Dave Kemp

Percussionist & Drummer

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2 Reviews (2 Verified)
Dave Kemp on SoundBetter

I'm a multi-percussionist & drummer equally versed in orchestral, world and jazz styles. Featured artist at the Berklee College of Music Percussion Festival, on stage percussionist for The Lion King Musical tour of Australia, instrument consultant and performer for the Baz Luhrman Elvis movie and touring with Diana Krall & Neil Finn.

I'm highly experienced and efficient when working as a remote session musician in many contexts through previous collaborations with Bluey composer Joff Bush and video game composer Mick Gordon amongst many others. I have a large studio tracking space (4 metre ceilings) with all instruments setup with dedicated mics ready to record at a moment's notice. All instruments can be either close miked for an intimate feature solo sound or distant miked for a concert hall sound; or a combination of both. I also have a dedicated Drumkit room and mixing control room with full acoustic treatment.

How Many Instruments?
Generally $70 is for up to 3 larger orchestral instruments (eg Timpani, Marimba, Glockenspiel) each playing for longer than 1 minute. One shot style recordings or short sections on auxiliary instruments (eg tambourine, hand cymbals) can also be included at no extra charge. Tracking a full song of up to 5 minutes duration on drumkit is generally $70. I'm happy to discuss your requirements so a custom quote can easily be provided before any agreement is made

How Many Tracks ?
All stems of close and distant/room microphones of each instrument are provided or a fully mixed stereo track can be supplied.

How Many Revisions ?
Usually up to 3 revisions for whole takes. Retakes and edits of smaller sections are easily accommodated.

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.

2 Reviews

Endorse Dave Kemp
  1. Review by DeAndre F.
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    What can I say! The resume speaks for itself! Dave is a man of his word. The advantage of being down under is a huge help becuse while Im sleep he's getting things done. Very proffesional and courteous! Im looking forward to our next project 8 stars!

  2. Review by Willie W.
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    The percussion was amazing, it really accented the song in a great way. Highly recommended.

Interview with Dave Kemp

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

  2. A: At different stages of a project I usually ask the following: 1. A brief explanation of the composition and what you need my contribution to be addressing; The music style e.g. Jazz, Pop, larger orchestral, chamber orchestra, film soundtrack. The specific instrumentation along with the sonic or timbre characteristics for each e.g. close miked vibraphone with hard mallets, distant marimba with reverberant sound I am also happy to discuss your project via FB Messenger, Skype, Facetime, What's App etc. if that's a better option for you. 2. Sheet music if available or a cue sheet with specific timings in the session for each instrument. Alternatively you can place markers in your session file at the points you would like certain instruments. I am very comfortable improvising if this is more appropriate provided I have some guidance through a description of the kind of thing you're after e.g. "high pitched fast descending melodic runs for 10 seconds" or "spaced out single notes gradually getting slower with longer pauses between each" or if it's more emulating a certain jazz style or musician. 3. Complete session file with all necessary audio files or stems included if available or a stereo bounce down of your composition. I have a cloud collaboration account for Pro Tools if you would like to share your project via this method and see the updates to the session in real time. Alternatively any standard file sharing service is fine for providing the session or tracks like Dropbox or Google Drive. I have the following DAW's - Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Cubase, Reaper, Adobe Audition. I have also improvised to video often akin to a foley artist so this is a viable option should you require it. 4. I encourage you to observe the recording sessions if this is possible via the streaming webcam in the tracking space. I have often found this to be the quickest and most effective method for consultations with clients on mallet choice, dynamic levels etc and for any arrangement changes in real time. It usually means that you get the end result you want sooner and have more producer control of the session. 5. A copy of your finished project if possible. It's always fantastic to hear the end result!

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

  4. A: I was the on stage percussionist for The Lion King Musical tour of Australia. This was a dream gig for a percussionist and as the show was mainly playing to a click on my in ear monitors it was like a live recording session in front of hundreds of people every show. This absolutely honed my skills for studio work and the level of precision needed to nail takes.

