I know it seems like I’ve been talking about this fabled “upcoming album” for forever, but it’s actually almost here. In fact, it’ll be released next Tuesday (May 21) over at www.joegildermusic.com.
As I listened to the finished masters (thank you, Ian Shepherd), and there’s nothing else to do to the songs themselves, I can finally sit back and reflect on the album as a whole.
This allows me to ask a great question:
What would I do differently?
Looking back on the whole process of making this album, what would I do differently?
Here are a few things that immediately come to mind:
1. Finish it faster.
It took me over a year to complete this album from start to finish. Sure, I’m proud of it, but I just took too long. I started off strong, then dragged my feet for several months, then finished strong.
2. Give myself more time to mix.
Ironically, even though I took longer than expected to finish the album, I didn’t actually give myself much time to mix. If you’ve been a subscriber for a few months, you remember that I gave myself a pretty tight deadline to finish the album (after getting a much-appreciate email from one of my customers asking what my deadline was).
So while I’m a big fan of working quickly and making gut decisions and not obsessing over unimportant things, I also realize that I had to cut some corners while mixing, and I didn’t have time to really experiment with things like I would have wanted to.
Again, not a regret necessarily, just something I’d do differently next time.
3. Spend more time on vocals.
I’m a good singer, and I tracked all the lead vocals on the album in just a couple of days. I was “in the zone,” sort of. I was able to knock out some songs in one take, and the other songs usually only required one good take and a couple punch-ins.
The vocal performances aren’t perfect. There are some spots where I’m off-pitch or the tone isn’t what I would have wanted.
While I listened for all this while tracking, I realize that my ears don’t hear these imperfections as readily when I’m in “musician mode.”
I’m not sure what the solution is, but it probably involves either bringing someone else in to engineer the session and give me feedback OR stopping to listen to the entire take on my studio monitors before giving the song my stamp of approval and moving on.
Again, a part of this was just the unedited, raw feel I was going for on the album, but I could have done the vocals a little better.
Okay, I could keep going, but that’s enough for now.
I’m proud of this album, and I’m excited to share it with the world.
I’m actually getting a lot of fun feedback from Dueling Mixes members this month. They’re mixing one of the songs from the album right now, and it’s a lot of fun so far.
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