Sam KS

Session Drummer

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4 Reviews (1 Verified)
Sam KS on SoundBetter

I'll take your track and provide you with full drum performance, drum production and percussion overdubs that satisfy your every need. Artists such as MARINA, The War On Drugs and St. Vincent have all used me and my home studio for drum sessions.

Based in Los Angeles, I attended CalArts and graduated with a BFA in Jazz Performance, although my focus has always been session work with simplicity, groove and touch being central to my approach. My education has provided me with the ability to read music if you're looking for something more specific for your film/tv score, and has also provided me with the ability to craft a detailed drum part that's sole purpose is to serve the song. I'm always happy to lay down a simple groove or let my imagination run wild with a more out of the box approach.

You can hop on Zoom with me and I can send you real-time audio through AudioMovers Listento plug-in so we can address notes as I'm recording, or we can just have a notes call and I can do my thing and touch base when I feel like I'm in a good place with the track. Whatever makes you happy makes me happy!

My number one priority is always to make you 100% satisfied, and to provide you with the drum sounds and drum parts that you've always wanted on your track.

Tell me about your project and how I can be of service by clicking the 'Contact' button at the top of the page.

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

4 Reviews

Endorse Sam KS
  1. Review by Brad Hill Sound
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    Sam’s playing and engineering of his drums is top tier! He was very willing to do everything I asked as well as bringing his own great ideas to the table. Highly recommended!

  2. Review by Gabe Wax
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    Sam is the best, he gets great sounds and can basically play anything you ask him to. I’ve known him for 10 years and he is one of the hardest working people I know.

  3. Review by Jennifer Decilveo
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    Sam! Where do i even start? This man is a walking drum machine spanning decades of taste and feel that I have yet to experience with other drummers. And not only is he exceptional with his technical prowess but he may be one of my favorite people to hang out in the studio with. Professional, exceptional listener, stellar feel, accommodating and always on time. I rate him higher than 5 stars and so will you.

  4. Review by Cian Riordan
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    I've had the pleasure of working with Sam on numerous projects and he is an absolute delight. Sam has the chops and the musical awareness to know what works for every kind of project. His attitude is always positive and the results are always remarkable. Not to mention his recording ability at his personal studio is of a very high caliber. Cannot recommend him high enough! Hire him while you can still afford him!

Interview with Sam KS

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

  2. A: That one drum set and one mic setup does the job for every song. Each song should be approached as a completely unique situation where each drum/mic/mic placement is chosen in order to best serve the song.

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

  4. A: Are there any pre-existing songs that have drum sounds/drum parts that you had in mind as inspiration for the drums on your song? Are there any specific moments (hits, breaks, etc.) that you want me to make sure I catch?

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

  6. A: Be confident in your choices and desires as an artist. My job is to make you happy by bringing my personality/technical ability to your song. If you know what you specifically are looking for, or are willing to admit that you have no idea what your'e looking for, then we can be on the same page from the jump and make sure that you are 100% satisfied with the result!

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

  8. A: Beyerdynamic m160, Coles 4038, Sennheiser 441, SM57, Pearl Fiberglass Drumset

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

  10. A: I graduated from CalArts in 2013 with a BFA in Jazz Drums Performance. After graduating, I immediately started pursuing a career in session drumming as well as landing the gig composing the score for Netflix's Grace and Frankie. Over the last 7 years, I've invested a lot of time and energy honing my engineering skills and building up my home studio all while doing sessions for artists such as Beth Ditto, Ben Platt, St. Vincent, Albert Hammond Jr and The War On Drugs. The past year has seen a significant increase in people's need for remote drum sessions and my work has largely shifted to that world, providing high quality drum recordings from my home studio and delivered directly to your inbox.

  11. Q: How would you describe your style?

  12. A: Simple (though I can go crazy if you need me to) and pocket with a keen sense for crafting specific drum sounds and parts that are always at the service of the song.

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

  14. A: I'd love to work on a project with Nigel Godrich because I really admire his lush and detailed production. It'd be a dream to build up a drum sound with him.

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

  16. A: The simplest answer is most often the right answer.

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

  18. A: I usually get hired to play indie, pop, singer-songwriter and rock stuff.

  19. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  20. A: My strongest skill is being collaborative. I really want you to be happy with the drums on your song and I take feedback very well.

