We are raising funds for mastering, graphic art and reproduction of the finished product! Now here's the story behind the project...
So I had written a bunch of new songs, four of which I had produced. For some reason they were not living up to the potential of the material. I wanted to create a cohesive and cool sound for an album but this sound was not "it". Hence, in my discussions (my complaints, actually) with my girlfriend, Min Young Lim "The Wise", we decided I needed to get off my ass and enlist a producer.
Finding a producer is very difficult for someone with virtually no budget but the name Etienne de Rocher flashed across my brain as someone who would bring that element of magic to the table. He had done such magic with Sean Hayes in a basement on limited equipment, so I sent him an email with a link to some demos. Bear in mind we didn't know each other and he lives in Athens, Georgia and I live in San Francisco. A week or so passed and he responded saying he would like to do it but first wanted to play with a mix of one of my demos and see what I thought. Not surprisingly, the mix was stellar and he added amazing keyboard parts and percussion. So it was on!
Two weeks later I was in Athens, Georgia, recording live with my guitar and vocals with drummer Andrew Borger (Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco). Etienne and engineer Jason Robira had prepared the room and Andrew was nothing short of spot on. It's always risky to groove with someone you don't know but we hit it off perfectly, forming the basic tracks for the whole CD just about and starting out with All in a Day, which I feel is the best single on the record. We also had a lovely time in the evenings at Etienne's place, particularly hanging out with his brother, Julian, also a music man, and swell fellow. His opinions inform Etienne, which is something to be said, considering Etienne's musical knowledge and taste.
Later on we did overdubs in San Francisco at Hyde Street C, under the masterful engineering and mixing prowess of Scott McDowell. My long time musical compadre Ben Bernstein, laid down some awesome bass tracks along with Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco), a total monster. Trumpeter Doug Ellington and saxophonist Chazz Alley came in as well, performing some amazing horn parts and we got the lovely and stellar Emily Schmidt and genius, David Newman, to sing harmonies. David also added some great guitar. I brought in Jenny Kerr to sing and play some banjo on an outtake that will be released as a single later on and also Catherine Sommer to layer some tremendous singing.
Mostly, Etienne has added flavor on all instruments, including guitar, bass, vocals, all keys and sound effects and he has an undeniable flare for mixing and sound-scaping. He has been more attentive to the music than I and has done a mountain of work very generously.
Now we are on the cusp of finishing but need to master, create graphic design and reproduce the CD's which can cost a pretty penny beyond what I've already spent. So thanks for stopping by and take a gander at the prizes, including an advanced signed copy of the CD for $20, mailed to your door!
Mastering is the final step to sequence the CD, put in the proper time spacing between songs and most importantly to EQ the mixes so they sound good for play. The volume of the tracks also needs to be set so the CD plays at the proper volume. Final mixes are usually much quieter than a mastered version.
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