I look forward to helping bring your music to life! I'm jazz trained, but also work with original rock and R&B artists. A songwriter myself, I strive to understand the artist's perspective to best serve the music. I've backed blues legend Buddy Guy and electric jazz artist Brownman Ali. My drumming is featured on radio, film and television.
I work with acclaimed producer/engineer Christian Anderson @ Cerebral Studio to dial in the perfect drum sound for every recording project. Working with Christian allows me to put all my focus into delivering the best studio drum performance. Whether its re-creating the Rush masterpiece Tom Sawyer for an indy film soundtrack, or Phil Spector's "wall of sound" for a rockabilly Christmas track, we work tirelessly to create the best drum and percussion tracks unique to each project.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
Interview with Riley O'Connor @ Cerebral
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Intuitively coming up with great drum parts for a wide range of music.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listen first! We are conscientious of client expectations and want to best serve the music. We then assess the best drum gear for the track, micing and additional sonic treatment (if required). We will provide suggestions and guidance to clients based on our 40+ combined years of recording experience!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Comfortable, professional with a live room and separate control room.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: There's an understanding that we are always striving for our best possible work. We are happy when our clients are happy!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love to breathe life and energy into great music. At Cerebral we love to create sounds. Session work is the most satisfying work on the planet!
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Have a clear understanding of what you are looking for and be able to share a couple examples of the sound you want.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Christian: UAD Appollos, Aventone mix cubes, Sony C12 Riley: 1960's Ludwig Supraphonic snare, 18 Paiste Giant Beat cymbal, 22x14 Gretsch kick
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been drumming for 32 years. Christian has been a musician for 35 years and recording/producing for 12 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm like a chameleon depending on the music I'm playing- whether its an aggressive Dave Grohl approach on a rock track, channelling Steve Gadd on a blues shuffle or Brian Blade for a dynamic approach to instrumental jazz.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Christian: Portishead, because they break the rules sonically Riley: Paul Simon, because he's a unique artist always pushing the envelope
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Know the rules but always try to break them!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, jazz, funk, R&B/soul, singer/songwriter, soundtracks
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Energy, focus, discipline, dynamics and musicality. The music should feel as good as it sounds and lock to the click while still breathing with life!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jack White, Pink Floyd, Tool, Portishead, Joe Baressi, Brian Blade, Vinnie Colaiuta, Herbie Hancock, Miles and many more!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Amazing sounding drum tracks! Cerebral is a full-service studio that also does full-band tracking, production, mixing and composition. We mostly work with rock/jazz/funk/R&B and other live projects including movie soundtracks.