October 14, 2022 § Leave a comment

Just how much time I spent working on this album is indicated by the fact that Klee, my younger cat, who barely entered the studio in the more than 2 years since I adopted him and Sol, ended up settling in almost every day over the past couple of weeks.

Given that this is my 8th album it should have come as no surprise to me that when I “finished” it on the night of 28th September – and by this I meant: the songs had been rendered in what was supposed to be a final mix, ready to be mastered – I would still have some tweaking to do. But for some reason I assumed that this time, there would be less tweaking around, probably because this album is instrumental, and my doubts during mastering on my last 4 albums often revolved around vocal mixes.

However, the album contains 22 different tracks, making up 6 “suites” made up of various movements, which is a lot of music to “handle” by any standard, and was a nightmare to tracklist, since I also had to take into account vinyl side lengths, and take care not to split the suites over two sides.

It also holds a sort of inner tension due to the fact that it contains an extremely varied palette of sounds, moods and emotions, corresponding to the “concept” underlying the album (our perception of reality), but coming from a setup reduced to the bones: the @moogsynthesizers Grandmother going into either the MF-104M delay or the @soundgasltd Roland RE-201 Space Echo. What this means sonically is that there is NOWHERE TO HIDE when it comes to flaws in the recordings themselves.

This weekend I will write 2 technical posts to let you know how I dealt with the problems that were uncovered thanks to the first master. It was exhausting but every single minute was worth it. Because yes, mastering can do incredible stuff to audio, but no, it can’t do miracles. A little like a great home designer won’t be able to hide the mould and uneven surfaces on a wall, no matter how exquisite their taste and the fact you budgeted for high quality paint. In other words: it is my job to give a high quality sound to start with, and when I fail… I have to find solutions 😃

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