Hey, I'm Jonathan. I'm a record producer | session drummer from Nashville, based in Los Angeles. I work with Multi-Platinum & Grammy Winning Artists, Producers, and Songwriters in Nashville, Los Angeles, and recently at Abbey Road Studios in London. Let's work together!
Former Luna Halo [Rick Rubin / Columbia Records] drummer, producer, and songwriter. I'm very grateful to have toured the world and played sessions with A-List musicians, producers, songwriters, as well as produced artists in world-class studios in Nashville, Los Angeles, and NYC. Recently, I had the honor of working at famed Abbey Road Studios in London.
Nashville based sixteen years, and now based in Los Angeles, I worked with [and still do] the best musicians, producers, engineers, mixers, and songwriters on the planet. I developed more than musical and technical skill..I learned how to work with people. Dealing with integrity and treating everyone with respect, regardless of level, is the right way to be.
My songs, productions, engineering, mixes, programming, and musical performances have been used in film, tv, and radio around the world. Recently placed music in a Universal Pictures feature film and soundtrack, Discovery Channel, ABC, NBC, MTV, etc.
Major and Indie Labels / Publishers, Multi-Platinum Selling, Multi-Grammy / Multi-Dove Award Winning Producers, Artists, & Songwriters like Busbee, Kevin Max [dcTalk], Blake Shelton, Christopher Von Uckermann [RBD], as well as rising stars like Hayley Kiyoko have all trusted me to deliver the goods...and so can you.
Regardless of your level or budget, I will work with you to give you the best VALUE possible.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
- Luna Halo
- Hayley Kiyoko
- Kevin Max
- Juliett Simms
- Karen Fairchild
- Blake Shelton
- Abbey Road Studios
- Mindy Smith
- Lucie Silvas
- Michael English
- Claude Mcknight
- Michael Tait
- Matt Mahr
- Patty Smyth
- Nikki Williams
- Universal Pictures
- Haley Reinhart
- Dia Frampton
- Leah Turner
- Emerson Hart
- Sony Music Entertainment
- Atlantic Records
- Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts
- Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town
- Kevin Max of dcTalk
1 ReviewsEndorse TheRealJonSmith
For almost a year I've been able to call on Jon for all my drum tracking needs. He is a dream to work with: reliable, flexible and has the talent to match his great attitude. I've recommended him to colleagues who use him regularly for everything from live drums to programming electronic beats.
I totally trust him to deliver every time and couldn't give a higher recommendation.
Interview with TheRealJonSmith
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Aside from writing, producing, composing music for film, and playing drum sessions, I'm developing a couple artists at the moment. One is a cross between Lorde and Taylor Swift. The other is Jeff Buckley meets Nothing Like Thieves. Super inspired and excited!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Simpler. Fewer. Ingredients.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use everything. Huge fan of the classics. I own or rent world class vintage and modern gear like API, Neve, UA, SSL, Distressors, 1176's, LA2A, LA3A, Shure, Neumann, AKG, Coles, Royer, Ludwig, Paiste, Gibson, Fender, Orange, and less known boutique gear like Vintech and Overstayer, etc, per project. The usual stuff. Apple. Logic. UA. Waves. Apogee. Mogami. Soundtoys. I'm multi-genre, with people's needs being drastically different. I've gotten super focused on capturing and delivering the highest quality source, and letting you sculpt it the way you want at mix. I do minimal processing for remote sessions, unless you ask for it :)
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I co-wrote and produced a song for Rachele Royale which Mutt Lange signed and made an album. Yep. Crazy when she got that call during our vocal session...had to tell her who he was.. and she just started crying. Amazing.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm new here so check back here for info.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: If you press play and love it...do you care?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: 100% satisfaction. It's your project, and I'm here for you.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do you like my music? Yes, or I wouldn't be working with you. How much do you charge? Depends on what you want to do.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's easy.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you want to do? How can I help you? Those questions are everything.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Respect, but don't chase credits. Gear and studios don't make records..people do. Ferrari's aren't cheap..and nothing of quality is. You will never regret going ALL in on your dreams. Your success is 100% up to you. Okay I'm starting to sound like Gary V right now hahaha! But you hear what I'm sayin'..
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: MBP, Ludwig drums, Paiste cymbals, SM57, Duet 2.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: On stage playing drums at 9. First session at 15. On tour at 17. Traveling the world at 20. Nashville at 24. Los Angeles at 40. I'm very grateful for everything I've gotten to do and get to do, everyday. It's mind-blowing, and more on the way folks!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Human, tight, big, fat, punchy, and commercial.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: U2. Nostalgia.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, Country, Pop, and Singer Songwriter. Composing for film here in Los Angeles.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think I bring empathy, passion, skill, experience, and most importantly...feel. I mean...I've had a unique career having been a band guy, session guy, artist, side guy, producer, songwriter, engineer, programmer, and mixer. Sure I left something out haha. Anyway..just saying I am YOU..just in a different place on a timeline. I make entire records..from writing those pesky 2nd Verse lyrics, to the final mastered release. I have another career as a session drummer...bringing all this knowhow with me. I'm a SONG guy, period.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Well, I listen. It's your record. I'll help you meet and exceed what's in your mind.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: If Mutt Lange, Rick Rubin, Daniel Lanois, Tchad Blake, or Brendan O'Brien had anything to do with it..it probably inspired me. I love anything good, really. Jeff Porcaro is my drumming idol.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Generally, if I'm writing with an artist or band, it's because I'm producing their record. In this case, I play most of the instruments myself, if not a band. I'm smart enough to hire people better than me to play certain things if we need!