Andrew Newman and Bedon Lancaster are fixtures in the Oxford music scene. Both are seniors, play live music in and around Oxford and release music on Spotify, where they both have over 20,000 monthly listeners. They both play indie rock, but their recording processes vary greatly.
When recording music, Newman, who performs under the name Lo Noom, sits at his desk, papers strewn about and coffee in hand. Like many up-and-coming artists, he records and produces his music from home. He records listening to tracks from a new song to be released. He’s been working on the song for weeks.
Newman plays each part of his songs on various instruments and controllers, compiling the samples and piecing them together to reach a finished product. He uses Logic Pro, an Apple digital audio workstation (DAW), to mix and master songs.
In-home studio equipment has changed the production landscape. What used to only be possible with thousands of dollars of equipment in an expensive studio recording experience can now be done for a few hundred dollars and some dedication. While both artists’ production strategies differ, the outcome remains the same.
He said he remembers putting recordings of music on YouTube as early as third grade, citing artists such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Simon & Garfunkel as childhood inspirations.
“As Lo Noom, I think I released my first thing, like, the summer after my tenth grade year of high school, like, just on SoundCloud and stuff,” Newman said.
Newman found inspiration for his most recent album, Noom, from Junior Kimbrough, a blues musician, the famous rock’n’roll singer Buddy Holly and country star Hank Williams. The recorded songs are sole productions of recordings Newman crafted in his room.
Lancaster, known by his performance name, Bedon, records in a studio in Nashville. Whenever he wants to record, he gathers his equipment and session musicians and makes the four-hour trip to Music City, meaning he only has a few hours to get it right. He prefers the feel of an actual studio.
Lancaster said he enjoys the challenge that comes with studio recording. Rather than having the ability to record, edit and master on their own time at home, studio recording artists have a strict schedule to adhere to.
This time constriction, Lancaster said, helps him and his fellow musicians come up with quality content.
“We get in there and we’re just like, song day, song day, song day, drum day, vocal day — like we’re literally just in there getting it done — and it’s a really, really good feeling, just to get in there. We really can’t afford to get bogged down,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster attributed the quality of his work to the production skills of his producer, Adam Lochemes.
“Adam’s an unbelievable producer,” Lancaster said. “Everything I’ve ever recorded, he’s done and done amazing. He is unbelievable. He’s just a wizard.”
Lancaster, who hopes to make a career out of music in Nashville, said he has begun fiddling with DAWs, but still prefers the expertise of a producer.
Newman likes the flexibility of DAWs, but one issue that both Newman and Lancaster mentioned about them is the unlimited power of the program.
“I know (Lo) Noom has the problem of having too much possibility, and I’ve been really thankful that, like, I don’t know how to do it,” Lancaster said of Logic Pro.
Logic Pro is a more advanced version of GarageBand and is one of the most popular and user-friendly complete studio programs, and both Lancaster and Newman use it. However, even Logic comes with a steep learning curve.
“Whenever you actually get down to, like, the work aspect of it, it can be very difficult,” Newman said. “Then sometimes while you’re in the work, you can, like, forget and you can begin to enjoy, and you’re just in this ‘not-thinking’ mode, but I don’t get like that all the time. I wish I could.”
Lo Noom released a new song titled “Know It All” this month and Bedon’s new single, “Carolina” will hit streaming services in November.