February 19th, 2007

Inadvertent President's Day Activity

daisy_knotwise and I hooked up the replacement DVD/VCR that we'd gotten in our exchange at Abt earlier in the day and proceeded to test it. (Actually, we tested to make sure that it could eject a tape before we bothered wiring it up this time. It could.)

So first, we watched an episode of No, Honestly on video tape; then I grabbed a DVD, figuring we would watch a little bit of it before we headed off upstairs to settle Katie and listen to catalana's album on the speakers with the big woofers.

But what I grabbed was 1776 and although I skipped large chunks of the musical, we still didn't head off until well after midnight.

Listening upstairs, we think there's one track on the album that still needs to be tweaked, but we'll wait to hear from catalana before going at it again.

New Frontiers in Mixing

I just spent an hour and a half beating up New Frontier. With luck, the next song won't take anywhere near that long to fix up.

It strikes me that it would be really convenient to have small computers with wireless cards sitting turned on and connected to the other stereos in the house so that I could just copy a file there to listen to instead of having to burn CDs. Of course, I have no small unused computers sitting around. I do have a couple of big, hulking ones.

I suspect this is not going to be a popular suggestion. :)

Mix, Mix, Mix

And how much better all this mixing would be if I got past New Frontier, right? Unfortunately, when I went to make an assault on the next song, Shades of Gray, I realized that the mix on New Frontier couldn't possibly be right, because Shades sounded a lot louder.

So I spent some time poking around the mix. It's not done yet, but I have a better idea of what's going on.

The problem is that Sally's very nice drum line is eating a lot of the sonic space in the mix. This wouldn't be hard to work around, except that I have a lot of voices that show up on the chorus and they push the mix over the edge. As a result, everything ends up sounding frighteningly compressed and squashed.

I played around with the compression, starting at a lower threshold, which -- given the presence of makeup gain -- pushes up the parts of the mix that are at a lower volume. This helps quite a bit. I think what I want to do is duck the drums just a bit on the choruses to make more space for the vocals, which should cause them to pop forward in the mix. I may push the lead vocal up a bit on the choruses too and see how that all balances.

But that's tomorrow's problem (since I spent the rest of the evening watching TV, Monday night having about two and a half hours of stuff I want to see).