The end stages of making an album

I had to laugh a few months back when I saw a tweet that went “The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time, and the last 10% takes another 90% of the time

I’ve recorded/mixed/produced an album by a mate of mine, and all the mixes are done. The final task has been to put together a mock-up of the alum running order, with song transitions, segues between tracks etc.

I started doing it around noon today, going through each session to bounce it down to a wav, making a handful of slight tweaks to each track - literally simple stuff like knocking a single word up a dB, or pushing a little more sub bass into a song that sounded bass light alongside others.

Then the 13 tracks all went into a master file where I lined them up and did a DIY mastering job to bring the volume up and make the tracks consistent, then went through and put region markers across the resulting 50 minute DAW session so it would bounce them out as seperate wavs.

Then I sat to listen to the resulting album, and while doing so…

I noticed one track had an artefact apparently caused by Melodyne at a point where it’s not doing anything, so I had to go back and re-bounce that.

And I’ve just done that, I’ve still got 6 tracks to listen through for problems, and I’ve been doing this for 6 1/2 hours… on an album that’s, for all intents and purposes, finished.

This last stage always takes longer than I imagine.


Don’t your ears get tired! Or your brain for that matter? I can’t work on a song too much all at once or else I become useless at it and start making things worse.

I had a couple of breaks to put food in the oven. Come to think of it, my lunch is probably burned now… :sweat_smile:

Nah, I’ve always been pretty good for getting into the flow and really concentrating on something to the point where time seems to fly without my noticing. And in this case, between every song was a approx. 10 minute period of silence while the track rendered, then I got the resulting file uploading to my Onedrive. So it wasn’t constant, relentless noise.

And, I think the fact it was 13 different songs helped. Even so, as evidenced by this thread I did get bored. :expressionless:

Thing is, when it comes to putting all the tracks together into one kind-of-cohesive whole, I’m not sure there’s any way round having one long final session because, at least for me, I need to have a handle on all the songs at the same time in my mind to work out which ones are bass light, or too bright, or not as dynamic etc as the rest and work out whether that’s a problem or not. I guess it’s like a mastering session in that regard.

It’s done now. I’m going to leave it a couple of hours then go out for a late night city drive - that’s the real test!

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