Nate Barnes

Live Drum Tracks, Programming

899 Reviews (881 Verified)
Nate Barnes on SoundBetter

I'm a seasoned session musician that has been recording my own drums for over 20 years. My tracks focus on delivering the best performance of the perfect part for your song with emphasis on groove, feel, texture, energy, and attitude. My goal is to serve the writer's vision by enhancing the song without ever distracting from it.

Check out extensive session examples on this Spotify playlist:

Hi, I'm Nate Barnes. I have drummed for artists including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rodney Crowell, Ryan Bingham, Hiss Golden Messenger, Todd Snider, American Authors, Rose Hill Drive, and many others. I've also worked with producers such as Brendan OBrien, Jim Scott, Nick DiDia, and many more.

I've done remote sessions for over 10 years for countless artists- My roots are in Rock N Roll but I have branched out from there into Pop, Country, Folk, Indie, Americana, and Singer-Songwriter, and I've done drum tracks in just about every genre imaginable over my years of remote recording. I'm also a solo artist (under the name Plutinos) and a composer, so I approach my drum tracks from a songwriter's viewpoint- with the foremost consideration being to serve the song. Additionally, I'm a drum/beat programmer, a guitarist, and am endorsed by Ludwig, Sabian, and Vic Firth.

My studio was custom built for recording drums. The room is tuned and treated and has a great room sound, classic preamps, and awesome mics. I record up to 14 channels with a ton of mix flexibility on a variety of different drums- with sounds ranging from dirty and greasy to clean and polished; from tight and crisp to big and bombastic. Feel free to reach out with any questions- I'd love to discuss working on your project!

Send me a note through the contact button above.

899 Reviews - 186 Repeat Clients

Endorse Nate Barnes
  1. Review by Titus O.

    Nates, is a professional and attentive listener with great heart for the music beyond drums and percussion. His manner of approach to responses and updates is quite encouraging. Thank you for add flavor and beauty to the project

  2. Review by Will H.

    Nate does a great job at covering a lot of ground on each take. That way, it helps me see clearly which direction to go with the drums.

  3. Review by Romain
    by Romain

    Great professionalism, Nate is easy to communicate with and delivers on point. Recommend!

  4. Review by Avrom G.

    Another great track from Nate!

  5. Review by Aasta F.

    Nate was incredibly speedy (faster than i expected), got all the work done within a day, and the personality in Nate's playing was exactly what i was looking for. Would gladly work with Nate again! : )

  6. Review by guygrogan

    Total chops or keeping it simple. Nate does both and everything in between—all in the best interests of the song. Hire him!

  7. Review by Andy Blunda

    Another great drum track from Nate, always plays for the song and has a great feel!

  8. Review by Eric
    by Eric

    Absolutely amazing drum service!!! I’ve worked with other talented session drummers over the years and I can say that Nate is the real deal. Great playing and superb drum sound. Also flawless and prompt communication. Highly recommended!

  9. Review by Ray W.
    by Ray W.

    Such a blast working with Nate. Incredible performances with several options to choose from. Really dove in and engaged with the songs - I really enjoyed the experience!

  10. Review by Dodd L.

    Nate Barnes is a world class drummer with excellent chops and a great ear for what a song needs. He has literally become my virtual drummer for every song that I write.

  11. Review by Pete C.

    2nd time working with Nate. Another great experience. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a drummer.

  12. Review by Lee N.
    by Lee N.

    Just finished up a project with Nate and, word of warning, Nate is so awesome you're going to want to ask him to join your band. If you're looking for someone to work with to put some drum tracks in your tunes, you won't find better than Nate.

  13. Review by Eric Downing

    Great experience, pro-quality recordings, and a timely delivery!

  14. Review by richardtepperson

    As always, amazing writing/drumming! Nate always adds so much depth to a song.

  15. Review by TC T.
    by TC T.

    It was a pleasure working with Nate!

  16. Review by Andy Blunda

    Another great drum track with Nate, always a pleasure to work with. Highly recommend!

  17. Review by Tim Karabajak

    Another great track with Nate! Fast turnaround, High Quality and Easy to work with! Just an awesome collaboration all around!

  18. Review by Justin.

    Excellent work! Nate is a pro, not only a great attention to detail but a very good rate. I am very much looking forward to working with him again.

  19. Review by Mot Bollox

    Another great job with Nate
    Takes direction, provides ideas and serves up phat drums fast!

  20. Review by Jake Fleming

    Nate is professional, quick and very musical. He takes a modeled drum track and brings the real deal into soundscape, infusing emotion and drive. Loved working with him!

Interview with Nate Barnes

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

  2. A: My first step is to get on the same page with the writer, and I like to get a good feel for what the their vision is. I am the one who is being hired to be of service to the writer and make sure that their vision is achieved, and I love getting input from non-drummers on how they envision the drum track to sound because it can often result in a very cool and unique drum part. Having respect for the origination of the song idea is key for me- I often start hearing part ideas in my head right away when listening, but landing on the perfect drum part comes from a solid understanding of the writer's vision. My ultimate goal is to write creative parts that enhance and maximize the song without ever distracting from it. Reference tracks are always helpful for me as they give me a good idea sonically and stylistically of what the writer is after. After selecting the right drums, dialing in the perfect drum sound, and coming up with the general framework for the drum part, I start by recording 3 full "keeper" takes to give the client a few different vibes and options to choose from.

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

  4. A: As both a drummer and songwriter, I can approach the track from a songwriter's perspective along with the proficiency and knowhow of a professional drummer. Drum part construction is key for me but I also like to leave room for improvising and reacting to what I'm hearing in real time.

