Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Set 33 - Progress Report

Guess what I'm listening to for around the 20th time in two weeks? That's right--Set 33! I'm in Hell!!!! ;-D No! Scratch that! NO winkie face! I'M IN HELL!!!!!

The last 48 hours are the worst. One day everything sounds fantastic, the next everything sounds wrong. Monday night was all fantastic--Tuesday night was all wrong, this due to reviewing the set on my "bassy" headphones and finding the levels not as perfect as they were on by "trebly" headphones. And I have only until around midnight tonight to get it all straightened out. Schedule is to finish listening this morning, make a round of volume edits during lunch (each such edit a terrifying experience since these have the potential to ruin the set), and then listen again in the afternoon. Then I head back to the motel, pay for my next week there, shower, pack a change of clothes, and come back to the office to edit and listen once again. If all goes well I will post the set by 10 PM. Then I'll have to check the downloads to make sure they are working, give a download another listen (though most likely I'll spot check it), and then announce it to the world around midnight--that is, 7 AM in Romania, 6 AM in Paris, 5 AM in London.

One thing is certain: the transitions sound remarkable--recording is now DONE. Nothing needs re-recording.

The problems at this stage always lie with the sound levels, and for reasons I've written about on this blog before...well...the bottom line is that one is doomed to fail. Either the set starts off too soft, or it winds up distorting. All I can do is accept that on a technical level the set cannot ever sound as good as I dreamed it would, and to hope that the listener enjoys the DJ'ing on display. So if the first hour is too soft, get an amplifier! If it's distorted in spots, consider it an "underground" touch. ;-)

While there is always a sense of disappointment in the final result due to the aforementioned, I always find that when I return to the set a week or two later I am quite happy with how it sounds. I'm a bit myopic right now, hearing only the trouble spots, and unable to enjoy all the fireworks on display. Like, hahaha, this transition I'm listening to right now, where a trance song suddenly turns into the perfect banjo-pickin' accompaniment to a rockabilly tune (who knew?). Lots of good stuff here, and I need to keep reminding myself of that during these tough final hours.

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