It's a new year!
For me it is has been great to take a breather from music-making and be with my wonderful family and some close friends during the holidays. We took nice walks along the sea, ate lots of great food and had many precious moments together. I also slept A LOT. I didn't know I was so tired and now I feel great. I hope you had a great time off during the holidays, too!
Taking a vacation from music-making has a downside. I'm a bit rusty now as I get started again and it takes time to get back into the flow. I ended 2016 frustrated over a standup bass track that just couldn't be fixed no matter what. It will have to be re-recorded or done electronically, that's just how it goes. I must have done the recording wrong. I'm still learning how to record well through making mistakes like that. On a brighter note, I began a mixing/mastering/EQ & compression course from Prosoundformula.com just before Christmas and my ambition is to be able to mix my own music soon, to save money and retain control over the outcome.
If you don't work with music you don't really understand why this album is taking me so long. So let me explain... I started recording way back in 2014! At the time, I was still working a bit. I was new to all this recording stuff and didn't sing very well at all. Along the way, my voice has become stronger, my guitar playing better and my technical knowledge of how to do all this has broadened dramatically. This has forced me to go back and fix newbie mistakes in the earliest recorded tracks. That is part of what I will be doing i January of 2017.
Interruptions: During these three plus years, we moved twice and that took a lot of time and energy. There have been problems with the editing software, and endless renovations on our apartment here that have interrupted me, not to mention all the daily chores that need to be done. We took in a refugee for two months last fall and he needed attention too.
All the time I have been building up other things parallel with the album. Last year, I started this site and my business with the same name, Featherhead Media. I ran a fundraiser on Indiegogo which required that I make a presentation video and made a production budget. I've worked on three music videos and I'm in the process of writing two books. All the while I have been taking care of everything here at home so my hubby can just chill when he gets home. Clearly I have to focus now in order to ever get done.
It's the boring part in front of me now: I'm a songwriter and guitarist. Honestly, I wish I had a band, an audio technician and a producer so I could get all the help I needed to get done fast but I don't. That kind of help costs money. The Indiegogo campaign last year brought in a mere 225 dollars after all the exchange rates and fees. Every bit helps but it forces me to slow down and do as much as possible all by myself. But I am not going to give up!
Why did I buy a course on how to mix/master? I figure that it will pay off in the long run. I have a lot of material to record and the cost of Rob Williams great course (bought on Black Friday to a great price) won't be that much per song when all is said and done. I'd rather give all this mixing job to someone else but the money isn't there. If I went back to work full-time again I would have to pack it all up and forget about the music. Working part time is an option I am considering, though. So it is all about striking a balance so the work gets done and the costs are covered. It's not an easy decision.
The difference between mixing and mastering a song, in case you didn't know:
Mixing is where you take all the recordings of the instruments and vocals and fix everything so it sounds good. Its like taking a big kettle and throwing in just the right ingredients, cutting away all the bad parts of the veggies before you put them in and leaving what you don't want on the countertop. You also add water, spices, etc. according to a recipe - this would be different plugins such as EQ, compression and reverb.
During the mixing stage, you check the timing, tuning of each track and the arrangement of the song. You enhance each track so it sounds good and then see to it that all the tracks
fit together like pieces of a puzzle, cutting frequencies so here and there so that the different sounds don't try to take up the same space. That way you hear each instrument. You check the levels so that the lead vocal is in the middle and strongest, arranging the other instruments around it. All this takes time, patience and hard work. This is the stage I am in now. It was much more fun to write the songs, and record them. This stage is the toughest.
Pray for me, please. I'm a creative songwriter and this stage is murder, but as soon as I get faster and better at this, this too will probably become somewhat enjoyable....I hope.
Mastering is when you take a stereo version of the song and cook it down into a less watery soup that everyone can relate to. Mastering a song professionally costs up to $75 per song which can be considered a lot of money, but it is what makes the sound consistent on all playback devices, (sonic consistency). Without it you don't have a powerful output level. In mastering you also make sure that all the songs on the album flow from one song to another in a pleasant way.
It is easy to give up when you are all alone, like I am, and a project is not going forward as you had hoped (this is the situation). That's where Johan, my husband, friends and fans come in. I want to say thank you to everyone who has encouraged me this far. When I feel tempted to give up it's people like you who keep me going. THANKS!
I'm not going to give up and you are going to see this album get done! As we say in Swedish, "He who waits for something good is not waiting in vain". I believe that many people are going to be blessed by the Change My Mind album.
In Galatians 6:9 it says
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
And we will. I, for one, do not intend to give up. Please keep me in your prayers. You are in mine...:-) God bless!