I’ve been working on the mix on my second album for weeks now. I think I can say I’ve never worked as much on a mix. Mixing my first album was not easier at all but in a way, I didn’t care about it as much at that time and I was maybe less exigent with myself. Today, I feel that my way of listening to music has changed, I care about everything that happens in a song like the sound of the kick drum or what kind of reverb is used on vocals.
So my way of mixing has evolved too, or maybe it’s the other way round… I spent a lot of time on mixing vocals especially. As you may know, I’m passionate about 70′s prog rock and 70′s music and I read a lot about how vocals were mixed at that time. I don’t pretend to be able to produce the sound of this era of course, but it’s truly inspiring to read about the recording and mixing of classic tracks and help to get closer to the sound I search for.
In this quest of sound, I changed some of my tools during the last few weeks (I’ll talk about it later in the gear section) and sometimes, it’s great to change some habits to boost creativity and add some spice to the work you have to do. The real challenge about mixing an album is getting the mix to sound good everywhere : on the computer speakers, on the hifi system, on the ipod/mp3 player and even in the car! By challenge I mean nightmare. It’s a bit hard to think about how much time is spent on mixing and that the album will be played on mp3 mainly but it’s part of the game and I know there’s still CD lovers out there fortunately. I’m very interested in releasing HD tracks however. On Bandcamp, you can download FLAC, lossless tracks which is great in my opinion, like the best of both worlds.
Lost versions of the album
After burning many versions of the album on cd-r, I’m getting very close to the final mix, finally. It still need some vocals and bass volume adjustements here and there and that’s it! It’s very exciting to be so close to the end, really! So stay tuned, Spleen Arcana II is coming ;)
I just discoverd this amazing album called Second Sight by Eye on Bandcamp (along with Purson). This is one of the most pleasant discoveries of 2013 so far. The whole album is a great mix of retro prog and psychedelic rock. It reminds me of Diagonal, Astra, even Black Sabbath at times, and of course Pink Floyd. It’s on heavy rotation here at the moment, very inspiring!! I can’t wait for their cd to come out!
Here is a second mixtape dedicated to the legendary and majestic Mellotron, the famous tape replay white keyboard. The Mellotron produces some of my all-time favourite keyboards sounds like the violins, choirs, brass or flute sounds. This mixtape features mostly progressive rock songs – but not only – with gorgeous and epic mellotronic moments. Enjoy!
Berberian Sound Studio is a psychological thriller set in a 70′s Italian recording studio where a famous but shy British sound engineer named Gilderoy comes to work on the post-synchronized soundtrack to The Equestrian Vortex, a horror movie…
Berberian Sound Studio is not the typical horror movie at all actually, it’s rather atmospheric and mysterious, more disturbing than really scary. It pays homage to vintage soundtracks and the work of post-synchro in a recording studio. I admit I didn’t understand the whole story to be honest as it’s getting quite weird and psychedelic through the end but I love the overall claustrophobic atmosphere. It’s utterly stylish and intriguing.
The film showcases many vintage analog recording equipment and the camera giving close-ups, it’s pure gear heaven! At one point, Gilderoy is playing with a famous British tape delay, the Watkins Copicat, to create haunting vocals for the soundtrack as you can see in the video excerpt below. I’d be curious to know if they actually used a Watkins but it inspired me to experiment with the WatKat – a great free emulation of the Copicat (you can get it here) – on my own vocals (but this is another story ;)).
Berberian Sound Studio is probably not for everyone, it’s weird and quite unclassifiable, you love it or hate it I guess. This is all about atmosphere and sound and this is seriously fascinating in my opinion. I already want to watch it again and I feel it will grow on me and become an all-time favourite!
Something new here, I thought about doing some kind of “mixtapes” once in a while : Mixtapes of songs that inspire me, songs I just love so much I want to share them or songs with a theme or mood in commun, any suggestions are welcome ;)
So the very first mixtape is a compilation of hand-picked classic 70′s progressive rock songs, some of them are very well-known obviously and others are more obscure… Enjoy!
I thought Spotify was the easiest way to share playlits, you can listen to music for free just by creating an account or even easier, by logging with your Facebook account.
Toward The Sun is the proof that musical cloning exists! There’s no doubt about Druid being a Yes rip-off but honestly, this “tribute album” from 1975 is splendid! Druid sounds like Yes (Vocals, fuzz bass, Mellotron…) which is great in my opinion but more importantly, the songwritting is excellent, it’s pure symphonic prog rock heaven! Druid may be considered as just another Yes copycat from the 70′s – they surely are – but Toward The Sun remains one of my favourite prog rock albums from this era.