I need to walk away from the mixdowns…

.. for now. I discovered that extraneous noise in my system was masking even worse noise in the mixes of my live tracks for the new CD. I burned what I thought would be the Final versions to a CD and took it into the car for the real test with my auto CD player.  (Yes, the system in the car, even though it’s a factory system, is very good and reveals the truth of all mixes.)

It was bad — so much extraneous noise had shown up on the tracks even though the source material was completely hiss-free. It sounded like an old cassette machine. Fortunately, I keep three ancestors of each track — it seems the noise appears after I use the compressor, even on a mild setting. They are first-rate plug-ins and yet they impart noise, so I need to re-mix things all over (I know the basic EQ needs and such so it’s not as tedious as before).  But now I’m hearing hiss on everything (!?) I need to clear my head/ears and come back fresh in the next day or two. With my studio work I actually let the rough mixes sit for a week before listening back to them. I do need to get this done a bit faster than before.

While the playing was of good quality overall, so many of the tracks had loud noises like espresso machines (on a ballad) and very loud one-sided cellphone conversations (through an entire song) and many invasive interruptions common to coffee shops and eateries.  I needed to make judgment calls and did scrap a lot of the Crossroads Cafe tracks with loud, obtrusive noise. Of course, I did dig out other material that fits the solo guitar concept of this release going back around 18 months.

Anyway Balance is still a work-in-progress at this point, though it’s getting there.

Patience is not always my best virtue….

Matt

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