OK Go drummer Dan Konopka has recently branched out into session drumming, mixing and production work via SoundBetter, an online platform that connects artists with audio professionals and session musicians. Through SoundBetter, Konopka uses his skills to help independent musicians get professional results, employing AKG microphones to deliver world-class drum tracks.
“About two years ago I was approached by Shachar from SoundBetter, when the platform was pretty new,” says Konopka. “He asked if I’d be interested in being a provider on the platform as a session drummer, and I was very flattered. ‘Wow, could I play the drums for other bands? Could I do this for other artists? Any other artists?’ And it ended up being a perfect fit for me because I was able to play the drums for other people and I was also able to do production work and mixing work.”
When recording drums for SoundBetter projects, Konopka makes heavy use of AKG microphones, including the C12VR tube condenser mic and D112 MKII bass drum mic. To craft his signature sound, Konopka often uses these microphones in novel, unorthodox ways, such as using the D112 as an overhead mic on his kit. Additionally, the studio Konopka works in employs JBL monitors, which he has high praise for.
“During my sessions I use a lot of AKG microphones; almost all of them are AKG microphones,” says Konopka. “The studio that I work in uses a lot of JBL products. It’s just such industry standard stuff that it’s kind of an afterthought. It works and it’s great and I have never been given any negative reviews such as: ‘You didn’t use the right overhead microphone.’ They’re all the best of the best.”
Since Konopka works with artists at all levels and in many genres, the tracks he receives to mix or produce often vary in production value, from polished studio sound to amateur iPhone recordings. In the latter situation, Konopka often recommends HARMAN products to help his clients achieve professional-quality results.
“One client had done a rap album, and the microphone that he was using was not good,” says Konopka. “So, I sent him on a little bit of a treasure hunt to look through different microphones, and I sent him links to the HARMAN site and to instructional microphone tutorials and things like that. And he went ahead and re-recorded his vocals, and for me, it was just so obviously a better recording. I was able to put it in the session and in no time, we had a much better product.”
Konopka has a five-star rating on SoundBetter, with over 270 reviews and 45 repeat clients to back it up. According to his profile, Konopka works in genres including EDM, electronic, heavy rock, hip-hop, house, pop-rock and rock. For more information, visit Dan Konopka on SoundBetter.