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!
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
40 Reviews - 9 Repeat ClientsEndorse Aaron Shafer-Haiss
Aaron is so easy and fun to work with and comes up with such great drum parts that sound incredible!
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!!!
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!
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.
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.
one of the best drummers you can find.
great sound, groove and easy to communicate. Best drummer you can ask for .
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!
super creative with a genuine and awesome personality. Aaron's tracks are tight as hell and i cant wait to work again soon.
wow, super impressive with quick turn around time, great personality, and superb tight drums. real pleasure!
Working with Aaron was a pleasure! I am happy to have found such a great collaborator. He was super easy to work receptive to suggestions and quick to respond. Aaron brought his creativity and sensitivity to my lyrics and the spirit of the track. With the drum parts and percussion that he added to replace the programmed drums that had been there, he enriched the track greatly. I look forward to working with Aaron again in the future! with
Very helpful and professional. Asked for and acted upon feedback, and produced just what I needed for the track.
Aaron is super easy to work with and really enthusiastic about the songs he's working on. Would highly recommend him to anyone!
WOW. It's such a great privilege to work with a true pro that hears and appreciates your vision for a song. He takes suggestions without batting an eye; does a revision if you need and doesn't over play the part. All while putting his special touch on it; I HIGHLY recommend him and look forward to more projects with him in the near future!!
With Aaron, we worked on so many different projects and genres already! Dream pop, folk, blues, Americana, R&B, jazz! This to give an idea of how versatile this he is! And every time he comes with the perfect drums track. Aaron has truly become a backbone of my work as a producer!
An ambitious guy who is easy to work with!
Aaron has a great mood and style
He makes every song alive
It’s a real pleasure to work with him
Once again Aaron, in great company, by the way, over-delivered with a fantastic performance. I know when I need some superior drumming I can just come here and I'm gonna be in great hands ;)
Aaron is the Man!
Fantastic sound, great player with a lot of creativity
Very fast and easy comunication
I will work with him again
I love working with Aaron. He always works quickly and accommodates my sometimes convoluted explanations of what I'm looking for in a drum track. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation!
Aaron took my job and ran with it. I felt he was personally invested and it showed in the final product. The turnaround was fast, everything sounded great and it dropped into my project flawlessly. He's the real deal and a total pro!
Once again he literally read my mind for the drums parts: 5 songs with very different moods and grooves and he nailed every single one of them. Spectacular drummer ;)
Aaron did an amazing job: 6 tracks in less than two days and the quality was absolutely top notch. So happy with this gig ;)
Great Drummer! Awesome sound!
What can I say, Aaron has nailed it for me again, deserves way more reviews and I'm sure I'll be responsible for many more! Excellent quality and turnaround time.
Aaron is the man! Really fast turnaround, great communication and a great guy. Would love to work with him again.
I have hired Aaron on two projects now and he hit the mark again.. Very versatile and easy to work with . I highly recommend.
Very professional , quick and easy to work with .Delivered exactly what i wanted. I am looking forward to working with Aaron more.
Great job man on point creatively - professional - cool vibe
Simply spectacular: got right away what I was looking for and made the song so much better. Will be back for more, that's for sure !
Aaron is a great drummer who understands quickly what your track deserves. He works fast with a great communication, a great sound and a great playing
Aaron has been one my "go to" drummers for over a decade now. He is easily one of the most creative, dynamic, and easy going musicians I've ever had the pleasure to work with. The best part is, Aaron keeps getting better and better! Hire him with confidence!
Always lucky to have Aaron in the room on any project. Always brings enthusiasm and spirit to everything he plays. Provides beautiful drum tracks that fit the production. Cant recommend enough !
I recently hired Aaron to record drums remotely on a track I produced at home using programmed drums and he sent me back so many options and extra percussion tracks. Everything sounded so great and ended up sitting so well in the song. Hire him!
Aaron's a fantastic drummer, musician and human. He enhances everything he plays on. You'd be a fool not to hire him!
Aaron is super professional and easy to work with. He's a versatile, creative drummer and takes direction extremely well. He's a really hard worker and plays the heck out of the drums! Hire him, you won't regret it.
Extremely skilled in different styles but always appropriate to the song. A real tasty drummer that comes to the project prepared and positive. He'll laugh at all your jokes.
Tasteful and intuitive, Aaron always plays with finesse and passion. My first call drummer, easy to work with and adaptable; hire this man!
Aaron is a musician's musician. From sessions, to live performances, to production, to percussion; Aaron is one of the most versatile and intuitive drummers around. He knows music like air and is just a great guy.
My first call drummer for sessions and live shows! Talented, easy to work with and quite adaptable. I guess that's why he's so busy all the time!
Interview with Aaron Shafer-Haiss
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
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.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
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.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
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.
Q: What's your typical work process?
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.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
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.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
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.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
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.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If the instrument or part is not crucial to achieving the feel/goal of the section then it is not necessary.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
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.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: It is organic and human while being solid and propulsive, all while remaining supportive and appropriate to the song.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
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.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
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).
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
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.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
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.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
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.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
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.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
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.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
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.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
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.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
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.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
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.