Lost count on how many times I’ve worked with these guys. One of the most promising thrash metal bands, Chronosphere, are about to release their 3rd full length album, called “Red’n Roll”. The guys contacted me for vocals recording and general guidance on various subjects like mastering advice and cd image of their upcoming album.

The recordings took place some time ago, so I didn’t have the chance to use my newly acquired Shure SM7b. A nice sounding AKG condenser mic was used eventually that really flatters the vocals of Spyros. Add to that the Golden Age PRE73 preamp set almost to extreme, and you can imagine the amount of coloration in the final result. During some loud passages I could here a nice saturation that really helped the vocals to cut-through. Single takes on most of the tracks, a decision that allows all the fine details of each vocal take to be perfectly audible.

As a finishing touch, I also created the CD image for the factory. It’s really weird that many cd duplication factories have only recently started to accept .ddp file formats. But that’s another topic!

Always a pleasure to work with these guys. Recorded during 2015, released in 2016.

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I am really happy and proud to present to you one of the best moments of my career as a musician and audio engineer. Greek people surely know this guy, but for those of you who don’t, Vasilis Papakonstantinou is one of the best and most famous greek rock artists with a big career starting from the 70’s and still going strong.
For his new release, I was asked to reamp the guitars for the whole record as well as perform the electric guitars for a song called “Nama”. The main engineer is George Archontakis, a famous artist with countless releases under his belt, and a guy I really look up to.
Production-wise, the reamping process took place at Vintage Studios, with George giving the general guidelines and reference for the desired sound. I brought an ENGL Fireball connected to a 2×12 Vintage-30s loaded guitar cabinet. A single SM57 mic was used, on the right spot. Depending on the song/part, we changed mic placement, EQ settings, even adding my trusty Maxon OD808 in front of the amp where needed. The final result was more than pleasing and everyone was happy with the high-gain sounds.
Playing-wise, I used my Hagstrom EMG-loaded guitar, using mainly the bridge pickup, except from the guitar solo. I was free to add some ideas, but the main structure of the song was already decided.
Some trivia about the song:
*)The main “hook” lead was initially meant to be played with a whammy pedal. I decided to try a double bend (bend->slide->bend) to imitate this sound and turned out great, so we doubled this part with a lower octave and kept that!
*)The guitar solo is one-take, first-take, without me knowing that I was being recorded. George asked me to “try some things” but he was secretly recording me, in order to play freely and spontaneously. After listening to it, we decided to keep it!
Working with these guys is a life and career milestone and a dream come true. I feel I learnt more from this experience than a year to any music school.

Recorded/reamped during Summer 2015.

Here is another one that I had completely forgotten to upload. No surprise actually, as I start to believe that only a small percentage of everything I have done is actually uploaded to this blog. Gonna try to change that. Anyway…

This is my guest appearance for Amken, an upcoming thrash metal band from Greece. Vanias, a member of Amken (and a great guy btw) was my student for a small period of time. If I recall correctly, we were working on some parts for him to play tight. The band eventually asked me to participate on their record as a guest, a proposal I gladly accepted.

You can listen to my solo around 02:44. This is something I could write for my band, Revolted Masses, and I am very happy that they liked what I did.

Recorded during 2016.

This one is very special for me, as Angelos is my beloved brother and a great guitar player.

We discussed many things about this series of videos and we managed to record a bunch of them with great success.

The challenge for me was to combine audio with video in order to have both an eye and an ear pleasing result. Everything was recorded real time (one take).

Audio wise: I used two small diaphragm condenser microphones in a placement known as the ORTF recording method. Problem was that the center of the audio image seemed to suffer a little bit, so I placed another condenser mic (a large diaphragm this time) between those two. The result was REALLY nice, the audio image was fully covered and only minor EQ tweaks were needed to make it sound the way I wanted. Careful compression, a touch of reverb and..done!

Video wise: I have done various projects that required video editing, bit I have little to no experience when it comes to video shooting. I used DSLR cameras (initially one, but on some videos there are two) and tried to make the lighting as interesting as possible. Of course, there is ground to be covered on this aspect but I am still learning and enjoying it.

