Producer Stephen Mougin is working in the studio with The Rigneys for their next album this week. Being a harsh taskmaster, he has also prevailed upon the band members (Mom, Dad, and two sons) to record some of their impressions during the process. This fifth installment of their tracking diary comes again from Melissa Rigney, bass player and Mom of the band’s two talented youngsters.
Six days and about 52 hours is the time we spent with Dark Shadow Recording. Before we got to this point we had spend many hours listening to songs, writing our own and making sure the song selection fit us well. We really wanted every song to be great, and it is important to the entire band that what we play conveys the message we want to share with fans of the music.
Go in prepared but be flexible. We learned and arranged the songs and then Mojo evaluated, suggested, changed and improved what we did in two day-long practice sessions. We recorded these so we could listen to the songs/arrangements and also practice with them. We worked out harmony parts, breaks, and practiced with the metronome. With all of this, we still made changes in studio when things did not work or something different just seemed better.
Change the click if the groove is not coming together. Mojo did this a few times and it made a difference.
Go in rested. The days we arrived at the studio rested and excited to start went better. Attitude is everything. Stay positive, focused and take breaks. Budget is important, but it is necessary to take your time if you want the best product possible. Your engineer/producer can be a real asset in keeping things positive and the momentum going. Mojo does a great job at this. He reminded us frequently that we were not on a time schedule.
Use your down time in the studio wisely. This can mean resting for some. For me, it meant catching up on the other things involved with getting the CD out. For Andy it was listening and evaluating as others were tracking. Mark has less time to practice than the rest of the group so he practiced some of the time.
If we could have changed something, we would have taken a little more time to rehearse the songs and get comfortable with them before starting. If we could keep something the same, it would defiantly be working with Mojo and Dark Shadow.