Finally on my way home from a four week tour across the US. It’s was a nice tour. Saw my parents while we were in the northeast and lots of friends in between. I stayed out an extra 3 days to mix a few new songs with Darren Rust in Lakeville, MN. He and his family came out to the last show in Duluth, MN. and I drove back with them home. I’ve become pretty close to Darren and Gerri (his wife) and their 3 kids over the years as I’ve spent quite a lot of time mixing albums at Skyland Studios which is one of nicest home studios I’ve ever seen. This journey or relationship started way back in 1999 when we recorded our first album “Non-Fiction”. I was looking for a particular mixing sound and I came across a CD called “NOG” by the a cappella group “The Blenders”. I was very impressed with the mix and tracked down the man behind the sound… you guessed it… Darren Rust (also a member of “The Blenders” who have recorded 2 or 3 more Christmas albums over the last 10yrs!). Wow! That first N7 mix session was over 12yrs ago! Time flies when you’re having fun and it has been a lot of work, but fun to see the growth on both of our ends. It is most likely that the 3 songs we are mixing will be part of our 5th Studio Album (not counting Christmas and special compilations). I’ll talk more about the music later. (In another “trip”) One thing that I do want to share with you now is that I never fail to forget how much work it is mixing. It’s amazing… I sit and listen to music for about 16hrs for the day… round and round and it kills me. You would think I would enjoy it but I don’t. I think it is because it is the last stage of the creative process and there is no more room for imagination… this is it! It is done! Live with this for the rest of your life! Yep, that’s how it feels. So even when the final product is great and I know it is… my in- securities kick in + I’m usually exhausted from listening so hard and having to focus in on so much detail. I usually just want it to be over and go home. And then about 6 months later I forget the whole thing and can’t wait to be mixing again!
I know, it sounds crazy, but that’s the way it is. Totally a “love/hate” relationship. Well I’m on my flight home and I do feel like I’ve got some great work done. The N7 team has done it again… good work to all the guys in the band and everyone involved! So now what? I’ve learned that once I get home I have to not listen to the music for about 72 hrs. Why? Two big reasons; it allows me to focus on my family and for them to be #1 during that period. Next, it stops the songs bouncing around my head so that when I do listen to them again, I can actually hear them. This process has taken me years to develop and understand. After I hear a song a certain amount of times in a row, I start to lose objectivity. I immerse myself so deep into a piece of music that sometimes I have a hard time getting back out. (I probably should write about the whole process of creating a song from beginning to end one day… might be interesting to some of you). It’s a good thing that I’ve usually made all the important decisions before getting to the point of no return. So we’ll see what I’m thinking a few days from now… I promise to share :-)
The good news is I’m almost home and home is where I want to be!
The bad news is I may have pushed things too far by mixing right after touring and I’m feeling a little under the weather…
Sad… but still Glad to be almost home!
Talk to you all soon,
Take my advice and take care of yourself… you’ll be happy you did!
Over and out