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

  6. A: I am currently arranging and recording all the instruments for promotional videos and materials for the company "Experience Wellbeing" who specialise in songwriting retreats. I'm also an instrument consultant and specialist musician for the Baz Lurhman Elvis movie project.

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

  8. A: I will always work with you to achieve the very best outcome for your project.

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

  10. A: I like the range of music styles I'm involved in, being a part of the creative process of fellow artists and personal contributions that I can make to help clients achieve their musical visions.

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

  12. A: I initially studied orchestral percussion at the Qld Conservatorium of Music in 1999 and soon came to the attention of the Qld Symphony Orchestra, where I've remained a regular section percussionist ever since. Increasingly drawn to jazz, I received an Arts Qld Professional Development grant for a summer jazz intensive course at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. There I studied vibraphone with masters Ed Saindon and Dave Samuels resulting in being selected to perform at The Berklee Percussion Festival. When I returned to Australia I wrote, developed and taught the first ever curriculum for vibraphone as a jazz major study instrument at the Qld Conservatorium of Music as well as in Percussion Pedagogy. I was also appointed Percussion Lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. A move to Sydney in 2012 to accept the offer to undertake a research masters degree at the Sydney Conservatorium led to my involvement with the Lion King Musical national tour of Australia as the on stage percussionist. In the past year I've played or toured with Neil Finn, The Whitlams, Katie Noonan, and the Australian Ballet along with being a finalist at the 2019 Qld Music Awards for a recording with the band Soul Mechanics which I engineered, mixed and produced in my own studio. I'm also an AMEB examiner and my works are featured in the Percussion Syllabus.

  13. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  14. A: I have a large studio tracking space (4 metre ceilings) with all larger instruments (including Gretsch 1950's Round Badge 4 piece Kit (12,14,18), set of 5 Ludwig copper timpani, 4.3 octave Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, LP Congas) setup with dedicated mics ready to record at a moment's notice. All instruments can be either close miked for an intimate feature solo sound or distant miked for a concert hall sound; or a combination of both. I also have a dedicated Drumkit room with a made in Germany Sonor S Class Maple 6 piece kit (8,10,12,14,16,22) including double kick and a huge array of cymbals. This kit is miked up with top of the range Audix mics including a D6 on the kick running into Focusrite preamps. This drums room is fully acoustically treated for that real studio close miked sound. My mixing room also has full acoustic treatment and I run an RME interface along with Sceptre S8 Monitors. My DAW of choice is Pro Tools but I also have Logic Pro, Ableton Live and Reaper.

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Hip Hop/Funk/Jazz VIbraphone

I was the remote session musician recording in my own studio in this production

Terms Of Service

I stand behind my work with a 100 % guarantee. Only when you're happy is my job done. Turnaround time is very quick as I'm "Down Under" so I'm working while you're sleeping in the northern hemisphere.

GenresSounds Like
  • Gary Burton
  • Hans Zimmer
  • Sting
Gear Highlights
  • Instruments - 5 Copper Timpani
  • Vibraphone with pickups
  • Marimba
  • Xylophone
  • Gretsch 1950's Jazz Kit
  • Sonor 6 Piece Kit
  • 14x16 Marching Snare
  • Rototom Set (5)
  • Set of 5 Gamelan Tuned Gongs
  • Chinese Tam Tam
  • Peking Opera Gong (pitch goes up)
More Photos
  • All set up for Pro Tools Cloud CollaborationMay 16, 2020

    I recently used the new cloud collaboration feature of Pro Tools for some sessions with a Paris based composer - Amazing that we could both work on the same session file together and see updates in real time whilst physically on either side of the planet ! 

  • Just finished sessions for Paris based composer Leo McFadden for new releaseMay 16, 2020

    Recently recording timpani, xylophone, bass drum, glockenspiel, hand and sus cymbals for Leo McFadden's upcoming orchestral/pop masterpieces.