Nate Barnes

Session Drummer

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45 Reviews (39 Verified)
Nate Barnes on SoundBetter

Online session drummer for hire with over 10 years of session drumming and audio engineering experience. Drummer for Rose Hill Drive, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Ryan Bingham. The key elements of my drum tracks are the feel, sound, energy, vibe, and groove, and I focus on delivering the best version of the perfect part for your song.

Hi, my name is Nate Barnes. Some of my credits include playing with Pete Townshend, Warren Haynes, Leslie West, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ryan Bingham, Rose Hill Drive, Grace Potter, Matisyahu, Mike Watt, and many others. I have made records with producers such as Brendan O’Brien, Jim Scott, Nick DiDia, and more.

My drumming is featured on 2 releases from Oscar and Grammy award winning artist Ryan Bingham ("Fear And Saturday Night LP" and "Ryan Bingham Live LP"), and I am the drummer for Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter. I have also released 4 studio albums with my original rock band Rose Hill Drive. I specialize in Rock, Pop, Indie, Country, Americana, and Folk, and am endorsed by Ludwig, Sabian, and Vic Firth.

I record drum tracks at my state-of-the art facility outside Denver, CO. The room is acoustically treated and features API / Neve style preamps and industry standard microphones. I have engineered in major studios and know my way around a full console, patch bay, and outboard gear, and I bring this engineering experience to my drum tracks. My main goal is to SERVE THE SONG. I strive to help the writer's vision come to fruition by perfectly complementing their song and never distracting from it. Check out my "More Samples" playlist on the right side bar for examples of my work, and feel free to message me with any questions- I'd love to work on your project.

Send me a note through the contact button above.

Reviews (45)

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  1. Review by Gideon H.
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    This dude is literally in my brain and knows exactly what I want with me not having to go into great detail. This is the 2nd time I’ve hired him and he’s done 3 tracks for me so far. This time he knocked it out in less than a day. 2 tracks, 3 takes each in under a day. Super awesome dude! Will recommend to everyone and their moms. He won’t let you down and you’ll be amazed every time.

  2. Review by Opher Y.
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    Nate was a pleasure to deal with, great drummer, very musical and gave us plenty of different takes and options to work with. Will definately be back for more.

  3. Review by Gideon H.
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    Super cool dude. Easy to work with. Super fast turnaround. Will definitely work with him again. Will recommend to anyone.

  4. Review by Ola B.
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    It was a pleasure to work with Nate. He laid drums on two of our songs and he was attentive to our ideas, and at the same time gave us suggestions of alternative playing-styles. He worked fast, accurately and we felt that the songs were in good hands!

  5. Review by Benjamin W.
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    Nate is very professional and sends me some versions with varieties that I could choose from. Fast delivery, I would choose him again.

  6. Review by Felix S.
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    Very easy workflow, super efficient, great sense of timing, nice sounds.

  7. Review by Mattias L.
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    Nate is awesome, very high quality, the tracks I got was very easy to add to my project. Will definitely work with him again.

  8. Review by David M.
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    This is the second time I've worked with Nate. Once again Nate delivered not only what I asked for, but somehow *exactly* what I had hoped for. And best of all, he sent me a take that featured a great idea he had for the track which really changed the dynamic of the song (and became the "keeper" take). Professionalism and passion!

  9. Review by David M.
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    Working with Nate was amazing. He took my ideas and request and really knocked it out of the park with his performance. He communicated with me was excellent (as evidenced in how well he delivered on the brief), and the downloads I got from him were so well organized it was a breeze to add them to my DAW session. Can't wait to work with Nate again!

  10. Review by Devyn Faucher
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    Nate was very quick and easy to communicate with, extremely receptive, and his drum sound was phenomenal. I will definitely work with him in the future!

  11. Review by Samu Puuronen
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    Nate created a groovy drum track for a rap song I produced. Having worked with Nate earlier I knew he would come up with something cool. Nate came up with a drum track I couldn't have created on my own. Nate is very easy to work with. He is a superb drummer. His recordings are always high-quality. Thank You Nate!

  12. Review by Mario L.
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    Great drummer! great sounding tracks!
    what else do you need to make a great song?
    very professional and reliable

  13. Review by Jason W.
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    Nate was a pleasure to work with. Super quick in his communications and sending the tracks over, and was happy to make adjustments that I had asked for. His playing was tasteful and energetic and totally fit the song. The drum sounds were fantastic and have that fat, organic sound you get from real tape/analog. You should hire him!

