The final five
As musicians, we often talk about the final 5% of a song. It's what sets the top songs of the world from all the rest. Producers and writers who take their songs that final stretch are the ones that position their songs for major hit potential. When it comes to The Paradise Planets, I have nine songs I have to get there. This requires attention to detail with all the orchestra, choir, and soloist sessions (arrangements, sheet music, selecting the right soloists/ensembles, conducting, listening attentively during the session to call for revisions, etc.), as well as the hundreds of hours spent at my home studio arranging, writing, and producing each song, and countless hours at June Audio in Provo mixing the tracks. Lastly, I need to make final revisions to the mastered tracks before releasing the full album. This album will be released on VINYL, so it has to be perfect!
The book manuscript and the audiobook for The Paradise Planets need an equal amount of time and dedication. I can't leave those finished at 95%. This is why the book had TWO editors and went through FIFTEEN revisions before it was finally finished. I also sent an earlier draft to a group of beta readers who gave me valuable feedback. After four years of writing all my ideas down and crafting them into a finished product, the book is finally ready to launch.
The audiobook was another feat, altogether. It took weeks to find the right voice actors for each character. Some characters were especially hard to cast. After searching online and reaching out to agencies and personal contacts, I finally found all the actors I needed to make this audiobook a reality. I'm currently finishing up the editing process on this. Because I wanted this to sound like a "Movie in your mind", the pacing is faster than your average audiobook. I had to shift every single phrase to increase the pacing of the book, as well as find every line from all the different actors and place them in the right spot. Once I had everything finally lined up and spaced out the way I wanted them, I added in all the sound fx, music, and vocal fx to make sure it sounded incredible. I want people to experience the story in my mind the way I hear it. This process took hundreds of ours, and it required my personal attention. I couldn't outsource any of this since I'm the only one who knows how it's all supposed to sound.
When you've put four years of your life into something, it's a lot easier to motivate yourself to take it the final 5%. Why would I stop now? If it's going to be done at all, it's going to be done right. The vocal performances, the mixes, the snare tones, the deep bass, the choir and orchestra arrangements, the voice actors, the pacing, the sound fx--it all has to be the BEST it can be. It can't just be "good enough". That's why I've spent so many hours on this. I want this project to be a book and album that I LOVE, so that hopefully, I'll find others who will love it too.