Have you ever wondered what the blood, sweat and tears of hundreds of hours in the studio and thousands of miles on the road sounds like but without the ego? Read on to find out how I can help your music stand out from the crowd…
I'm Luke - a professional drummer with a mighty appetite for music.
What makes a good drum track? Decades of learning and great mics in a great room are important but true character and real feel come from experience.
I’ve toured internationally in venues such as the O2 Arena in London and the Bus Palladium in Paris; shared the stage with Diamond Head, Orange Goblin and Royal Thunder; played open air festivals such as Bloodstock and Lakefest in the UK and Summer Breeze in Germany; and worked with artists like Fire Red Empress, who have been featured in Classic Rock, Kerrang and Metal Hammer magazines and played on BBC Radio 1, Planet Rock, Kerrang and Scuzz TV in the UK.
But none of that really matters when it comes to actually listening to your music and playing what's right for your song, which is my ultimate goal above all else. As such I pride myself on being attentive and easy to work with and will always go the extra mile for my clients, which you’ll read in my reviews.
If you’re looking for an experienced drummer who’s truly dedicated to his craft and won’t rest until you’ve got the amazing results you need, I'm your guy!
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
24 Reviews - 4 Repeat ClientsEndorse Luke Middleton
Luke outdid himself on this recent track! Good stuff!!
Another great session/collaboration with Luke. Being a huge fan of rock and metal drummers, Luke’s playing really hits home with me. Give him a try!
Awesome drummer! Couldn't ask for a better job:) Certainly going to contact Luke in the future!
Great work and fast turnaround as ever. Greta to work with.
Excellent to work with! Excellent player! Can’t wait to do the next one with him!
Luke was professional in every sense. Good communication, good playing and good recording quality. All in all a great experience!
Luke is an awesome drummer and musician. Very professional and nice guy., Asked me my expectations and delivers a pro drum session. This is my third project with him, and there will be a forth 😎 Makes my music shine \m/ \m/ 10 Stars Recommended
Great work, he knows what he has to do to get the drums sound right. Didn't have any comment or revisions, Just send him detailed requirements and leave the rest to his talent.
He processes the signals very well (EQ, Recording techniques, etc). The project was having dynamic tempo and he managed to do it pretty right.
Well definitely work with him again.
Well done Luke 👌
Nothing but a pro! Glad to have found him!
Great results and pleasure to work with.
Luke is a dope drummer! Great to work with too! Easy and professional.
Came thru again! Awesome drum skills always prompt and professional great communication. Knows what the song needs and delivers the goods. Will contact again for more projects. 10 Stars **********
Very professional, knew what I wanted and played what the song called for. Will definitely work with Luke again. Pain free, awesome drums! Recommended!!!!!!
This is the second time we have used Luke, and again he was profession, friendly and produced amazing results.
Luke really helped me out when I really needed it! I can be very picky as I have worked on these songs with 2 other drummers and Luke came in and was a perfect fit!
I really enjoyed working with Luke! He is an excellent drummer and easy to work with! I haven't run into anything he can't do yet! Very versatile and that was what I needed! I have done a few songs with him and have 5 more songs that I will be hoping to work with him on for this album!
I have done four songs with Luke and he did an amazing job! Definitely consider him for your project!
A truly amazing and talented drummer, as well as a nice guy.
Great communication with a friendly manner.
Kept us up to day as work progressed and final results were exactly what we wanted.
Would definately recommend and will be using Luke again.
Luke was great to work with and did everything he promised he would and more! This was a really excellent experience! I am getting more songs together as we speak for him to work on!
Luke is a great drummer capable of producing great drum tracks across a wide range of genres.
Rock & Roll !
Luke is a fantstic drummer combining great technique with real feel and he always knows what is right for the song. Top guy too with a great attitude!
Luke is a very committed and talented drummer able to play many kinds of music styles. He really has an eye (ear) for detail and great ideas. He definitely knows how to mix professionalism and fun! It's a pleasure to work with him and if you need, not a good, but a HIGH LEVEL result, you're on the good page!
Luke is an outstanding drummer capable of producing great drum tracks across a wide range of genres. He will work with you to create exactly what you are looking for – he has a real ear for quality and detail. Friendly and efficient!
Brilliant drummer and a top bloke too!
