Get that analog magic drum sound from an international award winning drummer. Warm tones, groovy rhythms, with pro level quality gear. Credits include grammy award winning artists and endorsements by major music brands. 20+ years of experience as a session drummer. NepTUNE Drumming playlist on Spotify for samples
Drum and Percussion Tracking: As an endorsee I have a wide selection of fantastic sounding gear with delicate hands to bring out the details you wish to highlight. Any genre or style, let's make magic.
I have toured and recorded with award winning african artists, blues, jazz, gospel, rock, jam band, country, to progressive odd meter music. From singer songwriter to genre defying music; I can create sounds that are original, authentic, tight or loose, big or small.
3 takes, 9 microphones, 1 revision and edit.
Good feel, great gear, to click track or not, let's make the rhythm shine : )
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Ashley NepTUNE
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The first two records of the band called Zuffalo are some of my musical treasures. We were the backing band for Conor Gains before that, 4 years on the road of life together, I love everything about this band. I played drums and percussion and arranged some of the music.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A solo record and a dedicated mastering studio.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Absolutely, tell me what you're looking for, I have lot's of talented friends for other instruments or even drums if you prefer something else. There's no competition in music.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I love both, why pick sides when we can marry both, a love affair.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My word is my bond, what we agree upon I deliver.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I have the best in the world, I play music for a living.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Samples of my work, which I provide.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Show up and play, drums aren't hard. I put in the time to learn the details inside and out so I can show up and play sounding like it's a walk in the park.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Has this song or album come into its refined shape, or are these songs still developing? If your dreaming, what are we listening to? Are we bringing our influences into this music?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Let's connect, talk, trust the gut feeling. Your intuition that says everything, it's the reason your reading this right now. Synchronicity makes the music stand the test of time.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Wooden Flute 432hz Djembe or Cajon Thumb piano Harmonica Medicine Drum
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Half a century playing music brings insight: Destiny and Inception are one and the same, a cycle begins and ends with its source. The cosmos is rhythmic, and so is our lives. Polyrhythms are a person's life cycle against another. Rhythm is one of the foundations of life, and it is within I study music, the universal truth. Fulfilled are my days with a path to more than a career, enlightenment, a meditation of light. We always return to the music, it unites, it ignites, it's electrifying.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: One foot in the past, the other in the future, with my head in between. Combining the best of both worlds creates a sonic myriad. Timeless music we will listen to 100-1000 years from now. My style is universal, I want you to FEEL something. You listen and smile, or wanna dance, or sing along. Some would say my style is epic, dynamic, and psychedelic.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Jordan Rakei is a songwriter, producer, and beatmaker who works with many fantastic artists. His collaborations bring sonic bliss. He's the modern D'angelo creating new genres of music. Charlie Hunter has a sound you recognize within seconds like any great artist. His solo albums feature some of the finest drummers, but he also plays on some of my favourite D'Angelo tracks. Charlie is groovy as it gets, pure funky. Nai Palm is the singer-songwriter and guitarist from Hiatus Kayote, she creates songs that take you on a journey into galactic music heaven. She brings a lot of different emotions, creating music with her would take each song to its' cosmic source. There are a great number of artists that inspire me to make music, and a lot more to discover. My dream is to make a record that is a legacy, a cult classic like these artists have created. Profound, deep beyond words, something you have to share with the people you love.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: From John Mayer to Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones, artists select iconic drummers to bring more to the table. A signature sound comes from years of fine-tuning and mastery. Drums make or break the song, and this is why many drummers become producers and engineers. When each artist can bring their musical strengths to the table, they shine, and so does the song. Synergy happens when artists work fluidly together, and that is often why great artists repeatedly select the same musicians whose signature sound compliment the music they create. For example; Steve Jordan with both John Mayer or Keith Richards, his snare always pops out of that mix, even if it was background music at a loud restaurant, you'll hear the snare blend perfectly with the vocals and guitar.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Although I don't like the categories and boxes, let's just say everything, you never know what you're going to create and influence. In the past, there was a lot of funk, blues, jazz, rock, reggae, afro, and everything in between. Today I'm open to anything that fresh, that sounds authentic and genuine. Creating new genres hard to categorize is the best.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Aside from a signature drum sound, there are two aspects to my personality that comes through the music. The first comes from years of playing in jam bands: improvisation. Creating new landscapes, I can bring many approaches to the song. The second is my love affair when it comes to arranging. If there's an opportunity to be part of the song's process more than just drums. I bring those little nudges the song needs to POP out just a little MORE.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Dynamics and epic-sounding drums. If you can't remember the lyrics, you'll remember the drums. I track for the best "feel" and energetic take that captures the vibe of the song. I shape the rhythm of the song based on the melody, harmony, and lyrics. I always use the bass as a reference, it's the basis of the sync when it comes to locking in the bottom end. Listen, Play, repeat.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: A full day or more if required. Track drums & percussion during the day, edits and mixes at night. Available during the day for interaction.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: The studio was inspired by the classic basement tapes by The Band with Bob Dylan. Old school analog sounds, birch and maple for drums, warm cymbals, authentic animal skins for percussion. Only the finest sounds via plugins: API 2500 compressor, TridA-Preamp, Neuman, AKG, and Royer and Electrovoice mics for the warmest sounds. A signature sound comes with mastery.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: New Artists: Jordan Rakei, Hiatus Kayote, Takuya Kuroda, White Denim, Vulpeck, Tedeschi Trucks Band. Classic Artists: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, John Coltrane, Paul Simon, Bill Withers, New Orleans everything!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Capture the essence of a song on drums or percussion. Paint a story with my hands and feet. Bring each section of a song to life, shape the music, and most of all, make the track "feel" alive.