DKO Debut CD Released 15 Yrs Ago!

Earlier this month I realized that August 6 marked the fifteenth year since the release of my first CD back in 1998! This undoubtedly has encouraged me to reflect on that special time in my early career and, for those of you that may be interested, here are some of my thoughts...

"DKO" - The debut CD from The Darren Kramer Organization - was the project that officially started my recording career and I'd like to sincerely thank my family, friends, teachers, fellow musicians, engineers, and radio DJs for their talent and kindness that helped make this first project a reality fifteen years ago. I want to offer a special thank you to T-Bone Demman and Brian Monroney for all they taught me about the recording world. It's because of them that I am now completing my sixth DKO CD and able to pass on that knowledge in my class "How To Produce Your Own Music CD".

As I listen to this CD today, I'm still pleased with the quality regarding both the compositions and performances, but I'm also proud of the fact that it was produced on several different types of recording media during the revolutionary 1990's - Audio Tape - which of course is now virtually extinct. (except for the master tapes and cassettes in the basement!) "DKO" was recorded primarily on 2" analog tape (for $170 per 15 min reel but sounds great...esp drums!) However, some guest artists were recorded on Alesis ADAT for traveling convenience and most of the trombone parts were tracked on Tascam DA-88.

The mixing process was also somewhat "old school" on some songs as we had to actually use our hands to move knobs in realtime during live mixing to DAT tape. Remember that? Not having everything automated or saved in the computer? We'd do several stereo mixes to DAT tape, listen back to confirm the final mix, and then summon the courage to strike and clear the board!! No automatic recall in those days. Once the mixing console was cleared and the cables were pulled, there was no going back. I remember "Turbulent Altercation" being a particularly challenging mix as we had to simultaneously sync the 2" tape, ADATs, and DA-88 with midi time clock sequences from my Roland keyboard along with recorded samples from a computer! Boy, hard disk recording has certainly made things easier and cheaper, but I'm glad to have learned from this process and having to commit to decisions along the way. Today's minimal cost for huge hard drives which allow infinite number of takes is often a mixing challenge all its own!

I'm also grateful for the many fond memories I have of this entire experience while living in Las Vegas. Moreover, this first project is extra special because of the many rewards that resulted from simply having the desire to produce and finance my own CD:

• This CD paved the way for meeting my idol
Michael Brecker whose kind words graced this cd cover and ultimately led to him recording three tracks on my third CD "In The Now".
• Getting the incredible opportunity work with my horn section heros Jerry Hey and Gary Grant.
• Began a lifelong friendship with world-class guitarist and technology expert
Brian Monroney collaborating on several more DKO projects, tours, my electric trombone rig and co-founding TheGigEasy Complete Music Solutions for iPad.
• Working with former University of Miami musician friends in a new real-world professional setting.
• Learning valuable skills which have served me well throughout my career.

• Experiencing the incredible feeling of hearing one's music come to life with every recording session.

Many people seem to most enjoy the opening track on "DKO", so those of you may like to know that I re-arranged it and released another version in 2007 entitled "Turbulent Alteration" which features my electric trombone on the DKO Electric Quartet CD.
Turbulent Alteration

Thank you to all who enjoy this music and continue to support DKO!
- Darren

Darren Kramer leader, trombone, keyboards
Jerry Hey trumpet
Gary Grant trumpet
Gary Willis fretless bass
Brian Monroney electric & acoustic guitar
Phil Wigfall alto & soprano saxophone
Lee Levin drums
Nicky Orta electric bass
Norman Arnold

Adam Shendal
Keith Nelson electric bass
Dan Warner
acoustic guitar
Tom DeLibero
Dawn Kramer
Mark Solas
tenor saxophone
Eduardo Rodriguez
piano montuno
Linwood Bell
clav, drum programming

Original Release August 6, 1998
Recorded in Las Vegas, NV 1994-1997
SonSong Studio T-Bone Demman Owner / Engineer

All Music Comp/Arr/Produced by Darren Kramer
©1998 Rad Remark Music (ASCAP)