Seasoned session musician with 15+ years of drumming, producing, and engineering experience. My tracks focus on delivering the best performance of the perfect part for your song with emphasis on groove, feel, texture, energy, and attitude. My goal is to serve the writer's vision by enhancing the song without ever distracting from it.
Check out extensive session examples on this Spotify playlist: https://spoti.fi/3dR5vR4
Hi, my name is Nate Barnes. I have drummed for artists including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rodney Crowell, Ryan Bingham, Hiss Golden Messenger, Todd Snider, American Authors, Rose Hill Drive, and many others. I've made records with producers such as Brendan O’Brien, Jim Scott, Nick DiDia, and more, and I’ve also had my original compositions placed with companies such as HBO, Ford, Target, Chase, Facebook, and many others.
I've been doing online and in-person sessions for over 10 years for countless artists. My roots are in Rock N Roll but I have branched out from there into Pop, Country, Folk, Indie, Americana, and Singer-Songwriter, and I've done drum tracks in just about every genre imaginable over my years of remote recording. I’m also a solo artist (under the name Plutinos), a drum/beat programmer, and a guitarist, and am endorsed by Ludwig, Sabian, and Vic Firth.
I record drum tracks at my own custom built state-of-the art facility. The room is tuned and treated with a great room sound, and features API/Neve style preamps and great mics. I record 14 channels of drums with sounds ranging from dirty and greasy to clean and polished; from tight and crisp to big and bombastic. Feel free to reach out with any questions- I'd love to work on your project!
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
783 Reviews - 156 Repeat ClientsEndorse Nate Barnes
As always, a great pleasure working with Nate.
As always: super fast, super reliable, great playing!
Absolutely killed the drum track on the first take - what a pro! Definitely keen on working with Nate again.
Friendly and easy to work with. Offered a few alternatives and one revision. Delivered files quickly, and answered questions promptly. Definitely a strong drummer!
Nate once again killed it on the 3rd song he's worked on with us! I seriously can't recommend him enough for not only his skills but also his professionalism and character.
As always, super pro, super nice. Great guy, Nate...
Nate was great. Very professional and quick turnaround. He was very good about following my vision for the song, but also adding some of his own talent and intuition as a drummer, which improved the song immensely. Will definitely be using Nate again!
What can I say that hasn’t been said? Nate’s the man. Honest, Respectful, Professional with a monster drum sound all around and a great vision… I’d love to work with him in person on a full album but we can’t all have what we want can we haha! Thank you Nate for the awesome track!!
Great working with Nate! Quick, Efficient and an a great drummer!
Awesome job. Fast turn around and very professional. Thanks Nate!
Nate has played on a few projects for me now, and nails it every time! Even when my ideas aren’t totally together, he brings what I was hoping for to the song. He’s not only a great player, but an A+ engineer, and professional who’s responsive to direction and has quick turnaround. My go-to drummer :)
Nate is such an awesome drummer. Very professional and delivered exactly what we wanted in our song. We will definitely be working with him again.
Nate makes every song we do together sound better. Just a really great drummer and professional person. Highly recommend.
Easy communication and really fast delivery of the drum tracks.
Nate knew exactly what sound the drumset should have and what style would suit the song best.
I could even chose between a couple of drum takes.
With Nate you can't go wrong! Thanks a lot!
Really excellent drummer. He gave me a few options and also just nailed it without much back and forth. Highly recommend.
Absolute professional, knocked it out of the park!
Always great working with Nate!
could no have picked a better drummer to produce this album for me. Amazing drummer, knows exactly what to add to enrich music pieces 🙌🏼
fantastic results, 100% of the time. Pleasure working with Nate!
Quick turnaround, smooth communication and superb drumming.
