What is an online drum session?

This is actually a good question. I have met many musicians – professional and amateur – who have no idea about this fairly new development in the industry. J3T Drum Tracks is an online recording service where by I record drums and percussion remotely from my studio just outside London for clients worldwide.

The proliferation of affordable studio equipment means that more and more people have their own studios and record music. Hiring an online session player means getting someone (hopefully me!) to record a drum track for you in their studio using their expertise and professional gear and then sending that drum part via a file sharing service (I use We Transfer right now).

The terms ‘online drum session’ and ‘remote drum session’ are synonymous.

Why use J3T Drum Tracks?

My mission is to make it extremely easy, enjoyable and affordable to get an amazing sounding drums and percussion recorded for your music via the internet.

As this process is entirely online, communication between you and me is extremely important and is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful online collaboration. I think this is one of my strongest points and I have well over 500 happy clients!

I have been drumming for over 30 years and have studied a vast array of styles and techniques. Adding a quality recorded, accurately played, and grooving drum line to your track is one of the easiest ways to add life to your music. I play for the song and will select the right instrument and use all my experience to play a drum part that you will love. A great session player is someone who is well versed in many different styles and techniques and owns the gear to be able to bring the sound that you have in your head to life.

Who uses J3T drum tracks?

The remote session service is a rapidly growing industry and I have been doing this for a number of years now. I still encounter many musicians who can’t believe this kind of service exists! As I do this full time I am able to work with all kinds of different types of people. This is what I love most about this work. I have played for amateur enthusiasts, semi pros, producers, film composers, TV composers, library music composers, singer/songwriters, young people, old people and everyone in between. If you need drums & percussion I’ll do it regardless of ability, quality of guide tracks etc. etc.

What do I need to send you to get started?

You ideally need to send through the following:

1. A guide track with out any sampled drums. (The guide track really doesn’t need to be a masterpiece! It can be very basic).

2. A guide track with any sampled drums so that I can get an idea of what you would like. (This isn’t essential though).

3. You can also send through protools sessions if that works for you.

4. It’s not essential but you can send over some charts/sheet music.

5. Finally a thorough description of what you would like recording including reference tracks where you like the sound/vibe of the drums in the track.

6. A BPM and a sample rate that you would like the session recorded at eg. 44.1hz/24bit etc

I have recorded without guide tracks but in terms of performance a guide track makes things much easier for me as I can interact with the other instruments/voices.


What if I have multiple tracks?

I do a discount for multiple tracks. Feel free to get in contact to discuss budget. I can sometimes accommodate lower budgets depending on the project. If you have lots of tracks I am happy for you to try me out on 1 track to see if you like what I do with no obligation to use me for the other tracks. For example instead of £110 for one track, if you had 10 tracks I can do them for £90 per track and you could pay me that £90 per track as we go. That is provided the tracks reach me within a reasonable time frame (ie. not 10 tracks spread across years!).

What happens if the first take I receive from you is not quite right?

Check the site out and listen to my playing and instruments. If you like my style of playing and think it would add something to your music get in touch. If you let me know what you want I can usually translate that to a bass line you will be more than happy with. If you need a few alterations I do this for free (many other services will charge you for this but I include a couple of revisions for free). If you are still not happy for whatever reason (in 5 years of Online Bass Player this has only happened once or twice and was due to a breakdown in communication and a time waster) I will not charge you.

How will your drum/percussion stems sync with my recording when I import them?

I will record drums and percussion to your guide track that you send through. If your guide track is lined up at beat one, measure one or at the beginning of your session in your DAW, my stems will fit exactly to the file you have sent me. It’s just a case of you importing the bass into your DAW and you are good to go!

How does it work?

The process is actually very simple! You send me your music (MP3 or WAV) and I record some my drums to that. I send an mp3 previw of my recording to you and you listen to it with your track. Any alterations you need, you let me know. When you are 100% happy you pay me (PayPal works best).

What styles of music do you play?

Check out the gear and audio examples on this site.  I love any music with a groove! This means I have extensively played and studied pop, rock, funk, motown, old R’n B, dance, electro, blues, jazz, orchestral, cinematic, Latin, African and eastern music. I have spent most of my life studying the greatest drummer and drum grooves so I should be able to emulate and play what you want!

How do I get in contact to discuss my project?

Of course you can! My Skype address is j2stix. If you prefer to chat through things that way then we will arrange a time and discuss the project. Otherwise, emailing me, Whatsapp or calling is fine or just fill out the contact form.

How does payment work?

Before I start work, we will agree on a price. You only pay me when you are happy meaning you pay me after you review and approve my drum recording. If you want to pay me before then you can. This way of working obviously requires trust on my part but that is the way I would prefer to work. If you are able to pay me via a direct transfer (I will give you the details) and you do not get charged for that, that is my preferred method of payment. As I am in the UK, that is preferable for UK clients. However, if a direct transfer is not possible then PayPal is the easiest (I do get charged for that though hence the preference for a direct transfer if possible). My PayPal address is j3tstudios@googlemail.com.

Do I need to credit you on the track?

No but it is always nice to have my name on a track! If you do want to credit me, use ‘Jon Howells’. I have a very good working relationship with hundreds of musicians around the world and it is a great honour to be a part of their music and see my name on a finished piece of music.

Do I own the track?

Yes. You own the copyright to the part I send you.

How many alterations do I get?

If you have a guide bass line or have given me good instructions, the process will usually be finished when I send you the files (I usually record 2 to 3 takes as standard). However many times of course, you will want some changes. I don’t charge for the first couple of alterations – it is all included in the quote. There does need to be a cut off point however so I may have to charge more if a track goes beyond a certain point. This rarely happens though and can be discussed as and when.

How long will it take to get my recording?

The quickest I have turned something round is 1 hour. It was a TV commercial that needed to be recorded urgently and not all tracks will be this quick! I do this full time and am a professional musician so provided I am around the studio (which is 95% of the time) you will get your recorded line within a day or two. I never rush a track (unless a nasty deadline calls for it) and never send you something I am not totally happy with. If you need something done quickly do ask me.

What do I receive from you?

You will receive 14x stems of my kit part (14x microphones around the kit and room) along with any added percussion stems. You then drop these into the beginning of your session and then get mixing.

Are you flexible on prices?

If you have more than one track I am more than happy to discuss discounts. Remember that you are not just paying for an experienced professional player but you are NOT paying for a studio, engineer, gear etc. Make sure you sign up to my newsletter to receive offers and more….

What are the main benefits of using an online session drummer?

For a start, you don’t have to hire a studio, additional equipment or an engineer. Make sure you find someone who is experienced and has many examples of their playing. You will get a world class performance on your track without any of the huge additional costs.