I was looking to add a real drum sound to my tracks as I both dislike programming and coming up with decent drum grooves, not being a drummer by trade. I sent over the tracks with minimal notes and before I knew it they were returned. Needless to say It was worth every penny. If it's rock/metal drumming your after Luke is your guy. Highly recommended.
Interview with Luke Middleton
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I currently use an Audient ASP800 preamplifier and Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 audio interface with Cubase and a variety of microphones including an Aston Stealth, Aston Origin, a matched pair of Rode NT5s and timeless classics like the Sennheiser MD421 and Shure SM57 among others. My live room has also been professionally soundproofed and acoustically treated to deliver a balanced frequency response and clean overall sound.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing drums aged 14 and was self-taught until I took lessons towards a QCF Level 3 Certificate in Music Performance for Grade 8 Drum Kit, which I passed with Distinction in 2012. Having played in lots of different bands over the years, I joined Voodoo Johnson in 2013 and then Fire Red Empress in 2014. I went professional in 2015 and have since formed my own company called Drummage, which offers complete music solutions including session work; tutoring; technical servicing; studio recording, mixing and mastering; video capture and editing; and graphic design.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Mark Tremonti because his playing is immense and his songwriting is always very interesting but also Josh Schroeder because his drum sound with King 810 is absolutely incredible!
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The debut album ‘Black Morphine’ by Fire Red Empress, for which I was the drummer and co-writer. It was a long time in the making but totally worth the wait and has been featured in Classic Rock, Kerrang and Metal Hammer magazines and played on BBC Radio 1, Planet Rock, Kerrang and Scuzz TV in the UK.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Progressing my current projects but also looking for new ways to contribute my skills and experience, specifically in studio recording, drum technician services and live performance.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I would recommend all of my own clients as they are excellent musicians and songwriters but also June, a female session singer with the ability to go from hauntingly soft tones to brutal screams.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both because you can’t beat the retro sound of awesome hardware but you also can’t live without plugins!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Whatever your needs I’ll deliver a professional service and amazing results.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I get to play drums all day every day! My instrument is my release and to be able to make music for a living is a privilege I don’t take for granted.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I’ve found that communicating as much as possible early on usually answers any questions that might come up later but occasionally I get asked to try out new ideas after I’ve done a take, to which I always say yes as sometimes you need to hear something to get the creative juices flowing and collaboration creates even more awesome results.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it’s always quick and easy. I have very high standards and I’m my own worst critic so sometimes it takes more time and effort but ultimately I see that as a good thing because nothing is more important than quality.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask for a simple backing track and any ideas you might have for the drums but that’s all I really need.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Ask as many questions as you like and give as much information as you can, communication is key.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Kick drum, snare drum, hi-hats, sticks and a stool, but drummers have way more gear than everyone else so that’s not fair!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is definitely rooted in rock and metal but my experience playing other genres continues to influence my ideas for heavier music. Above all I try to focus on groove and creating a solid pocket beat for the rest of the music, adding more complex rhythms and fills where appropriate.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always make sure your instrument sounds good at the source before you start recording it.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock and metal, but I also have a lot of experience playing blues, country, funk, pop, reggae, Latin and jazz.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I won't stop until I've done everything I can to deliver the best result possible, which is also probably my biggest weakness when it comes to eating and sleeping!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I strive to always play what's right for the song. I'm not interested in whether or not people think I'm a good drummer, my sole purpose is to serve the music in the most foundational way possible and compliment the sound with my playing, not overpower it.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Once I have a guide track for your song and some basic ideas on how you'd like the drums to sound I write out the part in musical notation, practise until it feels right, double-check the drum tuning and microphone placement, and then hit record. When I've got a take I'm happy with I apply some basic levels, panning, EQ and effects to get the drums to sit in the mix with your guide track, then send over an mp3 so you can hear it. If changes are necessary I'll re-record and edit until you're 100% happy and then I'll send the individual stem files.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I've been inspired by countless different musicians and even genres you wouldn't expect, but the rock and metal bands I was listening to as a kid learning to play drums made me want to grab my sticks most of all. A few names that come to mind are Matt Cameron of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Scott Phillips of Alter Bridge, and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. of The Killers. From a production perspective I was lucky enough to work with Jacob Hansen on the debut album 'Black Morphine' by Fire Red Empress, and that drum sound inspired me to really get involved in the process of recording drums, from tuning and microphone placement to processing and mixing and everything in between.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I offer high-quality multi-track drums recorded remotely from my home studio, so if you've got an idea for a song I can bring the thunder!