Pete mixing and recording at the Newport Folk Festival.
“Recording live shows requires you to control all the impossible-to-control aspects. Live recordings are very technical and stressful. You need to make sure you get every element working properly, get coverage, and have multiple recorders, redundancy. You can’t blow it. You’re not allowed to blow it. Failure is not acceptable on any level. There’s no take two.”
The engineering started at age 30 when Caigan got intrigued with the intricacies of the craft and learned the basics of Pro-Tools to join Jerry Marotta’s production team at Jersville. “There was so much music going on around town, and the opportunity to not be traveling as much and to work locally enticed me. I had it in my head that I was going to work at Jerry’s studio and hang out with him when I wasn’t on a drumming gig.”
When Marotta’s main sound engineer quit right before a session with Sarah McLachlan, Caigan stepped up to the controls. McLachlan’s album was Afterglow, which sold 2,000,000 records—a stroke of luck that earned Caigan a multi-platinum credit.
In 2002, he opened his own residential studio, Flymax, in Woodstock, providing his own drum tracks and music production, studio and live recording services, recording equipment rental, recording studio design consultations, and live and studio sound mixing.
From 2008 to 2012, Caigan partnered with Marotta to reopen Dreamland, the frozen-in-time studio, which had been closed for eight years. As the chief engineer at Dreamland, Caigan worked with artists like Bad Brains, Meshell Ndegeocello, Diplo, Linda Eder, and Axelle Red. Some of the other acts who have worked their magic at the iconic studio are The B-52s, Joe Jackson, Ron Sexsmith, 10,000 Maniacs, Mayday Parade, The National, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, The Band, John Hall, NRBQ, John Sebastian, and Jules Shear.
“Now I have a private production and recording studio in Kingston at the old IBM complex, Tech City. It’s streamlined and highly efficient—a great place to make art.”
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