Lately I’ve been playing around with the idea of remixing some of my old RCB material. Not in the traditional sense of adding different drum loops or whatever (I have XR1300 to do that!), but mostly to increase sound fidelity and dynamic range.
Most of the tracks I’ve released, even before I knew to care about such a thing, sound pretty good. But some of them are downright crusty and embarrassing.
I fixed some of these problems for the Best of RCB and Rest of RCB compilations. I had no problem remixing them for a new album, since I could release them as new versions of old songs. But I have a problem with revisiting the past and changing it.
All the albums I have released were snapshots of where I was at the moment I created them. Going back and changing them would be like changing part of the past, in a vain attempt to improve them, when in their own imperfect way they’re already perfect. It would be like a painter going back and “fixing” old paintings because he learned a new technique in the meantime.
On the other hand, I can also see an upside. The albums themselves would flow better and sound better. The sound would be more normalized. The quieter sound levels would be more appropriate for ambient music. La Teodicea di Odio especially had some problems with these regards. Three of its tracks rank 1 and 2 out of 20 on the DR chart, and are mix loud enough to fit on an Akibare album. I’m still not sure what I was thinking about when I recorded and mixed those songs…
Earlier this year I remixed the first two XR1300 albums, Love Won’t Get Us Where We’re Going and Surrender Is Not the Answer. Both of them were in dire need of a remaster, much more-so than the entire of the RCB discography. I had no real problem doing that, since I have both versions of the albums available. But at the same time, I don’t really think the sound of most songs are bad enough to remix in total.
In the end, I’ll probably split the difference and release another “Rest of” compilation, made up entirely of songs that needed remixed and remastered. That way the old albums are as they were when created, and the new versions can be on a separate release, released as the Definitive Versions.