Tuesday, April 2, 2013

3WSC Volume 19 Has Arrived!

...and without further ado, we invite you to grab something solid and click on the album cover to the right of these words.  Brace yourself for three brand new tracks from the likes of Honah Lee, Language, and Decades!

Mega-Subscribers, your songs are cozily nestled in your subscription folder! (What's a "mega-subscriber?"  See the sidebar on the right of this page.)

Want to share a link with friends or on your own blog?  Here: http://music.itavrecords.com/album/3-way-singles-club-vol-19

Funny story, when I first posted these songs earlier today, I quickly got a note from Honah Lee's Tim Hoh indicating that their track was sounding wack.  Well, I don't pretend to know everything, and today that was brought into sharp relief as one of the great mysteries of audio mastering was made known to me:

Nearly everything we've put out in the last two years has been mastered at 44.1 kHz, a fact that had remained vague to me because of its very ubiquity.  But Honah Lee's track (clearly marked in sharpie on the CD-R, no less) was provided to me at a higher resolution 48 kHz.  Not really understanding the difference, I ftp'd the audio file over to Mohnish Das to master in the scrupulous manner that he's been doing since Volume 10.  I didn't include that vital bit of information, thus setting off the chain of events that led to Tim's e-mail.  A quick phone call to New Jersey brought the issue to light: the track was about 12 seconds longer, and slower, due to being mastered at 44.1 kHz along with the other two songs.  Everything was pitched down slightly.  The song's original breakneck tempo sounded like it had been enjoying some of Lil Wayne's fabled purple drank.

Mohnish immediately set to work on a fix, and since he wisely keeps notes of his mastering settings, we were able to have the corrected track back up by this evening.  Thus the disabled download for part of this afternoon, and I apologize for any inconvenience that may have caused.

But you didn't know that about audio mastering either, did you?  Or, maybe you did?  Looking at It Takes A Village's subscriber list it strikes me that some of you probably did.  You're an erudite lot.  Well, now I do too.  I have to admit, I mostly understand now, it's all still a little fuzzy as to what the difference is.  And I even read Tape Op!  I apologize to Honah Lee for almost releasing a compromised version of their song, they were very gracious about it.  Tragedy narrowly averted.

People could assume that because I'm behind the scenes, I know how to do everything involved in putting professional quality music out. The truth is, I couldn't do it without a lot of help.  I'm good at organizing projects and bringing them to fruition, but without all the talented musicians and engineers that have taken part in the 3-Way Singles Club none of this would happen -- at least not at the level we've been able to maintain.  Today we released the 55th, 56th, and 57th singles in the series -- that's as many songs as Heinz Ketchup has varieties of pickles.

Learning is a process, we are never experts.

Rather than crippling, I find that epiphany inspiring.  There's no reason that anyone can't make great recordings if they are starting with the most important ingredient: great songs.  My own flounderings in my home studio recording as Stargrazer with my 4-track and Garageband have evolved from "unlistenable" to "charmingly lo-fi" in a relatively short amount of time.  With continued good fortune, good teachers, and yes even hiccups and mistakes, I hope to improve my personal skills and knowledge; and I'm grateful not only for the vast supporting cast that makes It Takes A Village Possible but also for the people who listen and for those who eagerly anticipate our next offering.

More about that later.  Go rock out to the new single.