100 robots first album, “Attack!” is now finished and available to download now from bandcamp. I’m so glad that it is done and very proud of the result. It’s the first album I’ve made since 2005 and the first I’ve produced using Ableton Live, which once again proved to be an amazing piece of software. The ability to quickly cycle through libraries of samples to find the right sound, easy parameter automation and super flexible routing using drum racks were a huge help.
It’s also the first time I’ve tried to put together a big rock/dance production at home which made mastering tricky as we wanted both a big loud rock sound and huge slabs of sub bass. Because the of the huge sub bass, the Fletcher-Munson effect meant that while the RMS loudness of our initial mixes were normal, the a-weighted RMS values were very low, making the mixes sound very quiet when burned to CD.
The mixes couldn’t simply be turned up without clipping or compressing the mixes which would introduce distortion or reduce the dynamic range of the music. Not wanting to get sucked in to the loudness war we ended up in a complicated 3 way trade off between a-weighted RMS, sub bass weight and dynamic range. Audioleak and the Pleasurize Music tools were both really helpful during this process. We ended up with an an album that hit the sweet spot of -14 dBFS A-weighted RMS, has an average dynamic range of DR6 (admittedly less than the recommended DR10) and hopefully still has enough sub bass to work on a big system. A couple of people have commented that it sounds over-compressed, but most people seem to like where we ended up.
I hope you enjoy the album and that you can join us at the launch parties at the Hydrant in Brighton on the 31st of May or at the Maze in Nottingham on the 14th June — they’re going to be great nights!