Ready for release (and other ramblings)
Well the album is ready to be released. On the 5th May 2015, 34 tracks from 34 different Singers, Song Writers and Bands – collectively known as “The Sounds Of Strangers” – will be available from Band Camp for everyone to download.
What did I do?
I contributed track 13, Anna, from my own Album “Not All Grey”, which I hope to release on Band Camp later this year.
I also ‘Mastered’ the album which is process of turning finished musical work into a format ready for transcription, distribution and consumption by an audience.
One of the most important parts of this process, especially for a pice of work like this – an album compiled from many different Singers, Song Writers and Bands – is Audio consistency: making all the tracks sound as if they are meant to be together as a single body of work. This could be Tone (or equalisation) Level (in terms of average volume – the perceived ‘loudness’) and general sparkle or punch.
So with 34 tracks from different Singers, Song Writers and Bands and with each track recorded in different studios, live rooms or venues or even back bedrooms the work posed a challenge. In fact, mastering a single piece of music can be very time consuming and this was considerably bigger than anything I had done before and it had a very challenging delivery date.
I guess I spent somewhere between 40-50 ear-mashing hours in around 5-6 weeks, only in the evenings and at weekends, fitting it around the normal day-job and everyday life.
Sometimes, when my ears felt like cuts of raw steak stuck to the sides of my head, I wondered if I should have contributed to the charity in some other way (see vat of baked beans below). However, supported by an able band of sound and sanity-checking volunteers I think, in the end, it sounds pretty good; I hope you think so too.
Why did I do it?
Simple. Cancer can be devastating, touching many people around the world. When Phil Brunkard suggested this project I thought I had to get involved.
Further, I didn’t have to run a marathon, I just had to do something I loved, and give that to this project.
Why was this harder than having to endure sitting in a vat of baked beans? Well many song writers think of the songs as their children and, rightly so, protect what is their intellectual property vigorously. Here, with 33 of my colleagues from work, we were giving up our children so that they could act as vehicles to bring in more funds for the World Cancer Research Fund.
I also wanted to make the project a success, so this is why I volunteered to take on the challenge of Mastering this work. I had the equipment – including a great set of tools from Fab-Filter – and quite a bit of experience working with bands and music production.
I would never have forgiven myself if I had not done any of this.
Yes, my world has been touched by Cancer too.