... I realized about a week ago it's been a while since I've even looked at my site... which is and isn't a good thing... I always remind myself (and peers), typically that's the case when things are going good!
Since getting home from tour, I had a couple days "off" then went into the studio March 1st (Phase One) with The Sole Pursuit to start (producing) their new album (12 songs).
We booked 4 days for drums with 2 different session drummers (Riley O'Connor and Tony Nesbitt-Larking).
... both were great... really great actually. The realist part of me was all "yeah, it'll sound like drums!", but I/we can really hear the different styles and approaches they brought to the 6 tunes (each) they played on... and their experience and ability to take direction helped keep the sessions running smoothly.
This is always a major variable when working with new musicians... generally pro's are easy to work with, but again, it's a variable that can really bung up your schedule if your run into any roadblocks... insufficient ability, politics, personal taste... or worst of all... ego.
... the days went super smooth though and it was a pleasant rolling stop to our 4 days up at Phase One.
Shout out to Dajaun Martineau and Darren McGill for keeping things rolling along... it's always nice to work with people who make you feel like you don't know what you're doing!
We've been knee deep in (electric and acoustic) guitars since March 6th I think... typically getting through 2 songs a day for either Kyle or AJ... made a list of songs we'd like acoustics on and chipped away at those since last Monday.
We ended up renting a 12-String and Mandolin from Long & McQuade... nobody here really "plays the mandolin" but we got the sound we were after on the songs we were thinking of trying it on... all said and done between the 2 instruments... well worth the $70 rental... for the month... not that I'll keep them that long.
... seriously, a decent sounding 12-String was $22/month! Just throwing it out there... if you need gear (or have admittedly crappy gear), look into rentals. Bad sources won't (or very very rarely) make for a good recording.
It's worth the couple dollars.
... speaking of... rental drum kit for a 3-song EP I've also been working on with a younger band called Scarlett's Hand. I think the drummer practices on an electric kit, but we needed a live kit... so it was off to L&M, and then over to Phase One (March 17-18)... kit needed a bit of love, but even swapping out for old skins and some moongels... sounded great!
... player was pretty good too!
It was a tight schedule tracking 3 songs in 2 days but we got through the instrumentation then finished off the vocals the following Saturday...
... another case of why I feel working with a producer has major advantages over simply booking a room.
If the guys had of just booked a room, they probably would've either had to cram their vocals in at the end... which is a bad idea... or book more time... which is understandable but let's be honest... studios totally encourage clients to book more time. They sell the experience, but on paper, they sell time.
Producers sell the experience, but also a final product.
... and it's never easy to tell a band we need more time... unless of course it doesn't affect the budget... in which case people are generally cool with it.
We were scheduled to finish up at 7pm and I had the singer ask me at 6pm if we're going to finish everything... we had 2 lead vocals, backup vocals, and I think a guitar solo left to do...
I left the control room for a minute to think about where I wanted to track vocals... and to triple check we were cool to stay an hour or 2 longer at Phase One to finish up guitars.
... I hate rushing vocals and there really wasn't any need to.
... I almost want to tell bands off the top, consider instrumentation and vocals 2 separate things. Focus on getting the music down (or at least what you need to sing on top) then think about vocal sessions as a different beast. It really is switching gears... plus in situations like this... it's tough to track vocals with so many people around... I'm a big fan of vocalist + producer / engineer + control room.
Much more efficient... resulting in better takes and a better result.
So this week it's been finishing up acoustics with The Sole Pursuit and into lead vocals... and mixing the tracks for Scarlett's Hand.
I'm in talks with a couple more projects May/June I'm pretty stoked about... I'll be blogging about it if it goes through... I'm always down for adventures... especially blog-able ones.
- Mike :-)
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!