You deserve a professional drum track perfectly suited to your song. And that's my goal; to give you an ego-free drum part that fits your song and propels if forward. I've been playing drums for over 30 years. I was one of the winners of Modern Drummer's very first drum solo contest, judged by Neil Peart.
Whether you want drums that are recorded live or programmed, I've got you covered. The drums in my studio are always set-up, miked, and ready to go.
Here's what some people have said about my drumming:
"technically and rhythmically quite sophistcated." --Neil Peart
"Mark is and always has been a student of drumming and music. He has taken music seriously his entire life. His dedication and love for the art of drumming have made him an amazing drummer." --Kenny Aronoff
"I can highly recommend Mark Feldman as a musically versatile and experienced drummer. He plays with taste, emotion, a solid pocket and what I call the all important 'song sense.' He is also a great hang and equally at home on tour or in the studio." --Simon Phillips
"When I want a drummer for a recording session, Mark is my first call. He learns songs fast, can play pretty much any style, and has a seriously fat groove. He doesn't overplay, but if you want him to go off, he can do that too. And if that isn't enough, he and the click track are best buddies." --Felix McTeigue (Producer and Songwriter--Florida Georgia Line, Lori McKenna)
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
5 ReviewsEndorse Mark Feldman
I had the pleasure of working with Mark "Feldie" Feldman on my debut album, "Cheap Party Favors" and could not have been more pleased with the outcome of Mark's contributions. Following the albums release, Mark went on to play with my group, Electric Black Horse for several amazing dates in the NYC live music scene. The competency in which he plays is truly second to none. PREPARED. I can't stress how intuitive he is to direction. Rehearsals are always a joy with Mark as his time and tempo really hold it all together and in a live concert setting, he makes the band really shine! FELDIE!!!!!
I've worked with Mark both in the studio and live settings. Our sessions went super fast because he's that good- he nailed the vibe and groove right away. He's always open to feedback and stays focused during rehearsals. He is also enthusiastic, positive and brings great energy to the people he works with. He takes great pride in what he does and is eager to exceed your expectations. Highly recommend.
As an engineer I’ve worked with Mark on many occasions. Every session in every genre was a breeze. He’s a great musician and a great hang. The best part about working with Mark is that I always find the mix is easier. He’s always in the pocket and I can focus on the sound of his drums rather than spending time editing.
I’ve hired Mark on more than several occasions for recorded drum tracks. Without exception, Mark has provided world class drumming for a variety of music situations I hired him for. He’s responsive, flexible, extremely talented, reliable and also happens to be one of the nicest people you’d ever want to work with. Mark has and will continue to be one of my “go to” session drummers. He has my highest recommendation as a session drummer.
Look, let's just cut to the chase. Mark is just a monster player, incredible feel and touch, spot-on timing, and immaculate, precise playing. Without doubt, he's a world-class player and he makes my music come alive. He's like Frankenstein breathing life into dead tracks. Aside from his skills at the set, he's great at communicating and before he even put stick to drum, we spoke about the direction and my specific goal and needs. Sure you could probably spend more on a track but you will never get the Mark Feldman, laser-focused approach and his sensitive, kick ass musical interpretation.
Interview with Mark Feldman
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Dylan Wissing and I know each other. He's a great drummer and really knows his way around the studio. If I was going to tell you to use someone else instead of me to play drums on your project, I'd recommend him.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Drums are pretty analog in general. They are still made of wood or metal and we hit them with sticks. There is nothing digital about that. But, getting the signal recorded and manipulating it to sound amazing? It's a digital world now. The technology we have now is so amazing that I can't imagine wanting to use a tape machine to record.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception about musicians in general is that playing an instrument is all fun and games. You know, I've had people say, "wow, I wish I could just hang out and play drums all day." That makes it sound like I'm playing around and goofing off. What people don't realize is the kind of hard work and dedication that is involved in becoming really good at an instrument. It's really hard to do. Really hard. The work is worthwhile, because playing music is such a joy. But it takes serious commitment and focus and a lot of sweat.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I want to know what they are looking for. References to sounds and players. The more guidance I get on what they like, the better I can do my job.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: OK, let's assume there is no electricity, right? It's a desert island after all. So, I want my drums there. I'd want a BIG music notebook for writing down stuff I come up with. A pen. I'd like a motor boat and a fishing rod so I could eat. That's five.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out just playing shows in NYC as a teenager. I played in every band I could. I went away to college at Cornell, and when I returned, I began studying at Drummers Collective. One of the bands I was playing in got signed to A&M Records, and we were on our way. At the sessions for that band, I met Kenny Aronoff, who recommended me for a few gigs. I've been playing for more than 30 years!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: As a drummer my focus is on flow and groove. The feel is everything. I start there and try to add the kind of embellishments that make for interesting listening. I think it's fun to throw something in that's unexpected but not at the expense of the song--never at the expense of the song.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I really would like to work with Sting. Why? Well, he's Sting!! What a great musician. His bands are always superb. He's written so many great songs. I'm sure playing with him would be a blast.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Here's an idea for getting your drummer to play less fills. I once worked with a producer who came into the studio after a take and said to me, "Mark, that was great, but here's what I want you to do. Imagine that for every fill you play you have to pay $50. Then see how the next take will be.." Ha ha!! Clever, isn't it?
