Dylan Wissing


Dylan Wissing

Triple Colossal Studios • Hoboken, New Jersey

Interview by Joe Gorelick

Photos by Kristie Andrijenko

As a burgeoning studio drummer in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, Dylan Wissing studied with two giants of the session world: Kenny Aronoff and Shawn Pelton. His first recording experience was in the eighth grade, in Aronoff’s home studio. “It was an incredibly cool opportunity that definitely sent me down the path I’m on to this day,” says Wissing, who now runs his own studio, Triple Colossal. Since opening the space, located in the historic Neumann Leather Building in Hoboken, New Jersey, Dylan has tracked drums for a wide variety of independent and major-label artists, including the modern R&B stars Alicia Keys, Kanye West, and Drake.

Wissing began his career as a well-traveled road dog, logging in more than thirteen years with the ska/rock/funk/reggae band Johnny Socko. He made the move to the East Coast to pursue a career as a full-time studio musician at the suggestion of a friend, Grammy-winning producer Ken Lewis. “My first session upon arriving was in Ken’s studio with a great alternative singer-songwriter named Noah Levi,” Wissing recalls.

Triple Colossal features a sleekly designed drum room, but it didn’t start out that way. “My space is the former executive suite of a leather factory complex,” Wissing explains. “It hadn’t been painted or maintained in decades, so we had a substantial amount of cleanup to do up front.” Layers of Sheetrock and Green Glue were added for sonic isolation, and heavy curtains and bass traps were installed around the perimeter to further treat the space.

Wissing’s approach for working with clients, through his company, Indie Studio Drummer, is now down to a science. “The first step is to pull up the client’s track to get an idea of what the song sounds like, while making sure all the necessary files are there,” Dylan says. “Next I take a listen to any reference tracks the client may have
sent, to get an idea of the overall vibe they’re going for. Then I loop the song while I begin assembling the right kit.”

Dylan WissingA longtime endorser of GMS, Aquarian, Pro-Mark, and Protechtor, Wissing has racks of his first-choice drums on one side of the room, with four closets full of additional drums, cymbals, and percussion. Included in the collection are different bass drum and tom configurations that are preset for specific sounds, whether it’s tight and modern, dark and moody, classic ’70s studio, or trashy, lo-fi tones. “Choosing the snare comes next,” Wissing explains, showing an impressive array of more than a dozen modern and vintage drums from Leedy, Ludwig, WFL, Slingerland, Gretsch, Premier, DW, Sonor, Tama, and GMS. “They all sound different from one another, and getting the right snare is extremely important in the track.”

Regarding microphone and preamp selection, Wissing says, “I have a few starting setups that vary depending on the vibe that the producer or mix engineer is searching for. We’ll generally change overhead, room, snare, and bass drum mics for each song, but the other microphones usually remain unchanged.”

Before starting to record, Wissing runs through the song a few times to get a proper feel for it. Once a main take is tracked, he takes an alternate pass to give the artist or producer more variety to work with in the editing stage. Many times the complete drum part also contains layers of percussion. “If I know that will be happening,” Wissing says, “I will be very conscious when tracking the initial drumset part to leave plenty of room, playing-wise and sonically, for tambourines, shakers, hand drums, cowbells, or whatever else the song requires.”

Dylan WissingOnce the final tracks are complete, Wissing assembles a rough mix to email to the client. “We usually record dry,” he explains, “without any EQ or compression, so that the engineer has control over the mix when the various parts of the song are finished. After making any final revisions, we’ll upload the files to the client on our server. The whole process usually takes two to four hours.” From there, Dylan and his assistant engineer/drum tech, Matt Teitelman, clean up the studio and return everything back to its original spot so that they’re ready to start the process all over again when the next track comes in.



Primary Kits
GMS SE maple in midnight blue sparkle (8×10 and 9×12 rack toms, 12×14 and 14×16 floor toms, 16×22 bass drum, 6.5×13 Revolution brass snare)
GMS Super Vintage in black/gold duco (8×12 rack, 14×15 floor, 14×22 and 12×26 bass drums, 5.5×14 snare)
GMS SE maple in red sparkle pearl with calfskin heads (8×12 rack, 14×14 floor, 12×20 bass drum, 5×13 snare)
Early-’70s Slingerland in white marine pearl (8×12, 9×13, 10×14 racks; 16×16 and 16×18 floors; 10″, 12″, 13″, 14″, and 15″ concert toms; 14×22 and 14×24 bass drums)

Aquarian, including Texture Coated, coated Super-2,
and Vintage series snare and tom batters

Select Snares
Dylan Wissing snares5×14 ’20s Leedy Black Elite engraved brass
5×14 ’20s Leedy Black Elite 1-ply mahogany
6.5×14 ’40s Leedy Broadway Standard brass
5.5×14 and 8×14 ’40s Slingerland Radio King one-ply maple
7×14 ’40s WFL Swing model mahogany
5.5×14 ’60s Gretsch Name Band maple
5×14 ’60s Ludwig Supra-Phonic and Acrolite aluminum
2.5×14 ’60s Sonor Pancake maple
6.5×14 and 6.5×15 ’60s Ludwig Auditorium mahogany
5×14 Tama Trackmaster and 4×15 Super Piccolo engraved brass
3.25×14, 5.5×14, and 6.5×14 Tama Power Metal bronze
5×14 Tama Power Metal hammered bronze
5.5×14 GMS Grand Master maple
5.5×13 GMS SE aluminum
6.5×14 GMS SE brass
6.5×14 GMS SE with Vintage Mahogany shell