  14. Review by Mario L.
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    Great drummer! Very friendly and professional!
    Thanks Amigo!

  15. Review by Geron H.
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    Nate is the man! Sent several takes to choose from and was right on time. And of course they sound amazing! A++++

  16. Review by Stan Rose
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    hire him soon before he's too famous for your budget...that's all i gotta say ;)

  17. Review by Bent Depui
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    I am just stunned on how fast and proffesional this guy is! He delivered the perfect drum track for me, and I am blown away! HIRE him!

  18. Review by Tyler Z.
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    All I can say is wow. Nate's drumming completely transformed our track. Nate is incredibly gifted and professional, and his drum kit, room, and microphone setup are phenomenal.

  19. Review by Stan Rose
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    Well, go figure, Nate can handle fast heavy metal as well...there's no genre he can't tackle. I also should mention that the stems I get from him are some of the best recorded of any session musician I have worked with.

  20. Review by Dustin T.
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    Nate really went the distance and worked patiently to help us figure out the intricacies of the rhythms and fills. And when I say went the distance, he gave us 14 great takes (we could have used the first round had we not been so picky). His cost for the extra revisions was more than reasonable, too. Do yourself a favor and hire him now!

  21. Review by Dustin T.
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    This is my second review of Nate. Can't say enough about the guy. Great drummer and a great engineer. Hire this guy!

  22. Review by Dustin T.
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    Nate is an absolute pro. Can't speak any higher of him. He takes the time to listen, gave us plenty of takes to work with, and really elevated the material. Do yourself a favor and higher this guy!

  23. Review by Stan Rose
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    Always great working with Nate...he has a wealth of knowledge and experience and can tackle any kind of music I throw at him. Highly recommended.

  24. Review by Stan Rose
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    Nate always exceeds my expectations...he's a total professional and a pleasure to work with.

  25. Review by Danny W.
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    Nate was once again great to work with. Fast and very responsive. Gave both songs a great feel and in the three takes he gave me for one of the songs there was one take that was what I had originally imagined performed flawless and one track that had some unexpected possibilites for the track. Now the trick is deciding which great take to choose.

  26. Review by Bryan A.
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    Working with Nate was amazing. He was professional and friendly in his communication. He seemed genuinely excited to work on our project which you can hear in the final product. This guy is an incredible drummer and took our songs to the next level with his ability! I'd love to work with Nate again.

  27. Review by David Y.
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    This guy is a hard worker who has great timing. His timing is so good, I asked if he was using a computer. No, it was live. Oh yeah. Looking forward to more projects with him.

  28. Review by Frédéric f.
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    That's always a real pleasure to work with Nate. He has a great feeling with a large spectrum of music which is very important for me!

  29. Review by Stan Rose
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    Nate was prompt and easy to work with; his tracks were perfect for the song. Hope to work with him again!

  30. Review by Ben S.
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    Nate was great to work with - responsive, creative, with excellent recording technique.

  31. Review by Alessio C.
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    Nate is an amazing drummer, great style, groove, and sound!
    I am really glad to have found him and definitely, I got more tracks for him!
    Highly recommended!

  32. Review by Danny W.
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    Nate is an awesome drummer that gave me the sound and feel of the song I was looking for. The drums also sonically sound great with his setup and provides enough tracks for you to dial in the sound of the kit you want. His turn around time is really quick and is easy and prompt to communicate with. Definitely a top notch session player!

  33. Review by Vaihi O.
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    Just got my Drum Tracks back and I can't tell you how much he slammed this song. I mean my head is moving to the groove, Nate is amazing, fast and very easy to work with. Can't say how much I love what he has brought to this song. Mahalo nui Nate AWESOME Job bro.

  34. Review by Frédéric f.
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    I produced some production music in France. I work with Nate since one or two mouth and he played drums on 5 tracks for me. I highly recommanded Nate, he's got a great feeling, great sounds, easy to speak with and he's very reactive. I think that I've find my drummer!

  35. Review by Neill MacCallum
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    Nate did an amazing track on my track Dove in my hands! Great feel, great sounds, easy to communicate with. Pleasure to work with, I highly recommend!

  36. Review by Samu Puuronen
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    Nate played drums for our next single. He nailed it. Nate brought so much power to the song & just made it so much better. It was a pleasure to create music with Nate. I highly recommend Nate as a drummer! Thank You!

  37. Review by David Y.
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    If this was the wild west, Nate is the best hired gun to handle the job. I needed razor sharp steel and he delivered.

