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Obsession with musical perfection

I wasn’t sure if after working very hard on a number of musical projects this year I would actually have any new completed CD’s this to speak of. But at least there will be one, as I recently finished Elika Mahony’s new CD, Fire And Gold which I will talk about in a later post when it is released.
(I haven’t linked to her site as it isn’t working yet.)

When I am completing an album, I become somewhat obsessed with making sure it sounds as good as possible within a reasonable time frame, and since I am not only producing, but mixing, engineering and mastering, there is no shortage of things that need to be monitored in that last chance to make final changes.
Many correctly argue that a producer or engineer should never master a CD, but so many projects I have worked on have been ruined by improper mastering, I often end up doing it myself, at the request of artists that trust me more than anyone else, because of how important the music becomes to me after spending so much time composing for, producing and mixing. I am still searching for the right mastering engineer.

There are so many things that can go wrong at the final stages, just mixing so that everything sounds great on ANY stereo system is a challenge on it’s own even when you’ve been doing it for over 17 years.
I’ll leave the technical details to that to keep things from getting boring here… I get into some of the pre mixing issues that can come up in this post.
I start to obsess about little things in the music when it’s my last chance to make changes, in my attempt to make sure everything is perfect. Of course it never is, but the majority of listeners will never know.
It may seem overly revealing for a professional to divulge that, but any producer who says their music is indeed perfect is a liar, because I hear the problems and mistakes in their music that no one else does, and that’s ok. But I do find it shocking that famous producers with 10 times the budget that I have for a production would release music with major oversights like out of tune notes and piercing frequencies. So that makes me feel a little better about any issues that escape me (and I emphasize the word little, as I said, I get obsessed)

Then again, you could argue that if someone is going to listen to the music at one tenth of the resolution as an mp3 with ear bud headphones coming from a mini jack, the worst quality audio connector on the planet, what is the point? But this is a blog not an essay, so we’ll leave it at ‘because otherwise I couldn’t live with it’

One Response to “Obsession with musical perfection”

  1. Jarome Matthew’s Blog » My latest production, ‘Fire And Gold’ by Elika Mahony Says:

    […] Mahony. I have blogged last year about some of the challenges of producing an album like this, and about how intense a project like this can become. With it’s combination of electronic elements with piano, live cello, guitar, and flute and […]