Aaron Shafer-Haiss

Production | Live Drums | Mix

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31 Reviews (23 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!

Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.

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

31 Reviews - 6 Repeat Clients

Endorse Aaron Shafer-Haiss
  1. Review by Naftali B.
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    super creative with a genuine and awesome personality. Aaron's tracks are tight as hell and i cant wait to work again soon.

  2. Review by Naftali B.
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    wow, super impressive with quick turn around time, great personality, and superb tight drums. real pleasure!

  3. Review by Jessica Victoria
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    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

  4. Review by Marshall R.
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    Very helpful and professional. Asked for and acted upon feedback, and produced just what I needed for the track.

  5. Review by Ben P.
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    Aaron is super easy to work with and really enthusiastic about the songs he's working on. Would highly recommend him to anyone!

  6. Review by Sean O.
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    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!!

  7. Review by Anthony L.
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    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!

  8. Review by Oscar R.
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    An ambitious guy who is easy to work with!

  9. Review by Damiano P.
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    Aaron has a great mood and style
    He makes every song alive
    It’s a real pleasure to work with him

  10. Review by Anthony L.
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    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 ;)

  11. Review by Damiano P.
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    Aaron is the Man!
    Fantastic sound, great player with a lot of creativity
    Very fast and easy comunication
    I will work with him again

  12. Review by James Paul Mitchell
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    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!

  13. Review by Joel S.
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    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!

  14. Review by Anthony L.
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    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 ;)

  15. Review by Anthony L.
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    Aaron did an amazing job: 6 tracks in less than two days and the quality was absolutely top notch. So happy with this gig ;)

  16. Review by Damiano P.
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    Great Drummer! Awesome sound!

  17. Review by Ben Botfield
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    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.

  18. Review by Ben Botfield
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    Aaron is the man! Really fast turnaround, great communication and a great guy. Would love to work with him again.

  19. Review by Dean Z.
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    I have hired Aaron on two projects now and he hit the mark again.. Very versatile and easy to work with . I highly recommend.

  20. Review by Dean Z.
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    Very professional , quick and easy to work with .Delivered exactly what i wanted. I am looking forward to working with Aaron more.

  21. Review by DC
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    Great job man on point creatively - professional - cool vibe

  22. Review by Anthony L.
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    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 !

  23. Review by Marc Ottavi
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    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

  24. Review by Justin Francis
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    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 !

  25. Review by Lauren Balthrop
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    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!

  26. Review by Jordan Perlson
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    Aaron's a fantastic drummer, musician and human. He enhances everything he plays on. You'd be a fool not to hire him!

  27. Review by Emily Mure
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    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.

  28. Review by Leo Rondeau
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    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.

  29. Review by Kristina Murray
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    Tasteful and intuitive, Aaron always plays with finesse and passion. My first call drummer, easy to work with and adaptable; hire this man!

  30. Review by Ryan B.
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    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.

  31. Review by Thomas Bryan Eaton
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    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

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

  2. 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.

  3. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

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

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. Q: How would you describe your style?

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

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

  24. 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).

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

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.

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

  30. 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.

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

  32. 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.

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

  34. 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.

  35. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  36. 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.

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

  38. 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.

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

  40. 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.

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

  42. 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.

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I was the producer, all instruments, mix & mastering engineer in this production


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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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