the new album is essentially finished, and has been for a few months. the only things to work out at this point are the special packaging and the mastering.
as i've mentioned in earlier blog entries, the engineering aspect of recording has been one of the bigger issues faced. the music is often a delicate balance of sounds and textures that may not easily fit together. it's been a long learning process figuring out mixing tricks and sweet spots.
the goal has been to make an album that not only surpasses our own past work, but also stands up both artistically and sonically to some of my favorite recordings. although we've done a lot towards that end ourselves, for that final step, we need professional mastering.
i've learned a lot about how to make things sound better than they ever have before. but there's a certain objectivity and knowledge that a professional engineer can bring. every major release of ours has been mastered, and the difference between the final mixes and the mastered version has been significant and definitely worth the expense.
as for the packaging, it's always been an important aspect of the final product to me. mass-produced CDs in standard jewel cases don't seem to have much point these days. in a time when people can download anything, nothing feels like it has much substance or value. part of the reason people have turned to vinyl is the cover art. i always strive to make ours fit the project and stand out, and this will be no exception.