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Mostly rock and pop, but I can play anything! Last week, I was asked to play on a new version of "Do You Know The Way To San Jose," written by Burt Bacharach. The original track by Dionne Warwick had a real Bossa Nova feel, and you what? That was still the right feel for the song. So, whatever you throw at me, I can handle it. I've studied session drumming with Shawn Pelton, jazz drumming with John Riley and soloing with Dave DiCenso. I'm ready!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: The process is really simple. We'll talk about your project and get as specific as we can. References always help. If there are drummers or producers or tracks you like, I can always dial in the vibe more easily knowing that. You'll provide me with a reference track of your song. It can be a scratch or it can almost finished. I'll do a first pass and give it to you to listen to. If you like it, great. If you want some revisions, no worries. At the end of the process, you'll get the pro tools session files and or wavs. Other finished products are possible too. For example, if you want the track mixed and ready for your record, I can do that too as an additional service and fee.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to what the musician or producer you are considering hiring has done. Do you like how it sounds? Are they experienced? Do you like them? It's always more fun to work with people who you like....
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I've got a gorgeous set of Yamaha Stage Custom Birch drums. The snare drum I use most often is a Ludwig Black Beauty. My cymbals are Zildjian. I'm using two Focusrite units to give 16 total inputs which means I can set up a small drum kit or a large one if needed. I can track with a four piece kit or with five toms if needed. My mics are pro grade: SM57 on the snare, SM81s on the hi-hats, Earthworks DM-20s on the toms, and a matched pair of SE Electronics SE7s as overheads. My DAW is ProTools and I've got enough great plugins to do whatever is needed to in post.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of my work is recording live drum tracks. There is about a 70/30 split on live vs programmed. Sometimes I'm asked to mix drums for my clients as well.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is that I will treat your music as if it were my own. I like to pretend that I am the artist--that I wrote the song myself. That makes the song at hand of the utmost importance to me--after all, I wrote it! That is the care I put into what I do. The song is my baby too. I treat it like the precious piece of artwork that it is.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I have good ears. I know when something sounds good or not. That has helped me immensely with analyzing and adjusting my own playing. It also helps with production. As an engineer and mixer, I have to trust my judgement on how something sounds and when it sounds better or worse. I do have that trust in my ears. Now I know that the question is about one skill, but I have to say, I've dedicated my life to playing the drums and I feel my abilities there are on par with the amount of work I've put in. I've been recommended for gigs by Kenny Aronoff; I think that says something.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The thing that I hear from people most often is that they like my feel. To me, that's the greatest compliment because it is that one intangible thing that makes any track sound great. Feel is king for session drummers. Thankfully, I have that.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired, and I always have been, by great musicians and people who are among the best at what they do. That's why it was a dream come true to play with Will Lee and Oz Noy. They're both at the top of the heap. I'm also really excited about what people like drummer Aaron Sterling are doing. I see him as the new breed of session drummer. Not only is Sterling's playing is great, but his production is fantastic too. That's why I've dedicated myself to both sides of the equation. It's the future of session playing. Then of course, I'm inspired by great drummers. A few I love: Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, Steve Ferrone, Todd Sucherman, Sterling Campbell, Kenny Aronoff.