I've been crazy busy lately. This is the exciting time of the record making when I start to shift from the music to ALL the other art that needs to happen as well. If you've been following my sneak peeks on Facebook or Instagram, then you might have noticed that I did a photo shoot and I'm starting to create some video stuff too. I'm also working with a great graphic designer on a few exciting bits, but more about all of the visual work later, because there is still so much music stuff to be completed.
We are still finalising the mixes but I'm working hard on getting the first single completed because I want to get it OUT THERE, and I want you to HEAR IT!
I decided on the track that is going to be the first single and I put it on fast track. The mix is completed and I've started the hunt for the perfect person to master this album. I visited Freehouse Studios here in Bristol for the first mastering session just for this track. I've also approached a few others, including my old friend Doc Moody (picture a bit further down). It'll be interesting to see how different people work the track. We will be picking the final person to do the full album later on, but right now I want the first single done and dusted.
Mastering is an interesting phase. I presume that you probably don't know what it is or why it's needed, so let me try to explain. To put it in really simple terms, mastering is the final touch and its aim is to make sure that the track sounds as good as possible in as many possible listening environments as possible. Mastering can also be geared towards a specific listening experience, for example, if you want to make sure it sounds really good at clubs vs at home or on CD vs Vinyl. You then may need to do different mastering versions for these different purposes.
When we mix a track, we have all the different sounds on separate tracks and work on them individually to balance it all out. Mastering is done on the final mix-down. That means the mix is completed, and mastering is done on a single sound file. Mastering is all about the different frequencies so for example in mastering we want to make sure that the bass is booming, whilst not overpowering the vocals, and that the top range is still bright. Here' you can see Sam working his magic on the track.
It's absolutely amazing and totally baffling how different the mix sounds in different devices, so mastering helps to even these variations out. It also helps the song to sound good, even if you were listening to it on crappy computer speakers or cheap headphones.
Finally, the album mastering ensures that all the tracks are on around the same levels so that some tracks are not louder than others. This is really important, of course, because sometimes there are huge variations between tracks.
Ok, I'm not going to geek any further on the art of mastering. There's a lot to it, and it's definitely an art form of its own. My work right now is to find the person whose mastering works best for my music.
So here's a sneaky peeky from my session at Freehouse Studios. I'm still in two minds about what to call the track, but I will need to make up my mind soon. Haha!
I hope you like it!
Sending my love from the mastering suite frequencies,