Really. I spent the next three or so years rebooting Win 98 SE every time the graphics interface got confused and froze my machine, and intermittently getting work done and cursing the fact that I could not automate my fader moves. The album’s playlist changed here and there along the way, but to list all those permutations would take more time than I have or more than you would care to devote to hearing about it. (It’s probably enough that you’re listening to these rants.)
My wife, halfway sick to death of my incessant complaining and the other half tired of the way this project was keeping me from her, authorized funds allocation for a new machine in 2004. I chose an Abit AI7 mainboard (thereby not repeating the same mistakes I had made with the previous system, namely that it was not a PC Chips board, had no onboard graphics, and possessed a real Intel chipset as recommended by Echo Audio), 2.8 GHz P4, 1 GB DDR SDRAM, 550 watt power supply. An upgrade of 98 SE to XP Professional, and of Cake Pro Audio to Sonar, and that was that pretty well sorted. That is still my production system today; the old machine is now relegated to staging/development status.
I made various passes at the album over the last three years, picking up some of the Radiant City canon and discarding other bits, and generally getting discouraged and letting it lie for a while here and there before picking it up again. Up until this last attempt at it, which I started in November, I never truly got the results I was looking for.
The tracks were already there, more or less– that is, they were in a state I could work with. (Translated: they didn’t sound like I was playing with my feet.) It was the actual balancing that had always given me grief in the past, but now– I found I was managing quite well. I think what did it for me was discovering and using the mono button on the 2-bus. That’s all I’ll say about that particular revelation.
I managed to force my attention on pieces the band had had a hand in writing, as opposed to things I had written and the band had played. More often than not this represented music that had come from jamming in the rehearsal space, or snippets brought forward by the others, which I fanned into full flame. (The next record, I believe, will feature the remainder of that material and quite a bit of the solo-written stuff in the Radiant City repertoire, and maybe a surprise or two.)
But I think the main difference with this attempt at mounting Everest was that this time, I assigned a drop-dead completion date (in this case, February 1). After that date, I reasoned, I would have it behind me and know it.
It… didn’t quite work out that way. As alluded to in previous entries here, I’ve done some tweakies since, and have a few more yet to do. But hey… it’s almost ready to drop.