I’ve just posted the second movement of the Piano Concerto, remixed using my latest instrument samples. It’s as big an improvement over the previous mix I posted, as that mix was over the one before that.
I took a painting class ‘way back during one of the summers between my junior-high-school years. At one point, we were painting clouds, and the instructor told us, “Sometimes when you’re painting a cloud, you’ll start to see shapes in the clouds you’ve painted — houses, faces, animals. When that happens, the best thing to do is to paint over the whole thing, and start over. Because no matter how many times you try to paint the face out of the cloud, it will still be there, and it will drive you crazy.”
It’s the little things that make you crazy when you’re remixing music. I thought I had a good mix at one point, created a full mixdown track, and then, when I listened to it — for probably the hundredth time this week — the piano had this one note that was too loud. It poked me in the ear.
“Nah,” I told myself. “No one will hear that. There are dozens of little errors in this performance, things that aren’t as smooth as they should be, phrases that aren’t as expressive as I’d like, other choices with the instrumentation that might have worked out better. This is just one more little thing.”
I listened again. It poked me in the ear. In fact, now I couldn’t hear anything else in that section.
It was a face in the cloud.
I went back and fixed that note. And two more that were bothering me.
I’ve been doing that for a couple of weeks, now.
There comes a point where you just have to let it go. So here it is.
This mix actually comes fairly close to the way I’ve heard it in my head all these years. I really am pleased with it.
(Music at http://www.themonthebard.org/music).
Postscript: I got up this morning and re-listened with fresh ears, and there’s another spot that poked me in the ear, where I needed to exchange the viola and cello parts. Just one phrase. One tiny phrase. But now it won’t bother me.