I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Ron Wikso on an album I produced for my client, Debrann. Ron recorded the drums and percussion and mixed all eleven songs on Debrann's "All For Him" album. Besides the quality of his drum tracks and the wealth of knowledge and experience he contributed to this project, several important factors made working with Ron a pleasure.
At the forefront was Ron's accessibility and availability for answering questions and communicating about the project in general. Phone calls and e-mail messages were answered promptly, and coordinating our schedules was never a problem. Without this level of communication it would be impossible to collaborate successfully with a musician down the street, let alone across the country. Furthermore, every facet of Ron's work was conducted with professionalism and integrity.
Secondly, the professional quality and versatility of Ron's studio equipment and software make the logistics of collaboration a breeze. Despite living on opposite coasts, working on different computer platforms and using different recording software, there were no compatibility problems whatsoever.
Ron's drum tracks are very affordable. In my experience, recording drums "the right way" is usually achieved at a considerable expense in time and money. If you do not have several thousand dollars to spend on drum mics or enough room in your studio to set up and mic a drum kit you must book time with a local studio. You have to book plenty of extra studio time so that you can set up the kit, experiment with mic placement and dial in good sounds. Then there is the hassle for the drummer of tearing down and transporting his/her kit to and from the studio. And if you are not able to record everything in one studio session, you have to go through this process all over again on another day. The fact that Ron's recording kit is permanently mic'd in his own studio eliminates most of the expense and ALL of the frustrations of recording drums in your own studio or at an external location. In contrast, I found that working with Ron is hassle-free, yields higher-quality results both musically and sonically and is less expensive.
Surprisingly, Ron consistently provided extremely fast turnaround times. It was not uncommon for me to send out scratch tracks (to California from Pennsylvania) on a Friday or Saturday via Priority Mail and to receive his completed drum tracks in a week or less.
Finally, Ron's drum tracks are tasteful and musical. Rather than drawing from a collection of canned beats, Ron writes original parts that are unique to each song. By listening to what each instrument is doing, rhythmically and melodically, he is able to write drum tracks that interact with the other instruments and allow the song to breathe. When a song utilizes a canned drum beat, the musical accompaniment sits on top of the beat but does not necessarily merge with it. Ron's drum tracks not only complement and support the other instruments, but they also help to shape and structure each song in a way that non-customized beats or an inexperienced drummer simply cannot. If you would like to take your recordings to the next level, this is the way to do it.
I would highly recommend Ron Wikso to you. I am confident that you will find his experience, friendliness and professionalism to be personally as well as professionally rewarding.
I just got your CD tracks for "The Wedge" - sounds great! This is clearly the way to go. I'll have a new song for you next month :)
I got the CD. Thanks! The tracks sound great. So clean and beefy (if I may)! I had the idea of recording a tune using my synth drums first and then hiring you to do the real drums. I could show clients the difference. Plus, I could have a tune at last with REAL drums. WAHOO!
Thanks for your feedback and technical advice on mixing our song with your drums. I'm glad to see you've used lots of creative judgment in figuring out what our song needs, exactly as we'd hoped. We've been laboring with the drum machine for two years with not much success.
Hi Ron! All I can say is, "WOW! We're not worthy... We're not worthy.. We're hanging with Ron Wikso" Um.. OK, so I've watched Wayne's World one too many times. :-) I just got your package last night. I played the rough mix track about 8 times and it sounded great! Very tastefully done! I look forward to working with you more in the near future! Regards, Eric D. Peterson
I got back over the weekend, and started having a proper play with the tracks yesterday. They sound great, as I expected they would!
Hi Ron! Thanks for calling. I wanted to let you know that the tracks did arrive in the mail today! I just spent the last hour or so importing them into n-Track, and playing with some EQ, compression and a small amount of reverb. I have to say that after a little mixing work, it becomes clear just how nice your playing is -- very nice indeed.
AWESOME! Best bucks I've spent in a long time!
Ron.....Just to say that the CD arrived this morning....we're listening to it now, and are very, very pleased! Thanks Ron, you really have done us (and yourself) proud!
Ron! Thank you so much for putting my Christmas Gift CD together. Everyone was happy and surprised! Thank you for your quality work and for being such a pleasure to work with.
Ron, Thanks for all that you did to help make this CD happen! You are such a great foundation! We love working with you! Wishing the best success to you and your family in 2002!
I only had a moment to throw the CD in, so I imported the L/R Room files into an editor (and sung the song in my head). Sounds like you nailed every rhythmic and mood element perfectly. I'm sure it will be fun playing with the individual files in Logic.
Thanks again. It was a pleasure. Great communication too!
Forgive the quality of the vocals, I was just trying to get something out to you as quickly as possible. Work your magic...so far everything you've given me is amazing!! I leave it in your hands...
When we undertook the project of acoustically re-recording our old heavy metal tracks from our 1989 vinyl release, we knew that it would take a special musician to come in and bridge the gap between the two genres. Ron was able to produce some very lively and refreshing drum tracks for us, while at the same time retaining much of the feel of our original recordings. Ron also had the vision to see the potential for further improvement by bringing in longtime friend and bassist Lance Morrison to work up some new bass lines as well. Working digitally over a long distance is never easy, especially when there are key and timing issues to deal with. Nevertheless Ron and Lance worked through these issues, and provided us with a brilliant set of tracks for our project. I will be using their services for my solo acoustic project as well.
Ron, this is exactly what I was looking for! I had another drummer record a part for me and it just didn't have the drive and energy that your take did. Great job!