UK studio drummer with 35 years top flight experience. I played on hit albums by Paul McCartney, Dire Straits, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, The Waterboys and many others. Iconic tracks such as 'What I Am' and 'The Whole Of The Moon'. I love popular music from the 1960's to present day, singer-songwriter to contemporary electronica.
Since establishing a home studio, I spent the last 2 years recording drums for artists I already knew, honing my skills and upgrading my gear as I evolved. Now I'm ready to work with you.
As well as a long list of studio credits, since 2005 I've been involved in several drum sample projects with companies like Toontrack and Roland. So I have studied in depth drum sounds and drum recording.
I can offer processed drum audio on separate tracks using vintage and rare Helios, Quad Eight, Spectrosonics and MXR outboard, as well as a collection of esoteric modular synths. I'm also happy to deliver raw audio if you prefer, or processed with EQ to my taste.
I tend to work at 96khz/24 bit but can deliver files at any quality you require.
Having already achieved many things, my current ambition is to just work with great people on on great music.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
9 Reviews - 2 Repeat ClientsEndorse Chris Whitten
I would highly recommend Chris - his drumming really helps bring the right energy to the songs - many Tnx
The drums sounds fab - thank you for your attention to detail - much appreciated
Chris is a tenured professional artist of the highest quality who is also pleasure to work with. The project was completed quickly requiring only one take and no edits for my psychedelic rock song. Chris was a great listener and able to stylize his instrument to my vision after a short description. I could not be more pleased with his professionalism, quality of work and service!
Track sounds great
Clear concise communication
Another song done with Chris. Amazing skills, I'm very happy to have his sound on my album.
Chris helped me with another four songs for my album. Everything was excellent, communication, musical skills and the final product. Thank you Chris for everything and hope to work with you again soon...
Chris is an extremely impressive drummer and he was able to help me to improve my songs considerably. He took into consideration all of my requests and delivered an excellent result in a very short amount of time. I decided to continue working with him on more of my songs...
You've probably already heard Chris Whitten's drumming for most of your life, either on the radio, in a major arena, on your favorite record, or on any number of loop and sample packages that you used over the decades - he's a legend. Book him for your project!!!
Interview with Chris Whitten
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Well it has to be McCartney. I worked for him for three years. Three years that were a turning point for him. He had released a couple of albums that weren't received well. His manager at the time wanted Paul to form a proper band again ,are a great album and tour, as he hadn't toured for nearly a decade. On the 'Flowers In The Dirt' album we worked with many of the leading record producers at the time. The tour was a huge success, breaking all kinds of sales figures and attendance records. Playing the music of The Beatles in huge American football stadiums was an experience never to be forgotten.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Recently I have worked with a couple of American songwriters. Nothing released yet. Every couple of months I shoot a video for Youtube, explaining and demonstrating a well known song I played on.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask them to describe their goals, do they have any pointers regarding other artists, other albums, their favourite drummers.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: For remote recording we almost certainly need to work to a common pulse, ideally a click or a loop, or a steady synth part.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I will import the clients mp3 of their song. Ideally like two, one without drums that I can work on, and one with some kind of guide drums, whether a loop, something roughly programmed, or VST drums, so I can hear the direction the client wants to go in. I need a bpm. Then I make my own click track. I map out the song arrangement on paper, then I probably make a couple of rough recordings to check my sounds and the performance. Once happy I will record a couple of takes, then choose the best one to export back to the client.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes, Rob Harris, amazing guitarist, Dylan Wissing, cool drummer.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Recording is digital, but I'm completely hybrid, with lot's of old gear, analog synths, pedal and fx. My drums are 'analog' of course!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: If I don't think I can add value to your project, I won't offer my services.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love making artists and song writers happy. I take pride in delivering drums that take their productions to the next level.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's easy.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been a full time musician since 1980. I spent time in New York City at the tail end of punk, playing shows at CBGB and Max's Kansas City. Returning to London I worked with a number of up and coming indie style artists like The Waterboys, World Party and Julian Cope. At the same time I started to work in the studio scene, playing on hit pop records. Everything changed when I was hired by Paul McCartney in 1987. We made two studio albums and undertook a major world tour. Afterwards I was asked to join Dire Straits on their final world tour.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Classic studio drumming. I admire drummers like Jeff Porcaro, Andy Newmark, Gregg Bissonette and Abe Laboriel jr.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, pop, singer-songwriter, contemporary electronica.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Playing for the song. I have a lot of experience, so my benchmark of what I allow out of my studio is the same as any top production. The drums have to sound good, have to groove and I don't like sloppy, out of time drumming.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I have a lot of experience playing songs. I am known for having a great feel and delivering world class drum sounds. I enjoy music from 1960's pop and rock to modern electronica, so have at the minimum a basic understanding of many genres.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a home studio set up in an outbuilding. I can create dry intimate drum sounds as well as roomier rock sounds. I have the latest digital technology by Apple computers, UAD and Cranborne Audio, plus collections of esoteric and vintage outboard processing and some rare modular synths.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Beck. Great songs and the production is right up my street.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I play drums on their songs. I deliver them edited and sometimes processed to be mix ready.