Recorded during Autumn of 2017.

This song was featured on Metal Hammer’s GREEK MASTERS OF PUPPETS: 30th Year Anniversary Tribute Album”.

George, our drummer from Revolted Masses, played the drums while members from Chronosphere, Rotting Christ and Exarsis also participated.

This one was brought to me for mixing/mastering with a REALLY strict deadline. I believe I recorded the drums AND mixed the whole thing in just a couple of days. 100% natural drums (no triggers) and ampsims were used, mainly because of time limitations.

Recorded and mixed in January 2016.

Here is a really interesting song, that was brought to me after the loss of a close friend of the artist. This tragic event is the inspiration behind this piece of music.

The intro solo was recorded one-take at my studio with a cool-sounding Fender guitar. Acoustic guitars were also recorded for the outro and as a layer on the main section of the song. Everything else was brought to me already recorded, so I just reamped and mixed the whole thing in 1-2 days.

First time using Slate drums here, blended with my own samples of course.

Really went crazy with reamping here, 2 spot mics and 2 room mics. Didn’t phase align everything, instead I decided to use some out-of-phase mics to favor the vibe of the guitar sound.

Some cool things as well, for example I added white noise every time the snare is hit (it is pretty audible now that I told you, isn’t it?) Went for an out-of-the-box direction here, combining elements from other genres, like electro. The weird sound layer towards the end is a sample of a female exhaling. I twisted the sound through multiple delays and automated parameters, which added a cool effect to the song.

A great song, for a great cause. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered during April 2017.

Well, I’ve noticed this blog is packed with metal releases, so why not adding another one?
I do work on various other genres, I swear, it’s just that more and more metal bands trust what I do and contact me to produce/mix their work.

Anyway…What do we have here? A unique blend of black metal with heavy metal elements from this one-man band called Deisidaemonia.

Behind all this hides a great musician, Mr. Spathas.
Does the name ring a bell?
Exactly!
The genes have something to do with this, as this is one of the finest examples of cool-sounding extreme music with TONS of musicality in it. Like Father, Like Son.

Let’s get to the technical stuff. All instruments were recorded from scratch, except from the bass, which was brought to me as a DI signal. Guitar was a Gibson flying-V, while a different guitar was used for clean and leads, can’t really remember which one.
Vocals were really interesting to record: Initially I set-up my nice AKG condenser mic, carefully calculating the height, the distance, creating a nice headphone mix for the singer, getting a good balance….
Great sound…but this music demands energy, and this set-up wouldn’t work for the performance I had in mind.. So after a few takes, there was a change of plans: A single hand-held Shure SM57, CRANKED monitors in the room and a f@ck-headphones approach. This setup worked WONDERS. As a result, most of the vocals are continuous takes without any editing (well, maybe only the audio bleeding from the cranked monitors!)

Many details were added to complete the mix, acoustic guitars, synths, gang vocals and various audio samples.

Mixing wise, black metal is a genre that demands character. So, treble-sounding guitars, big and distorted bass sound, reverb on almost every element and sample replacement, nothing out of the ordinary here. This is what I call a “carefully unpolished” mix. Tons of experimentation as well, weird reamping techniques based on the room and not-your-ordinary-EQ on the ENGL amp.

Really proud for the final outcome. I believe I spent more time asking about Mr. Spathas Sr than actually recording, but I could really listen to Deisidaemonia all day. Good times!

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered during 2015.

 

Here is something I have completely forgotten to write about….I mean HOW could I forget, with nearly 500000 YouTube views so far! Aetherian are back, and this time I helped them with guitar and bass recordings for the song “The Rain”.

Working with these guys is always a pleasure. Recording-wise, there is nothing unusual here, an EMG loaded-guitar straight into a RedEye DI Unit and into a PRE73 mic pre. Oh, and some great riffs!

Some cool people have also teamed up for the final result, like Fotis Benardo (drum recordings) and Jim Evgenidis (music video). The band will put out a new album with LifeForce records in 2017.

Recorded during January 2016.