Month: August 2016

The swell of operatic ambivalence.

mixer reach

I’ve been a little slow with the blog updates over the last little while, mostly because my brain has been pretty deep in “finish this O-L West album” mode and there hasn’t been much to say.

The bad news: it still ain’t done yet.

The good news: it’s getting pretty close.

I seem to do this thing lately where I get in my own head when it comes to the mixing process. It’s not that I’m chasing a perfect mix. I know that’s something I’m never going to find, and I’ve made my peace with it. It’s more that I convince myself certain songs are going to be difficult to get sounding right, and then I put off working on them because I dread the struggle. It doesn’t help that the mixing side of things has never felt like the strongest part of what I do.

Of course, when I force myself to sit down and work on those songs I’m dreading, they almost always come together a lot faster than I’m anticipating. I put off mixing “Fly’s Hive” on STEW for months. The song was finished but for the mixing, and it just sat there, because I knew I was going to have a tough time with it.

I finally took a stab at it and dialled in a rough mix one night when Gord was over, in maybe ten or fifteen minutes. Later I gave the mix a few small tweaks. That second mix — a slight alteration of the rough mix — is what’s on the CD.

I guess this is turning into something of a running joke between me and myself.

There is always one song on every album I can never get sounding quite the way I want it to, and I have to eventually give up and just walk away from it, settling for “as good as it’s going to get”. It almost always ends up being something that doesn’t have too complex an arrangement or too many different sounds vying for attention — something you’d expect to be a pretty straightforward mixing job.

More good news: the song on this O-L West album I was convinced was going to be the most difficult to mix wasn’t as tough as i thought it was going to be, and I think I’ve got a mix I can live with. I don’t think any of the other songs that haven’t got final mixes yet intimidate me half as much.

I’m still not going to put a date on it. I know better by now. But it shouldn’t be too much longer. When i was working on mixing STEW and I got to about the same place I am now with this album, it was only a few weeks away from being release-ready. So I’ve got recent history on my side, sort of, maybe.