Drummer and YouTube content creator Wyatt Stav makes awesome drum content. If you haven’t seen or heard him play before, you need to watch some of his videos and give him your YT subscription.
His channel has grown to more than 180k subscribers with a total of 19 million+ views across his drum covers, lesson videos, reactions, gear reviews, Q&As, vlogs, and more.
Wyatt was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to answer some questions via email for us (thanks, Wyatt!).
Interview with Wyatt Stav
NC: “First off—your videos look and sound incredible (in addition to the killer playing)! What is your recording process like? Do you shoot and edit everything yourself? I saw in a past video from a few years back you used your e-kit to capture MIDI before recording overheads. Is that still a part of your process?”
WS: “My recording process has changed a lot over the years. I do not mix MIDI into my playing anymore!
In the years I have been recording myself I have gotten the process down to the simplest it’s been. I simply track the audio for a cover a couple days before filming the actual cover. Once tracked I bounce DI stems and send them to Chris Ghazel! He gets me a mixed and mastered version of what I tracked.
Then once I have the audio, I simply film me playing the song in 2 – 3 takes to create a couple different angles. Lindsay films me using a gimbal, which is new for the channel as for many many years I simply just used a tripod! Once the angles are filmed I drop them into my video editor and line up the video with the pre recorded audio and done!“
NC: “Do you have a warmup routine (practice pad, drills, etc…) or do you just jump right into playing each day? What’s your typical practice session look like?”
WS: “I do warm up yes… When I played live I typically would take an hour to warm up before going on stage. I usually would complete the first couple pages of the legendary book “Stick Control.” I did this to a click track on a pad at a few different tempos. As well, I have my personal warm up listed on my Soundcloud in audio.
This warmup started with an exercise called “The Subdivision Pyramid” where I would change subdivisions moving up to 16th notes and the back down to ½ notes. Following the pyramid I’d move into a tempo pyramid where the tempo moved from a starting number of 100 bpm up to 200bpm and then back down.
Lastly my warm up finished with an exercise I refer to as “vanishing click” but I have heard artists like Benny Greb refer to this as “gap click.” With either name, the concept is simple. Play along to a click that disappears and reappears in time! Here is a link to my complete personal warm up listed at 10 different tempos from 100 – 200!“
NC: “In one of your Q&A videos uploaded in 2018, you mentioned that you aren’t endorsed by any drum or shell companies. Has that changed and/or have you ever been approached by anyone?”
WS: “That has not changed! I am currently a 100 percent free agent! I play who I am inspired to by how I like their products and basically just leave it at that. Who knows… I am sure one day I may sign to someone for something, but at the moment I am plenty happy playing what I choose when I want to.”
NC: “Going full-time with YT must have felt like a dream come true. When did you get serious about content creation?”
WS: “December 14th of 2018 was my last day working a normal 9-5 job. I got serious about content creation 6 months prior to this.”
NC: “Can you share any insight/tips for newer drummers who are just beginning to make videos? What’s something you wish you had done earlier or knew at the start?”
WS: “The biggest mistake I made early on was allowing myself to play without a metronome. Actually, let me re-phrase that… Not just did I “allow” myself to play without a click but I spent years avoiding a click all together!
As a teacher I find this is where the biggest weakness for early drummers is. Most players in the first couple of years don’t practice seriously. But for those who do, it is difficult enough to learn the material let alone having to put it in perfect time to a click! I find that a lot of guys just fail to take their playing to the next level because they neglect the click.”
NC: “I don’t wanna ask the cliche, “who’s your favorite drummer?”, but who have been some of your biggest inspirations when you first started getting serious and to this day?”
WS: “Luke Holland, Cobus, Thomas Lang, The Rev, Travis Barker, Neil Peart, Benny Greb, Anika Nilles, Anup Sastry, Alex Rudinger, Jo Jo Mayer, Tre Cool, Joey Jordison…. to name a few.”
NC: “Are there any favorite drum performances from an album that stick out to you— maybe that you continue to listen/jam along to?”
WS: “Texas In July – Defenceless, Green Day – Jesus of Suburbia, Architects – Gone With The Wind, Asking Alexandria – Morte Et Dabo.”
NC: “What goals are you currently working towards?”
WS: “I am extremely focused on expanding my sessions clientele going into 2021. Now that I am capable of writing / recording for bands I am looking for as many new clients as possible.”
NC: “Is there one piece of gear you can’t live without? A specific ride cymbal, snare, etc…?”
WS: “Um, this is a tough one. My hardware matters a lot to me, so all my DW 9000 Hardware. As well, I really love my Byzance 21” Polyphonic Ride. I guess those two are the first to come to mind… Truth be told I couldn’t live without most of my gear at this point!”
NC: “I heard in one your videos that you are teaching lessons. Are you accepting students? Where can readers find out more?”
WS: “I am always accepting new students. Go to patreon.com/wyattstav to enroll in weekly lessons online with me!”
Kit Rundown + Other Equipment
Shells: I play a DW performance series shell pack with a DW Collector’s snare. The sizes are 14×8, 13×9, 16×16 and 22×18
Cymbals: Currently I have a (From Left to Right)
- 10” Meinl Byzance Dual Splash
- 18” BRT/MDM Blended crash by TRX
- 12” Meinl Byzance Classic Customs Dark Stack
- 21” Sabian HHX Complex Thin Ride (although typically a 21” Meinl Byzance Polyphonic Ride but mine is currently cracked)
- 19” Meinl Byzance Medium Thin Crash and finally a 19” Sabian AA Holy China.
However I will admit I am changing up placement as well as cymbal types all the time! Just depends on what project I have on the go.
Microphones: (Subject to Change)
- Kick In – Shure BETA 91A
- Kick Out – Shure BETA 52A
- Snare Top 1 – Shure SM57
- Snare Top 2 – Earthworks DM20
- Snare Bottom – Earthworks DM20
- Rack – Earthworks DM20
- Floor – Earthworks DM20
- Overheads – Earthworks SR314 x2
- Cymbal Close Mics – Earthworks SR25 x4-6
- Room In – AudioTechnica AT2020
- Room Out – Austrian Audio OC18
Heads, sticks, and other gear:
- Snare – Evans Onyx
- Toms – Evans EC2
- Kick – Evans EMAD2 (Currently DW Stock head)
- Sticks: Thomas Lang Signature Series by Vic Firth
- Pedals: Trick Pro1v Big Foot double pedal and a Tama 910 Speed Cobra double pedal
- DAW: Logic Pro X
- Interfaces: Tascam US 16×08 x2
- Monitor Mixers: Behringer X-Air 16 and a Cerwin-Vega! CVM-1022
- eKIT: Roland TD-25KV
- Sample Pad: Alesis Strike MultiPad