  38. Review by David Y.
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    LOL working with Nate. He makes music fun. 40 years of producing and working with drummers, it's like I'm back to the good days of old school live studio producing, but we did it over the internet. Got to love that.

  39. Review by Neill MacCallum
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    Nate was an absolute pleasure to work with. The drum sounds he gets are impressive, the kick is huge the snare is warm. The timing is solid, and the feel and groove are just right!! Very happy with his work, to say nothing of his turn around time. Highly recommend!! Cant wait to work with him again soon

  40. Review by Tim B.
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    I sent Nate a track with a strings, vocals and some really bad digital drums. I explained in general what I was looking for and he exceeded my expectations and turned something around very quickly. The drums he records sound amazing and he is obviously a very gifted musician. Psyched to send him more tunes to work on...

  41. Review by Igor Korzhov
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    Just finished mixing the song for Tantalize (Samu Puuronen) with Nate on drums.
    I can say only positive about drum performance and record quality Nate provided.
    Everything has perfect timing, no need for extra edits or tightening.
    By looking at files I can tell that they were recorded by a true professional.
    11 channels including room, reverb and extra mic for adding colors to the sound are all h

  42. Review by Jimmy Stofer
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    I've had the pleasure to work with Nate many many times. He's one of a kind, and always my first call. I've hired him on everything from albums, to commercials, to film/tv cues. He's an incredibly talented drummer, he's very professional, and just all-around a great guy to work with. He always exceeds my expectations!

  43. Review by Jonathan Huvard
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    Nate Barnes is an incredible musician, producer, and all around great dude. His super laid back attitude makes it easy to bounce ideas off of. Nate's experienced, professional, and always accomplishes the task at hand. I started working with Nate about five years ago, and he quickly became one of my go-to drummers for both session work and gigs!

  44. Review by Jeff Cormack
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    Nate is truly amazing. I've seen him track 16 songs in one day... And he had never heard the songs until that day. He's hands down the best drummer I've ever worked with and the best drummer I've seen live. He can play any style of music, learn a song in a matter of minutes and and then play it better than you could ever imagine.

  45. Review by Daniel Sproul
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    Nate Barnes is the best drummer on the planet in my eyes. I dare you to find a living match. I don't flinch when I compare him to John Bonham or Keith Moon or the like. To get his drumming at this price point is beyond a steal of a deal... And to boot, he's as professional as it gets.

Interview with Nate Barnes

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

  2. A: I'm currently in the middle of recording the first album of my solo project Plutinos. I'm writing, performing, engineering, mixing, and mastering all of it myself and am really excited to get it out into the world!

  3. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  4. A: I have worked with bassist Jimmy Stofer for years and would recommend him to anyone needing great bass tracks.

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

  6. A: I primarily played with my original band Rose Hill Drive from age 16-28. We started touring pretty much full time after high school and released 4 records over the course of 10 years. I started freelancing as a drummer around 2010 and also started engineering at studios in the area. Learning my way around a full SSL console, patch bay, and outboard gear was very helpful in my quest to record my own great sounding drum tracks.

  7. Q: How would you describe your style?

  8. 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- chops are great to get the crowd cheering but groove pays the bills!

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

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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", 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.

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

  16. A: I work on many different styles of music including, Rock, Pop, Americana, Folk, Country, Indie, and even Electronic.

  17. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  18. 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 technology has gotten to the point where the plugins sound almost identical to the actual pieces of gear, and I'm able to gate, EQ, compress, 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. My room is acoustically treated and I have honed in on the perfect sound and placement of microphones over the course of several years. 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 stuff out here and there to better tailor it 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.

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

  20. A: I'm a full time drummer and spend most of my time doing sessions. I do sessions at other studios in the Denver, CO area but I do most of my work out of my own studio. I do drum tracks for bands, singer-songwriters, producers, and composers, and I also compose my own original music for TV and film. I also have a solo project called Plutinos where I record and perform everything myself. Additionally, I engineer and produce other bands in the area, either at my own studio or Coupe Studios in Boulder, CO.

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Rose Hill Drive- Bad Design

I was the Drummer, Co-producer, Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

1-3 day turnaround, schedule permitting. After discussing your project I'll record 3 full takes with some variations, and I also include a free revision to make sure you get exactly what you need.

GenresSounds Like
  • Steve Jordan
  • Dave Grohl
  • Ringo Starr
Gear Highlights
  • Ludwig Drums (various series and sizes)
  • Sabian Cymbals (various series with a wide range of sounds)
  • Universal Audio Apollo Interface
  • API and Neve Style Preamps
  • High End Industry Standard Microphones
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