DECEMBER 14, 2020.

I believe I have done all the things I have to do this year, at least before more things pop up. Which means I can theoretically devote some time to this album.


Not much. I learned that I tend to spread myself too thin, saying yes to everything and dreading doing the actual work, putting it off forever, and half the time it's super easy but just hard to make myself summon the willpower. I already knew this, it's just funny to see it pop up during quarantine. At least I don't have to go to any, like, band practices or anything.

I learned that if I'm supposed to play a part for someone as written, I need to get over myself and sit down and actually learn the thing. I can learn it with tape rolling, which makes me feel better/more productive, but I need to know that no matter how good I feel about my incremental progress, I will never use any of the early takes. More likely I'll do one day of intense learning and then go back a couple days later to "punch in" a couple things and whoops, it's easier to just record the whole song, isn't it??

Speaking of recording too many takes, I need to get another external hard drive. This is getting a little dire, I do not want to be 95% away from album completion and not have it backed up. I should've done this during Cyber Friday or whatever but it was too late. The more I think about this, the worse I feel.

If we're talking about things I need to buy, I need to either get some time in front of a real engineer who can show me how best to mic the upright bass with the things I have, or do some serious research and see if I can find literally any mic for less than... god. even $300 that will give me that crisp, projecting tone that I desire. Of course everyone on the internet is like "put a neumann in front" and, like, maybe I'll spend that money if I ever have to record god, a $3000 mic will not make me any better at using a mic or mixing its output

What else? I feel like I watched some mix demo videos that caused an ever so subtle shift in my workflow, which is to say - treating recording and mixing as separate stages. I will never be black and white on this, I am too much of a robot. But also out of necessity for the energy that I have after walking an hour to my space and recording - I do not want to sit in that uncomfortable tiny room with my stupid trackpad and have to even select takes. And when I do all the recording at once, it means I can then do all the mixing at once. Things always get added at the end. It will always be like this. But I feel like this makes me slightly more scrutable as a producer.

Probably that's it. On the song for the Christmas comp I did some fairly radical EQing, and I reacquainted myself with an old favorite plugin for thickening up leads and I think I may be employing it on some of the harder-to-mix songs where my vocals aren't quite present enough.

Work is nominally done for 4 weeks. I am sure there will be more to do - in fact, there's stuff I have been holding out on doing because I knew this gap in paychecks was coming and I wanted to still be able to get paid. I know most of my coworkers do not have this ability, I should keep an eye on them. What a stupid goddamn country


Oh right. Haven't thought about it since I last wrote, too many other fires in the iron. With every second that passes, I grow less content with the one lyric in Three Word Phrase I've rewritten 1,000 times. I don't know if I'll ever find one I'm content with. Oh maybe this is a lesson I learned from the Christmas song - it was in Japanese, I was translating it, but... gently. I knew it didn't have to be super poetic and beautiful or even like hilariously subversive. I wanted to be respectful to the songwriters, I wanted it to be singable and faithful to the Japanese meaning. There are some spot rhymes I inserted but the Japanese didn't rhyme (unless there is a different type of rhyming or other type of word symmetry in Japanese that I am completely ignorant of). My translation is kind of prosaic, but it is by no means a masterpiece, and probably nobody expects it to be one. Probably people are just going to be happy that I liked this Japanese Christmas song to translate it to sound like All I Want For Christmas Is You & I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, with a little of Walking On Sunshine & Mr. Blue Sky. I'm just trying to draw the Venn diagram. That's my primary cultural function, I draw circles around things that are similar.

But yeah. I forsee a couple vocal dubs, probably some banjo-playin' in my future. And lots of mixing, and lots of getting tired of mixing. And then I'm probably going to bring someone else in to consult on the design/packaging, just to make it easier on me.

Hey! Is someone reading this? Are they the sort of person that does designy things and might have a terrifying yawning expanse of time over the holidays? Hit me up, maybe I can hire you to do some work. Wow, this ended weird!!