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Mastering, we hardly knew ye’

April 22, 2008

One of the best things about making a CD is all the cool stuff you learn in between the notes.  Mastering is one of those things.   I didn’t even know what it was until now, but after you record and mix all the instruments and vocals, the CD goes through a mastering process.  This encodes all kinda stuff so that the songs show up in order, that the titles are synch with the songs, that the copyrights are all correct and trackable, etc, but the most fascinating part is that there is a real art to song separation, timing and grouping.  The mastering process also helps the music sound consistent from device to device, player to player, format to format.  A good mastering engineer is like a good artist in that they know some things intuitively that others must learn by left-brain formulaic means.  He brings out the crispness in the music, and clears up some of the muddiness in the mix. When you hear the CD, (you ARE going to buy a CD, aren’t you??  ;-P ) you’ll notice be a couple of places that the songs run right into one another, and then there are places to “cleanse the musical palate” so to speak.   It makes it all the more interesting and Broca surprising experience.  It’s really coming together nicely and we should be shipped to press this week.   

Interesting side note…turns out one of the tunes we recorded “Swim That River of Jordan” that what we thought MUST have been a traditional gospel song because it is so rich in heritage and “oletiminess” was actually written fairly recently, in 2000, by a guy named Michael Andes with a band called “Nothin’ Fancy” , a group out of Virginia.  Shame on me for not knowing them. They’ve won several award and have been recording for over a decade.  Mark talked to him on the phone.  I’m definitely going to be ordering some of their stuff.  He was flattered that we were recording his tune.  It just amazes me how good some song writers are.  Pretty cool…and if that one song is any indication,  I want to find more of his stuff to record!!

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