The Miles McPherson Drums library is a collection of recorded, edited and mixed drum samples for the Native Instruments ‘Kontakt' platform. The collection comprises two sampled kits, a Yamaha and 1972 Rogers kit recorded at Starstruck studios, Nashville and Miles McPherson’s personal studio (respectively); each performed by acclaimed pro drummer, Miles McPherson (Kelly Clarkson, Paramore).
Miles - "Hi, I'm Miles. I'm writing my own bio, so I will not be referring to myself in the 3rd person. I'm a Nashville, TN. native where I currently reside. When I was still touring, I played with Kelly Clarkson, Paramore, Tonic, and Better Than Ezra. In 2013, I came off the road to pursue being a session drummer full time. Thankfully for the moment, the phone still rings. I've been very fortunate to play on some great records with some incredible artists such as Reba McEntire, Rascall Flatts, Chris Young, Kelly Clarkson, Tyler Farr, Lee Brice, Chase Rice, Jeremy Camp, and James Otto. I exclusively use Yamaha drums, Meinl Cymbals, and Vater drumsticks."
Drums: 1972 Rogers Kit
Recorded at: Miles McPherson’s Personal Studio
Drummer: Miles McPherson
Engineer: Joey Sturgis
Miles - The kit we used for this session is the kit I received for Christmas from my folks when I was 13 years old. It was my first kit and consequently still my favourite. It originally had a 22” inch kick, but I found a white, 14” x 24” Rogers shell on eBay that was made in the same year as my kit; 1972. I stripped the hardware from the 22” and stuck it on the 24”. I’ve been using this 13”, 16”, 24” configuration for about a decade now.
This kit was sampled using Yamaha hardware, DW pedals with a DW beater, Remo coated emperors on toms, Remo clear Powerstroke Pro on kick, Remo Controlled Sound Black Dot on snare, and Vater 55BB wood-tip sticks.
For cymbals we used all Meinl Byzance series crashes, hi-hat, ride, and a china. 15” Medium Traditional hats. 19” and 20” Medium Brilliant Crashes. 24” Medium Traditional Ride and an 18” Dark China.
We mic’d the kick with a D112 on the inside and a Yamaha sub-kick on the outside. The D112 is going through a Daking mic pre and eq. Also going through the Daking’s are the snare top and both toms. The Daking’s offer an incredible amount of clarity, but most importantly, an unparalleled fatness, especially on toms using the Sennheiser 421’s.
In addition to the sm57 on snare-top through the Daking’s, we used a Shure Beta 56 on the bottom of the snare. Not crazy different from a 57, but we thought it suited this scenario better.
On hi-hat, we used a Neumann KM184. Definitely my favourite mic for the job. Jason McGerr of Death Cab For Cutie needed my studio one week when I was out of town, and when I returned weeks later, I found a pair of vintage AKG 452’s sitting on my desk as a “thank you” gift from Jason. I’ve been using them exclusively on overheads ever since. We ran those through the Chandler LTD-1’s which are essentially excellent versions of a Neve 1073, and they work quite well with the 452’s.
On rooms we used a pair of Cascade Fathead ribbon mic’s. These were running through 2 channels of the UAD 4710 mic pre which also has a fixed ratio, 1176 style compression option which we used to kiss the rooms a little before they headed off to the Empirical Labs’ Distressors for the real squashing. In addition to the Fatheads, there are a couple of sm57’s sitting about a foot off the ground on either side if the kick as “close rooms.” These basically just get destroyed with compression and offer a nice lowmid punchiness to the whole kit when blended in correctly to the overall mix.
The deceptively small room features a wacky, painted hard wood floor, an 8’ x 8’ curved diffuser on the wall opposite the kit, a 6’ x 4’ GK Acoustics cloud suspended above the kit, and 4 GK Acoustics’ panels on the walls on either side of the overheads. This kit accurately represents my sound in my studio, because well... it is!
House Kit - Drums
1972 Rogers Kit
DW pedals DW Beater (felt side)
Drums: Yamaha Kit
Recorded at: Starstruck Studios, Nashville Tennessee
Drummer: Miles McPherson
Engineer: Joey Sturgis
Miles - If I’m honest, this kit is somewhat about promoting my own agenda. I’m a fan of heavier music and I’m a fan of big drums, but I don’t feel like it’s often enough that the two coexist. When Joey and I were talking about doing this library, this kit immediately sprung to mind. It’s a combination of my last two touring kits. My Maple/Birch customs that I used with Kelly Clarkson and the Club Customs I had for Paramore.
The kit is a 24”x18” Maple Custom bass drum, 13”x9” Club Custom rack tom, 16”x15” Club Custom floor tom, and an 18”x16” Club Custom floor tom. The snare is a chrome-over-brass 14”x6.5” Paul Leim signature. This snare drum has handled 95% of my workload for the last 5 years. It’s my baby! The Club Custom toms are 6-ply Kapur wood, which gives them a warm, dark, and distinctly vintage character.
For this library, I truly wanted to marry huge, dark, older sounding drums with the best of the best in modern and high-end mics and signal processing. The cymbals that I felt best paired with this direction were all my biggest Meinl Byzance cymbals. 21” Medium Traditional Crash, 22” Medium Traditional Crash, 24” Medium Traditional Ride, and 16” Medium Traditional Hi-Hats. We also included an 18” Extra Dry Thin Crash and an 18” Vintage Series Trash Crash to replace the traditional role of a china.
Over the last few years, I’ve done a significant amount of work at Starstruck studios, and it’s one of my favourite rooms in town. The last thing I tracked there was Kelly Clarkson’s #1 single, “Catch My Breath.” Great mic selection, an SSL 9000J series console, and a ton of killer outboard gear. It was an obvious choice for this library.
As result of being able to utilize the tracking room’s nearly 1,100 sq. ft., we were able to get a variety of room sounds from different pairings of mics that really make this library unique. With this room and this kit, we were able to achieve exactly what I was hearing in my head for this kit without cutting any corners, and I couldn’t be happier.
Studio Kit - Drums
Danmar Square Wood
Kick: 24” x 18” Maple Custom Bass Drum w/Remo Coated Powerstroke 3
Snare: 14” x 6.5” Paul Leim Signature snare w/Remo Coated CS Black Dot
The instruments are Kontakt 4+ instruments and they require the full version of Kontakt 4+ (version 126.96.36.19916 or later)