As I've mentioned, I'm in the process of remastering/remixing some of the old tracks from a band I used to play in called Felix Amour. The second remix I attempted is a song called 'Circles'.
To start, my recollection of writing the lyrics is pretty clear. The song came out of a 6 month stay in a semi-remote cabin where the band concentrated on just living and writing music together on a full time basis. The lyrics came out of a 'stream of consciousness' session where I wrote down all my thoughts about what was going on at that particular moment in my life. As usual, the impetus involved a girl - this time it was with regards to my imminent breakup with a girlfriend. Basically, I noticed that my exact physical situation at that particular moment served as a perfect metaphor for my emotional situation. The 'circles' in my physical world were the round globes of a hanging light fixture which were indeed casting shadows on the floor. It was a particularly windy night, and there actually was a 'castle built with cards' on the table. In my emotional world, the circles were thoughts that were spiraling though my head, with the wind representing change that I wanted to usher in but wasn't because of the concern of the consequences. Lyrically I eventually accept that change is coming and inevitable, so I sarcastically start to ask my 'ex' if there was something that she missed while stripping away everything I had. The second lyrical reference to a circle confirms this acceptance and refers to me regaining confidence. The circle also represents the fact that the band itself was strengthening as a group with the band's version of those lyrics represented by the alternate background vocal track.
During mixing I noticed (for the first time) that this song actually doesn't have an official chorus - which is odd. I suppose the 'Take a look around me' lines serve as something of a chorus - but this doesn't really offer the listener any release or shelter. This fact probably adds to the 'unrelenting' feeling of the song. The original album version ended with a cheezy explosion leading to a song called 'The Finale'. This ending is much better.
The mix was far more difficult than Home, and in fact, still represents a 'work in progress'. Unbelievably, we had managed to squash 29 unique tracks into that 8 track recording. No kidding the song was hard to mix originally! Once I split out all the different tracks, things got a bit clearer; however, there were still many difficulties. Everything about the song is maxed out the whole way. Guitars, drums, bass, vocals are all 'hot', so building a nice distinguishable mix is difficult and something I'm still learning how to do. Adding a compressor to the output has helped a lot, but I think it may need more work. Also, the original drum track was on the 8th track of 8, meaning it was on the very edge of the tape - and somewhere in the process (probably just from poor storage), that track had become munged at different points throughout the song. I had to basically slice up the track and rebuild the missing areas from other parts of the song, etc. Overall, the drum mix ended up quite nice - I don't think you can hear the splices. This same process had to be done for a couple other spots in other tracks, but nothing near as extensive as with the drums. The final issue I ran into was processing power. Unfortunately my computer is underpowered to be doing a 29 track live mix all with effects and automation; however export mix still works. So I had to do the mix in sections live, then hope for the best when doing the final mix.
Anyway, here are the tracks. A note about file types and relative qualities - the range of qualities is:
I'd use the flac or the ogg (details on how to set it up can be found here), but that is just me.
Comments / suggestions / thoughts welcome.