from the Pros

With progress of technology, drummers of all ages are now recording professional sounding drum tracks, whether they have access to multi-million dollar studios or simple home-based recording setups! No matter what level you're at, every drummer can benefit from from the pros who have learned valuable lessons in the studio!

This new series of videos will cover all types of situations – from studio recording sessions to movie soundtrack recording to web-based videos for training. Over the next several months, we'll go behind the scenes with a number of Vic Firth artists to talk about recording gear, microphone placement, drum/head/cymbal selection – and learn tricks on laying down the perfect track!


Thomas Lang – Mic Selection and Placement

Previous videos from Thomas...
Home Studio Tour A Tour of the Kit
Listening to the Kit  

About Thomas Lang

A native of Vienna/Austria, Thomas took up drumming at the age of 5. In addition to lessons at local music schools and years of private tuition, Thomas was formally educated at the Vienna Conservatory of Music.

After leaving the conservatory, Lang began working professionally – working his way through the European Pop, Rock and Jazz scenes.

In addition to his work as a session musician (Thomas has played with Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big/Racer X), John Wetton (UK, King Crimson), Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Sugababes, Geri Halliwell (Spice girls), Emma Bunton (“baby spice’), Victoria Beckham (“posh spice”), Ronan Keating, Steve Hackett, Boyzone, 911, Falco, Nina Hagen, Steve Jones, Mick Jones (the Clash), The Commodores, George Michael, Doogie White (Rainbow), Bill Liesegang, Gianna Nannini, Sertab Erener, Vienna Art Orchestra, Bonnie Tyler, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Save the Robots, Stork, Terabite, Schwarzenator and many more) Lang’s 1995 solo release, “Mediator” topped the charts in Europe and garnered rave reviews for its innovative Jazz/Dance/ProgRock sound.

Thomas has performed at every major international drum festival and has toured the world many times over as a sideman as well as solo performer.

Thomas Lang (STL)
A large shaft and oversized tear drop tip speak loudly and clearly. Designed to produce a thunderous sound on the drums! In hickory.
L = 16 1/8" | Dia. = .650"
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Russ Miller, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist

A Tour of RMI Studios Tour of the Mapex Drum Kit and Head Selection
Cymbal Selection and Cymbal Recording Tips Remote Recording Session, Video 1
Remote Recording Session, Video 2 Remote Recording Session, Video 3

About Russ Miller

Russ Miller is internationally known as one of the top drummers of today. As a Multi-Platinum recording artist, he has played on multiple Grammy® award winning recordings with combined sales of over 26 million copies. His musical versatility has led him to work with an incredible list of over 50 international artists from legends like Ray Charles, The Fifth Dimension, Natalie Cole, Tina Turner & Bobby Caldwell through modern stars, Nelly Furtado, The Psychedelic Furs, Hilary Duff, Steve Perry, Andrea Bocelli, Daniel Bedingfield and Meredith Brooks.

As a star of the Los Angeles studio scene, the Modern Drummer Magazine Readers Poll has repeatedly voted Russ in the top 5 Studio Drummers in the world, including 2010, when he was voted the #2 Session drummer. He has performed on more than 250 albums (including many #1 Billboard hits like Nelly Furtado's "Whoa Nelly" and Hilary Duff's "Metamorphisis"). Russ has also recorded for many T.V. shows and over 50 international movies (such as #1 box office titles like "Chicken Little", "Fracture", "Lakeview Terrace", "Resident Evil Apocalypse" and the "Boondock Saints" series of movies, just to name a few).

Along with his many sideman album credits, he has two critically acclaimed solo albums, Cymbalism and Arrival. In addition, Russ performs educational clinics throughout the world for Yamaha, Zildjian, Remo, Vic Firth, Shure and Meinl music instruments, for which he maintains product endorsement relationships and multiple signature instruments. Russ also has authored two books: The Drum Set Crash Course and Transitions, along with his three videos, "Arrival-Behind The Glass" from Hudson Music, The Drum Set Crash Course and The Drum Set Crash Course Tuning Edition from Alfred Publications. A 7-time Modern Drummer readers poll winner, Russ' solo projects were voted the #1 educational books and videos in the world (2001-2004).

Russ Miller "Hi-Def" Signature Stick
Special "half acorn" wood tip for incredible cymbal clarity. Logo at the nodal point for perfect cross-stick tone‚ every time!
L = 16 " | Dia. = .535"
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Russ Miller Wire Brush
A brush for each hand! "Sweep" brush: medium gauge wire for a smooth sound. "Ride" brush: tight spread and heavier gauge for projection with incredible rebound.
Dia. = .580" | "SWEEP" Spread = 3 1/8" | "RIDE" Spread = 2 3/4"
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Paul Leim, Nashville Recording Legend

Nashville Recording Session Loud Recording Studio Tour
A Tour of Loud Recording Studios  


For most musicians, there is a distinct separation between various segments of the entertainment industry. Few other musicians have so successfully bridged the gap between records, motion pictures, live performance and television. Paul has compiled an enviable "track record" in all four areas and has earned his distinction as one of the foremost drummers in the entertainment industry worldwide.

