Posts Tagged ‘mastering’

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.

 

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.

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.

 

For the past 2-3 days I’ve got a cold, so this is the perfect chance to update this blog with some of my latest work.

So, to begin with, this is the first time working with Introvert Project, an alternative goth project from Athens. The guys knew what they were aiming for before coming to the studio, which made my life easier and the ending result really smooth!

The bass player was a friend of mine from Mist Of Nihil, who once again did a great job on bass duties. Guitar sound is a blend of 2 different guitar amps. Vocals (for the most part) are two different octaves, both audible in the mix. Worked really hard automating and humanizing the other elements of the mix in order to give them a more realistic character (piano, strings etc).

This is one of the first times that I had no regrets hitting almost every channel with really heavy compression and, in some cases, limiting. I then automated the f*ck out of everything, to bring those dynamics back in the game. This method really seems to work with this kind of music, but you have to be really careful not to over-compress.

A nice collaboration, check out their DIY lyric video as well! Produced, Mixed and Mastered during Summer 2015.

First time working with Fate Weaver, a melodic death metal band from Greece.

I started talking with the guys before they even began recording everything themselves, so I was able to guide and advice them on how I wanted each audio source to sound like.

A good amount of grit on the bass (mixed with the original signal), and a good amount of sample stacking on the drums. Guitars were reamped with real amps, and all the vocals were double tracked, but treated as one individual performance. As always, I couldn’t resist adding some spice to the mix by adding some elements that did not exist in the first place, from reverse delays to orchestra hits.

Excellent communication and total freedom on the ending result. Really nice feeling working with these guys as well. Reamped, Mixed and Mastered during spring 2015.

This is a special one for me, as Revolted Masses is the band I have been playing with for the last 7-8 years.

We had the great honor to have Fotis Benardo come to the studio and help us with the drums tuning and sound. He was also kind enough to lend us his snare (this particular snare was used in Septic Flesh – Titan album I believe).

So, real drums with an almost completely replaced kick and 80% natural snare, which is the first time ever I do something like this for Revolted Masses. Overheads were placed REALLY close to the cymbals and spot mics for the hi hat and ride cymbals were also used.

Bass was never reamped, as I was happy with just the DI signal, duplicated and heavily saturated.

My trusty Hagstrom (emg-loaded) was used for the guitar sounds, reamped through an ENGL Fireball and a Peavey 6505+.

Most of the vocals parts are literally one-take, as George is a great screamer and one of the best I have recorded so far.

We also had the the pleasure to have several guests to come and play for the album, from flamenco guitar to female vocals, as well as the guest vocals of Fotis Benardo for the song “Murder Ex Machina”

This mix has many similarities with the full length version. Lots of stuff happening mix-wise, for example there is a distorted snare whose volume in the mix is constantly automated, and parallel compression in almost every aspect of the mix. I decided to stay away from limiting and clipping, to give a natural feel to the (already compressed) mix.

Really proud for the ending result, and a grear experience.

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered during Summer 2015.