Mastering ‘Almost Home’
I don’t listen to my records once they’re done. But I got the Almost Home master last night, so I kinda’ had to. After all, I want to be sure it’s perfect for you.
I was surprised how great it sounded, and how painless it was for me to listen. See, I know every mistake, every compromise, every glitch and tick on every record. So the less I listen to the songs, the happier I am. The reality is, no one noticed any of the things I notice, and pointing things out just makes it worse. So, I just don’t go there. But like I said, I had to make sure the master sounds good.
And it sounds great, really really great. I’m not talking in terms of the editorial (lyrics, melody, etc), I’m talking about the technical. Basically, mastering tweaks the EQ, levels and overall sound of the entire record so that it sounds as big, broad, and cohesive as possible. Alan Douches, the engineer who mastered it, is the real deal. He’s mastered Ben Folds, Luna, Hole, Run DMC — tons of real records. And he happens to be a really nice guy. And he did a bang up job, even as Kev and I threw him a few curves. We mixed individual songs well, but when I listened to them in a row, they were a little uneven. Which is where Alan comes in. And he nailed it.
So now I don’t have to listen to it again. (I’m kidding, sort of.)
There is one last mastering thing for today: I just emailed them to please, please, pretty please switch the order of tracks two (‘Never Be The Same’) and three (‘I’ll Be Waiting’). Track one is, of course, ‘California.’ Which is electric guitar-ish and pretty rockin’. ‘Never’ is acoustic, and way less rockin’ than ‘Waiting.’ So I want the start of the record to rock, rock, chill, keep chillin’… yunno’?
Trouble is, Alan’s wicked busy. And I have to have to have to get this sucker off to replication today. So cross your fingers that they’ll do it for me today. That’d make Almost Home just that much better.
And P.S. I’m not sure if all this yackin’ about how good my record is sounds cocky or narcissist or whatever, but long ago my bass player, roommate, and buddy Pablo said to me, “Our songs should be our favorite songs, shouldn’t they? And yeah, I’m really proud of this record for all the right reasons. I know you’re gonna’ dig it!
P.P.S. Looks like the NYC Almost Home release is going to be December 9th at Sin-e (which as a venue is a coup for a bunch of reasons). But the really cool part about that is that my band is going to consist of myself, Tony Maceli on bass, Todd Cohen on drums, plus Leslie Sink (who sings on the record) on acoustic guitar and vocals, and Julia Kent on cello. And of course I expect Jason Gallagher to make at least a cameo on electric guitar. It’s gonna’ be pretty epic.