Thursday, 18 August 2011

cosmetic changes

Phase 1 round 2 track 2 - listening and making changes.

And the list of what I have done:

  • added a deeper bass sound to the first section. Now it really woofs the woofers
  • changed the transition into the second section a bit, extended a deep bass note, and taken the wok lid down a semitone so it matches the music.
  • changed the reverb for the second section, it is no longer hissy. I have also discovered the "multiband compressor" is really effective at making things have more presence while stopping them clipping. I have done quite a bit of using it on this track and will in future be using this as a general mastering tool.
  • A little bit of piano humanising on the third section, and some changes to the mix, more bass and multiband compressed the organ, brilliantly now under control
  • sections 4 and 5 - no changes
  • section 6, dropped the drone out of the crunchy guitar part so the gaps between stabby chords are more profound, brought the drums up, and used the multiband compressor again, it's now nice and stabby. There is this bit where it comes in where it's started with a frequency-compressed guitar (which sounds like it's being played down a telephone, it's fab). It morphs into a richer guitar sound, and I have subtly changed the curves of how the one fades and the other rises over it, so that the transition is smoother. You would think a straight line fade and straight line rise was what was needed, but in fact a kind of curve down, so that it fades more at the end, and a similar reflected curve for the fade in make a much better transition. I also have done some tightening up of the later part of the section, it was far too loose rhythmically.
  • section 7 is the rhythm section, and I have gone in and tidied up the clapping and the beatboxing - done some EQ-ing and a lot of minute moving of claps etc to make them nearer the beat, without making it too mechanical - it's still human, just much less messy.
  • section 8 has just had a little mixing, oh and a guitar sound changed entirely, the old sound was really annoying me. I would have done a bit more with it, but one of the three projects that make up this section is misbehaving and won't let me export a mix-down. I have no idea how to fix this, but it will need fixing if I'm not going to just use my rough mixdown of this.
  • Even though most of this is actually starting to do mastering rather than musical changes, I didn't do anything to the last section, I know it needs mixing better. I need to leave something to mastering.

Finally, something about my feeble attempts at marketing. In preparation for release of the album I am starting to try and reach out through some progressive rock websites. I've had reasonable success in the past with Prog Archives, and in the last few days have had some contact with the Dutch Progressive Rock Site, a fairly major site. However, after paying for large file hosting and giving the chap a wav file download he went on to say he didn't like it, it wasn't full or complicated enough, it sounds like a one-man show (which it is) but that some one-man shows make it sound like they have a whole orchestra. Obviously I was disappointed, and have been questioning my commitment. Now I'm more questioning my pigeon-holing of this as progressive rock. But if it's not that, what is it? It's certainly not normal rock.

Anyway, I guess I plan to persevere. I know rejection and criticism are all part of exposing your creativity to the outside world (actually apathetic response is the more common reaction). I've kind of said to myself that I need 10 consecutive rejections before I take it too seriously, and a positive reaction resets that. So this is one.

And another last thing, yesterday I had a baby girl. This is nothing to do with the music, but I'm thinking that things might slow down somewhat as a result.

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