I've been very quiet on this subject, mainly due to working hours that drained my energy for music. I have done some work on the songs, but without much joy in the listening, and still being exasperated by my software.
But help was at hand, help of the Windmill variety. Mr Davis of Windmill Sound gave five songs a critical listen and has taken one away to work on. He also sat down with me and explained aspects of compression and EQ – he must have been quietly horrified at some of the settings I'd used, without having the faintest idea why.
One of his suggestions for a song called 'The Monk from the Mountain of Sorrow' was to say 'This song has as its main elements : Drums and Bass, Main Vocal, Backing Vocals – Get these in balance – then all the rest is secondary just tickling our ears.'. So I stripped out four guitars, two synths, and god knows what drones, and (you'll fall off your seat in shock here) – it sounded better! Having heard the simplicity of it it's easier to know what can be reintroduced and what should be left for the binmen. The distinction between what's essential to the song and what's 'ear ticklers' is a good one. You need both but you need to know which is which!
At last I have hope!