Thanks to everyone that listened to my new track, and especially those of you that gave me your thoughts on it — they’ve all been greatly appreciated. I wasn’t sure how such a change of direction would come together, but overall the reaction has been very positive, which is just awesome.
One comment I received from fellow podcaster Mike Holstein before releasing the track was that the vocal was too soft against the piano, but I chose to ignore it — I’m still not really confident in my voice, so I didn’t really have the guts to bring it to the fore as I should have. A number of other people on the linux-audio-user list have since made the same comment though, and after listening back I have to say that I now agree with them 100%.
I’ve decided to remix the track from scratch: I took a snapshot of the track in Ardour, and then zeroed all the levels, deleted all the plugins, and started a new mix from scratch. There were other parts of the mix I wasn’t happy with — the bass had some nasty resonances, and the drums were a bit inconsistent — but I’ve been about to smooth out some of those problems using EQ (the lv2fil four-band parametric EQ), compression (using the Invada Studio compressor, which works well at low attack values for taming transients), and level automation. The upshot of this is that I can push the piano further back in the mix and bring out more of the drums and vocals.
I’m still playing with the EQ and levels on the vocals and the piano, to make sure they sit together well with each other and with the other elements, but I think it’s already sounding more polished and better balanced. I’m looking forward to having this one finished (again!).