Mastering of a B-side

Today I was ‘Mastering’ I use the word loosely, an additional track for my single, “The Cold Monster”.

This is a challenge, as I am a decent Recording engineer and a good Mix engineer but I don’t consider myself in any way qualified to be a Mastering Engineer.

I’d had the Single Mastered by Adam Dempsey (a whole year ago!) and I’ve taken quite a while to get other aspects, such as art-work, band members, other songs etc, in order.  The idea of the additional track – which once would have been called a B-side – is to provide radio stations, which I will be sending the CD single out to, an opportunity to hear more of the music I make. This serves a number of purposes. a) let’s them know if the single is a representitive sample of my work, b) gives me more exposure and them more material to play on radio, and c) takes into account the different tastes of the station DJs.

“The Cold Monster”, a track I wrote and recorded over a decade ago, is not a conventional song.  The song was created from the sound I created for the guitar..  “The Cold Monster” was born of the emotion, which took form in the sound, which in turn, guided the song.  The song was also recorded to a four-track recorder – technology utterly primitive by today’s standards – which means it isn’t really representitive of all my work, which is made amply clear in the selection of the aforementioned ‘B-side’ – “Breathe”.

While “The Cold Moster” is stark in it’s limited track count (vocal, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums L, drums R) and yet consistantly dense in it’s texture, “Breathe” positively reeks of sharp jagged lines, breaks in pace and a substantial track-count.  The difference in the presentation of the two tracks may confound the willing, or not-so-willing DJ but I’ve decided to put my best non-conventional foot forward and “The Cold Monster” is the leading track.

So why did I do it?  Why did I Master “Breathe” myself, when I know getting a Pro like Adam in, is the right way to go?  Speed, cost effectivelness and knowing that when I do complete the album, the whole collection of songs will get the kid-gloves treatment from the man himself.  I also know, I have some of the tools needed to do the job – in this case I used the Elysia XPressor followed by the sweetening touch of the Elysia XFilter.  I needed to overcome the innertia of non-delivery – get the job done and the product out there! And isn’t that what it’s all about…