Posts Tagged ‘Reamping’

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.

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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.

 

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.

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.

What we have here is the first single of Matter Of Act, a metalcore/hardcore band from Kamatero, Greece.

This is a special occasion, because one of the guitar players is also the vocalist of Revolted Masses. I know the guys for quite a long time and it was a pleasure working with them.

Real drums, recorded at the Revolted Masses headquarters, with a 10mic configuration. Some sample replacement involved to achieve the desired result, and a lot of spot micing and post-editing to the grid. A Peavey 6505+ was used for the guitar sound and a virtual Ampeg amp for the bass. Most vocal parts were double tracked which was no problem for the more-than-capable vocalist.

It would be really easy for me to super-edit and sterilize everything, both mixing and playing-wise, but I chose to stick with a more organic and natural sound. This “Sturgis” trend is beginning to get on my nerves and I prefer to stay away from it (even though I respect it, for what it is)

Mastering-wise, I went full brickwall (never go full brickwall!), even clipping the errant peaks of the stereo track before hitting the limiter.

Produced, Mixed and Mastered on May 2015.