse Zach Simao
  1. Review by Chris Garcia
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    Zach totally came through for recreating a loop I fell injured love with! He programmed from scratch so I was able to make the drums more dynamic. Thank you.

  2. Review by Kev Fitz
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    Zach did a great job programming drums for a new track. Listened to our feedback and came up with the perfect part. Would recommend!

  3. Review by Shawn
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    I enjoyed working with Zach.
    He took his time to understand what sound it is I am trying to achieve and helped me get it.
    Quick turn around rate even with our massive time zone difference.
    Will definitely recommend using him!

  4. Review by NP
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    What makes Zach special as a collaborator is that not only does he have a wide range of experience and a diverse set of skills, he's really, really, really good at each individual role. If all he did was mix, or just make beats, or just play drums, or even just tech drums, he'd still be one of my first call collaborators. The fact that he can do so much at such a high level is almost unfair to other musicians.

    Zach sees the full picture, and can take your project from zero to finished master with ease. He'll make your music better and you'll love working with him.

  5. Review by Collin
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    Zach is brilliant, methodical, and dedicated to his craft. He brings a diversity skill set and leads with great intent. From drum/percussion arrangements to songwriting to production, he can a cover a vast majority of your project's needs.

  6. Review by Tiny B.
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    Zach Simao is a talented producer and drum programmer who is not only incredible at his work but brings empathy and dedication to every project he works on. He is flexible and listens to the vision of the artists doing everything in his power to lift their voice. I highly recommend Zach!

  7. Review by Chris A.
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    I have worked with Zach in both live and studio settings in New York City.

    Zach is a modern musician and producer with a firm grasp of the tradition in both performance and production. His attention-to-detail is unmatched and will not only bring a piece of music to life as you envision it, but also add a nuanced approach that lifts the music to new heights.

    I highly recommend working with Zach Simao.

Interview with Zach Simao

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

  2. A: As a drummer primarily, I bring a strong and intimate understanding of rhythm and feel. I generally won’t program a part, quantize to 100%, and call it a day (unless that’s what's needed for the song). I’m able to play/edit parts in such a way as to retain a strong part of the human element that I think is vital to music.

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

  4. A: I strongly believe that the song and arrangement are the most important elements in any production. I spend as much time as needed on the song in a simplified form before expanding the production out. I’ll tend to add and push and experiment with new elements until we reach that point where adding anything actually detracts from the song. That’s how I tend to know the song and production are done :)

  5. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  6. A: I’m a big DIY audio person, so I’ve built a lot of my studio gear myself. In short, I have a high-end bedroom producer setup with plenty of boutique elements. More detail: DAW - Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic Pro Interface - UA Apollo Preamps - 2 x custom built Neve 1073 clones Monitors - Mackie HR624 mk2 Mics: -Custom built 414-style condenser -Custom built 47-style condenser -Custom built small ribbon mic pair -Assortment of workhouse dynamics (SM57, RE20, etc) Instruments: -Vintage Rogers Drums (20/12/16) -Jazz size maple custom drums (18/12/14) -Assorted workhorse snares, cymbals, and percussion -Yamaha Reface CS synth -Behringer Model D synth -LOTS of soft synths -P bass -Mustang gtr

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Analog workflow in the digital realm. I think the advantages of analog workflow can be the early commitment to a sound and the physical limitations of what's available (track limit on a mixer, for ex). I fully believe working with and around limitations creates the most interesting music. But for convenience I work digitally. The reality is I would never be able to put out work if I needed a full sized console and studio to get anything done.

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

  10. A: Laptop, keyboard controller, interface, monitors, microphone. Runner up 6th piece would be a guitar. I absolutely love collecting gear as much as the next person, but the reality is I could get a lot done with just that.

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

  12. A: This varies considerably, but generally any genre that values a deep groove. I'm comfortable programming drums in any style, bu I tend to produce songs in the indie pop/modern soul worlds.

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

  14. A: It took me quite a while to realize that great lyrics are everything. As a drummer I didn't always listen to them, but once I started writing my own music and producing for other artists I realized how much of the artist's soul and style the lyrics deliver.

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

  16. A: My work is evenly split between programming drums for an existing track and fully producing a song from start to finish.

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I was the Producer/Coproducer/Drum Programmer in this production

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