Will it ever reach CD?
It’s kind of strange to be calling this post an album update since it’s the first post I’ll putting up about the album that I’m currently working on. However, I have mentioned it in passing a few times, I’m sure.
At the moment, the album stands at about 80% complete in terms of production and recording. All the beats are done (with the exception of one that Gbox is producing, which is about 60% done – we just need to sit down together and work on the arrangement). A few tracks (probably four or five) are completely produced, recorded and pre-mixed. For the other tracks, I’m just waiting on other artists to record some instrumental or vocal sections.
Of course, there’s still the final mix stage, mastering, artwork etc to worry about but I’m well on my way to getting these things done as well.
Lenny Rudeberg (a friend of mine and a very very good producer/emcee) will be co-mixing the album with me in the final stage. He produces great mixes generally, though we’ll be going for a slightly different tone to the mixes on my album compared to the mixes he does for his own and other artists work. The aim is to try to capture some of the dynamics and tone that are found on old soul records (yes, the vinyl). That will be hard to replicate in digital formats plus the hip hop arrangement structure can sometimes undermine the tonal qualities but I’m confident that the end product will sound warm and dynamic.
As it stands now, I’m looking to have the songs mastered by Sibilance (check the Community link to your right). He’s been doing a bit of work with some good local producers lately and I think he has a healthy respect for dynamics in his masters and also for hip hop in general. I’ll make a final decision on that further down the track. The important thing is to achieve a master which doesn’t crush the dynamic range too much. A healthy balance between “loudness” and “dynamic movement” would be ideal. A lot of that will depend on the final mix.
In a few weeks I’ll put up some pre-release samples for you to check out and also get your opinion on artwork – I’d like to hear what you have to say.