In concert venues and sound stages all over the world, Paul has performed for a seemingly endless list of top artists, composers and producers including John Williams, Doc Severinsen, The Berlin Orchestra, The London Symphony, The Boston Pops, Tom Jones, Randy Travis, Peter Cetera, Neil Diamond, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and “ELVIS, The Concert” with the “TCB Band”.

Paul performed on the motion pictures, "Star Wars “Return of the Jedi”, "The River", “Tank”, “The Legend of DB Cooper”, and “Dirty Dancing”. Episodic television series and specials include ‘Wonder Woman”, Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazzard, three “Elvis” mini-series, "Fall Guy", "Spencer for Hire", "The Tonight Show", "Growing Pains", “Battlestar Glactica”, “Barbara Mandrel and the Mandrel Sisters”, and "Dolly". He has performed on “The Grammy Awards”, eight years on Dick Clark’s "American Music Awards", 4 years with the “Academy of Country Music Awards”, and the perennial “Grand Ole Opry”.
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Paul Leim's Signature Drumstick

Paul Leim (SPL)
An 8DN with a slightly beefed up neck and an oval nylon tip. A thin stick with a full sound and a clear attack.
L = 16" | Dia. = .545"
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Biography continued...
His multiple Gold and Platinum album credits include, Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Peter Cetera, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, Michael W. Smith, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, PUR, Lorrie Morgan, Mark Chestnut, Lyle Lovett, Sandi Patti, Amy Grant, Colin Raye, Montgomery Gentry, Lonestar, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Bob Seger and Kenny Chesney.

Of the thousands of records, soundtracks and albums Paul has played on, over 150 have been Dove, Grammy, CMA, ACM, CCMA, American Music Award, or Academy Award Recipients. Multiple Gold and Platinum recordings with top artists total over 300 million units sold representing over 4 Billion dollars in record sales.

8 time Academy of Country Music drummer of the year Nominee, multiple winner of Nashville Music Award, “Drummer/Percussionist”, and Nashville Music Row Magazine’s “Top 10 Music All Stars” award winner. Most recently he is winner of “Drum Magazine” Drummie of the Year, (Country Category) 3 Years in a Row and Modern Drummer Magazine “Reader’s Poll”, Drummer of the Year, (Country Category) for an Eighth year in a Row (2001 – 2008).

Dan Needham, Nashville Producer & Session Drummer

Drum Microphone Selection for Studio Recording A Tour of Dan's Kit / Gear for Recording
A Tour of Brownstone Recording, Nashville Creating a Great Studio Sound and Groove
Avoiding Cymbal Bleed into the Drum Mics On Creating the Right Groove for a Song
Becoming a Drumming "Chameleon" for Sessions Playing to the "Grid"


Dan Needham was born and raised in up state New York in the town of Newark Valley just north of Binghamton. Both parents being musicians, he grew up in and around music and musicians. His father, a drummer, influenced Dan to pursue the drums at an early age. By age eleven, he had started to play professionally for society gigs and local bands. Throughout elementary, junior high, and high school, Dan studied with private drum instructors and developed a wide array of styles and techniques. During his high school years Dan won many honors including flawless scores in many state competitions, All-state recognition, and finally appointment to the McDonald's All-American Band as quad section leader, as well as alternate positioning in the All-American Jazz Band.

Dan moved to Minneapolis after graduation and attended college for several years. Then in 1991, moved to Nashville to pursue music while finishing up his degree at Belmont University. While in Nashville, Dan was able to experience many areas of music including playing for a Brazilian Samba Band, eclectic jazz groups, country artists, R&B artists, alternative bands, rock artists, and pop artists.

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Dan Needham's Stick of Choice:

American Classic® Extreme 5A
For the 5A player who wants more power and reach.
L = 16 1/2" | Dia. = .565"
  click here to download a larger image of the X5A

Biography continued...

Today, Dan is recognized in Nashville as a top up and coming session and live drummer. At age twenty-six, he had already amassed an impressive line of credits including; Michael McDonald, Vanessa Williams, Amy Grant, K T Oslin, as well as many gospel artists like Charlie Peacock, Petra, Carman, Michael W. Smith, Rebecca St. James, and Point of Grace just to name a few.

Besides being in the studio, Dan has appeared on several nationally syndicated television shows including Regis & Kathy-Lee and the Pat Boone Show.

Dan's main focus is, however, a band he was a part of for about a year called One World Movement. It is an all-star band comprised of producer/bassist Tommy Sims (Michael Bolton, Michael McDonald, Bruce Springsteen, wrote Eric Clapton hit Change the World), guitarist/vocalist Chris Rodrigues (Amy Grant, Shania Twain, Kenny Loggins, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire), and keyboardist Marc Harris (Be Be Winans, Whitney Houston, Trey Lorenze). It is a pop/R&B band that has a very bright and promising future in pop radio.