The Final Master

28 04 2008

Wow, that title sounds like the last level of a kung-fu video game or something…but actually it’s the final step in finishing off the audio portion of our project.  We received the reference CD from Georgetown Masters on Saturday and they did a great job!  After listening to the mixes on mp3s (because of the file-size constraints of e-mails) it was like lifting the veil from the project and hearing it in its fullest and best version.

*Editor’s Note: Detailed explanation coming.  Skip to the next paragraph if you just don’t care.*

The best way I can explain it is this: all digitally created music is like drawing a portrait of yourself using only the squares on a piece of graph paper.  The actual you has rounded edges, but on graph paper you only have right angles.  Of course, on a huge piece of graph paper, with millions upon millions of squares, the image might come infinitely close to the real thing, to the point of being indistinguishable from it.  (This is why many audiophiles hail the virtues of records, because they preserve the physical quality of the sound wave – the curves – unlike the digital realm of 1s and 0s – the squares.)  Now, many of us listen to music using compressed files like mp3s – the type of file that is created when you rip a CD to your computer or download from iTunes.  This is like exchanging your huge piece of graph paper – the actual CD – for a much smaller one.  The image is still mostly like the original, but you can tell that it’s starting to look a little different. 

So to finish the analogy, this week when we listened to the reference CD instead of the mp3s our “graph paper” grew exponentially.  Each instrument was pristinely clear, each vocal more present.  It was so gratifying to hear the truest representation of the project.  We could not be happier with how it turned out.  (And even though we had to listen to a bunch of 1s and 0s, we also didn’t have to hear that annoying hiss from the record player.)

So much of the credit belongs to Scott for all his work on the project.  He has been the guiding creative force throughout, giving powerful expression to songs that we care so deeply about, and even injecting songs we had dismissed with new life, yielding great benefit to the album.  We are so grateful for his collaboration!

Now from the audio we move to the visual.  Benji will be delivering cover art options to us within the week as we look to finish the artwork by early May so that we can have product in your hands by May 30.  We’re excited to see what he comes up with.  And we’ll be sure to post once we’ve settled on a cover!

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