Posts Tagged ‘Co-Production’

First time working with Enthroned Serpent, a black metal band from Athens, Greece.

Just realized I have never posted this mix on the blog. Well… until now. We worked for several months on this EP, as this is the band of Simos, the owner of SoundWay studios and a good friend of mine.

To begin with, real drums were recorded at the great sounding room of SoundWay Studios. The drummer brought a small piccolo snare drum with him, which helped the snare to cut through. Of course, samples were used to give it more body, but more about this later. Managed to capture a great stereo image that compliments the width of the mix.

Guitars were reamped through a Peavey 6505+, a really cool JVM410H Marshall tube head and a massive ENGL 4x12cabinet. Both amps were cranked to death and 2 microphones were used to capture the final sound. A small secret about black metal: ”Turn the Treble frequencies up until the guitar amp sounds harsh, then turn it up some more.” The opposite goes for the bass frequencies. The balance between the 2 mics was adjusted accordingly during the mixing process for rhythm and lead guitar playing.

The singer was really steady and really helped the final result to shine. Among others, Sakis Tolis (from Rotting Christ) gave a helping hand to one of the songs.

Black metal is a unique genre that requires an out-of-the-box approach, and mixing was a really fun procedure. The challenge was to make everything sound big, in your face and, well… black metal, without sounding harsh. APHEX aural exciter was my friend, which gave character to guitars and vocals. Samples were used for drums, (you simply can’t avoid it) blended with the natural kit. Bass was heavily compressed and distorted. A typical old school black metal mix is not complete without TONS of volume. The amount of limiting at the mastering stage was huge, maybe my loudest mix to date.

Really happy to work with Enthroned Seprent, co-produced, mix and mastered during 2017-2018.


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.

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.

It’s been a while since I last updated this blog! Here is an upcoming black metal band from Athens that visited SoundWay Studios to record 2 songs for a split-EP. Never judge a book by its cover they say and this is especially true for these guys: Really polite people with a clear vision on their music behind the corpsepaint. (sorry if I ruin your image guys!)

A whole lot of experimentation took place, with many layers of bendir and -wait for it- a real theremin! Real drums on this one as well, recorded and heavily miced by me to capture the ambience of the performance. Guitars were reamped through a Peavey 6505+ amp and a Marshall all-tube head, both available at SoundWay studios. A real bass amp was also used for the bass tone, combined with the DI signal. I also tracked the vocals capturing both a dry signal (straight from a condenser mic) and a wet signal (straight from a TC-Helicon Voice Live unit) that both ended up in the final mix.

Some minor drum replacement took place to add more attack and a whole lot of reverb for the “black metal” sound on…well…basically everything! Mixing-wise I decided to limit myself by only using stock equalizers (mainly graphic ones) and compressors from Sonar, as I wanted fewer controls for simplicity.

Some minor pops and clicks on the audio due to the YouTube uploader, but you can get the overall picture (gonna update this post with a proper version once it is available).

Recorded and mixed during February 2015.