I'm Alex, and I'm here to record hard hitting drums for your songs! I've been a drummer for nearly two decades, specializing in the hard rock genre. I'm partial to the heavier side of things, and adept at writing grooves that compliment distorted guitars and quick tempos.
I've recorded and produced a full length album and EP with my band, played multiple live shows across several US states, and recorded 250+ songs with other artists and songwriters online.
After graduating in 2012 with a degree in Audio Technology, I've worked in commercial recording studios, a record label, and my own audio business, so I know what's expected of the modern musician and how to help in achieving that sound.
Over the years I've accumulated pro level recording equipment to give you the best sounding results, which are fully competitive with industry standard quality. While I specialize in all types of rock music, I'm certainly comfortable with other genres and always interested in getting involved.
I always work hard to get you the sound that's perfect for your music, and go to great lengths to make sure that you get exactly what you are looking for.
Shoot me a message with any questions, and I look forward to working with you soon!
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Alex May Drums
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would say that it's my ear for what to play. Working with heavier rock and quicker tempos, there is a lot of opportunity for adding extravagant fills and technical parts, but it's more important to know when not to play these and just stick to a beat that accentuates the melody of the song. That way, when a great fill is placed in the song, it has a much larger impact, and doesn't feel out of place.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: After receiving a song, I'll map out the structure, and note any parts that the original demo version may have that need to be kept in the song. After that, I'll go through the sections and write ideas that complement the melody and groove, until finding the one that I think fits best. When the parts are all written, I'll record multiple takes until I feel that I've captured the best performance, compile these together, and send back to the artist for approval.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To deliver a final drum performance that fits the song perfectly, and is exactly what the client is looking for.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love that I can interact with and record for people all over the world from my own studio. It lets me work with a bunch of different styles of music, learn new compositional techniques, and meet new people!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: First, I ask if the artist already has a drum part in mind, or if I will be creating one from the start.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid to make radical changes when processing audio! One of the best things I've learned was watching a video for a song I like, and seeing the drastic EQ and compression moves that were involved in making the final sound. Prior to that, I was afraid to make changes like that, convinced that I was doing something wrong at the recording stage.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: On August 19, 2017, my band Flashback Flash released our first album that was recorded, produced, and mixed all by ourselves. I recorded the final drum tracks in my studio after laying down some initial rough tracks, and the rest of the album was recorded in an apartment through a Universal Audio Twin Duo, Axe FX II, and a Miktek C7 and AKG 214 microphone. After it was mixed, we had it mastered by one of our friends, a great local mastering engineer, and I couldn't be more excited with the results. In my opinion, it's a perfect representation of what artists can do in the current music climate; you no longer need to have thousands of dollars to book a few hours in a commercial studio just to get professional sounding results. If you're willing to put in the work and the time, you can absolutely get your music sounding great without having to rely on loans or a label, and maintain complete creative control over your vision.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on a video series about modern recording techniques as it pertains to recording and editing drums, as well as playing out with my band, Flashback Flash, and promoting our newly released CD.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: You need both, but I would actually say digital. As long as the analog sound is great prior to being captured by the microphones, the freedom and flexibility that digital audio offers once it's been captured by the recording software has changed the workflow for modern music production. Provided that you don't over-edit things and lose the feel of the initial recording, the benefits of being able to recall sessions, add additional effects processing, and share your music worldwide without having to own a $100K recording console have let many more musicians share their creative gift than ever before. ...although I certainly wouldn't mind having a smaller format SSL or Neve console!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Big sounding rock drums with fast and more technical fills and beats when the song calls for it. I grew up listening to classic rock (Zeppelin, Rush, Aerosmith), really got into pop-punk when I first started playing, then later on more advanced prog rock. As a result, I can lay down the appropriate groove for the song, while being able to add in extra flavor when there's room for it in the context of the song.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Muse without a doubt! They've been my favorite band for well over a decade, and everything about their music makes sense to me. Not only are all three members amazing musicians, but they do a majority of their production work, and are all very hands on in the studio. If you watch any of their "Making Of" documentaries from their albums, it's clear that they take artist creation very seriously, and want to be hands on in the process from start to finish, rather than just recording their part and letting someone else take care of the rest.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing the drums at age 13, and realized that I wanted this to be my career after my first live show! Self-taught initially, I took lessons shortly after, and went to school to learn how to record, mix, and produce myself so that I can work with others.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have my own studio that I've acoustically treated and picked some of the best gear to get great results from. I have a Tama Superstar drum set with a variety of cymbals, Universal Audio and Focusrite audio interfaces and preamps, and an assortment of Shure, AKG, Sennheiser, and Rode microphones. Most of the time I record myself in Ableton Live 9 or Logic Pro X, but do a consistent amount of sessions in Pro Tools 12 as well. For post-processing and mixing, I use a wide assortment of plugins from Universal Audio, Waves, Soundtoys, and more to get a sound that's appropriate for the final song.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I perform and record live drum tracks for artists and bands.