Well guys, tonight I finally have a full set of poems for the upcoming album without weird breaths and awkward background noises. As I type this post, I’m listening through the tracks to confirm that, but so far, so good. (That said, I do expect I’ll find one or two tracks that I’ll want to re-record. Because…that’s just always how it goes, realistically.)

Next step is (take 3 of) post-production. Right now I’m listening through the tracks just for blatant sound issues in each individual track. Once I confirm that the individual tracks don’t have any blatant sound issues, I’ll have to go through them with minor sound editing – removing silences that are too long, making sure each track has the same amount of space at the beginning and end, that sort of thing.

After that it will be time to edit them as a group – get the volume to match on all of the tracks, possibly amplify if this volume ends up being too quiet.

With this in mind, I’m setting myself a goal of releasing the album in about 2 weeks.  That’s a pretty industrious goal, but seeing as I’ve re-done these recordings three times as I learn how to best make this work, I’m ready to wrap it up and move on to the next one.

Things I wish I’d realized about home recording earlier in this process:

  1. The recording doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. I can’t tell you how many times I cursed myself in the last third of a track because I misspoke and, instead of just leaving a space and starting from the top of that verse with the intention of cutting out the bad take, I started over from scratch. This is a major time-suck that I mental-blocked myself on until the very end. Up side: the next one should go faster now that I’ve realized this.
  2. When removing noise, it’s sometimes best to cut out loud noises from the silences in the quiet spots before generating the noise profile. If you don’t crop out, say, a cough, or a throat clear, and leave that in the noise removal profile, the final track can end up sounding thin. If there’s any vocal at all in he noise removal, it seems to cost low end, which I’ve established, for me, makes me sound like I’m in grade school.
  3. The right distance for a mic to avoid too much junk noise while maintaining a steady volume – this was an indescribably difficult balance to find. Now that I know it, I hope I never forget it. I also hope I’m able to balance the tracks out to accommodate for the experimentation required to find it, so I don’t have to re-record anything.

 

So, that’s where it stands. I fully expect it won’t be long before I post again, cursing some need to re-record something, but, for the moment, I’m just crossing my fingers.  There comes a time when I’ve got to admit ‘this is as good as I can make this’, and I know I’m very close to that ‘it is what it is’ point. I may already be there in terms of the recordings, at least.

I can’t tell you precisely how long the album is going to be in terms of time. The way I broke the poems up for these albums was to land with albums that are all around 15 tracks long. Now, some of those tracks might only be 40 seconds. Others might be two minutes. I chose poems that I felt worked well together, whether they were 1 month old, or 12 years old. So, I may end up with two albums with the same amount of tracks but very, very different lengths.

‘Stone Throw’ has a lot of very short tracks on it, so I expect in the end it’s probably only going to be around 20 minutes or so long.

Overall though, tonight, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that a June release remains possible, and that I may finally be one the home stretch with this one.

(Side note: I know I still haven’t uploaded those nature photos I’ve been promising you. Maybe I’ll get to it this weekend, if I’m lucky. Buuut…I’m hopeful for another hiking trip saturday, so…we’ll see.)

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