On Saturday I picked up a CD from Tim with rough mixes. So now I'm listening to raw recordings of the initial ghost tracks (piano and vocals that will be re-recorded), drums, and all the guitar work that's been done: bass, acoustic, twelve-string, clean and dirty rhythm guitar.
Tim warned me that none of it had been mixed properly yet; to do so would be a waste of time as he'd have to do it all again once the piano, strings, lead guitars, synth, and all the vocals are added. Everything is in there as we laid it down, nothing's been refined yet. So while I was loving hearing all the parts come together, I'm also hearing a lot of stuff that will be weeded out to make the sound clean and be what we want it to be.
I think I'm a little like a rough mix sometimes. There's good stuff in there but I need to filter it out of the extra clutter. There's my philosophy for today.
And so the work has begun: I listen to the rough mixes on the computer, bit by bit in each song, then score up parts for strings. I have a program that lets me key in the notes (point and click) and hear it in playback, so while it's time-consuming I'm hearing the sound right away. Piece by piece, I work through the songs and figure out the new parts.
And on the non-musical front I'm figuring out what I want the CD to look like, jacket art and photos and what I'll write in it - thanks, dedications, etc. I have parts of that composed in my mind but need to get it on paper.
Even with all this there is still a surreal quality about it all. When will it be real? When I hold the finished CD in its nice tidy case in my hands? When I launch it? I don't know.