Archive for the ‘Audio Production’ Category

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.

 

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.

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.

Crowd:Controlled is a death/thrash metal band from Athens, and here is their latest EP, called “The Path Integral”. 5 songs and a lot of potential for these guys.

Now, this is probably one of my best-sounding heavy productions ever. It’s really unbelievable what a simple studio change can bring to the ending result: recently I decided to move my main monitors to another spot in the room, and the overall frequency response, stereo image and audio depth have been dramatically improved. Really glad to be able to hear the very low frequencies without a problem, and (obviously) this can REALLY help with the mix.

Real drums, and quad-tracked rhythm guitars on this one, all reamped through a Peavey 6505+ head in my studio.

Decided to experiment with sidechain multiband compression this time, so that only certain frequencies are affected. This technique gave me excellent results on things like kick-bass. Some more cool tricks as well, like parallel de-tuned wide delay on vocals and a ton of distortion on bass, being constantly automated. Once again, I was mixing through my mastering chain, which also helps a lot to get your volume from early on.

The communication with the band was flawless, which really helped the whole procedure. Really happy with the ending result.

Co-produced mixed and mastered during Summer 2016.

Long time no see. No wonder, as I am serving in the army for the past 6-7 months. Well, “serving” would be more appropriate, as I am currently in Athens, which allows me to keep on recording and mixing various stuff.

Anyway, enough with myself, let’s dive in this great piece of work I produced.

Skandal is a doom’n roll band I started working with 2 years ago for their “Year Of The Cicada” EP. The guys have visited my studio twice for the recordings, travelling all the way from UK in order to work together. George (who is also a member of Forsaken Memoriam) is a personal friend of mine and the main member behind this band. So, two seperate sessions and all-day/all-night long sessions to make everything work just in time.

So, not your typical stuff here, we recorded various unusual instruments like bendir, saz, a bagpige and even a throat “thai chant” singer for this EP. I was lucky enough to choose the session musicians myself, and they did a great work, adding a special flavour to the ending result.

Real drums on this one, recorded on two seperate takes (always a challenge to place everything the same way after 2-3 months have passed). Many hours on vocal tracking as well. Guitars, bass, everything was double and triple checked before I delivered to Mr. George Bokos (ex Rotting Christ) who did mixing and mastering, with great results.

Great work, that has taught me a lot. Produced, mixed and mastered during 2015.

Here is a really interesting project from members of Mist Of Nihil. This time they are back with a more atmospheric style, and a fully instrumental song.

I listened to a wide variety of music before mixing this single, which really helped the general direction of the mix. Many Midi Instruments on this one, from violin to piano and strings, to give more character to the final result. No vocals, which made my life easier!

Here’s a tip: before reaching for EQ or compression, you should first try to stick to the very basics: Panning and Volume can make a vast difference. So, I find amazing the fact that you might struggle with surgical EQ for a lead guitar in order for it to be fully audible and clear, but the solution might just be to turn the f ***n pan knob!!

Great project and cool music! Recorded, mixed and mastered during Winter 2016.