I’m in the final stages of producing my new album. Last weekend was very productive. At the moment, I have 14 songs set to appear on the album. It’s fun to talk about things in a theoretical sense, so that’s what I’m going to do now. This will be even more fun for you because you haven’t heard most of what I’m talking about.
Out of the 14 tracks, 11 of them are either 100% done or very close to that. Exciting! The other 3 songs have a special status. I have the song titles, but no music or lyrics or anything. But remember that I have probably 20 songs’ worth of music without any titles. So it’s probably just going to be a matter of finding which instrumentals to match up with the song titles.
On Saturday and Sunday, I began with a handwritten list of those 14 songs. Next to each one I wrote little notes. These told me what I have left to do. Now, I could be fancy, get a whiteboard, mark out one of those song production grids, and fill that out, but that doesn’t do what I want. At this point in the game, all that’s left is some guitar overdubs and vocals.
Over the last few days, I’ve been listening to early, unmastered versions of 10 of those songs in my car. This is probably my favorite part of production. I listen to these almost-finished songs over and over and take notes. Then I make changes per my notes and repeat the process. The notes could be anything from “lower volume of snare” to “verse 2 needs better lyrics” or something. Right now, most of the notes are related to EQ and volume.
The tracks I’m listening to aren’t as polished as the final product will be right now, but I think they’re close enough that I can estimate how most people will think of them. I think since most of the songs are around 3 minutes long, none of them should be boring or stay outside their welcome. They’re not long enough. The longer ones are pretty interesting. “Eff It” currently clocks in a little over 4 minutes, but man, that song is awesome. Besides, an earlier version was over 5 minutes long, I think.
Before I began this daily listening-in-the-car routine, I worried that the songs weren’t uplifting or happy sounding or whatever. After listening a whole bunch though, I’m not concerned with that. I mean, when a song has lyrics like “When I get to the party, I’ll say ‘bump up the bass,'” you know it’s a banger.
Attempts for feedback from others on the early mixes haven’t been too successful. It’s a tired story, but until 3 years ago, I wasn’t concerned with what anyone else thought about my music. It wasn’t until I started putting it out for purchase that I started to care. Ultimately though, I’m making the music for myself. So maybe it’s not important to get others’ opinions on it.
I’ll have more on that next week. Until then…keep waiting.