Home » M-Powered Artists » Chester Thompson

Chester Thompson

Artist Info
Chester Thompson


Chester Thompson has an active career as a drummer for many legendary musicians. Summer 1999 found him touring the U.S. with Phil Collins in support of the new “Tarzan” movie and soundtrack release. In the Spring of 1999, he gave the US debut of George Duke’s orchestra work “Muir Woods Suite” in a performance with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Duke, Airto and Christian McBride.

Previous artists with whom he has recorded and performed include Genesis, Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Flora Purim, Freddie Hubbard, Phil Collins, Ron Kenoly, Pointer Sisters, Carlos Santana, Curtis Mayfield, Ahmad Jamal, Peter Cetera, Steve Fowler, Kathy Troccoli, Denny Jiosa, Neil Diamond, Bee Gees, Koinonia, Ben E. King and Joe Henderson

Chester Thompson
Drummer (Genesis, Frank Zappa, Phil Collins)

On M-Audio hardware:“The heart of my studio is an Apple G5 dual 1.8, and I recently was able to add an M-Audio 1814 through an ADAT optical connection and incorporate Pro Tools M-Powered. The Trigger Finger has become my favorite piece of gear, which I use to trigger samples of all kinds of ethnic percussion. The other M-Audio hardware pieces I have worked with are the Radium 49 and the Oxygen 8. All of these have been completely without any problems and do exactly what they are supposed to. I am blown away by the 1814 and its versatility.  It is like having at least four pieces of gear in one.”

On Pro Tools M-Powered: “The obvious help is being able to not only hear songs and ideas as you write them, but to also be able to edit and manipulate music in ways that were not possible as little as 10 years ago. Pro Tools is certainly becoming the standard in the industry and most people I work with are using it.”

Using M-Audio products on tour: “When I am on tour is when I do most of my writing.  An Apple MacBook Pro and my M-Audio FireWire 1814 allow me to record quality audio as well as sequence. An M-Audio Radium keyboard completes the picture. The biggest change for me is in the quality of sound available to me when I am in a hotel room writing or having one of the guys in the band put down parts into my PowerBook. The audio holds up when I get into the studio, which is wonderful.

Why M-Audio? “The times I have needed help with any of the M-Audio gear, the tech support guys have gone above and beyond anything I have expected and not only told me what to do but explained things in a way that left me equipped to handle any related problems. M-Audio has made life easier from the perspective of practical portable interfaces, which do not compromise quality because of size. M-Audio is the young upstart that had and still has the fresh ideas that put it in a class by itself.”

Chester Thompson’s songwriting and production philosophy: “I was taught and do believe that rhythm dictates melody and melody dictates harmony. This is made so much easier with today’s technology because I can spend time setting up a rhythmic groove as simple or as complex as I want and play with melodies and sounds and orchestration as much as my imagination calls for.  In the past, that was impossible without lots of players and funds.”