Aaron Shafer-Haiss

Production | Live Drums | Mix

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54 Reviews (43 Verified)
Aaron Shafer-Haiss on SoundBetter

I am a seasoned producer and drummer/multi-instrumentalist who has worked on Grammy nominated records, with Warner Bros records, HBO, Ron Pope, Nicole Atkins, Margo Price, Showtime, CBS, NBC. I have played all over the world, in arenas and theaters and dive bars and the Grand Ole Opry. I love bringing music to life!

Other people that have trusted me to bring their music to life include JD McPherson, Elizabeth Cook, Blue Note records jazz/soul artist Jose James, Brazilian star Lenine, and Bruce Willis (yep, as in Die Hard).

Whether we are talking about full song production or a live drum track, with me you will get taste, versatility & a passionate human feel that amplifies your song/track, every time, or I'm not finished working on it. I love finding that unique something that sets each song apart, that makes it shine and brings it to the next level.

I have taken songs from a simple voice memo to a full radio-ready production. I have helped with lyrics to find that hook that sticks with you for days. I have hired a full band of top-tier Nashville session musicians to realize a vision, and I have simply overdubbed live drums on a nearly-finished track. No project is too big or too small.

My number one goal is to make your track as great as it can be, so click the green CONTACT button above and lets start a conversation! I'm all for clear communication, and if I feel that I cannot elevate your vision I will recommend you someone who can - but we won't know until we talk!

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Aaron Shafer-Haiss
  • Christopher Paul Stelling
  • Motel Motel
  • Maracatú New York
  • Michaela Anne
  • Michaela Anne
  • Michaela Anne
  • Michaela Anne
  • Nation Beat
  • Nation Beat
  • Nation Beat
  • Ben Botfield
  • Ben Botfield

54 Reviews - 10 Repeat Clients

Endorse Aaron Shafer-Haiss
  1. Review by Thomas E.
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    Fantastic player, friendly, communicative, worked quickly and responded to feedback excellently! Can't recommend Aaron enough.

  2. Review by Douglas A.
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    I'll keep saying the same thing...this guy is terrific! Aaron has a great grasp of what is needed for your song behind the kit. He's brought my songs to life and will make my album really solid (on the percussion end of things). Thanks again, Aaron!

  3. Review by Anthony L.
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    Sensational as usual: every time working with Aaron is an absolute pleasure and every time he blows me away with his creativity and professionalism. A real gem!

  4. Review by Douglas A.
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    I had Aaron do 3 more songs with me. And actually, he will be drumming on my entire album. Why? ... because we have a great groove together. He's a great drummer. He understands where the drums and percussion sit in the song. He does his homework and learns the song before ever getting in the studio behind the kit. Great to worth with. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

  5. Review by Soph L.
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    Aaron is great! I highly recommend working with him. He's extremely talented and created an awesome drum track for my song. As an added bonus, I felt that he really cared about my project and helped correct some time signature issues along the way. If you're in need of a drum track, he's definitely your person!

  6. Review by Brian J.
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    Pro live drum performances and programming

  7. Review by Douglas A.
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    Aaron made my year. OK, that's a bit strong, but I asked him to bring my song to life with the use of a real studio drums (sorry Logics Pro) and he far exceeded my expectations. He was quick, thorough and super easy to work with. He got the vibe of what I was trying to do in about 1 minute. Yep, really happy with Aaron. If he's this good at studio drumming work, I can't imagine what he can do in his other areas of expertise (production, mixing, etc.). Thanks Aaron. Highly recommend.

  8. Review by Per H.
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    by Per H.
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    Aaron did a great job on my alt-country rock track. He gave me an excess of drum tracks and percussion with a great performance and real drums sounds. He really went the extra mile and I'm very happy with it. I will definitely use Aaron again.

  9. Review by Arne Jakob
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    Aaron is amazing, I had all instruments re-recorded, which was just a thrill to listen to. Great energy, great musician, tasteful playing and he was really good to see exactly what the song needed. Mixing and mastering was high-end quality. Looking forward to next project!

  10. Review by Justin H.
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    Super easy to work with, his communication and understanding of what I envision is right on, drums tones and recording sound excellent.

  11. Review by Anthony L.
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    Simply amazing. We've collaborated many times with Aaron, and every time it's a real pleasure. When we work on jazz tracks, then, the pleasure is double! Can't wait to collaborate with him again!

  12. Review by Kyle S.
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    Aaron Delivered Exactly what we Asked! Sounds Great! Would Hire Aaron Again.

  13. Review by Danny
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    by Danny
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    Aaron is so easy and fun to work with and comes up with such great drum parts that sound incredible!

  14. Review by Jacqueline B.
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    Working with Aaron was absolutely amazing!! I reached out to him to play drums for a concert filming I was doing in Nashville, but he went above and beyond to help me organize a full band, back-up singers, and a location for my event since I was flying in from Texas. From the first message, he made me feel at ease and comfortable from miles away. The concert went off without a hitch, as Aaron is a thoughtful, skilled, and creative percussionist and musician!!!

  15. Review by Danny
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    by Danny
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    Working with Aaron was fantastic! He has such great taste and is a killer player with a diverse sonic palette. It was incredibly easy to talk with him about the sections and parts and his ideas. I'm so grateful for the access this site provides to such amazing artists!

  16. Review by Tom F.
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    by Tom F.
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    Wonderful experience with Aaron. Killer feel and tone to his playing, deep in the pocket and he went above and beyond as if it was his own song. Aaron is a true session pro and will be a huge asset to your project. Looking forward to sending him more songs.

  17. Review by Labronn C.
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    This was my very first experience with Aaron, and he has proven to be a crazy talented drummer. He's extremely flexible and is also very understanding in terms of what you're looking for. Highly recommended.

