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Beneath the planks progress

by Black Tape For A Blue Girl

Patron exclusive


I thought you might be interested in hearing what I’ve been working on in the studio. Here's progress on the 2023 Stereo Mix of "Beneath the planks," as well as an A/B comparison to the 1987 2-track mix.

I’m remixing the MESMERIZED BY THE SIRENS album for release in summer 2023. I had the 1/2-inch 8-track analog multitrack tapes baked & digitized, as well as the original 1/4-inch 2-track stereo mixes. I've been using the original 1987 mix as reference for the instrument and vocal levels as I do the remixing project. Consistently when comparing the mixes to the multi-track. I hear (a) the 1987 mix is shrill, (b) the instruments are buried behind the vocals, and (c) some instruments can hardly be heard at all. The 2023 mix restores the album to as good as it could have sounded back in the day. I’m not altering the performances or the flow, just doing a better eq and mix. It’s all much better sounding than what you have come to know — now you can discover what was hidden all these years.

Today is day two of my second pass through the album start to finish. The first pass was just to get everything into mix sessions, and a basic level. Now I’m fine tuning. I’m up to track 8, “Beneath the planks.” That’s what I’m sharing with you today….

1) Beneath the planks (12-23-22)
The current state of the mix. It’s not finished, it’s not mastered. It sounds pretty good already.

2) Beneath the planks (A/B)
A comparison between the 1987 mix, and what you listened to in track 1 (The 2023 Stereo Mix in progress). The original mix is slightly pitched up, it runs a few seconds shorter. One of the machines wasn’t at the right speed when I originally mixed.

Set up: I alternate between the mixes every 15 seconds. It starts with the 1987 mix (purple on the graphic) and then the 2023 mix (green):
:00-:15 — 1987 mix
:15-:30 — 2023 in progress
:30-:45 — 1987 mix
:45-1:00 — 2023 in progress
1:00-1:15 — 1987 mix
1:15-1:30 — 2023 in progress
1:30-1:45 — 1987 mix
1:45-2:00 — 2023 in progress
2:00-2:15 — 1987 mix
2:15-2:30 — 2023 in progress
2:30-2:45 — 1987 mix
2:45-3:00 — 2023 in progress
3:00-3:15 — 1987 mix

The new mix has more bass, it’s less shrill, Oscar’s voice is richer, and the levels between the vocals and the instruments seems much better (it sounds like the band is in the same room, instead of down an echo-y tile hallway).

Now go back and listen to #1 again. I think the difference is big. To me, the instruments and vocals sound cohesive. It sounds like there’s logic to the levels… rather than just cramming the vocals (or clarinet) out front, and hoping for the best! It’s so nice mixing digitally and having control over it!

You can compare the mix to the current digital version blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/track/beneath-the-planks — that was ripped off a CD 15+ years ago. It’s pretty similar to the 1987 mix in this case. The mastering we did back then sounds like it got a bit of compression, so it might be a bit more cohesive than the 2-track. It’s still pretty piercing.

Tell me what you think & what you hear.



released December 24, 2022


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Black Tape For A Blue Girl Portland, Oregon

Black Tape For A Blue Girl creates darkwave, ethereal, neoclassical, ambient, goth albums. This page also includes my ambient/electronic music, as well as side-projects. Thanks for listening. Sam

Patrons receive exclusive music: blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/patron

Formed in 1986
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