Tuesday, 17 January 2012

New mixtape up! - Walternate's 80s Simulation mix

I’ve just posted up my new mixtape this morning so click on the player below to have a listen.

It’s another Electro House type mixtape, but this time its 80s styled, inspired both by my love of 80s music but also by the character of Walter/Walternate in the US TV series Fringe.

Being a science fiction based detective show, Fringe introduced the idea of an alternate universe into its main story – in particular one that is very similar to ours in many aspects and yet also subtly different. All the characters that appear in our universe also exist there, albeit most are slightly different in their personality, mostly as a result of their environment and what has happened in their life.

In our universe, Walter Bishop (played by John Noble) is a brilliant yet socially awkward scientist and in the other alternate universe the other Walter – dubbed “Walternate” (also played by John Noble) is a dastardly, ruthless and ambitious genius – now also the Secretary of Defence. The main reason for these wildly differing personalities being the former’s incarceration in a mental hospital for twelve years, and the latter being on a personal quest for vengeance ever since he had his son stolen from him many years ago.

Anyway, the point is that at one point in time these two were very similar and it was these major events listed above that contributed to how they turned out later in life. This is shown in a few episodes of Fringe were it is set in the 80s and we see what happens to both characters.

Anyways… I’m off track again. So this mix is an 80s ‘simulation’ – because although its definitely 80s styled, all the tracks in the mix are actually fairly recent ones – hence the title.

Now a couple of technical notes on the mix.

I used Sound Studio again – and because the software isn’t really meant for this kind of thing, lots of weird annoying things happen when making the mix which usually means I spend a lot more time checking and correcting things in post than in the actual mixing.

Specifically, there are occasional audio spikes that appear randomly causing nasty clicking sounds and in turn, this caused the audio after that to suddenly drop in volume (I think this is an automatic countermeasure). This means I have to go through the track and manually remove all the clicks (usually by zooming in on the wave and editing) – but also annoyingly have to go around fixing all the volume so it’s consistent through the whole mix.

The most annoying thing however, is the randomness. I could have a totally fine mix, and then after having added more tracks and saved over and then reopening the file, would find MORE clicks or volume drops added. Aaargh!!!!

I’ve scoured the interwebs but to no avail. Nobody else has this problem as they don't really use Sound Studio to make mixtapes, nor have I found any similar problems on any forums.

Previously I thought the variable formats and bit rates of different tracks used may have something to do with it and so I converted all the tracks prior to mixing but the problems did crop up eventually as before in previous mixes. I am now starting to think that it may be to do with volume levels and so although I did lower each tracks volume prior to mixing, next time I will put together the whole mix at a much lower volume than usual and just raise it all at the end – or even use an entirely different software to amplify the volume at the end before publishing.

Anyway, that's the idea (a new mixtape is already in the works) so we’ll see if I have better results then. I’ve rambled on for long enough - so if you haven’t already done so have a listen to this mixtape by pressing ‘play’ in the embedded player.


Oh- and if you want to check out my previous mixtapes click HERE for my mixcloud page, or HERE for a more detailed writeup and links for each one.

17 Jan 2012

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