Posts Tagged ‘greek’

Here is the first song that I produced and mixed for Panos Smyrnaios, since he participated in the “Rising Star” TV show and got nationwide recognition.

The initial idea was just an acoustic guitar and vocals. We set up the guide track with Panos and begun building the main structure of the song. Intro is a typical “spotlight to the singer” approach, while the full production kicks in at the first chorus, with drums and electric guitars (played by me). I suggested some production ideas, for example backing vocals in the chorus and an acoustic outro, which really made a difference to the track.

Acoustic guitars were played by Panos, who (as always) did a great job with groove and dynamics. Bass duties were handled by John Grigoriou, a musician that has participated in countless recordings and who gave an interesting twist to the song.

I also had the pleasure to work with an exceptional clarinet player, Mr Petros Halkias. Petros is a well known traditional player here in Greece an the grandson of Petroloukas Halkias who, more or less, established the sound of the clarinet here in Greece, as we know it today. He came over to my studio and did a great job.

Recording wise, both acoustic guitar and clarinet were recorded with an ORTF mic placement and a condenser mic, a combination I frequently use lately. I used my AKG for the vocals and decided to keep just the DI of the bass blended with a mild overdrive for the chorus. I mixed the whole thing until I was 100% happy with the way it was sounding. Had a tough time removing the harshness of some elements (including the vocals) without making it sound dull, so countless instances of multiband compression came to the rescue.

Last but not least, I sent the mix to George Archontakis, the bass player for Magic De Spell and a famous sound engineer, to master it. (George is also the guy who called me to play and reamp for the one and only Vasilis Papakonstantinou.) He once again nailed it, adding extra depth and extra glue to the track, through various outboard and in-the-box tools.

Produced and mixed: early 2018


This is a very interesting project, as it comes from an artist with a classical background.

In other words, the original composition was just a score written for some basic instruments, like the bass and the violin. The real challenge for me was to turn that “lifeless” score into a vivid, finished song.

The main work began with the drums, and then came the bass, the guitar and all the other instruments (vocals, violin etc).

I recorded a tambourine to compliment the snare hits and also added a bendir as a MIDI instrument.

Another challenge for this particular mix was to get rid of the rock philosophy! No punchy drums, no subtle saturation on bass, just a clean approach with lots of reverb and gentle sounds. Doing that, without ending up with a dull result was something I had in mind from the very beginning.

Once again a great project! Produced, Mixed and Mastered during late 2017.

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.

This is a video I found of my guest TV appearance with the greek band Magic De Spell, performing against the loss of 2700 jobs, due to the closure of public television.
Various other artists also played that day and several hundred people attended the event,.

I have also recorded this song in the studio (see and have also played it live several times with the band.

Sound quality is pretty bad, with the guitar sound taken straight from the console (no proper mic recording due to time limitations) but you get the idea. Really memorable experience!

Shot on 11 September 2013.

Since many recording projects are currently on the way, I decided to update the blog with some session/guest appearances.

Over the last months, I recorded electric and acoustic guitars for the upcoming album of the greek rock band Magic De Spell. Great experience and learnt a lot both as a guitar player and engineer. Always a great thing to be in the studio with polite and professional people. I also helped shaping the guitar sound, by trying different setups and amp/guitar combinations.

Guitar-wise this session is far from the typical rock ‘n roll approach. Had to really focus on the vibe and feel of the guitar sound to make it work with the rest of the instruments, which can sometimes be harder that just playing precisely/fast.

This is a promo video where I also make a brief appearance. Full-length will probably be released over the coming months.

Recorded during winter 2014.

It’s been a while since I last produced this greek folk band. This time we spent a lot of time producing the song and recording several instruments to enrich the final result. Bendir, belek, clarinet, acoustic/bass guitars, drums. I played the bass guitar on this one. Valantis Mpekos, one of the best clarinet players in Greece, participated on this recording too!
Decided to go for a more live feeling and not overmix, so no Quantization/heavy editing was involved, I also created the music video, a really challenging thing to do, as I had no previous experience with a proper music video, only simple/lyric video stuff.
Recorded, mixed, and mastered during January 2014.

The fifth and final song off Panos’ debut demo CD. The lyrics are based on a true personal story, which is always an interesting thing. Really fun procedure with lots of one-takes (typical thing when recording with Panos). I also play the acoustic and electric guitar solos. The electric one is somewhat Van Halen-inspired, with a bold delay.
Produced mixed and mastered during October 2013.