It’s that time of year again. Time to release a new album! “The Time I Rode a Horse to the Moon” is almost complete, and the feeling is as intoxicating as ever. This is my 12th solo album, and over the past few months it has grown and shrank catastrophically, going from a full-length emotional album, to a small collection of unreleased tracks, to the happy medium in which it currently sits. I got scared and almost scrapped the album on a few occasions (as I do with every album I release), as there were a couple songs I just wasn’t happy with, and I couldn’t figure out how to make them better. I never want to release an album that contains material I’m not happy with. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but I hate looking at a song of mine and thinking, “Man, that song is crap.”
Thankfully I was able to salvage what I wasn’t happy with on “The Time I Rode a Horse to the Moon”, and I am now currently in the process of mixing the final tracklist and trying to make the audio levels sound as nice and balanced as I can. I have learned an incredible amount about mixing and production over the past six years, and right now I feel like I’m learning more than ever. In 2009-2010, my instruments were too quiet (ESPECIALLY the drums) and my vocals too loud. In 2011-2012, I had problems with harsh “s” sounds and balancing my instruments and vocals. In 2013 I learned to spread out my mix and push some instruments into the left or right speakers to make the mix more natural and less muddy. And now, as I’ve recently learned, my 2014-2015 music suffered from harsh drums and ridiculously loud bass!
I got to hear Zeugma and Phases through a decent sound system the other week, as well as the unfinished new album, and was blown away by how distractingly loud the bass was. Nearby objects vibrated madly as the intense low frequencies bellowed out, and I found myself scrambling for the volume knob to turn the music down. I was left scratching my head, thinking, “The bass didn’t seem this loud through my headphones!” I wish I had done this years ago. Hearing your music through large speakers really opens your eyes and ears to what you’re doing wrong. Yeah, these songs might sound fine through my headphones, but my headphones don’t have huge subwoofers to let me know when my bass is too loud. And hoo boy, is my bass too loud.
As such, I have begun the process of combing back through the Horse to the Moon tracks and fixing them. I’m turning down the lows and fixing some other problems I noticed during my “sound study”. Afterwards I’ll listen to the music again and see if the problems are fixed. These steps should’ve been included in my process a long time ago, but life is a learning process. However, this makes me really excited for the new album, as my eyes have been opened and I can now do more to make the album sound really great!
Aside from work on the new album, I’m also really pumped because my music is now available on Spotify and iTunes! This is something I’ve dreamed of for years, and seeing my face plastered on a Spotify page fills my heart with joy. It makes me feel legit, like I’m actually an artist now. I only have one album up at the moment – “Sort Of (Not Really)” from 2013 – but over the coming week I hope to upload some more. I had originally planned on uploading 2014’s “Phases”, but after listening to it again I’ve decided to completely re-produce the album and re-release it as “Phases (Anniversary Edition)”. I’m really excited for this, too, as I’ve always felt that Phases could’ve been so much better if I just tweaked the production a little. Now that I’ve heard it blasted through a sound system, I feel like I know what to do to it. Expect this new “Phases” to be released soon, and the new album to be released shortly afterward.