#rpm12 day 7: Done? Maybe

Once I “feel” that an album is done, I sometimes tend to rush through the mastering phase because I’m ready to just have it over with and move on with my life. I was in the middle of struggling through a new recording tonight that was coming out like crap, and suddenly I felt it. The album was done.

I had met my criteria, after all. I had 14 tracks ready. 15, once I split the first one in two as I had been planning. In total, everything clocked in at 47 minutes. Well beyond the minimal requirements to pass muster as an RPM album.

And so, with that, I decided to move into the next phase of the process: mastering. I was done with all of that in less than an hour. Yes, I work fast. It may not be the final master, but I want to have tracks with the proper compression and normalization applied when I’m listening to decide if it’s really done or not.

Then I had to figure out what to call all of these tracks. Up until now I had just been numbering them based on the order in which I started them. Fortunately I had made note of some possible song titles, and I ended up being able to give each a tentative title and work out the track order.

So, I’ve got cover art, mastered tracks, titles and a sequence. Kind of looks like I’m done. And I also did one more thing I’ve never bothered with before: I made a spreadsheet of all of the tracks and which iPhone apps I used on each, just so I could keep everything straight. Here it is:

Track Working Title Final Title Apps Used
1 12 Also Sprach Moog Animoog (x3)
2 4 (Does the World Really Need) More Music (?) Xenon
3 9 In But Not Of Air (x5)
4 13.2 Pocket Symphony (Mvt. 2) Beatwave
5 7 Epoch Elliptic Beatwave
6 1 Emphatic Saturation Animoog (x7), FunkBox
7 13.3 Pocket Symphony (Mvt. 3) Beatwave
8 8 Textires Trope (x2)
9 10 The Last Day on Earth Xenon, Argon (x2), Alchemy (x2), FunkBox, SoundPrism
10 14 (Already) Too Much Music (Already) TNR-i (x2)
11 11 Successive Failure GarageBand (x5), FunkBox, Alchemy, Animoog
12 13.1 Pocket Symphony (Mvt. 1) Beatwave
13 3 December 22, 2012 Alchemy (x2), SoundPrism (x2), FunkBox (x3), BeatMaker (x2), Argon (x6), Bebot, GarageBand (x2)
14 5 A Certain Sameness Bloom (x3)
15 13.4 Pocket Symphony (Mvt. 4) Beatwave

Yes, there’s a vaguely apocalyptic theme to the titles and, to a lesser extent, the music itself. I don’t believe the world is going to end this year, nor do I believe the Mayans believed that, but it makes for good thematic material.

2012 trailer

As titillating as apocalypse stories may be, I’ve never really believed that the world is going to end on the winter solstice in 2012, as “predicted” by the Mayan calendar. I don’t think they really predicted the end of the world; that’s just as far in the future as they bothered to calculate. Any culture that couldn’t anticipate needing to account for four-digit years a mere 30-odd years in advance should surely understand that kind of shortsightedness.

And so we have this grand new CGI-fest of an apocalyptic vision, 2012. Frankly the biggest surprise to me is that John Cusack would have anything to do with such a piece of overblown shite as this, but I suppose he’s an “A-lister” now, so it’s part of his pact with the devil.

Anyway… this movie looks like a grand spectacle, with a dreadful story. As usual with movies that are grand spectacles. Never mind that it’s set off on the wrong foot from the very beginning of the trailer — the Mayans were not the world’s first civilization. It’s not about making sense; it’s about setting up whatever minimal pretense is necessary to justify the image of an aircraft carrier smashing into the White House on the world’s biggest tsunami. But I think the best moment of the trailer is the highly symbolic shot of the crack spreading across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, right between the fingers of God and Adam. How come no Hollywood blockbuster writer ever thought of that before?!