Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We did it!

Friends, music for the record is done. Last night, Nick, Patti and I drove up to Milwaukee's Mastermind Productions to master (duh!) with the lovely and amazing Trevor Sadler, who also makes a mean latte. We returned to Camp New Black at 3:45 am with three reference copies and our new CD.

Mastering is now my favorite part of the recording process. As opposed to mixing, in which you listen to a bit, make a few small adjustments, listen to a bit, make a few small adjustments, and listen to a bit more (ad naseum)*, mastering crunches the process down to just a few hours. Trevor's ears are amazing, just like Dog Ear Norman's! And he makes everything look easy. But it's not, so don't think you can just master your own stuff on your home computer, you idiots. Get it done professionally!

Anyhow, we worked out the last few details and made the final decisions, staying in touch with Liam through the magic of the wireless community to provide updates and obtain approval on song titles. We decided to name the Intro Mere Cats and its sister ending Meerkats Stand Tall. We left the intro on Red Bandit intact on the Red Bandit track (moving it to a hidden track wasn't an option thanks to modern technology, according to Trevor, assuming we wanted it to actually play on everybody's DVD players. We went with the Toaster version with the BIG BASS, which I think will make Liam very happy and sounds fucking rad; de-muddified the low end of Nothing Scares Us, which made me happy; and added a record sample to the end of Devil in My Car that Nick picked up from a symphonic recording.

In an amazing twist of events, I stayed awake through this entire process and drove us home to Chicago. Kraska was wrecked, after staying up till 6am Monday morning tossing and turning. I'm giddy now, but I think it's more from excitement than lack of sleep. It's a real attitude adjuster to take one for the team when you have a record to show for it, rather than four or five more days of torture ahead of you.

So what now? Thick Records pays Mastermind and gets the master version of everything so they can send it off to get burned. Our awesome designer, Jef, has a few sleepless nights to finish the jacket. We hustle to get Jef content with thank yous, credits, song titles and all that crap. And then we all sit back and relax for a couple of months and wait for this shit to hit! Wow.

* note: By "you" I mean Greg, Nick and Liam, of course. Patti and I are generally passed out on the sofa for this portion of the process.


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