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Here's my 2020 album project...and as usual, it gets previewed here at SSS before it goes public.

I have to say I'm really happy with this collection of songs. It was fun to record, and comes at a time in my life when - despite a world gone insane - I'm staying positive. It's major contrast to my 2019 project, which was under the shadow of my wife dying. This one is about life, joy, and love.

I really hope you enjoy the music, because my goal is to give enjoyment to those who listen to it.


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I just put headphones on and listened all the way through.

Children of Hope is my favorite song, partly because the video enhanced the lyrics.
The sonics are very good and the playing is tight for the most part.

I'm not feeling tension and release because I didn't feel any tension. Nothing seemed to jump out at me or make me question what I just heard. Not sure if that makes sense? It might have more to do with subtle timing tensions than anything else, it's like a snowball hurtling down a smooth hill and growing as it goes.

I'll admit it, I'm a tough audience. It is extremely rare for me to focus and listen to that much music in one go, it's usually more of a week or two bit by bit.
It is an excellent effort, kudos!


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Very much enjoyed that Craig!

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I didn't get the chance to listen all the way through yet but at the risk of appearing simplistic, what I saw and heard can only be described as fun.

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Congratulations!!

Great sounding work.


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I'm not feeling tension and release because I didn't feel any tension.

At first that struck me as odd, because of things like where the giant moon comes at you with the shepard function sound in the background, the runup to Person Angel, the music stripping down to just voice in Children of Hope. But then I remembered a comment from Ernest Buckley, who said he thought I shouldn't do videos because they distracted from the music - and in this case, the video element is kind of, as you say, "like a snowball hurtling down a smooth hill and growing as it goes."

I had thought of posting two versions, one with the video, and one without just to see which got more clicks smile

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I'll admit it, I'm a tough audience. It is extremely rare for me to focus and listen to that much music in one go, it's usually more of a week or two bit by bit.
It is an excellent effort, kudos!

And I'll admit I'm still stubborn about doing albums :), so I appreciate your taking the time to listen to it!

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Originally Posted by Greg Mein
I didn't get the chance to listen all the way through yet but at the risk of appearing simplistic, what I saw and heard can only be described as fun.

That was exactly the intention!! It hasn't been a super-fun year for the world, so I thought flipping the phase 180 degrees might help cancel out some of the nasty. I also wanted to do something that was fun on the surface, but you could listen to multiple times and keep catching little things you might miss the first time around.

It was definitely a fun project to do, so if that comes across, so much the better.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I'm not feeling tension and release because I didn't feel any tension.

At first that struck me as odd, because of things like where the giant moon comes at you with the shepard function sound in the background, the runup to Person Angel, the music stripping down to just voice in Children of Hope. But then I remembered a comment from Ernest Buckley, who said he thought I shouldn't do videos because they distracted from the music - and in this case, the video element is kind of, as you say, "like a snowball hurtling down a smooth hill and growing as it goes."

I had thought of posting two versions, one with the video, and one without just to see which got more clicks smile

Quote
I'll admit it, I'm a tough audience. It is extremely rare for me to focus and listen to that much music in one go, it's usually more of a week or two bit by bit.
It is an excellent effort, kudos!

And I'll admit I'm still stubborn about doing albums :), so I appreciate your taking the time to listen to it!

You're very welcome, I have a great deal of respect for you and your accomplishments and I hope someday to post MY album here.
I do remember your last album review/critique on here and that you sincerely wanted to know how the rest of us feel about your music.
I've taken my share of critique, it was a required part of the photography classes I took to share your opinions and learn from other opinions. Cheers, Kuru


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I do remember your last album review/critique on here and that you sincerely wanted to know how the rest of us feel about your music.

Yes, I trust the judgement of the people here. I've always previewed albums for the SSS folks, and often made changes based on the comments. This is to make sure that I didn't do some egregious mastering or mixing error before I make the thing public (the link is still unlisted). So far, it seems like it's getting a clean bill of technical health.

