Today, I am releasing the debut album of my golden chorale project, midnight. I’ll be self-releasing it on cassette as well as digitally through bandcamp:
The record is a reflection on the anxious side of love, relationships and family. In the time frame of it’s creation, I was doing a lot of trying to work through things with the family I grew up with, while wading through mid-20’s new family/life experience stuff. The backbone of the record came from a recording session I did as a means to decompress after a particularly stressful dream late last year.
The track “ocean 3” has a video created by @robotboot:
There was an interesting thread on lines a while back around sending your music to others for feedback (which I unfortunately can’t find right now, if you know what I’m talking about let me know and I’ll share it here). Inspired by it, I decided to attempt to get feedback on this one. The record went out as a rough mix (10 tracks) to a few friends in February. Based on their gracious feedback, I reworked the record in June. I separated the more thematic tracks into the 6 songs that make up the a-side of the tape, which is streamable on bandcamp. I also built out a bonus mix of some of the outtakes I had sent out in February, as well as a few other ideas from my archive of recordings that were made around the same time. This collection is known as toby’s mix, which I decided to make available as a download to those who purchase the record on bandcamp, and on the b-side of the tape. I would like to specifically thank @papernoise @robotboot @Benjamin_Mauch @brianleu and @bradfromraleigh because they all provided a lot of really good insight that was very helpful as I finished up the record.
I don’t want to dive too deep on the technical aspects in starting this thread (but if there’s any questions about that side of things I’m happy to answer them). The one thing I want to mention related to that is this is the first record of mine I worked directly (as in, in the same room) with a few friends who do audio engineering stuff (reamping guitars and working with someone else to produce/mix/master to tape in the case of the toby’s mix b-side collection.) This was really great and I definitely want to do more collaboration in that sort of way on future releases.
Thanks for reading/listening!
Very excited to hear the final product and thanks for sharing!!!
As is my custom, I will wait to listen until the cassette arrives. Even though I know it will arrive soon, the wait will feel long as I am stoked to check out what you’ve produced. Congrats on the release!
I was super happy when @jlmitch5 asked if I could make him a visual video for a song on this release. We talked a lot about the mix of the album, possible reprocessing techniques, and the overall inspiration of the album. It was great hearing the album from the first roughs of the songs until now herring the final. We decided on making a video for ocean 3 which made me super happy being a sucker for all things water. I was able to use some footage I shot last September in Washington that’s some of my favorite nature stuff I have shot in a while and pair it with some generative video feedback that also resembled waves within video signals. I could not be any happier with the results of the video and very often herring a song over and over while working on it can make the magic of the song go away for me but this song grew on me more and more each time I listened to it.
Congrats John! Looking forward to it!
“ocean 3” went through a pretty big change after feedback from @robotboot. My initial version was basically just overdubbed guitars that pretty much were all the same timbre. The revision had all the other guitars ran through the modular. The whooshing is from three of them ran through three sisters with pretty high resonance. Weird reverbs are from running through rings and elements.
@nutritionalzero thank you! And thanks for the comparisons, I haven’t sat down and listened to any of these guitar players before, so it will be fun to see if I can pick up on my style when I do!
Very cool tunes. Congrats on the release!
WOW, surf is out of control good. in the absolute best way possible, I couldn’t tell if I had another tab open in the background with other music and was just experiencing an insane synchronous moment. the stereo spread on this entire album is gorgeous. wild stuff, thank you so much for sharing!
thank y’all all for the kind words, really appreciate it!
@dan_derks You have @papernoise to thank for surf…when I sent it out in February it was called interlude and was 1 minute long (which was really all I had in terms of “good” guitar recordings). It was his favorite of the bunch, so I wanted to try to see if I could extend to something more song length rather than scrap it. Things I did:
- warped and pitched it down (different algorithms in ableton hard panned left right)
- added vocal loop at the beginning. this is an iPhone recording from the hotel room my boyfriend and I stayed at in downtown Las Vegas which was totally not our vibe at all (sounded like a metal band playing in our room til 3am). I thought it was fun to make the song about (to me) doing something stupid (like accidentally booking a terrible hotel) and my partner being okay with it…love persisting even when you are a dumbass sometimes, lol
stereo-ness was achieved in mixing in two ways:
- I created a submix of elements I wanted to be more width and less center, and used ableton’s utility in M/S mode heavily towards the S side of things. I then put this compressor after it (UAD Vertigosound VSC-3) which has this cool dual mono mode that I feel like gives things in the side a certain “presence” that’s hard to describe. I am sure I was playing with fire doing that kind of stuff in terms of phase-coherency and stuff. Tried to test mono compatibility to make sure things weren’t audibly falling out of the mix before I sent to mastering.
- I would take whatever the main guitar was and send it to two return tracks, which would each be panned pretty hard left and right, and would use this random LFO m4l device to control amount of left/right. I think it helped make the main element float in the middle a little bit more than just being kind of static and boring straight in the center of the mix.