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

  6. A: I work in my studio Monday through Friday, with the occasional fly date for a gig or session. I do live drum tracks remotely as well as in person sessions with producers and artists, and also do a lot of composing, drum programming, beat making, and mixing.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Both have their places!

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

  10. A: I'll take working on your music very seriously and it will be of the utmost importance to me that I put my absolute best foot forward to elevate your track to the best of my abilities.

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

  12. A: I love getting to help with people's creations- it's inspiring for me to see such creative output from writers and also serves a reminder for me to keep doing my own writing and creating.

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: Q: What files do you need to get started? A: Usually just a WAV file of the track with and without any programmed or placeholder drums and BPM of the track.

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

  16. A: I would love to work with Tom Waits- the drums and percussion on his records is so uniquely HIM, and I would just love to experience and be a part of that first hand in the studio with him.

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

  18. A: Simplify your arrangement as much as possible- the best sounding mixes are songs where everything has it's own space and the parts complement each other. Stacking a "wall of sound" of overdubs can lead to a cluttered mix where nothing can really shine in it's own space. Make each layer a vital component of the overall sound.

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

  20. A: I've done the most work in genres such as Rock, Pop, Country, Americana, and Singer-Songwriter, but I've also done tracks in just about every genre imaginable including Indie, Folk, Honky Tonk, Funk, Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, Electronic, EDM, World Music, Latin, Jazz, Fusion, Asian Pop, Bollywood, and more.

  21. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  22. A: I would say that feel and taste are my strongest skills as a drummer. No matter what you play, it has to feel good and fit the song like a glove. Crowds love the fills but groove pays the bills!

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

  24. A: There are so many- I grew up on 90's Rock and Classic Rock, so early influences were John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Ringo Starr, Chad Smith, Matt Cameron, Jimmy Chamberlain, Eric Kretz, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Moon. Some of my influences since growing up and "turning pro" have been Matt Chamberlain, Josh Freese, Steve Jordan, Aaron Sterling, Jim Keltner, Levon Helm, Hal Blaine, Brian Blade, and James Gadsen. I'm also a big fan of producers such as George Martin, Rick Rubin, Dave Sardy, Greg Wells, Brendan O' Brien, Tchad Blake, Daniel Lanois, and Blake Mills.

  25. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  26. A: I primarily played with my original Rock n Roll band called Rose Hill Drive from age 16-28. We started touring shortly after high school and released 4 records over the course of around 10 years. We toured the world headlining shows and got to open for legendary acts such as The Who, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Queens Of The Stone Age, Stone Temple Pilots, and the Black Crowes. We were also fortunate to have been mentored by a local studio owner and were given free recording time when the studio wasn't otherwise booked, and logged countless hours and nights at that studio starting when I was 18. Learning my way around a full SSL console, patch bay, and outboard gear was very helpful in my eventual quest to record my own great sounding drum tracks. I started freelancing as a drummer around 2010 and also started engineering and producing other projects during that time. I've been doing in person sessions and online drum tracks out of my own space for almost 10 years now and am continually improving and iterating on my recording process and setup.

  27. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  28. A: I have a modern digital recording studio with a Universal Audio Apollo as the hub. This is a great sounding and very convenient setup as I am able to recall sessions in an instant should a client need revisions. I own most of the plugins that Universal Audio offers and I basically treat them like outboard gear, tracking through them using the Apollo software and printing them right into the DAW. Their plugins sound so similar to the actual pieces of hardware, and I'm able to use a bit of EQ and run tracks through a virtual tape machine, resulting in mix-ready drum tracks. I have a great mic collection and also use Neve and API style external preamps. My studio is custom built for recording drums and is tuned and treated with top quality diffusion and absorption with a great room sound. The other main component of the sound is the drums themselves. I'm a Ludwig endorsed artist and use various series of their amazing drums ranging in size from a small jazz kit to a big Bonham-y rock kit, and I always make sure they're tuned perfectly and that all my microphones are in phase before recording. I always have a kit set up and mic'd in the room, but I can change anything and everything out to better tailor the drum sound to the specific track. I have a wide sonic range of Sabian cymbals and various drum knick knacks such as tea towels, mutes, muffling rings, tambourines, rivets, percussion, dowel brushes, etc to help me achieve the right sound and vibe.

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

  30. A: I'm currently in the middle of writing and recording the follow up to my debut solo LP (Plutinos-LP). This time around I'm incorporating a lot more synths and programmed drums and have really enjoyed exploring new sonic spaces and honing my craft.

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

  32. A: Bassist Jimmy Stofer and guitarist Daniel Sproul are two people I do a ton of work with. They are both on SoundBetter and are both phenomenal musicians and engineers. We collaborate remotely all the time and can help bring an extra layer of cohesion to the online recording process when we get to work on a project together.

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

  34. A: The project I'm most proud of would be my debut solo LP, released under the name Plutinos. I wrote, recorded, performed, engineered, mixed, and mastered it all on my own. It was such a fun and fulfilling project for me and I learned a ton in the process. It's available worldwide on all major streaming and download services.

Nate Barnes Drum Reel 2022

I was the Drummer in this production

  1. play_arrow
    Nate Barnes Drum Reel 2022
  2. play_arrow
    Infinite Eyes by Neon Castles
  3. play_arrow
    Falling Away by Plutinos
Terms Of Service

Turnaround time is typically just a couple business days after receiving materials, rush orders available upon request

GenresSounds Like
  • Steve Jordan
  • Dave Grohl
  • Ringo Starr
Gear Highlights
  • Ludwig Drums (various series and sizes)
  • Sabian Cymbals (various series with a wide range of sounds)
  • Universal Audio Apollo Interface
  • API and Neve Style Preamps
  • High End Industry Standard Microphones
More Photos
More Samples
SoundBetter Deal

Discount available for multiple tracks