Slowly, but surely, the 15th Anniversary reissue of my debut album, Neon Apocalypse, is starting to come together.
Well… the first part of it, anyway.
As you may recall, I announced toward the end of last year my intention to release the reissue as a two CD set – the original 10-song album remastered, and a collection of re-recordings done in 2005 along with some acoustic takes (very similar to what I did with Lemonymix). I still intend to do that. But the original album stuff has taken a little longer than I have wanted. And that’s mainly because I’ve had to compile all the tracks from stems out of their original recording sessions – done in Cool Edit Pro (now Adobe Audition) – and, in some cases, re-recorded bad, out-of-tune, or missing parts.
Yes, I organized things so terribly back then that I actually have a few parts missing.
The trick has been, essentially, to re-record as little as possible, in order to keep the songs sounding as close to the original as possible. In the event that a part was recorded somewhat out of tune or the part was missing altogether, I don’t really have a choice. The intent of this re-release is to get the album sounding up to snuff, get it online (much like I did with Lemonymous last year) and to let it compete in the market. I can’t do that if parts are out of tune. I can get the rest by on its home-made charm (which, in fact, I want in there). Even with its glaring flaws, I’m very proud of what I did then, particularly in what I accomplished at 19-21 years of age, and in seeing how far I’ve come.
That being said, here’s the status of a few of the tracks.
Echo Papa – Thankfully, I have not had to re-record anything in this song. I did, however, replace the original “bleep loop” that was played on guitar with a synthesized bleep, which is more in tune and can be mixed into the track better. I did the same with another small guitar part in the bridge, using a synthesizer not just because it was in tune (the original guitar part was not) but because it ties this rather punky-garage-rock tune aesthetically to the synthetic and poppy nature of the rest of the album, thereby allowing it to sit a little better with songs like “ElevenThree” and “Dogtown”, even. I also entirely replaced the original drums (done on terrible midi software Cubase at the time), with a drum machine in Logic that sounds much more realistic. This thing is a ball of energy now.
Lemon Tea – I had to re-record some stuff for this, namely a high guitar part in the chorus and the final high guitar parts (very Edge-like) at the end. The original versions were out of tune, if barely. The good thing is that I was able to find a sound that approximated what I did back in 1999 (originally recorded off my karaoke machine, volume turned way up and the echo all the way up – was a fun sound to play with). The original session had acoustic guitars in the third verse, but I removed those as they just cluttered up the mix.
ElevenThree – As this is supposed to be the heavy song of the album (in emotion, not sonically) I wanted to ensure that this sounds as amazing as it can. I replaced the original drums with new ones out of Logic, re-recorded a couple of the subtle picking guitar parts that fill up space and add color, and completely re-recorded the main Edge-like riffs. The song now feels a whole lot more like what it was intended to be back then, without removing much of what made it what it was. I’m still very much of the belief that this could be a huge hit of a song.
Stay tuned! Lots more to come.