Archive for December, 2010

Track list to mastering engineer

I finished the last remix today (“Shout at the Desert” – mostly a few vocal tweaks and bringing up the lower-pitched pipe organ, yes, we have to pipe organ tracks in this thing) and we’ve just sent the track set off to the mastering engineer.

Holy shit, I recorded an album. O.o I want to say “Holy shit, it’s finished!” but it’s not, because there’s still lots to do – the mastering, of course, but also the cover, the booklet, all that.

But the music part – that’s finished. That kind of breaks my brain.

Keep watching for more news.

Oh, separately, this TRON-inspired ice hotel in Sweden looks amazing. I mean, damn:

I think I’ve found our new lair. Muah ha ha!

more like the devil of cake

I’ve uploaded the second-to-last remixed song – “Let Me Help,” the second song I recorded, got remixing and a new vocal performance, joining “Thought You Knew” in the “desperately improved” clubhouse. The difference isn’t quite as large because by “Let Me Help,” I’d started to understand timing a lot better, but people who’ve heard both (particularly side by side) say “oh yeah, that’s much better.” Enjoy:

I’m on schedule to deliver to the mastering engineer on Monday, which is, you know, awesome.

But mostly today is about cake:

Because I’m making cake for my neighbourhood association’s wine tasting party tonight. It’s Portal Cake. I call these two layers “delicious” and “moist,” but they’re really named “lies” and “deceit.”

(I can’t wait for Portal|2 to come out. I hope it’s as good as the demos looked. XD )

crazy rain

We had thunder this morning that was HOUSE – SHAKING! (add picture of Sailor Uranus here), complete with urgent weather alert break-in on radio and all that fun. It’s let up a lot now but the rain is still loud enough that I had to move the sound baffles around to MAXIMUM SHIELDING! position. Of course, all that means is this:

I’m sure glad I made these things, particularly on days like this. FOOM FOOM FOOM FOOM FOOM

Two down…

A newly-time-synched “Thought You Knew” is ready to upload, but I’m holding off until tomorrow morning to do it, because I like to sleep on things. (ETA: New version now uploaded.) Playing the current (as I type this/June version) against the version I just exported side-by-side is a great way to learn the value of a properly timed basis track. I wish I’d really understood this the first time, re-editing this thing was much more work than doing it right the first time. (Of course, I already uploaded the newly re-levelled “Something’s Coming” live track, which was the first thing I went and patched up.

Remaining work: “Let me Help,” I have some ideas about improving the last verse that I want to try. It’s a much simpler song than most of the rest, so I’m not planning on doing a full timing-edit pass, tho’ I’ll take a look at the bass solo in the bridge just to see what might need to be done there. “Shout at the Desert,” some boost on the low organ. I kept going back and forth on how much should be in the mix originally; I made the less-is-more decision and, no, I was wrong – in this case, more is more.

Then it’ll be off to mastering. What do you think of the current track order, anyway?

Next up: Another Trad of the Week! I’m not sure what I’m going to record yet. Something with riotous intent, no doubt. Perhaps something about… rum. Remember, you get these as free downloads for signing up to the mailing list – Clickie! Sign up!

all this shit would be a lot easier if the tools worked

Working on a huge timing-edit pass on Thought You Knew, which never got one the first time, because I didn’t know what I was doing yet. (It was the first track recorded on Dick Tracy Must Die.) All the tracks were timed against an improperly timed master track, and, well, hilarity ensues.

This would be unspeakably easier if I could go longer than eight minutes without the software crashing. No, really, I’ve been measuring it. Eight minutes, die. It hates having this many regions invoked. Hates it.

Despite this, I’ve finished 75% of the track. This is one of those things were people who hear what’s online now, then hear this, will go, “wow, this sounds a lot better,” but won’t know specifically why. A thousand little reasons. That’s why.

heading into mastering

As I posted… two weeks ago? all the songs for Dick Tracy Must Die are recorded and levelled. Now it’s time for the whole-album look-over – track order, touchup, any post-major-mixing fixes.

I’ve already posted a new track order on Bandcamp. (Click here to see the new track order.) I think I need a heavy hitter to start the album, and if that happens to be a live track, so be it. What do you think?

Touch-up is a mix of relatively large things (re-recording vocals on “Thought You Knew,” the first song I posted) and very small things (pulling out a couple of weird audience noices in “Something’s Coming,” the most recent track; boosting the level of the low organ a little in “Shout at the Desert”). Mastering… is a dark art I don’t entirely understand, but have kind of a vague grasp upon.

I’m looking at CD release in January, possibly at a certain local music convention. I showed up there a year ago with a quickly-made four-track demo; why not follow that up with the actual album? It has a pleasant symmetry.

Besides, nobody’s going to notice a thing I do in the middle of holidays anyway. XD

Oh, before I forget, you might enjoy this six-part article on the major labels’ propaganda attempts to discredit independent artists. Basically, they’re trying to preserve their gatekeeper role, because at this point, that’s all they’ve got. Shame almost everything they release bombs and their whole industry is set up around that. Oh well! DIE, WARNER BROTHERS, DIE! XD

Educational, informative, and possibly illegal, so look quickly

Illegal, anyway, unless they can get away with “Fair Use” claims in the era of corporate law: this guy on YouTube has gone through Beatles recordings isolating Ringo Starr’s drum tracks and posted several on YouTube. Me, I think this totally qualifies as educational. He’s also isolated a couple of McCartney’s bass lines and some other bits, but the drums are more interesting, at least to me. Check it, before they go away; he’s been doing this for a few months now, but word is starting to get around, and who knows whether Apple Records will put up with this.

When I rebuilt the site, I added analytics software

…so now I know where readers are coming in from, and I want to give a big shout-out to all my peeps down in Redmond, Oregon, whose Centennial Park Amphitheatre I played last summer! You guys are awesome! o/ Thanks for stopping by! Keep doing it – and tell your friends! XD

I had a great time bopping around your lovely state last time, and I want to play some more down there, and in Eugene and Portland – I have dreams of a late spring/early summer Oregon tour. If you have any venue contacts, please introduce us! Contact information is on the Contact page – click on the “Contact” link up and to the right. Thanks!

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