Album Minutiae, or Why I Can't Sleep At Night...

The album for the RPM project is mostly done at this point. Everything is recorded and mixed which is great. The problem is that I have now reached the mastering stage. While I know how to play music, and have a fair knowledge on recording and mixing, mastering is a process about which I am mostly ignorant.

When my old band mastered our last cd, I realized that a lot of things go into making an album that I wasn't even aware of. Like, track sequencing for example. In all of my planning I never considered how much time to put between songs, and yet I found myself faced with that very question while paying $150 an hour for the privilege. It turns out that I like the Frank Zappa method whereby you extend the tempo of the previous song into the silence that precedes the next song and have the next song start on beat one after a certain number of measures. It can't explain it very well, but I think it is subtle and cool when pulled off correctly.

Mastering is also suppose to normalize volumes and eq to make the record sound cohesive. The goal is also to get the album as loud as commercial releases without sacrificing dynamics, whilst filling out the sound and clearing up the mix, blah blah blah. I know what is suppose to happen, but I just don't know how to do it.

The result is that I am spending my time reading up on limiters, compressors, multi-band eqs, and all sorts of things that I don't really care about. It is slowly driving me insane. The whole album is pretty much on constant repeat in my head and I just want to be done. So far we have put about 50 hours of work into this little project, and I have reached the point where I hate all of the music, the sight of my bedroom, and Aaron and Adam. But I always end every recording project exhausted and filled with hate for the whole process and result.

Here is a link to the myspace site that Adam set up for us. Feel free to wander over and give some of the songs a listen. Also, feel free to let me know what you think. It is unlikely that you can hate any of the songs more than me at this point, so any criticism is welcome.


  1. just a heads up, the hatred for Adam never goes away

  2. I have known Adam since Kindergarten. I am aware of the persistence of hatred.