About fifty percent of the time, Lord Smithfield’s ophthalmology check-ups turn into minor surgery. Yesterday was one of those times. Being so, I made a few more trips across town than planned.
Still, I was able to get started on the mastering for the new album. The first stage is a listening stage. I print hi-res versions of the best mixes and listen to them in different environments. This gives me a “big picture” glance at the project. It also let’s me know where there are deficiencies or surpluses in various frequency ranges.
Overall, this record is in better shape than both Spring or Malamander at this stage. Malamander was something I did for fun and then decided to dress up for release. Nearly every song on Spring came from a different recording session—mastering was difficult with that one. On this new record, there are a few one-offs, but, generally, the songs cluster into twos and threes very well.
I performed the iPod test first. That seems to be the most important one these days, seeing as how most people listen to music in a compressed, small format. Barring a few small blemishes, the record performed well. I took a walk in the park and made notes on my phone as the songs played.
I’ll perform two of the three remaining tests this morning. A home stereo is a good place to examine the depth and sonic quality of the mixes. Computer speakers offer a down-and-dirty way of checking things out. I’ll perform the car test on Thursday. After all the tests are complete, I’ll prepare a “final mix” collection and begin mastering.
I’m having a difficult time deciding on a sequence. That will come in time. One of the cool things about listening on the iPod, as I’m sure you know, is the shuffle feature. Often, listening to mix revisions on shuffle yields unexpected sequencing possibilities. I’ve almost decided on a title.
I like making plans as much as anyone. I know that life shows up. It most certainly has over the past 95 days. Being so, I’m giving myself until the end of April to print the master disc. This has been a fun project. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.