Archive for September, 2015

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 the album production for Mist Of Nihil, a Melodic Death band from Athens. I knew the guys before, as I have also produced the vocals for 2 songs off their “Light The Fire” EP.

At the time of the recordings I was also producing/mixing Aetherian, a melodeath band that shares the same singer with these guys. The challenge for me was to differentiate the two productions, and I am glad I managed to do so.

Guitars were recorded with an entry level Ibanez (loaded with upgraded pick ups) that needed a fair amount of high pass filtering to sound nice in the mix. Bass guitar also needed a LOT of compression to sound right, even going as far as note-by-note volume riding and automating EQ settings depending on the part. All vocal growls were double tracked as usual. However, these guys are extremely tight, to the point where some parts needed un-editing to sound natural (true story)

Mixing nowadays can be really creative, so I added many elements that the guys eventually liked: viola/cello parts and extra layers on many songs.

A really nice release, and a pleasant experience.

Recorded, mixed and mastered during Spring 2015.