Saturday, 23 February 2013

Airfix Democracies - Album Remastered

Here is my album "Airfix Demcoracies", remastered to sound clearer and better. As always it's a free download, so go right ahead:

I knew when it was released that the tracks didn't sound quite like they should. So the last couple of months has been interesting (and frustrating) journey of teaching myself about compression, limiters, and mastering in general.

I do feel bad for everyone who already downloaded the album, especially those who donated some money for it too. It wasn't my intention to make you download everything again - I'll try and make it up to you somehow.

Here's some thoughts about the process and end result:
  • The tracks are not as loud as I'd have like them to be*
  • However, this is a bright, summer rock album, so a lighter production fit the best
  • I'm still restricted by my skills, equipment and software
  • They are much clearer than the original tracks released in Oct 2012, but not necessarily louder, since the original tracks have lots of peaking** (which is not cool at all)
  • Maybe one day I'll get a proper recording engineer to mix & master them. Maybe...
  • I've learnt a hell of a lot, and I'm feeling a lot happier about mixing and mastering my next recording!

* "Loudness", i.e. a song sounds literally louder than another song when they are played at the same volume on the same speakers.***

** There is a maximum volume limit, or ceiling, for mixing/mastering: 0dB. "Peaking" is when the volume goes louder than this, and can't be processed by the stereo/amplifier/speakers, and is turned into noise.***

*** Over the decades, there has been an arms race to make recordings louder, so that your recording will sound louder (and more noticeable) than others when played on the radio, TV, etc. etc. This has been called the Loudness Wars.
The trick to making recordings louder is using up more of the space available under the 0dB ceiling, usually with the use of compressors and limiters. The drawback of making recordings louder is a reduction in dynamic range, i.e. there is less difference between quiet parts and loud parts of a song. This has resulted in trickery being used to make quiet parts of a song (e.g. verse) seem quieter than the louder parts (e.g. chorus) when in fact both are pushing up against the 0dB ceiling.

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