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, and I’ve honed it 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: a composer whose main instruments are drums & percussion. My attention to rhythm, phrasing, timing, dynamics, texture, drum / percussion / implement choice, overall arrangement takes painstaking time and effort, all for serving the overall song(s). You’re getting something special!


1. Before anything!…check out my stuff, read this section, make sure you seriously want to inquire. Yours and my time is precious. Let’s not waste it!

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

3. If the project is a go then we negotiate a rate (depends on song-complexity & other factors) which is either:

    • an hourly rate (minimum $50/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 $125 deposit (or half the total project estimated cost) via PayPal, Zelle, or Venmo: fdrum (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Though a project has never been cut short before, at least some of this deposit might be refundable if that happens.)

5. You send me the following via WeTransfer, Google Drive, or Dropbox etc:

    • Stereo Mix with Temp Acoustic Drums (high-quality 360kbps mp3, or wav),
    • Stereo Mix without Temp Acoustic Drums (remove what needs to be replaced only),
    • Mono or Stereo Audio Click Track (mp3 or wav),
    • A set of individual unity gain stems (high-quality 360kbps mp3s, or wavs) so I can control my headphone mix,
    • {NOTE: Except for the Click Track, all files should start 2 bars (or more if needed) before first downbeat of the song}
    • {NOTE: Please label audio files clearly with the name of the song AND name of the instrument or mix. For example: “SongName_Bass” or “SongName_No Drums”}
    • 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 Depth (ideally 24-bit).

6. I work out a drum part, record it, then send you an mp3 stereo mix as proof-of-concept (POC). Remember, a song rate includes only one POC take: one chance for you to suggest any changes before final recording. An hourly rate allows doing this multiple times. NOTE: Usually this first POC take is already good enough! In such case I send you up to 8 raw drum files/stems after you send me the remainder of my fee (same payment method as the deposit).

7. But if (any of) the POC take(s) doesn’t work, then I record the final drum part, then you send me the remainder of my fee, then I send you the raw files/stems.

8. 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 @ add’l $150 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, etc.
Other = various mounted & hand percussion

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

PreSonus Quantum 2626, MacBook Pro, Logic


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