12 Jan 2011

The 3rd album studio diary Part VI: 3.-5.1.2011

On white and freezing Monday morning, I arrived to D-studio in Klaukkala, where mixing of our new album would start. I was armed with tons of guitar tracks and 1 ton of bass tracks, which we had recorded and pre-recorded since August. Of course, I felt nervous about the outcome, as I had only a faint idea what the tracks would sound in raw flesh, after the actual mixing process. Previously, I had done one test session with Jasse (D-studio ubermaster). The result from that had indicated green light, so the band decided to do the actual recordings in our home studio Churchboat at Vantaa, among dark evil misty trolly metal forests of Finland (in here you are supposed to show a certain handmark).

Despite his alarming chilinarcotism (which eventually drag also me into the fiery swirl of Poppamies and Blair's infernal sauces), Jasse made ultra fine work, once again. The aforementioned direct clean guitar signals were fed into Mesa Boogie 50 w Rectifier head w/ some eq and extra overdrive (yes, you read right, even for Mesa) and recorded with Shure 57 & 58 mics through Engl 4x12 cabinet w/ vintage speakers. The bass guitars were forced under the same treatment w/ Warwick Pro Fet 3.2. head, E606 -mic and mostly a guitar cabinet (yes, you read right).

This process called re-amping produces new distortion tracks which were later mixed with already recorded similar distortion home studio tracks in order to spit out the best metal hell sound out of the speakers. The churchboat sessions had already produced number of different distortion tracks, basically direct amp tracks (from Koch Multitone 100 w head) and tracks where the former was fed through Boss GT-10 preamp settings. Some direct clean sounds were not re-amped. Re-amping itself is a simple thing; when settings are fine, just press the rec-button and go to your beer/coffee or chili, as in the case of D-studio.

When re-amping was done, we had a tall pile of final raw tracks on monitor screen. Song by song these tracks were then mixed, mashed, combined, reverberated, delayed etc. and mixed again against drums. Drum mixings had already taken place before this session, but this time drum rolls (especially the volumes) had to be adjusted (samples, yes). On Wednesday afternoon, these song mixings were done and the song skeletons sounded pretty damn good, actually so naturally breathing that we will certainly use as little compression as possible in the next mixing, unlike last time. Of course that will depend partly upon the forthcoming vocal synth etc. layers. More of the synth recording madness soon!!