Mix Report – The mix is done

Well folks, that monumental moment is here.  I’m done with this thing I’ve been doing.  Actions I take, often while alone, in search of a sound that defines… something.  The mix.

What mix?  What’s that mean, exactly?  It means, 98% of the work is done.  It means that there are only small, subtle changes to make.  I can put a deadline on the album now.

Two weeks and it must be ready to submit for mastering.

In the mean time, I’m trying out LANDR – an automated mastering service.  Just what might a master sound like, anyway?  Instant gratification is more like it.  I’m ultimately sending my album to Shawn Hatfield and Audible Oddities.  But, in addition to pure narcissism, I can compare Shawn’s masters to LANDR.  And we can see the value of the human touch.

For me right now, I’m just playing with the track ordering.  Each song is a part of a story.  The story can flow a few different ways, and get to it’s ultimate determined end point.  My journey now takes me into how that flows.  Kind of a fun problem to have, I’ve never gotten to do this before.

Also seeking mix feedback.  The folks who get a pre-listen don’t get to hear the LANDR masters.  I don’t want LANDR to tarnish my efforts (i.e. I think I’ll get more honest feedback).

Here’s the tentative track ordering for my debut album – Strange Quiet Sunset:

  1. Awaken
  2. Green Tinted Windows
  3. The C is Silent
  4. Lunchroom
  5. The Accident
  6. Try and Fail
  8. Self Worth
  9. Free
  10. Strange Quiet Sunset
  11. Atrium

Subject to change.  Need to study the flows and this, well, believe it or not software still seems to matter.  VLC as a music player has regular pops, and other funky timing issues.  I’m now working off a playlist in itunes.  It feels a bit healthier in the playlist, as though we were listening on CD.  Lowers my opinion of VLC a bit I suppose.

I’m currently on the third LANDR track.  It’s sorta hit and miss.  Sometimes it feels like, “wow, this thing is kind of impressive consider it’s ten bucks” to… “I can’t wait to see what good mastering engineer can do.

The big if right now is Lunchroom.  It’s the first half of a 12 minute song.  I literally just cut it in half where there’s a big transition, but now I’m not so sure about how it ends.  Something I guess I’ve got to figure out.  If I don’t figure it out, it might just be a 12 minute song, a 10 track cd, and I’d probably do it as the final track.  Something about the children as my final statement on this body of work.

Anyway, I’m slightly nervous about Lunchroom and Atrium as, if I want to make any changes to the mix… I’ve gotta make a similar incision and cut the track in half again.  Each time is a little time consuming.  Why do I have it split now then?  Because I need to play with the flow; don’t you see?  And, I really do think it’s in a good place for me to let go of it.

I’m honestly pretty excited to do something else, too.  But I have to see this particular story out to the bitter last detail.  It’ll be worth it.

Let me know if you want to review it before I go into mastering.  Two weeks.