buried in the mix

lansdowne01-05-2005after stepping away from the sleep-ins project for several weeks’ time, i’ve finally gotten a chance this weekend to get back to mixing. now, it seems like it should be easy, mixing. but it’s not — although i must admit the difficulty is inherently ego-driven. there is some truth to the notion that i might be more perfectionist about my own projects. that isn’t to say i just phone it in when i’m mixing someone else; on the contrary, i suspect that what i need is what others seek when they ask me to mix for them: a different perspective. i might mix a better record for someone else precisely because i won’t get caught up on the minor issues i do when it’s my own music i’m critiquing.

those minor issues become major hang-ups when it’s your baby.

are the vocals too loud/not loud enough/in pitch/lacking proper inflection? is that guitar part interesting enough? why doesn’t the bass have the growl i want? are the drums too sibilant? why isn’t everything perfect?

catnfid12alas, the many distracting sideways journeys that detour the progress of the album’s completion. years have passed while i’ve wracked my brain and tortured my ears with hundreds, even thousands, of repeated listens to music that needs finishing. only recently have i begun to just declare warts and all an acceptable product, because i just don’t have enough time on my hands anymore…and the thought of dying having done a lot with little to show for it is not a very welcome one.

so on that, uh, note – a bit of the awesome happened this weekend. while i didn’t finish the album (that’d be the sleep-ins, songs about girls and outer space), the final track count looks to be 8 songs and here’s how it looks (listen to most of these at ingot rock):

  1. silver state – is finished(?) although i might still have to dial back the ‘shimmer’ on the drums.
  2. chrome skull cap & matching codpiece – also finished(?), not sure about one vocal trick in there
  3. angelina – is finished!
  4. running out here – might be finished as of last night…
  5. tonya, extraplanetary spaceship girl – thought i had the magic but another listen says otherwise; vocals just too rough.
  6. astro-not – could be finished; this one got a cool treatment a la the warriors.
  7. desert song – is done.
  8. bug on my face – stef came up with what he calls a final mix, but man, those vocals…

not exactly a magnum opus, but a nice project nonetheless. there might be exactly zero people waiting for me to finish this, incidentally. ok, that’s not true. there must be at least 3 australians. and a couple of english gits. but no americans. maybe i should rename it ‘death panels’…