  18. Review by felix s.
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    one of the best drummers you can find.

  19. Review by felix s.
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    great sound, groove and easy to communicate. Best drummer you can ask for .

  20. Review by KidKong
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    So glad to work with Aaron. He’s so polite and doing excellent work. He literally lit up my song, and he knows what I want to express. Anyway, Aaron is perfect match for my song and wish I could work with him again!

Interview with Aaron Shafer-Haiss

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I recently made a record with a group called Rain + Left. We took a house that was off the grid in the California wilderness, turned it into a studio, and proceeded to track 20 songs direct to tape in 5 days. It was an incredibly creative process where everyone was reaching for left-of-center parts, the engineer was reaching for creative sounds and mic placements, and everyone was focused on creating a soundscape and performance that brought each song to its fullest life - outside of the "full day" clock ticking in a commercial studio, or a record label breathing genre-specific restraints on the songs. I played drums and percussion and everyone had a hand in production.

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

  4. A: I'm currently working on a scoring film with a composer in upstate NY, finishing the touring year with Nicole Atkins, and working on conquering my fear of writing my own lyrics.

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

  6. A: Jordan Pearlson is the first person to come to mind. A fellow Nashville by way of Brooklyn drummer Jordan is not only a great guy but an immensely talent and creative drummer.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Digital, approached with the analog aesthetic. Meaning, record digitally because the work flow is quicker and the gear more reliable, but approach the takes as if recording analog and that the tape is wasting away and there are no chance for overdubs. Though this isn't the actual case, I find this approach keeps you supremely focused and present in each performance.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: I promise to always give my best to bring their vision to life - whether that is simply interpreting demo drums or drum loops that I am sent, or working closely with them to carve out the unrealized part they hear in their head but can't vocalize.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: I like that it is so varied - both in the artists and songs that I get to play, as well as the locations and spaces/gear I get to use.

  13. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  14. A: One of the biggest misconceptions is that a drummer's roll is purely to keep time. Though that is one part of our job, we are also here to breathe life and energy into the song, outline the form eloquently, and drive the energetic and emotional shape/pacing of the song as a whole.

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: Two common questions besides the nuts and bolts questions regarding form and feel for each song include wanting to know their main influences, and they're hopes and goals for the song or project.

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. A: Hiring someone remotely over the internet can be a daunting task. You want to make sure that communication flows easily, that you trust they will bring your artistic vision to life quickly and accurately, and that they are responsive to any criticism or revisions that you may request and will take the time and care to make it right.

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: I would bring a MacBook Air, and Apollo Twin interface, and AKG 414, a late 60's Gibson J45 and a pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine that you can basically play drum set grooves on).

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

  22. A: Right out of conservatory I fell into a mix of performing in afrobeat and Brazilian bands throughout NYC and on the road, while also playing with a variety of songwriters both on stage and in the studio, and teaching music through Lincoln Center and Brooklyn Philharmonic outreach programs. After a decade in NYC I moved to Nashville where my career has focused on studio work around town, touring with various artists, and composing for film/television and other media from my home studio. I've been playing and recording professionally for around 17 years.

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: It is organic and human while being solid and propulsive, all while remaining supportive and appropriate to the song.

  25. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  26. A: I would love to work with Jeff Lynne. His songwriting is masterful, his orchestration and production is unique and varied, and he seems like a great hang.

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

  28. A: If the instrument or part is not crucial to achieving the feel/goal of the section then it is not necessary.

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

  30. A: I like to say that I usually work with songs - bringing an artist's lyrical content and story to life. As a genre this most often falls into the americana/rock/pop categories.

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: My versatility - in addition to being versed in a variety of styles and instruments, my experience as a composer and producer allows me to mix styles and grooves to find a unique part for each song.

  33. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  34. A: I always try to bring the most appropriate balance of subtle support and intriguing parts/sounds to a song to bring it alive to it's truest character.

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

  36. A: My drum tracking process starts by listen to, digesting and learning the song. After deciding on an appropriate groove and shape to the song I pick which drum sounds and percussion instruments will bring the song to life in the most intriguing way. I track all drum and percussion parts, and once all parts/revisions have been approved by the client then either deliver them as raw tracks or mix them as requested by the client. My drums are always miced so the process is streamlined to be as efficient as possible.

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

  38. A: I most frequently record drums and/or percussion parts for clients, 1-3 songs at a time, though full album projects are not far behind. This usually entails conceiving of both parts, sounds, and instrument choices, as well as layering multiple instruments to form different rhythms and textures. Outside of tracking drums & percussion I fill my time composing and producing tracks for various types of media.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I have an isolated home studio in Nashville TN. Flexible drum positioning in the room allows for a variety of sounds, from dry and punchy to big and roomy. I have API, Neve and UA preamps, as well as a wide variety of plugins to shape the sounds. Other instruments include a variety of guitars, other stringed instruments, an upright piano and a lowery organ.

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

  42. A: I've always been drawn to the do-it-all-yourself guys like Jeff Lynne, as well as the full time session crews that stuck together like the Wrecking Crew, The Swampers, and the Stax rhythm section.

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Terms Of Service

I offer:
- 2 revisions on drum/percussion tracks (3 takes total)
- Maximum 10 day turnaround, though may be as short as same-day.
- Production services timeline and price based on project details.

GenresSounds Like
  • The Black Keys
  • Julia Michaels
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Gear Highlights
  • API + Neve Pres
  • ribbon + vintage mics
  • lots of synths and guitars
  • vintage drums and cymbals
  • modern drums and cymbals
  • too much world percussion
  • most plugins
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