Nope. I have not fallen off the face of the earth or found myself in horrible car accident. I just haven’t posted anything lately because my progress on this song has been so incrementally slow the last couple weeks that it didn’t seem worth it. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I only get to work on this stuff at night once the family has gone to bed. When I first started this project back in January I just pushed myself really hard to work on it every night whether I wanted to or not, and while that definitely has it’s merits, it also has it’s repercussions. My life and the people in it demand the patience of Job (as my father would say,) which for me takes an incredible amount of self discipline and energy. So, as you can imagine, I am just empty by the end of the day fairly often. Pushing through that too regularly to work on things produces half assed stuff and develops bad habits – and what’s the point in that? Doing it just to do it is stupid. I want to learn and I want to enjoy it. I do hope that I get the next one done in less time though and I’m not gonna stop.
So, that’s enough personal complaints for the moment.
I wish I could remember what all I did over the last so many weeks, (I can’t even remember how long it’s been,) but I just did subtle little things here and there. I can’t really recall where I was at with it when I last posted, and I don’t feel like going back and reading my last post or listening to it at the moment. I sort of worked on it like one of those million pieces puzzles, where it just sits on a table in your house for a long time and every once in a while you walk by and notice where one of the pieces go. I’d just listen to the track every once in a while and go “oh, that snare needs to be a little louder, or that kick needs a little boost in the low frequencies.” Or something like that.
I tried a couple times to bounce all the tracks dry to remix the whole song but kept running into frustrating technical difficulties, so I just gave up on that and reworked and/or replaced whatever effects I thought were in need of further attention without bouncing the synths to audio. That sucked because my processor kept buffering and making everything clip and garble. The only way around it was to minimize the window while the song played back after any change, taking a load off the processor by relieving it of processing the graphical interface. That turned out to be a really good thing though because it forced more of my attention to my ears. (I don’t care how trite it sounds, things happen for a reason.)
Mixing is the thing that really gives me anxiety, but I also love it. This is the first song I’ve made where I felt like the things I’ve learned are really starting to integrate in my mind. I’m just now starting to get to where I don’t have to think every time “Oh I better shift into third in a second,” ‘cuz my hand’s just intuitively reaching for the gear stick before the thought has a chance to materialize into words. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not totally there yet, but I can feel it coming. I dunno if this song is noticeably better than the others I’ve made in that regard, but that’s wholly besides the point. The point is that I feel like I’m really starting to hear and understand where certain frequencies lie, how to make them play into and off each other, how to carve out space for things. (I should probably explain that I’ve tinkered around with making this kind of music since long before I decided to dedicate a year to it, so it’s not all totally new or anything.)
Next I’ll have to learn to really properly master. So far I haven’t really cared about making all the songs sound like they jive with one another as you’d want them to on an album. I do however put a little compression on there (since I don’t use it on stereo bus,) a bit of eq, (but not much because I already mixed it to where it sounds like I think want it to,) and use a limiter, (or in the case of this song, 1 regular limiter and one multi band limiter that I’m not sure if I’m using right – because doing so seemed to keep the song sounding open with well defined parts while taming every spike, whereas a single limiter with a lower threshold made it sound all garbledy smooshed.)
At any rate, I think this song translates to other systems better than the other songs I’ve made so far, and that in and of itself is a victory.
I have a few friends who produce music as a profession or hobby that I like to nag about my projects and I am frustrated with them because the most detailed of feedback I can coax out of them is “Wow, that’s really good for a beginner! I don’t have anything specific to tell you. Just keep doing what you doing and it will get better and better.” Now, I’m not sure if they are just being nice, if it’s so bad they don’t know where to begin with constructive criticism, or if it is genuinely not too bad, but either way, it’s not so helpful. Having been an art student, I thrive on brutal, wicked critiques, but I don’t think I’m going to get one from an outside source, so I guess I’ll have to settle for being my own worse critic for the time being.
I’ll wait a few days to listen to this again and if I still like it in it’s current state, I’ll post it on bandcamp and some other places. I might share a story about the songwriting when I do or I might not.