I’m here at my parents and since there’s nothing much to do here tonight I thought I’d finally catch you up on what I’ve been up to. I don’t want to apologise for not writing for so long… I’ve been busy finishing the album and living my life. If you want to know what I’ve done you can check my Twitter page that I’ve updated regularly.
I’d completely underestimated the amount of time it takes to finish 12 songs. I don’t use a compressor nor a de-esser for the vocals because I can’t afford good ones for now so I have to adjust the levels manually. Neither do I have a DAW controller so I can only use my mouse for the mix instead of faders. Not having those things admittedly slows down my recording and mixing process. I was stressing myself to get everything done quickly until I got to a point where I didn’t enjoy anymore what I was doing. I made stupid mistakes, my vocals sounded strained. And then I thought: What am I doing? I’m supposed to savour this experience. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. And how am I supposed make the songs sound great if I don’t enjoy working on them? So I took it down a notch, started calling friends before they forgot I existed and just lived a little. That really helped. Now there’s seven finished songs and I reckon I’ll be able to finish the other five within the next week. Finished are ‘The Tide’, ‘Chaos & Order’, ‘Zero Tolerance’, ‘Paperheart’, ‘In Unison’, ‘Scaredy Cat’s Lullaby’ and ‘Webs’. I’m really happy with these songs now.
Once I’m done with all the songs I’ll go and visit some friends, play them the album on their stereos and takes notes of possible weak spots in the mixes. Actually I’ve already started doing that. It’s a good thing to do because everyone’s stereo sounds different and you want to make sure the mix sounds as good as possible on anything from an expensive home system to a car stereo to a cheap boombox. Also two friends of mine are sound engineers and they’ve both happily agreed to listen to my songs and pinpoint me to how I could perfect the sound.
I’ve also found a photographer who’s gonna take the pictures for the album artwork and some press photos. He’s a friend of mine. I’d never seen his pictures until I asked him round to my place, cooked a lovely dinner for the two of us and looked at his portfolio. I’d suspected I’d love his photos by the conversations we had about photography and art. And I really do. I won’t have to pay for the pictures either, but design him a new logo instead. He asked me what I had in mind for the artwork and I realised I hadn’t really thought about that yet. After mulling it over for a couple of days I’ve still only got a fuzzy idea, but I’ve got a few ideas about the clothes I want to wear. I’m gonna design and sew them myself. At least partly. More on that once I’ve got a better concept.
Also I’ve got my lovely array mbira for over a month now and I love it. I guess it’s my favourite instrument. I can already accompany a couple of my songs, but I’ve yet to learn how to play fast intricate patterns and melodies. I’ve decided to add some mbira in ‘A Little’ next week.
I’ll try and add some snippets of the songs over the next few days and also a picture of the mbira. That’s it for now. More soon. Hopefully!