The Technology is Unreal
The first major thing I learned when starting to record this project was that compared to 10 or 12 years ago, the technology available to a DIY recording artist in an achievable price range is unreal.
The ability to have a dedicated external sound card with preamps that sound clean and are virtually noiseless for less than $200 was virtually impossible just a few years ago. The virtual instrument selection has grown massively and have become so immensely realistic.
The ability of modern VST plugins to handle tasks that used to have to be dealt with during the recording stage is unbelievable. You really can create a studio quality product in a bedroom today and that is truly amazing… but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Learning to Hear Again
The massive increase in audio detail that is provided by audio interfaces today creates all kinds of frequency clutter that I’d never had to deal with before. I “thought” I had solid EQ skills going into the project, only to find that the level of detail was going to require adding some new tools to my tool box and re-thinking the way I listen and hear the track.
The longest part of this process has been learning how to mix and master all over again with modern software and gear that I would not have dreamed of buying in the past.
I was excited to get everything set up and I launched my recording software and wrote through the night. The next morning I had my first song written and played it on my phone. It sounded great! Later that day I played it in the car, which has a sound system tuned by AKG and I just knew it was going to sound amazing. To my surprise and horror, it sounded terrible. Absolute trash, phase issues and washed out vocals and reverbs. I really felt like an absolute beginner all over again.
Learning a New Sound
Adding to the previously listed challenges with this project, is the fact that while I’ve been playing and writing music for many years, the decade long break I took from it left me older, and with changed tastes. The types of music I would have played previously no longer appeal to me.
I had to find a new sound which resonates with me and hopefully with fans as well. You can hear a good bit of that on this EP. Some of the songs don’t sound like they should present together on the same production, and maybe they shouldn’t, but I promised to release imperfections.
The variety present on the production and in the individual releases did give me valuable information about where the fanbase is at, what resonates and what doesn’t, which will allow me to produce better and better projects in the future and to find the sound that resonates with myself and my fans.