John O'reilly

Studio Audio

  • Sam Means

    "I Will Follow (That's All)"

    Great song by the incomparable Sam Means (formerly of the band The Format) from his latest EP, NONA. Classic setup on this one with my Ludwig Standard drumset and '68 Acrolite snare (though the snare is pretty drastically "prepared" with a sheet of paper and lots of gaffer tape). I had a lot of fun layering percussion on this one...if you want to get a sense of how this was all recorded, check out the video of me tracking this by clicking the VIDEO button to the left. Mixed by Ken Sluiter.

  • Studio Demo

    "Pop Song"

    Pretty simple setup on this one. 22" 1965 Slingerland bass drum, Yamaha Maple Custom toms, 14" 1962 Gretsch COB snare. All other instruments played by me, too. Mixed by Stewart Myers.

  • Studio Demo

    "Mellow Song"

    Fun setup on this one. I used my 20" x 18" 1968 Slingerland bass drum with a 26" Fibes "resonator" drum in front of it (each mic'd individually). For toms I used a 14" Yamaha Maple Custom as my rack tom and a 16" Ludwig Standard floor tom, both with tea towels on half of the heads. The snare is a 14" x 7" Yamaha Birch Custom with a 12" Hammerax Dustbowl on top of it. I played with Vic Firth Maraca Mallets and had a brass maraca threaded through my shoelaces on my hi-hat foot. No hi-hats on this, just some shakers and a tiny tambourine on the hi-hat stand (played with my foot). The crashy ride in the choruses is my 22" Instanbul Special Edition Jazz Ride with a 14" thin crash underneath (hi-hat style). I taped a wood 2x4 to the top of the bass drum for some of the woody sounds. I love doing this kind of "prepared drumset" stuff! Minimal percussion overdubs on this...most of it is live. All other instruments played by me, too. Mixed by Stewart Myers.

  • Studio Demo

    "Odd Times and Pretty Guitars"

    Two of my favorite things: odd time signatures and embarassingly pretty guitars. Pretty simple setup on this: 22" 1965 Slingerland bass drum, Yamaha Maple Custom toms, Ludwig Acrolite snare drum. All other instruments played by me and I mixed it as well.

  • Studio Demo


    Pretty basic kit on this. It's my 1970 Ludwig Standard kit with a 26" Fibes "resonator" drum in front of the kick. 14" Gretsch COB snare. Forgive my overplaying on this...but that was kinda the point. I played all the synths and mixed as well.

  • The In and Of

    "Numb Inside"

    I was fortunate enough to work with The In and Of on a few songs recently and this one turned out particularly well, I think. They record most everything themselves but wanted me to do the drums and for this one, I mixed the drums myself and then delivered just a stereo track (as opposed to providing individual tracks). This is a great option for those of you who don't want to have to deal with mixing the drums. I charge a little extra for this service, but it's well worth it!

  • The In and Of

    "Pipe Dreams"

    Another one by The In and Of that I mixed the drums on. I was going for a Ben Folds sort of thing here and added a little overdrive to the drums in the mix. I think it gives them a bit of an out-of-control feeling that helps propell the song. Ludwig Standard kit with my 13" Yamaha Steve Jordan signature snare drum.

  • Kallan Phillips

    "You're Wasted"

    This one by the uber-talented Kallan Phillips has lots of layered percussion on it. As I like to do, I tried to play some of it "live" with the main kit, so there's a shaker attached to the hi-hat. I then layered two more shakers, two tambourines, and another small kit on top of that to get this swirling percussive effect. This gives lots of options for switching layers along with the dynamics of the song, which Kallan did perfectly.

  • Sam Means

    "Carrie Anne"

    This cover of the Hollies' song by Sam Means features me going for some '60s sounds. Complete with overdriven bongos!! My go-to "vintage" setup here with the Ludwig Standards and Acrolite snare drum.

  • Russell Quinn

    "Listen to My Songs"

    Here's one by Russell Quinn that was sort of interesting. The request was for there to be no crash cymbals, which is actually kind of hard to do! The result is an intensely controlled sound which easily sits well in a mix. I mixed the drums on this one and Russell did everything else. The drums have a real "in-your-face" presence to them that I love.

  • Jon Flaugher

    "I'll Come Out"

    Really cool song by Jon Flaugher, bass player extraordinaire. You can hear his playing on the Schuyler Fisk stuff on the LISTEN page. I love doing this sort of "vibey" thing. Ludwig Standard kit, Yamaha Birch 14" x 6.5" snare. Mallets on the toms, brushes, etc. Super fun.

  • Studio Demo


    Part of what I do outside of recording is in the education world as a teacher and author. I have a book coming out with Alfred Music Publishing, co-authored with Rich Lackowski, titled On the Beaten Path: Jazz which is a study of a whole slew of jazz drummers from the present all the way back to jazz's infancy. The book comes with audio examples of the transcriptions used, from which here is a sampling. If you're a jazz aficionado, you might recognize some of these excerpts. I recorded these all in true jazz fashion with only a few mics, using my '60s Slingerland kit.

  • Just Drums

    As an example of some of the types of sounds you can expect from me, here are some drums alone for you to hear. All of these drums are for the most part unprocessed (no EQ, compression, etc.). Most of them have their room mics compressed, but everything else is pretty much raw.