Ask a Producer: MARTIN BISI on Drum Recording

Last week, I had the fortune of spending an afternoon with iconic New York producer/engineer Martin Bisi. His BC Studios have been a fixture in Gowanus for decades, while his work on albums by Swans, Helmet, Sonic Youth, John Zorn, and Unsane, is basically completely unfuckwithable. We spent much of the day discussing different approaches to recording and mixing drums, specifically for bands that like to build up a multi-layered sonic palette for their recordings.

We’ll have much more detailed videos in which Bisi discusses specifics of how he records drums in the days to follow, but we wanted to first share with you a brief interview with him about his birds-eye-view approach to the process. Check it out below:

Martin’s got a whole bunch of tour dates in the US and Europe coming up, so go catch him at one of the following:

US – Martin Bisi w/ Tidal Channel
Apr 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Apr 8 – Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade
Apr 9 – Durham, NC @ Duke University, Brickside Festival (matinee)
Apr 9 – Asheville, NC @ Static Age Records
Apr 10 – Nashville, TN @ Drkmttr
Apr 11 – Arlington, VA @ Galaxy Hut

Europe – Martin Bisi
Apr 19 – Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik + Sound and Chaos documentary screening
Apr 20 – Geneva, CH @ Urgence Disk
Apr 22 – Brussels, BE @ Magasin 4
Apr 23 – Ghent, BE @ Cinema Off Off + Sound and Chaos documentary screening
Apr 24 – Ghent, BE @ Cinema Off Off + Sound and Chaos documentary screening
Apr 26 – Grenoble, FR @ Cinema Juliet Berto Sound and Chaos documentary screening
Apr 27 – Paris, FR @ Detail
Apr 28 – Lisbon, PT @ Lounge + Sound and Chaos documentary screening
Apr 29 – Caldas De Rainha, PT @ Parque + Sound and Chaos documentary screening
Apr 30 – Porto, PT @ Sonoscopia + Sound and Chaos documentary screening
May 4 – Stavanger, NO @ Cementen

US – Martin Bisi
May 13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Alphaville
May 26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium

Written by

Max is a senior editor and producer of Gear Gods and member of the collective Party Smasher Inc. He studies jazz composition and improvisation in New York City.