Bankesters Recording Blog – Day 3

Phil Bankester, peré of the lovely and talented Bankester family, has agreed to provide a running blogumentary of their home recording sessions this week.

We’ve finished day three, with a much greater sense of accomplishment. We’re half-way through the six days that we’ve planned and budgeted for and we think a little more than half-way through the project. Today we managed to track instruments on three more songs, along with lead and harmony vocals on one from yesterday.

One of the things we appreciate most about [producer] Stephen Mougin is his background in vocal music education. Being primarily a vocal group, his coaching on the vocal performances is extremely beneficial, though intense at times. So far we’ve recorded a scratch vocal on each tune so we’d all have something to play with, but when it’s time for the ‘real’ vocals, he’s one on one with the lead singer. He has the harmony singers sing at the same time, in different rooms, but concentrates on the lead.

I think everyone knows that technology today will allow a great engineer to pretty much make anyone sound good. But as with most great  producers, Stephen stresses capturing an excellent performance, full of energy and emotion. He’d much rather coach someone through ten or twenty takes until the “right” performance is there than surgically create something that individual couldn’t sing live.

Here are Alysha’s comments from today:

“Day three of this recording project has brought along a lot of new experiences. Today we made quite a bit of progress (thanks to our AWESOME producer Stephen Mougin) as we laid down some more instrument tracks as well as vocals. I have to say that the process of this recording is a lot more intense than our others but I think that in the end it will make a huge difference! Having a coach to walk along side us through it all is just a huge encouragement!

We went though several of our more up tempo songs today, and that brought along a few different challenges than that of our slower ones that we did yesterday. At this point I’m really excited with all that’s gotten done in the past few days and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings!”

And thoughts from Emily:

So, we’re at the end of day three of recording, and I already feel like I’ve learned and grown so much in this short amount of time. Stephen Mougin is an amazing coach/engineer/producer, and also just such fun to work with! He never runs out of amazing ideas, one of which involved some super cool fiddle/dobro licks that added just a little something extra to one of our songs and made it so special and unique.

I am thrilled to be a part of this project, and to be able to share the experience with my family. I’m very much looking forward to what the rest of the week will bring, and most of all to get to share the final product with everyone!