About “Zombie” on TEB Vol. 11 2


Well, darn it. Here we go again.

“Zombie” was the first of two songs I produced for TEB Vol.11 and I was excited to take the songs I picked for a spin. I took Yoshika’s theme and really gave it a strong blast-through of eurobeat flavor (plus a couple hints of vocal sampling inspired by Andromulus/Alex S). This is one of the first versions I submitted:

[Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/39518350/Zombie_Take2.mp3 ]

Very few first-pass submissions go straight to the album, and “Zombie” was no exception. A-One requested a version with a bit more low-end a few days before the overall submission deadline. Due to the proximity of the print date, I quickly adjusted the low-end of the kick AND the FM bass, made sure the spectrum analyzer looked about even, and slapped out the MP3 and WAV.

There were no requests to modify “Loud Faith”— which I’ll explain in a second.

So, sure enough, a few days later A-One releases the crossfade demo, and I’m eager to hear all the works from other circles/labels and hear how well mine fit in. As mine comes up, I hear… mud. A torrid wave of muddy low-end making it difficult to hear much of anything else. I’m immediately frustrated, as I’ve had EQ changes to my works happen after submission, but I wanted to be absolutely sure if it was on my end or not before making any motions to figure out what else might’ve happened. So, I did what I should’ve done before I sent the darned thing in, and gave it a listen.

Mud.

So much awful, murky audio mud.

This problem was entirely on me. A-One didn’t adjust the mix on this one at all, I was entirely at fault for submitting a poorly-mixed track. All the damage done to the smaller parts of the track I wanted the world to hear was done by the one who should’ve prevented that damage in the first place (that is, me).

Fans, I thought “Lunatic” was going to be the last time I released a subpar track through A-One, and knowing I’ve repeated that mistake is kind of hard for me to swallow. I’ve never claimed to have the best-mixed/mastered tracks on TEB (I’d even venture to say I provide the worst tracks on TEB in this regard), but this is below the level of quality people should expect from anything with the Odyssey Eurobeat name attached to it on any level. I deeply apologize, and offer you the original first-submission take of “Zombie” for your pleasure. Please support the official release if you can, and if you find others who found the album version of “Zombie” not to their liking you’re welcome to point them this way for clarification.

As for “Loud Faith”, that was written and produced in a much shorter time-span than “Zombie” but surprisingly seems to have turned out much better. I recorded the vocals in a hotel room one night before a performance in San Francisco, and it took me a bit after submitting it before I realized two things:

  1. “Oh, this is in the same key as ‘Zombie’. Yikes.”
  2. “Oh, this is nearly the same godforsaken SONG as ‘Zombie’. YIKES.”

Nevertheless, I’m satisfied with “Loud Faith” and hoped I could capture Kyouko’s naïve and earnest desire to do her best in her new faith. There’s not much I would change on this one if given a second chance, beyond some fine-tuning of the mix and compression.

I… I want to pet Kyouko!

Still, for all this, I’m reminded and fired up in my renewed efforts to deeply scrutinize and double-check any outgoing productions to ensure this doesn’t happen yet again. Two apologies is too much; hell, ONE apology was too much. If the team at A-One wishes to have me back for future volumes of Toho Eurobeat, I assure you this will not happen again. (I’d rather have works out on the same level as, say, “UFO Love” or “No Guardian Angel”!)

Making music’s been one big roller coaster, and I’m glad to have you all with me through the ups and downs. And, don’t worry— my write-up of my time in Japan is coming along nicely and should be up within the month, so stay tuned for more positive news!


What Do You Think?

2 thoughts on “About “Zombie” on TEB Vol. 11

  • anon4cec

    I don’t know what you are beating yourself up about this track. The only problem with it is that there really isn’t any “power” behind the vocals, so they just kind of sound flat in combination with the rest of the track. Mixing-wise, it is nothing close to Lunatic. Like, seriously.

  • Odyssey Post author

    I just strive for a high standard for my releases, so when something does go haywire (and it’s something on my end and not something that happened after submission), I tend to regret it. The vocals are FAR stronger in the first-pass version I uploaded in this post, but I didn’t bring them down in the album version— meaning, it was simply by bringing the bass up that the vocals lost most of their power.

    Granted, I don’t think Zombie ended up as bad as Lunatic, but it’s much the same situation (rushed actions without double-checking led to subpar results) and it’s always a bit rough to see a gap between a track’s original potential and the end result.