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

  22. A: I bring a great pocket and a wonderful sense of melody and song-form that translates to detailed drum parts that really serve your song

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

  24. A: First I'll listen to your track all the way through and any reference tracks you included. After gathering my thoughts about the song and what I imagine I'd like to do, we'll hop on Zoom/Facetime/phone call and discuss what it is I have in mind and any super specific stuff you might be looking for from the drums. After that, we can either stay on Zoom/Facetime and I can stream audio to you using AudioMovers Listento plug-in, or I can go off on my own and do a handful of takes until I feel like I've got it. After comping the full drum take together and sending it to you, we'll then do notes/revisions until you're satisfied with the drums on your song!

  25. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  26. A: A converted stand-alone garage with wood floors and all of my toys around me! DAW: Pro Tools Ultimate with an avid HD I/O as the AD converter. Monitors: PMC twotwo 6 Preamps: 8 channels of Vintech Audio Model 473, 4 channels of API 3124, 2 channels of Thermionic Culture Ltd. Rooster 2, 1 channel Universal Audio 6176. Outboard Gear: Currently have a pair of Urei LA-4 compressors, API 525 compressor, API 560 EQ, API 550A EQ, Roland Chorus Echo RE-501, Tascam Porta One (usually use for reamping through preamps) Micorphones: 1 RCA 44, 2 Beyerdynamic m160, 2 Coles 4038, 1 MicShop U47, 1 Wunder Fet 47, 2 Sony C-38B, 2 Shure SM57, 1 Shure Beta 52, 1 EV RE-20, 1 Sennheiser 441, 2 Sennheiser 421, 1 Beyerdynamic M201 TG, 1 AKG D190E Plug-ins: A significant amount of the UAD Plug-ins (can get specific if you'd like), all Soundtoys Plug-ins, Fabifilter Pro-G Pro-MB Pro-Q 2 and Saturn, Softube Valley People Dyna-mite, Steven Slate Trigger 2, WAVES Abbey Road Collection, XLN Audio RC-20 Drum Kits: 60s Gretsch 20-12-14, 70s Pearl Fiberglass 22-12-13-16, 70s slingerland 24-13-14-16-18 Snare Drums: 70s Ludwig Supraphonic 6.5x14, 70s Ludwig Acrolite 5x14 w/ sheepskin/fur head, 80s Ludwig Acrolite 5x14, 60s Ludwig Supraphonic 5x14, Ludwig Black Beauty 6.5x14, 90s wood DW/Craviotto 5x14, wood Craviotto 6.5x14, 60s wood Slingerland 5x14, Early 1900s wood Leedy 8x14, Early 1900s wood Leedy 5x14, 1920s wood Ludwig 8x15 Kick Drums: 60s Gretsch 20", 1920s Slingerland Radio King 28", 70s Slingerland converted marching tom 18" Roto Toms: Vintage Remo Roto Toms 6-8-10 Percussion: Various styles of Tambourines and Shakers, Cowbells, Castanets, Cabasa, Guiro, Sleigh Bells, Clave, Woodblocks, Vibraslap, Bells, Triangle

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

  28. A: I'm really inspired by drummers such as Jim Keltner, Hal Blaine, Art Blakey, Victor Indrizzo, Aaron Sterling, Matt Chamberlain, Matt Johnson and Clive Deamer

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

  30. A: I'm most commonly hired by producers/songwriters/artists/composers to fully realize the drum production for their songs/tracks. This means selecting and tuning the drumkit, mic'ing up the kit and getting sounds, coming up with a drum part, and delivering the final product.

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Uneventful Days (St. Vincent Remix)

I was the Drummer in this production

Terms Of Service

Typically able to complete sessions within 5 business days. Negotiated price includes 2 revisions.

GenresSounds Like
  • Nigel Godrich
  • Dave Fridmann
Gear Highlights
  • Pro Tools HD
  • Vintech
  • API
  • UA and Thermionic Culture preamps
  • RCA 44
  • 2 Beyerdynamic m160
  • 2 Coles 4038
  • MicShop U47
  • Wunder Fet 47
  • 2 Sony C-38B
  • 2 Shure SM57
  • Shure Beta 52
  • EV RE-20
  • Sennheiser 441
  • Sennheiser 421
  • Beyerdynamic M201 TG
  • AKG D190E
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