My name is Danial, and I am a drummer and mixing engineer with over 15 years experience. Whether playing drums for your song, mixing it, or both, my goal is for your song to be as moving, energetic, and powerful as possible. My belief is that technique is just the tools you have to get to the heart and soul of the music.
As long as I can remember, I wanted to play the drums, and I started doing that almost 20 years ago. I have drawn influence and inspiration from melodic, musical rock drummers such as Mike Terrana, Simon Phillips, Terry Bozzio, and the incredible Neil Peart.
I have played hundreds of shows in many different genres including rock, pop, metal, Top 40, worship, jazz, and country, and began recording myself 10 years ago to create drum covers for Youtube.
In 2014 I attended Macewan University and graduated 2 years later with a Diploma of Music with a Recording Technology Major. I also had the opportunity to travel to Helsinki, Finland, and record drums at Sonic Pump Studios for what would eventually become the debut album for Canadian symphonic metal band Solborn.
This experience completely changed my life and ignited my passion for recording and mixing, even influencing my choice of major. Since then I have recorded and mixed hundreds of songs for artists all over the globe. With release of Dolby Atmos Music for Apple Music in 2021, I dove deep into Dolby Atmos and the incredible possibilities it has opened for how to present music to the listener. I mix for Atmos in a mix room built to Dolby best practices specifications.
I look forward with connecting with more artists on this platform and making some amazing music!
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Danial Devost
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I joined the band Phantom Divine somewhat at the 11th hour of their debut album. I came on, re-recorded the drums, and mixed and mastered the album and I believe I added another 10% of excellence to the brilliantly written songs.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A secret tribute to the band Rush, of a slightly large scale!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet, but I am looking forward to networking on this platform.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: For me, digital. I like flexibility, and I can do anything with digital. I can use an emulation of an old 1176 on a vocal, and use a cutting-edge reverb for the strings, and I can open the session and make tweaks for the clients in minutes.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I am committed to delivering the best product for your song. I have three included revisions in my rates, but for small fees I can continue to work on your music and make it the best it can be.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with artists to elevate their music to the next level.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I often get asked why I don't use analogue outboard gear. My answer is that it does not matter what I use. What is important is how I hear the finished product and work to get there. Whether on an analog console or a laptop, which piece of gear one uses does not matter, it's what they do with what they have that is important.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: In music school, I got somewhat pigeon-holed as "the metal drummer", but I have interests in so many genres of music, and love to play any style anyone wants me too.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Whether drumming or mixing, please give me references and do your best to describe a clear image of what you are looking for.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you have any questions, please reach out and start a dialogue. I have many other skills that I can help your project along with.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My DW Collector's maple snare drum, 9000 double bass drum pedal, Paiste 2002 Power Ride cymbal, Shure SM7b, and my laptop with Nuendo.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing drums at the age of 10, and music immediately took over my entire life. I played as much as I could, and performed as often as possible. While in university studying for a music diploma, I became interested in the recording studio, and changed my major to study that path. Since graduating, I have mixed hundreds of songs and played hundreds of shows.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: As a drummer, I want the music to be exciting, engaging, and full of energy. I lay down a solid groove, often structured around the vocal melody, or a great riff, and support the energy of the song through dynamic changes. I am also not afraid to let loose when necessary. Sometimes the feeling of a musician pushing their limit is exactly what a song needs to keep the listener engaged. My mixing approach is similar. I want my mixes to be as expansive and as engaging as possible, and use dynamic fader rides and other automation to create a journey.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: As a lifelong fan, I would absolutely love the chance to mix a song by Rush for Dolby Atmos.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't overthink. Pay attention to detail, but don't get sucked down a hole on small details that don't impact the big picture.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I frequently get hired to work on heavy metal and rock, but I am capable of producing great results in country, hip-hop, jazz, and EDM.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is my ability to see the big picture of a song. I have a clear perspective of how the whole song should feel as an experience and all my work is towards perfecting that.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring energy, drive, and out-of-the-box ideas.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When approaching a drum part, I start with just trying to get an understanding of the structure of the song. If there is a drum demo, I will listen to that and see what sort of feel the artist is going for in each particular section. Once I can internalize the structure and message of the song, I go through it many more times and combine elements of the provided demo and sparks of my own ideas to create a part that elevates the energy of the song to its pinnacle. My mixing workflow is all about moving fast, making quick decisions, and never looking back. I work quickly to create depth, clarity, and cohesion in the mix, and then take many passes through the song, running automation, and "play" the mix to create a dynamic journey through the song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My drum kit is a Tama Superstar Hyperdrive Maple, centered around a Drum Workshop Collector's maple snare drum, and a collection of various metal snares. I play Paiste 2002, 900, and PST7 cymbals. My mic collection is an assortment of Beyerdynamic, Shure, and Audio-Technica microphones, plugged into Midas preamps. I mix in-the-box in Nuendo, and rely heavily on a control surface to create movement and feeling in the mix.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: The amazing Neil Peart, Simon Phillips, Mike Terrana, Chris Lord-Alge, Jacob Hansen, Mika Jussila
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I often work on projects where I am playing drums on the songs and then mixing them when they are completed, but I do offer those services separately as well.