decisions, decisions… and an opportunity

It’s been a slow week, or at least it has felt like a really slow week in which nothing got done. Mastering on the album has slowed to a snail’s pace, a new opportunity for composing music has surfaced, and I am in the process of hopefully changing jobs (to a more lucrative one).  Oh yeah, there’s also that wedding gig I’m playing next month which I’m now rehearsing for. Craig Thomas…. wedding singer! (“Love Stinks” is not on the setlist). Actually, the reason that not much is getting done right now is because I probably have too much on my plate.

As a result, I’m now looking at getting the completed album tracks professionally mastered… which is probably what I should have been doing in the first place, but I’m on a very tight budget and, well…. live and learn, and you get what you pay for. But you really can’t skimp on audio mastering – done right, it’s what makes a record/CD sound like “a record”. And, as I’ve been finding out, it’s an entirely different skill set than what you use in mixing. Mastering is a true art. The best way to describe the difference between the two is that mixing is assembling audio tracks to form a song and mastering is assembling songs to form an album. For that, the songs need to be mastered in more ‘seamless’ sessions than I can do given my time and equipment constraints. It’s about getting the best possible result and a uniform sound, plus, there’s that whole “fresh ears” thing… I mean, I think I have a pretty good set of ears, y’know, but by the time I finish a final mixdown they’re not ‘fresh’ anymore.  So I’m currently auditioning a couple of mastering companies, one in California, one in Georgia.

Update: As reported last week, the money raised thus far on the shiningstill.com website has been sent to Japan and has been distributed to all parties. The  Todd Rundgren Fan Family Compassion Fund website will remain up and the fund will stay open as long are people are interested in donating. Visit the site for more info and/or to donate… Also visit the American Red Cross to donate to the ongoing disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in Japan.

As far as the new musical opportunity, a mutual friend got me in touch with another ‘Toddfan’ [Rundgren] who is currently writing a libretto for a musical based on a Stephen King novella and is in need of a composer who had more of a feel for rock ‘n’ roll than is usually associated with musicals as we know them. After a few e-mails back and forth, he sent me one of the songs that he has written lyrics for and I am beginning to write and record music to his lyrics. This will be something different than what I’ve been doing with Nights on Venus so far. Nights on Venus is kind of its own deal – mellow, slow, moody, atmospheric… yes, ethereal – and will continue in that vein at least through the first album. Writing this album has been an attempt to record songs that were more or less consistent in mood and feel and not quite so eclectic as I tend to be otherwise. So this new opportunity is a chance to stretch out a little, do something quite a bit different, and write and record more uptempo rockin’ songs – not quite NoV, but still me. It should be very interesting and I’m looking forward to it.

Until next week…

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Author: nightsonvenus

Musician and producer with the band Nights on Venus.

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