Desert Rat Studios

Desert Rat Studios open for business! Well-performed, well-captured raw drum and percussion multitrack recordings (up to 8 separate channels/tracks) done remotely, featuring a well-placed drum kit in a well-treated room with a high ceiling.

The coronavirus pandemic pushed me to build it starting in early 2021. Since then I’ve honed my home studio (and my recording engineer skills) with several personal and professional projects (check out the videos on this page).

But I’m not new to session drumming. Been recording drum tracks since 1995 for demos, singles, EPs, full-length albums, TV & Radio commercials, and more in Boston, Chicago, and beyond — all while performing nationally and internationally for concerts, tours, and residencies. (see HOME, ABOUT, VIDEO & MUSIC pages).


I’m mainly a compositional drummer, that is, a composer whose main instruments are drums & percussion. My attention to rhythm, phrasing, timing, dynamics, texture, drum / percussion / implement choice, overall arrangement, etc is painstaking and takes a fair amount of time and effort — thus my hiring rates.



1. Before anything!…check out my stuff and read this section to make sure you seriously want to inquire. Let’s not waste each other’s time!

2. Reach out via this page’s online form or via fernandogrooves (at) gmail (dot) com with details, including mp3s or links (so I can decide if I can deal with the material). Turnaround time for one song/piece can be as little as 2-3 days. 

3. If the project is a go, then we negotiate a rate, which is either:

    • an hourly rate (minimum $35/hr), including prep, recording (incl. multiple proof-of-concept takes, see step #6), through getting the final tracks to you
    • a song rate (minimum $250/song), including the same as above (though only a single proof-of-concept take, see step #6).

4. Send me a non-refundable $125 deposit via Paypal, Zelle, or Venmo: fdrum (at) hotmail (dot) com.

5. You send me the following via email (if small) and/or Google Drive, WeTransfer, etc (if big):

    • Stereo Mix (high-quality mp3 or wav) with Temp Acoustic Drums (if any)
    • Stereo Mix without Temp Acoustic Drums (remove what needs to be replaced only)
    • Mono or Stereo Audio Click track
    • If more than a demo, a set of individual unity gain stems with EFX may be better
    • NOTE: Files should start at least 2 bars before first downbeat of the song
    • Guidance notes via email, Google Drive doc, or spreadsheet with desired sections highlighted. Lyric sheet optional.
    • Tempo(s), Meter(s), Key(s). If variable tempo, please indicate via a simple chart or lead sheet.
    • Indicate Sample Rate (44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96 kbps) and Bit Rate (ideally 24-bit)

6. I work out a provisional part and send you an mp3 stereo mix as proof-of-concept (POC) so you can approve (or not) my approach before you give me the go-ahead to do it for real. Remember, a song rate includes only one POC take.

7. Then, if not already done, I record at least 2 solid takes of the final drum part (that’ll require little/no editing) and then I notify you.

8. You send me the remainder of my fee via PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle.

9. Then I send you up to 8 raw (ie. no production) drum files for each drum/percussion take. They should be accessible to you within roughly 24 hours of my acknowledging receipt of my remaining fee.

10. You dig the hell out of these great drum tracks!!


** NOTE: it’s really rare for anyone to not be very satisfied with my tracks for whatever reason. But if do-over takes/tracks are unavoidably needed, and we can work out a schedule to do so, I can record more takes at an additional $100 each.

Look forward to hearing from you!





Drum Kit = Tama
Snare Drums = Tama, DW, Yamaha
Cymbals = Soultone, Zildjian, Meinl
Pedals = DW
Hardware =Tama & Yamaha
Drum Heads = Remo & Evans
Sticks/Other Implements = Vic Firth, ProMark, hardware store, recycle bin
Other = various mounted & hand percussion

Sennheiser, Rode, Shure, Audix, Audio-Technica.

PreSonus Quantum 2626, MacBook Pro, Logic


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