Ben Folds may claim “You Don’t Know Me”, but actually the truth is he doesn’t…know me…yet.
And yet, it’s like he does.
As you may have noticed, records have been getting louder and more compressed over the last ten years or so. Many like a loud record, many do not. The official version of “Way To Normal” is very loud and this was the intention. Loud records sound good on car stereos, iPods and on the radio. Quieter records are more dynamic and while they don’t compete so well on a mix tape, they often sound better on good audio equipment.
Yipee! I’m one of those people who hates the way that “loud” music sounds–because over time it melts my brain. He continues:
Many of my fans are audiophiles and there have been requests for an alternate less compressed version of Way To Normal to be made available. Although I stand behind the official version of this album and have the utmost respect for the producer and engineers involved, I’m a populist at heart and saw no reason not to provide a slightly different approach for those who prefer more old fashioned dynamics along with a sequence that builds.
Wow! An artist who is willing to allow for the possibility of music mixed to taste. Fantastic! Tell me more…
And so we have “Way To Normal: Stems and Seeds” – two disks. One disk is a remix, remaster, re-sequence of “Way To Normal” along with the now legendary (in our own minds) ‘fake’ tracks, the Japanese version of “Hiroshima”, the Conan Rehearsal of “You Don’t Know Me” and the Piano Orchestra version of “Cologne” – a total of 20 tracks.
It gets better…
The other is a disk of files, called stems, which will pop up in Garageband and allow you to mix the album yourselves. Just click on the file of the song you want to mix and you’ll quickly understand how it works. If you’d like to turn the drums off or down, or if you want to use loops or turn that damn singer off and sing it yourself, its all possible. We’ve included extra loops with the song “You Don’t Know Me” hoping someone could maybe come along and make a hit out of this fucking song.
That’s so fucking cool! And that’s the Ben Folds I think I do know…
The original article on the Ben Folds website.