21seven recording studio in Edinburgh

Full bands (rock, indie, punk etc)

Recording protocol

Having a large, properly sound-treated tracking room is something beyond the means of any recording studio charging affordable rates.

That's very unfortunate because drums sound totally wrong in small spaces, and even worse in large untreated rooms. Add guitar amps in there and you are in a sorry sonic mess... we developed a proprietary recording protocol to overcome all this...

Advantages of our protocol:

EVERYTHING IS PERFORMED LIVE - doing so music takes a life of its own. Musical intuitions and happy accidents are allowed to happen, injecting life and character into your recording.

GLORIOUS DRUM SOUNDS - otherwise absolutely impossible in studios in this price range.

QUICK SET UP - normally setting up a band for "album quality" recording takes 5 hours, with the protocol it takes 2.

FASTER, BETTER MIXING - playing live leads to more consistent dynamics/levels. This means way better mixes in far less time.

How does it work?

Using our state of the art, custom built hybrid drum kit (pictures & sound samples below) bypasses all room-related issues.

Guitar, bass and drums are recorded all together, live, yet with total separation. Everyone is in the control room, wearing headphones. This allows good visual contact & communication, as well as feeling your band is playing together, as a unit.

The amps themselves are in our separate and fully soundproofed/sound-treated tracking room, were they are miked up and recorded without any leaks from anything else.

What you hear in the headphones is pre-mixed and many people comment they never heard each other so well before! This is essential for a great performance, making everything easier and more enjoyable.

Some drummers are initially wary of this, but when they start playing the hybrid kit they absolutely love it.

Honestly folks: this is not a compromise. It took 10 years and considerable investment to develop this way of recording. It certainly is unusual, but it produces stunning, amazing results at affordable prices.

The hybrid drum kit

This custom designed kit is an outstanding recording tool, combining acoustic and midi drums.

Hi-hat, crashes and ride are REAL, ACOUSTIC CYMBALS made by Zildjan. These special, perforated cymbals catch all the nuances of your playing using a magnetic sensor.

Snare, kick and toms are MIDI DRUMS, but have REAL SKINS. They trigger specialised sound libraries in the PC.


These were recorded by the very people who defined the sound of recorded drums as we know it, including Steve Albini, Joe Barresi, Andy Johns, Andrew Scheps and Jim Scott. They recorded drums for Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Pixies, Mogwai, PJ Harvey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dixie Chicks, Sting, Ron Sexsmith, Bad Religion, The Stooges, Bob Dylan, Crowded House, Tom Petty, Nirvana - you name it!

These seminal sound engineers used drum kits from their personal collections, tuned and prepared to perfection, miked up with their best gear, in the best sounding rooms for recording drums. The results are truly stunning.


Each of our 60 kits comes with close-miked samples as well as several room mikes and overheads. These are not simulations, but REAL ROOM AMBIENCES recorded in amazing sounding rooms. They generate complex, beautiful natural reverberations and resonances.

The sound of a drum kit is largely determined by the room it is played in, and sadly sounds like this can only happen in premises worth hundred of thousands. That's why recording your own kit in any affordable studio will inevitably imprint a lifeless, one-dimensional sound all over your drums and really isn't such good idea.

Hear how differently kick, snare and toms sound using different libraries and how natural they sound:

Each kit has been sampled using sticks, brushes, rods and mallets - providing tons of flexibility.

These are just "raw" sounds, a starting point. Listen to any songs in the sound bites page to hear final results.

If you are interested in recording here, please get in touch to arrange a demo so that your drummer can try the kit and you can hear how great it sounds yourselves. There is no charge for that and it is completely commitment-free. You shall be impressed!