- There's always scrap paper handy
- Who likes to clean their car?
- There's always, always enough change to pay the meter if you look long enough
- Rediscovering lost CDs
- It's a good excuse for someone else to drive to lunch
- Easier to keep track of which fast food places you've visited so that you can diversify
- Nobody breaks in to a junky car
- When your kid spills their Big Gulp? No cleanup.
- You're always reminded of the fallen-ness of man
- When you finally clean it, it's like you have a new car
Someone asked about mixing.
There's a pretty big difference between the kind of mixing we're doing during the recording process and the kind of mixing Todd Robbins is doing. We're actually not mixing anything, really. We're pushing the faders up and down so that we can hear what we need to hear in order to record the next track, but there's very little messing with the EQ and very little reverb or other effects added. Sure, we're mixing in the most basic sense.
But here's what makes guys like Todd so amazing to me. (And there's a fair bit of assumption going on here, because I'm not around for the nuts and bolts of the mixing.) We deliver the songs to the engineer in an edited but completely unmixed form. He then has to listen to every single instrument all the way through. He compresses, equalizes, gives it reverb and makes it sound just right. He does it with the drum tracks (and maybe each of the ten or so mics on the drums), then he does it with the bass, the four or five different guitar tracks, and so on. Once he has everything sounding as good as possible, he starts the actual programming of the volume. The faders "remember" where they were at different parts of the song, so that when he pushes STOP, the faders all slap down to zero volume. When he pushes PLAY at whatever part of the song he wants, the faders snap into position like soldiers. As the song goes by, he can push the volume up or down on, say, my lead vocal, so that if I sang something too quietly he can adjust it. The next time the song plays, the program remembers the volume adjustment. (I'm writing this with the assumption that you're unfamiliar with all manner of sound stuff.)
He'll listen to it about a zillion times and make minute adjustments to the volume levels, reverb levels, etc., until he's ready for us to listen. We come in and listen, take notes as the song goes by, and make suggestions. The fact that he's coming into it without having heard anything of the recording process (and in this case without having heard any of my music) has advantages and disadvantages. The good thing is, his ears are fresh. He's going to hear things we can't anymore. The bad thing is, he might not immediately sense the direction we were going for with the song. See, he can make the song sound warm or modern or crisp or low-fi or vocal heavy or electric guitar heavy or a thousand other things.
That's why I get excited about the mixing process; it's as close as I'll come to hearing these songs as if for the first time.
So he's mixed "Invisible God" and most of "Rocket". I haven't heard any of it yet, but Ben says it sounds great.