The Ateliers: Moon Recap
Hello, welcome to entry number twelve, our final Moon entry. We can't thank you enough for being a part of this album and listening to these songs and how they were made. In this episode, we’re gonna review how this album came about, what went right and what went wrong while making it, and our plans for next year!
The idea for theme based albums came in 2017, but I had no idea what Moon was going to look like. At the time, I had been recording songs with producer Kevin Penner. I brought 10 demos to Kevin and we listened to all of them and decided to do the album together. He then let me know he was moving to Hawaii at the end of the year after we do the album. This was a sudden game changer for me because of the themed albums. I thought of maybe going to Hawaii to record the next ones, but sadly and thankfully I realized that wouldn’t be possible. When we got together the next time to start recording we both felt that maybe doing “Moon” together wasn’t the right move. He asked if I had the money to do it but sadly, I didn’t and that door was shut.
I had thought about recording it with the band, but it was an overwhelming thought at the time. As we continued to play live we felt the urge to record the songs we were playing and put the release schedule together. I had most of an iMac rig ready to go and we invested in an Apogee Duet for our interface and a Neumann TLM 102 for our instrument and vocal mic. We bought a shield for the mic because at the time, we were recording in a 14 by 5 foot closet. We knew that it wasn’t ideal, but we had enough to get started and to feel good about what we were able to do with what we had.
We started in August to get a jump on the one song a month that would later begin in January, but the first two songs took four months so our cushion was gone. At that point, our recording setup was pretty streamlined so we never really fell behind. The closest call was when we found out mid year that our studio space was being demolished! We had a month to record a song and honestly, had no space to do it. We were also using a large iMac setup, so it wasn’t easy to transport. We realized the only way to get the song done, we would need to create a laptop rig and transfer the necessary Logic X and plugins. We were able to do that and somehow managed to get the song done. That track that month was "Colombo by Night", which we were able to do far more than I could have ever imagined with the resources and the time we had. We are so proud of it.
Recording the album ourselves made such a huge difference for me. I’ve never been able to spend so much time not pressured by money or by other people’s thoughts. I learned so much about mic techniques, singing techniques, mixing and mastering techniques, and working with other musicians. We worked with over ten different players on this album and had so much fun bringing in new instruments like the trumpet, various percussion instruments, and strings.
Releasing a song a month turned out to be a really healthy schedule for us as a band. It’s a balance between giving yourself time to learn and making sure you finish something. We’ve also connected with more people than ever this year so we are very thankful and look forward to sharing more.
The theme of this whole album is represented at the very end of “Give Me Light”. It took me 15 days of focusing to get the one take I needed for it.. and even after that I still wasn’t sure I got it and said, "Let’s do it again, better." This statement addresses the fact that we did something. And we did. We made an entire album in a year and aren’t completely drained of finances and energy. But the statement also recognizes the potential for more. We’re so excited to keep learning and keep going and to try our best to keep making things better. We start releasing “Sun” January 1st 2020 and have started recording. We plan to keep the same one song a month release schedule and doing ten songs, plus a bonus track or two. Fortunately, we have a bigger room to record in with some flexibility on time so we’re hoping it will be even easier to record. We’re currently working on completely sound proofing the room so there’s a ton to learn and we’re looking forward to all of it. We're so thankful to you for listening to Moon and really hope you’ll stick around for Sun! We know it’s work but it’s worth it.