Out Of My Mind...and into the sixties

An album by Bryan Barrow

Back To FT Blog

The Story of Out Of My Mind...

     Some of the recordings on OOMM date back to 1999, when I was using a TASCAM Portastudio 4-Track Cassette recorder in Santa Cruz, California. After a couple of completed songs, I was hooked, but wanted more flexibility, so I invested in a BOSS D-16 dedicated digital hard disk multitrack recorder. A few more songs, and a few more years, and I knew I had to upgrade to ProTools. I recorded a few songs in Protools, but by 2006,  life intervened with various distractions and challenges, and the recording sessions stopped.

     Cut to 2016, after three moves, including to a different country, I remembered a song that I never finished in ProTools, the title track to the album, a cover of the Buffalo Springfield song, "Out Of My Mind". I dug up my Digi 002, and an old G3 iBook, which was the only computer I owned that could (barely) get ProTools up and running (don't get me started on Digidesign's policies around upgrades, and how Mac Power PC users got shut out in the cold when Apple moved to Intel processors). I finished the song (it was a bit of trip to hear my 2006 lead vocals accompanied by my 2016 backing vocals), and realized that I had 8-9 songs from the past 18 years, and if I recorded a few more, why, I'd have enough for a full album! The multitrack masters from previous recording systems no longer existed, so I was stuck with the mixes I'd made all those years ago. For a few songs, I could only find mp3 versions in my iTunes library. Fortunately, they sounded pretty good to my ears, with just a little tweaking needed at the mastering stage for a few.

     American Thanksgiving, 2016: I decided to risk my life and venture to a Target store in San Jose, California, On Black Friday's Eve to get a MacBook Air that was on sale for $200 off the regular price. Got home to BC and downloaded Logic Pro X. Watched a ton of You Tube tutorials, and started recording in the late winter/early spring of 2017.

I don't remember the exact date, but sometime in early 2017, something clicked (or snapped, depending on your perspective). Creating an album of songs from my own home recordings had long been a bucket-list item of mine, and I set my mind to the task, and set a deadline for completing the album and having it ready to share with the unsuspecting universe: my 60th birthday in August. No more procrastinating; pretty much every weekend from April onwards (thank goodness my wife works weekends) was absorbed with recording, mixing, etc.

Wrote some new tunes that I road tested with my band, Shades Of Green. By late spring, things started getting serious: looking into duplication services, working on cover designs, and finishing recording, mixing and mastering. (Note: don't try to master an album in a single weekend- it does a number on your ears, your brain, and possibly your mental health). Things were touch and go, house of cards type scenario for a few weeks, until it finally looked like it was going to come together after all.

Other than a little help from my friends on a couple of tracks, "Out Of My Mind..." has been, for better or worse, a DIY, one man project. I've learned a tremendous amount about a number of things, made some mistakes, and hopefully learned from them for the future. It was an intense, but on the whole, worthwhile project.

I hope you'll find the end result pleasing, perhaps amusing in places, and overall an enjoyable listening experience. Hopefully, it won't take another 18 years to create another album's worth of recordings...