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Wednesday
May012013

Daydream Generation 11

A new recording of an old song, titled "Moss," is on the latest Daydream Generation compilation. Smally at Quixodelic Records (the unofficial label of Impaled Peach) occasionally puts these things together to help cross-promote independent artists.

This isn't the first time Impaled Peach has been featured. Tracks such as "The Cathode Commission" (then "Autumntide"), "Ilium Bromide," and a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Avalanche" have appeared on previous Daydream compilations.

Read what Smally has to say about it, or head straight for the download page to hear about two hours of home-brewed quixodelic audio.

Or, check out "Moss" below:

Tuesday
Jan222013

You Don't Have To Be Fashionable

Impaled Peach has been featured in the very first volume of You Don't Have To Be Fashionable, a compilation of 13 DIY pop tracks by as many artists from around the globe. Songs were curated by With A Messy Head, the project of Parisian graphic designer and musician Pierre C.

You don't have to be fashionable; pop music exists in different colours and shapes. With A Messy Head offers you 13 shades of pop. It's free, but if you want to support the artists, buy their albums and EPs, or just share this compilation.

Tuesday
Jan082013

New video: "All the City Water"

Thursday
Aug302012

A Tribute to Bill Doss

After the tragic and sudden loss of Bill Doss, a songwriter and musician best known for his contributions to The Olivia Tremor Control, I decided to organize a tribute to his music. Bill's adept psychedelic pop sensibility influenced me and a lot of the other musicians I know, so finding volunteers to help put together a cover compilation wasn't hard.

A month after his passing, A Tribute to Bill Doss is now available for stream and download. I contributed covers of "Last Night I Had a Dream" and "Wings Away." 

 

Thursday
Jun282012

What is clipping/peaking, and why is it bad?

When you first start to record your own music and mix it digitally, one important thing to understand is how clipping/peaking can affect your audio.

The distinction between the two terms is simply this: clipping is what happens when your audio peaks. Peaking occurs when the literal peaks you see when looking at your waveform are cut off by the upper bounds of the amplitude range. "Plateauing" might have been a more accurate word, but it's a mouthful. Clipping is the aural result of peaking; it's the punchy, static noise distortion you hear when the full height of your recorded sound can't be expressed in the given amplitude range.

So you see peaking, and you hear clipping. But they are interchangeable terms, for the most part.

I prefer to master my music low enough that there is no peaking, simply because I don't want any aural information lost and because peaking limits the dynamics of music. I like dynamics because they provide the full experience of the captured sounds.

Imagine you were taking a picture of a famous piece of art. You'd want to capture the whole thing from edge to edge. Clipping/peaking is equivalent to zooming in on the artwork and leaving an inch or two outside of your camera's frame; you'll still get the essence of the artwork, but you'll be missing a few interesting parts. (The flipside, which also applies to mastering music, is that maybe you want to zoom in on a certain part and have that fill your frame.)

Of course, the more you cut off with peaking, the worse (i.e., punchier, static, noisier, more distorted) and more noticeable it's going to sound. But hitting the peaks on a few loud snare hits or cymbal crashes just a few times in your song is okay, as long as it's not drawing attention away from the music.

Sometimes, you want your drums to sound punchy and even a little distorted because the effect is more powerful (i.e., "it's so powerful that the mic couldn't handle the intensity"). Often, I'll do that to the individual drum tracks (clip/distort, then lower the amplitude), but I wouldn't ever intentionally let my final mix clip.

Other times, if the clipping sounds good to you for a reason you can't put your finger on, you may want to consider remixing and adjusting the frequencies of your tracks since our hearing interprets various frequency ranges differently depending on their amplitudes. Maybe I'll have more to say about that at a later date.