Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"I Thought I Knew" Mix

Technically the fourth mix, but I've skipped the real third one (Screamer) until I can get a handle on the song and figure out what the hell to do with it.

Anyway, this song is called "I Thought I Knew". I would say, for the moment in time when the album was recorded, this represents one of the definitive 'Felix Amour' songs. For me it really sums up our style. It's heavy on the Floyd influences, broody, moody and nice.

Musically the song ventures from a dry, cold place to a heavier, more confident world. Since the song describes a journey / change, it was important that the music also represented that. If I recall correctly, the original version was much heavier right from the beginning of the song, but during recording we decided to tone the start down to bare minimum. I sometimes regret that, only because the guitar sounded so great screaming in straight from the opening drum/bass line; however, this version clearly matches the lyrics better. As was the case with Circles, we obviously had something against placing a standard chorus in standard recurring places. We tended to write musical narratives (musical - not necessarily lyrical) rather than songs. Still love this song musically - drums/bass/guitars.

Lyrically the song is one personality addressing another, with the now passive personality regretting the decision to allow the dominant personality 'airtime'. The passive personality remembers awaking 'one night' during a dream to find that the dominant personality had completely taken over and now is relegated to the sidelines. There is a hint that the fight is far from over, as in the final lines the now hidden personality describes sitting and waiting for an opportunity for a return. To personalize it, it's a pretty clear condemnation of the person I had become in my opinion. The vocals were intended to be 'dry' at the start representing a confused and defeated sound, although I wonder if they aren't perhaps a bit too dry and drifty on pitch - overselling it. Later in the song when the narrator accepts his new role, gains a bit of confidence (and bitterness) and starts to plan for the future, the vocal style follows suit. I'd probably rerecord the vox if I had my druthers.

Don't remember much about the recording of this song, but the mixing was definitely a challenge. Not sure how we originally did it, but we had tracks crammed in every conceivable blank space on the 8 available tracks. Jeff and I could never quite could get the live mix correct, for good reason, so the mix on the original cassette lacked in my opinion. I ended up splitting out the tracks to 13 tracks. Also, I did a bit of cutting and pasting, removed a redundant musical stanza that never panned out. and removed some other cruft. Added more of the 'one night' vocals around to fill out the song. As mentioned in a previous blog post, this was the first mix that I attempted to get spatial separation. I used a HRTF effect to separate the tracks spatially, and the Haas effect on the lead guitar. All in all, I think it is a much more mature mix than my previous attempts - although, that may only be true in headphones. I haven't tested in on many monitor setups.

Here are the tracks. A note about file types and relative qualities - the range of qualities is:


I Thought I Knew.flac (47MB)
I Thought I Knew.wav (92MB)

Next Best
I Thought I Knew.ogg (23MB)
I Thought I Knew.mp3 (20MB)

I'd use the flac or the ogg (details on how to set it up can be found here), but that is just me. For Windows users it's probably easiest to just grab the mp3 or the wav.

As usual, comments/suggestions on the mix welcome.

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