As a side note, the slide guitar emulation at the end of "Take Me Back to Tomorrow" is directly because of a comment someone made on a previous album several years back, who suggested a brief guitar solo at the end of a song to give it one last boost before the fadeout. It was a totally appropriate comment, so I added the solo. The original version of TMBTT didn't have the emulated slide, but I remembered the comment...so I added a solo to give it one last boost before the fadeout smile I pay attention!

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Originally Posted by Anderton
I had thought of posting two versions, one with the video, and one without just to see which got more clicks smile

Would the music be somewhat different without the video? I'm guessing not, since you probably did the music first and didn't add the video until after you were happy with the music. But when you add the video, there might be good reason to modify the music while certain portions of the video are running.

Personally, I don't pay much attention to videos that accompany music because I go there for the music, not for a larger entertainment experience. (I don't go to movies either) I realize that a music video is a perfectly legitimate production, and I recognize that there's plenty of time and effort that can be involved in each of those parts. But there's a third part - how they fit together.

By not paying any attention to the video part, I'm short-circuiting part of your work. While I don't expect that not watching the video won't ruin the music - or at least I hope not - might the music be a little different to improve it for someone "listening blind?"

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Would the music be somewhat different without the video? I'm guessing not, since you probably did the music first and didn't add the video until after you were happy with the music.

Correct, the music is the same in either case.

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But when you add the video, there might be good reason to modify the music while certain portions of the video are running.

I hadn't considered that, but it's an interesting point.

Where I'm coming from is how closing off one sense makes the other senses more acute. Think of how many people close their eyes when listening to music...maybe they're on to something smile

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Where I'm coming from is how closing off one sense makes the other senses more acute. Think of how many people close their eyes when listening to music...maybe they're on to something smile

I often close my eyes when I'm mixing a live act. I can get a working mix up pretty quickly, but once things get sorted out, if I close my eyes and listen, I can pick up little (and sometimes big) things that will make the mix better for the audience that I didn't notice because I knew who was playing and what they were playing.

One of the best mixers I know is totally blind, and when working with him, he hears things that I don't until he points them out. Then, if he makes a change, I can hear it.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
As a side note, the slide guitar emulation at the end of "Take Me Back to Tomorrow" is directly because of a comment someone made on a previous album several years back, who suggested a brief guitar solo at the end of a song to give it one last boost before the fadeout. It was a totally appropriate comment, so I added the solo. The original version of TMBTT didn't have the emulated slide, but I remembered the comment...so I added a solo to give it one last boost before the fadeout smile I pay attention!

I agree on the ending, it is your last opportunity to toss out a hook with an ear worm for bait.
I love the Leonard Cohen song Waiting For The Miracle, the album version. It's slow, sad and strangely open sounding. The ending gets me every time, it sounds like a keyboard playing string parts, very simple but a harmony comes in and it's a great ending.


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Sublime production cool

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Originally Posted by BMD
Sublime production cool

Thank you! FWIW I did some quite different with the mastering, which ended up being sort of a "two-step" process. I used Ozone to do very light limiting to bring the level to -14 LUFS, with some dynamic EQ in the master bus. Although this didn't produce a mastered sound, it got all the music into the same general loudness and tonal quality. Then exported these, then took the "prepped" song into Studio One's mastering page to do the "real" mastering job, with proper EQ, some binaural panning, multiband limiting, etc. etc. Oddly, I think the end result sounds more unified than if the mastering had been a one-step process where exported mixes went straight to mastering.

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Nice, post-world music without the "wearing it on my sleeve" self consciousness... And a positive message, a tricky thing these days.


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Thanks, I'm not into purebred "world music," but like appropriating elements to combine with my rock/EDM sensibilities.

When I was last in Belize, I listened to a lot of Punta Rock. I wanted to take an ADAT down there and become the Chris Blackwell of Punta smile It's another style with African roots, but have overlays from soca, calypso, and even techno-type thinking from European tourists. I really like doing music that combines multiple elements. For most of the songs on the new album, if you replaced the drums with rock drum loops, it would send very much like rock. You can probably also hear the Euro dance music aspects.


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