Artist Feature – OOODPosted on 17th August 2022
Steve Callaghan and Colin Bennun share their golden rules for sonic success and productive flow in the studio.
It’s rare for any band to be together, releasing music for 30 years. OOOD are one of the rarities. Celebrated as pioneers of early Goa Trance, and the psytrance scene which grew out of it, their work has inspired many in the genre. Since 1994 they have refined and mastered their craft, continually demonstrating boundless creativity and trend-setting originality with every release.
Their sixth and most recent album Deep Flight (2021, Iboga Records) consolidated their legendary reputation. More recently the duo have turned their hands to more progressive techno sounds, crafting low-slung grooves and deeply hypnotic bass.
In the first of our Artist interviews, Steve and Colin agreed to share some of their vast studio experience.
Colin: A clean mix is the result of attending to the details. I’ve found that removing or attenuating unwanted content above and below the desired audio in a sound can help to clear up other frequency ranges, leaving room in the spectrum for other sounds. A spectrum analyser can help you identify when there is frequency content in a sound that can safely be removed but it’s important to let your ears guide you as it’s easy to cut away too much, especially low/low-mid frequencies where body and weight live. Beware of “fizz” in lead synths and distorted guitars.
Steve: I like to have at least two tracks that I’m working on in the same week. I will let my inspiration dictate which track I will work on (unless there are time constraints on a particular track). This keeps things feeling fresh and exciting and helps me to avoid any writer’s block.
Colin: I think it’s important to learn to trust the first expression of your musical ideas as these often contain more of your own character and personality than something you’ve massaged and worked over for hours. Do what’s necessary to let those ideas shine but not so much that you lose what makes them special and unique. Embrace and commit to the differences between your music and that made by others, without compromising on sound quality.
Steve: I needed to create a strong discipline to ‘finish’ tracks. For me the most enjoyable bit is in the initial creative process, making a new groove or atmosphere and playing with ideas, it can take a more concerted effort to attend to the minutiae that is needed to actually finish a track.
Colin: For me, inspiration is central and I need to grab it when it strikes. Personally, if I’m in a session, eating, sleeping and even bathroom breaks are all less important than following my inspiration. Studio snacks will help you keep your blood sugar levels up, and you can refuel first thing in the afternoon when you wake up, but you can’t always find that flow again once you leave the room for any significant period of time. Do stay hydrated though.