Longtime Dallas-based drummer Ron Kaplan (pictured) recently found himself on the “other side of the glass,” when longtime friend, Chicago-based songwriter Dick Eastman, asked Kaplan to lay down and record drum tracks on a new record for his project band, The Cleavers (which also includes guitarist Bobby Diamond and keyboardist Mike Kroell).
“We came up with the idea that I would buy some gear and record my drum parts,” Kaplan said. “Dick and Bobby would send me the guitar and vocal tracks. I'd record my drums and send those tracks back to them.”
Step 1: Kaplan purchased a set of electronic drums and a Yamaha AW4416 DAW as Eastman and Kroell both owned an AW4416 and “liked the fact that you could produce master CDs, share the material with other AW units and transfer all mixes at once,” Kaplan said. Step 2: The bandmates used iTunes or MusicMatch software to rip the music from the master CDs, allowing them to send digital copies of their music to each other for instant feedback. “Mike, Dave, Bobby and Dick would work on parts and send me an automix, where everything had been submixed down to a drumless stereo track,” Kaplan explained. “I'd lay down the drums directly into the song on eight tracks without having to submix them or bounce tracks.” Now that the band had developed a working routine, what about Kaplan's engineering credibility?
Kaplan found much of his help on the Yahoo AW4416 users group. “I got a real education from real users,” Kaplan enthused. “We also found our mastering engineer, Ronny Morris [owner of Digitak Mastering, Brunswick, Ga.], on there.”
The Cleavers are hosting streaming audio samples of their CD, Television Mind, at www.allrightrecords.com.