Interview with Nate Barnes
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I primarily played with my original Rock n Roll band Rose Hill Drive from age 16-28. We started touring shortly after high school and released 4 records over the course of around 10 years. We were also fortunate to have been mentored by a local studio owner and were given free recording time at night when the studio wasn't otherwise booked, and logged countless hours and nights at that studio starting when I was 18. Learning my way around a full SSL console, patch bay, and outboard gear was very helpful in my eventual quest to record my own great sounding drum tracks. I started freelancing as a drummer around 2010 and also started engineering and producing other projects during that time. I've been doing in person sessions and online drum tracks out of my own space for almost 10 years now and am continually improving what I do, and I also freelance as a touring drummer.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a modern digital recording studio with a Universal Audio Apollo as the hub. This is a great sounding and very convenient setup as I am able to recall sessions in an instant should a client need revisions. I own most of the plugins that Universal Audio offers and I basically treat them like outboard gear, tracking through them using the Apollo software and printing them right into the DAW. Their plugins sound so similar to the actual pieces of hardware, and I'm able to use a bit of EQ and run tracks through a virtual tape machine, resulting in mix-ready drum tracks. I have all the typical microphones associated with tracking drums, and also use Neve and API style external preamps. I have a great sounding acoustically treated space with high ceilings and a great room sound. The other main component of the studio is the drums obviously. I'm a Ludwig endorsed artist and use various series of their amazing drums ranging in size from a small jazz kit to a big Bonham-y rock kit, and always make sure they're tuned perfectly before recording. I always have a kit set up and fully miked, but I can change anything and everything out to better tailor the drum sound to the specific track. I have a wide sonic range of Sabian cymbals and various drum knick knacks such as tea towels, mutes, muffling rings, tambourines, rivets, etc. to help me achieve the right sound and vibe.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My first step is to get on the same page with the writer. My goal is always to serve the song, and I like to get a good feel for what the writer's vision is. Some session musicians can bring their egos into the equation and think that their opinion is superior because they're the "professional" on their instrument, but I try to do the opposite. I am the one who is being hired to be of service to the writer and make sure that their vision is achieved, and I love getting input from non-drummers on how they envision the drum track to sound because it can often result in a very cool and unique drum part. Having respect for the origination of the song idea is key for me- I start hearing part ideas in my head right away when listening, but landing on the perfect drum part comes from a solid understanding of the writer's vision. My ultimate goal is to write creative parts that enhance and maximize the song without ever distracting from it. Reference tracks are always helpful for me as they give me a good idea sonically and stylistically of what the writer is after. After I've come up with the part I record 3 separate "keeper" takes on different playlists to give the client a few different vibes and options to choose from.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I spend most of my time in my studio- I do live drum tracks remotely as well as in person sessions with producers and artists, and also do a lot of composing, drum programming, beat making, and mixing. I also have a solo project called Plutinos where I record and perform everything myself and am currently working on my 2nd album.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently in the middle of writing and recording the follow up to my debut solo LP (Plutinos-LP). This time around I'm incorporating a lot more synths and programmed drums and have really enjoyed exploring new sonic spaces and honing my craft.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm heavily influenced by John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Steve Jordan, Ringo Starr, Chad Smith, and Keith Moon, so my style would be a mix of all of them combined. I focus primarily on feel, groove, and energy, and always play to serve the song- chops are great to get the crowd cheering but groove pays the bills!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Bassist Jimmy Stofer and guitarist Daniel Sproul are two people I do a ton of work with. They are both on SoundBetter and are both phenomenal musicians and engineers. We collaborate remotely all the time and can help bring an extra layer of cohesion to the online recording process when we get to work on a project together.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The project I'm most proud of would be my debut solo LP, released under the name Plutinos. I wrote, recorded, performed, engineered, mixed, and mastered it all on my own. It was such a fun and fulfilling project for me and I learned a ton in the process. It's available worldwide on all major streaming and download services.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Simplify your arrangement as much as possible- the best sounding mixes are songs where everything has it's own space and the parts complement each other. Stacking a "wall of sound" of overdubs often leads to a cluttered mix where nothing can really shine in it's own space.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: It's hard to list just a few, there are so many. I grew up loving Classic Rock and bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix. I was also very into 90's rock as a teenager and was influenced by bands such as Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Some of my favorite current drummers are Dave Grohl, Matt Chamberlain, Josh Freese, Steve Jordan, Aaron Sterling, and Ash Soan. I'm also a big fan of producers such as George Martin, Rick Rubin, Dave Sardy, Greg Wells, Brendan O' Brien, Tchad Blake, and Blake Mills.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work on many different styles of music including, Rock, Pop, Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Country, Indie, and Electronic.