Thursday, March 24, 2011

We're Gonna Make It After All: Re-Mastering Today!

For those of you wondering why you haven't gotten your mail-order copies yet, the time table has shifted slightly.

It doesn't happen often, but once in a while, you can catch yourself in the middle of a mistake, as I did this time around. I was coming very close to putting out a version I didn't love of an album I love with all my heart -- and when the feedback from impartial sources started to match my nagging doubts, I stopped the manufacturers from pulling the trigger, and got the thing remixed.

Allen Farmelo took the job under his wing and took a take-no-prisoners approach to mixing, completing the 10 tracks of Here Goes Nothing in two days. We had two meetings about it: in one, his assistant, Nicole Pettigrew, and I pored over the tracks and made sure all of the elements were there, and that all of the start-stop points were correct. The second one was the absolute bomb, though.

Allen had asked me to give him some albums for reference of how I liked things to sound, and what we ended up really lighting on was the Cardigans' Long Gone Before Daylight, a bittersweet, dark delight of an album put out by the Swedish megastars after a long hiatus. Far from the sound that made them popular, this album had an almost total lack of synthy bleep-bloops, abandoning the computers for acoustic instruments and clean tones. It's one of my favorite albums by anyone, ever.

We talked about how the album reminds me of a candlelit dinner of comfort food and red wine, and he made it very clear that he understood how I wanted Here Goes Nothing to sound -- warm but full, an escape from even one's harshest surroundings (anyone who can't ride the subway without an iPod knows exactly what I mean here) that isn't jarringly loud, but has the sonic power to block out the outside. It was an amazing conversation.

We accomplished this 48-hour mixing in a very age-of-communication way -- he'd send me emails with mixes attached, I'd pop my headphones into my Droid and listen to them, then make fine adjustments through email, texts, and phone calls. We hit on some snags, but talked through them easily and without real conflict. I'd work with him any day of the week, although my Rockethub campaign would have to be for a LOT more money.

He's mastering it today, and I think in the end we'll have an album well worth every penny spent on it, and everybody will, well, win.

No comments:

Post a Comment