Multitrack drums with as many as 15 individual tracks allows you to mix the drums to suit your music.
Communication is key. Let me know what you’re looking for so you’re completely satisfied.
For a lot of projects, time is of the essence. If you need tracks done quickly, I can make it happen.
Many producers, songwriters, composers and other musicians have commented to me over the years that they just hate having to program drums when they are working on their songs or compositions, but that they very often have no choice because they are usually working in their home or project studios. They would always lament the fact that, in order to get a great sounding track with real drums, they would have to go elsewhere (to one of the bigger, and usually pretty expensive, commercial studios) because their studio was not equipped to record a full set of real drums and that, even if it was, the setup time alone made it too much of a hassle for a lot of the productions they were doing.
After hearing these comments over and over again, I decided to put together a studio that could alleviate that situation for a lot of people. So if you too, are tired of laboriously programming a drum machine, sequencer or some generic drum loop for your production, I can provide you with the highest quality live drum tracks (separate tracks–not just a stereo mix) at an affordable price. This is a win-win situation because it allows you to get a real, live performance specifically tailored to your piece of music and it allows me to work without leaving the comfort of my own studio, which means I don’t have to charge as much!
- My studio is equipped with great microphones, incredible sounding microphone pre-amps and digital audio conversion, as well as state of the art drums.
- I have toured and/or recorded with people like Richie Sambora, the Steve Miller Band, Foreigner, Cher, CCR, The Storm, Gregg Rolie, David Lee Roth, Randy Meisner (Eagles), Eddie Money, Denny Laine (Wings/Moody Blues), Player, and many others.
- I am well versed in all styles (Rock, Pop, R&B, Country, Jazz–I went to Berklee College of Music–etc.) and I can deliver tracks to you quickly, sometimes in the same day, depending on the scope of your project and what else I’m working on at the time.
The process works with any of the popular software programs out there including Logic Audio, Cakewalk, Cubase, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Nuendo, Sonar, Presonus Studio One and others, as long as the program can read WAV files…and just about any digital audio software program available now can work with those files seamlessly.
Another great thing about working this way is that it is not limited by geographical location. Working remotely is simple and seamless. Once you’re ready, I’ll supply a Dropbox folder for you to upload your files and then, once you’ve approved the tracks, I’ll upload the completed files back to the same Dropbox folder.
In addition to the fact that many people are operating their studio in their home or apartment, where doing live tracking of any kind can be a problem, some of the advantages of the custom drum tracks that I offer are that:
- You wouldn’t need to hire a commercial studio or go through the setup process that’s entailed there…I have state of the art gear permanently setup in my studio and ready to go. I have over 25 different snare drums available and many different types of cymbals (I’m a Sonor Drum & Zildjian Cymbal endorser).
- You wouldn’t need to hire an engineer or a 2nd engineer.
- You wouldn’t need to waste a lot of time programming a drum machine or sequencer in an effort to get it to sound & feel like the real thing and ultimately not really ever achieve that.
- There would be no carting of gear to a commercial studio and, therefore, none of the associated expenses of cartage.
- You can finish your project in your home studio and still have real drums on it…as many as 13 individual tracks! I record using 2 kick mics–one inside and one outside, 3 snare mics–one top, one bottom and one rim, 3 tom mics–one for each tom, 2 overheads–left and right, 2 room mics–left and right and a hi hat mic which are each saved as it’s own individual track unless you specify that you would like to have less tracks than that. You can then mix and effect the tracks however you like…just like you would in a full sized studio.
- It’s not expensive and it will ultimately make your production sound much more professional than using programmed drums…the tracks are CD or broadcast ready.
- I’m very experienced and have been recognized as a world class drummer. I’d be happy to provide you with a complete list of my credits (see some of them above) and I have a lot of experience in the recording studio. I can deliver great sounding tracks in a wide range of styles and genres. I guarantee your satisfaction!
Live Tracks versus Drum Loops
I’d just like to point out that I am in no way opposed to the use of drum loops, drum machines or sequenced drums. In fact, I use them myself when the music calls for it (some music absolutely must have that type of drum track or it wouldn’t be true to the style) and I know that they can be quite useful in many instances where recording real drums may not be practical. In fact, I also have a fairly extensive line of downloadable, fully acidized stereo and multitrack drum loops available through my company Total Control Audio.
I am also very often asked to add a live drum track to a song that already has a loop or drum machine pattern, as a way of enhancing the groove of the song. This can be a very effective sound for some kinds of music.
Having said these things, there are many kinds of music where there is no substitute for the real thing and the comparisons made below are with that in mind.
- The live track that I play is a specific performance for your piece of music. I will play a track that is appropriate to your music, taking into account the various breaks, kicks etc. that you have in your arrangement. This would require a substantial amount of time and editing if you were using loops, with a fairly low likelihood of achieving the desired result.
- When I deliver the tracks to you, you can have as many as 13 individual tracks (2 kick mics–one inside and one outside, 3 snare mics–one top, one bottom and one rim, 3 tom mics–one for each tom, 2 overheads–left and right, 2 room mics–left and right and a hi hat mic) that you can then mix and effect however you like…just like you would in a full sized studio. Of course, if you need the configuration to be different than that I can provide that as well. Some people prefer to have me give them only 4 or 6 tracks depending on their personal situation. In any case, this offers a lot more flexibility than a simple stereo mix of a loop. You can eq and effect each element of the drum track until you have it just the way you need it for your music.
- With a live performance, you get all of the nuance and subtlety that can only be achieved by playing real drums to a track with live microphones picking up a performance. If you use samples, the perfection of the samples does not allow for that type of interplay without a lot of programming and even then it’s a time consuming and unnatural process. It doesn’t have the “air” that a real track has.
Live Tracks versus Drum Machines or Sequenced Drums
- I can play a track in probably 1/10th of the time it would take to program it on a drum machine or sequencer, maybe less. This allows you to spend more time worrying about the rest of the music instead of spending hours trying to get a drum machine track to sound right.
- As with the comparison to drum loops, with a live performance, you get all of the nuance and subtlety that can only be achieved by playing real drums to a track with live microphones picking up a performance. Machines and sequencers are just that, machines and sequencers. They are not living, breathing people giving a performance and as such, they do not allow for that type of interplay without a lot of programming. Even then it’s a time consuming and unnatural process that rarely achieves the same thing that a live track can deliver. They almost sound too “perfect”.
For more information feel free to e-mail me at anytime. Thanks and happy music making!!
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 drum tracks for “The Wedge” – sounds great! This is clearly the way to go. I’ll have a new song for you next month. 🙂
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!
AWESOME! Best bucks I’ve spent in a long time!
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
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…
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!
I got the files. 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.
Ron…..Just to say that the tracks 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.
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!
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.
Contact me to get started.
I’m ready when you are!