Originally Posted by narcoman
but i'm not a believer that the studios are places to "muck about".... i prefer to get the tune worked out before hand.
Here's the thing....
Your opposite to 'worked out' fills is 'jamming' or 'mucking about'.
I've worked alongside and watched many great drummers and they have all had the same method IME.
They don't rehearse or work anything out.
They play through the song once, they then discuss the overall approach (groove and fills) with the artist and producer, then they go out and cut it in one or two takes.
In my experience you don't know exactly what fills you are going to get and are generally blown away by some inspired fills that come out of the blue.
The top drummers know
what appropriate fills sound like, and understand what people want to hear, so they rarely need to be locked in before they start to record.
A couple of months ago I watched Gregg Bissonette cutting a 3 minute track for a film score.
The writer hired him because he was looking for that kind of inspiration.
As it was film score the drum part was fairly locked in and written down, but Gregg still played his own fills.
Once they'd nailed a take that was exactly what they wanted, they recorded another couple of takes where gregg improvised more. Each take was more ambitious and the writer and producer were in raptures.
They ended up using the penultimate take where Gregg played with a lot of freedom and sounded energetic and inspired.
The final take was just out there. Everyone loved it, but it was just a little too OTT for the film.