[archive] How Not To Record a Mix CD

Originally posted to UK-Dance April 30th 2002:

1. Arrange day off while partner and offspring are with family.

2. Spend night before getting wasted after lengthy train journey sitting next to random suicidal (yet surprisingly conversational) teenager.

3. Drag Mac into living room and connect to temperamental mixer via dodgy cable that the bloke in Dixons swore blind was just what I needed.

4. Fire up hooky version of Soundedit and marvel at the vast array of buttons, files and so on. Errrrrrr?

5. Scratch head a lot whilst playing music into computer.

6. Note that nothing is happening. Turn up the volume. Turn down the volume, realising that this might blow soundcard.

7. Muck about with settings. Play back recording and note that it is muffled, and also features upstairs’ dog barking. WTF?

8. Consider emailing UK-Dance for help, but then realise this entails dragging Mac back to the other room.

9. Persevere. Get sound in mono. Make sandwich. Wonder if people will notice. Decide that, given past threads on mixer quality and all that, that they probably will.

10. Sort out stereo. Wash up, noticing that flat is still a tip from night before. Also develop lovely “between the eyes” headache.

11. Get records together. Start to see problems with mental tracklist.

12. Kick off!

13. Do first mix, cocking it up left right and centre. Attempt to remember last time actually touched cross fader. Damn.

14. 70 minutes later, play back on computer and go “oooh” a lot. Save as .wav file and burn to CD. Play back on CD walkman and marvel at how mix has transformed itself into an industrial glitch screechfest.

15. Re-save file as an AIFF instead and feel foolish. Worry about having two 600meg files on titchy hard drive.

16. Burn to CD, whilst hoovering. Nearly knock CD Burner off its precariously placed footstool.

17. Go out for a walk, trying to get rid of headache, but also listening to mix. Notice that have stopped in the middle of the road, hands over eyes, moaning “No noooooooooo! NO!” at numerous gaffes.

18. Come home. Find two teenagers smoking weed in entrance hall. Resolve to do the whole thing again later, after Eastenders. Properly this time. Oh yes.

19. Get to work. Restart after a few early cock ups and telephone call from partner.

20. Decide that beer will help. Open can, spraying Mac keyboard, and next record, with lager.

21. Make a few on the hoof decisions about tracklist.

22. Finish, burn, tidy up, bed.

23. Listen to mix on the way to work and realise that “exciting new” penultimate track is cheesy as you like.