New studio drum set!

The studio has a new permanent drum set now! I went with a Tama Starclassic Performer with birch and bubinga hybrid-shells. The previous studio drum kit was also a Tama Starclassic and always sounded great so… I won’t fix something that wasn’t broken. The big upside is that I have five toms now (8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”) as opposed to the three toms I had before. Especially the second floor tom will come in handy.

Tama Starclassic at S&C Studio

The finish of the set is absolutely stunning and my first tests with new heads were very promising. I’m very much looking forward to the first recordings.

Feeding The Wolves - Shallow EP released

Feeding The Wolves from Innsbruck, Austria recently released their 6-Track-EP "Shallow" which I recorded with and mixed for them. They are playing an awesome Metalcore / Metal blend with a number of different influences. When I listen to the EP some riffs remind me of A Day To Remember, others of Machine Head, which is quite a span. I really like their writing style and they were an absolute joy to work with!

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The band wanted to use programmed drums at first, but after the recording of all the other instruments went very smoothly, we decided to record real acoustic drums as well. This was the first time I recorded the drums after everything else, and I really liked the way it worked out! I am hearing from more and more people which like to work this way recently. The current August Burns Red album "Phantom Anthem" was recorded in this order for example. It gives the drummer an entirely different experience than just playing to a click track and maybe a guide guitar. I think since it's so much more fun to play drums to a full song the takes turn out better automatically.

We used my new 5150 III amplifier and Dimi's ESP E-II Horizon with Bareknuckle pickups for all the rhythm guitars. I was astonished how similar the EVH can sound to my 6505 when you're aiming for that specific chugging sound even though it's a completely different circuit design. It sounds just a little bit bigger and cleaner in the low end.

We recorded the bass (Fender Precision, yay!) right into the box. The Vocals were recorded with my trusty SM7b through my Heritage 1073 and Distressor. Unbeatable chain for this sort of music.

The EP was mastered by Lasse Lammert from Lübeck (www.lasselammert.com) who has already worked on a few albums I've mixed in the past. 

You can check out a video of the song "Outcast" down below! Be sure to listen to the EP on Spotify or get a good old fashioned CD directly from the band.

 

 

Amplified Hate - Crossroads released

After months of hard work I can finally hold the new album of my own band Amplified Hate in my hands. 

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Recording an album with your own band is especially difficult. You want to do your absolute best work, but it's hard to distance yourself from the music to see the big picture in a technical way. Thankfully my bandmates gave me a lot of room to reflect on what I was doing. I took my time, dotted the i's and crossed the t's. It all started with a very thorough songwriting process which turned into a full pre-production. By this new approach (new for us, that is) we upped the quality of our music on all frontiers in my opinion. It's still a Hardcore album, but we tried to add some additional depth to the music through the lyrics and some things we never did before, like subtle vocal layering or additional guitar layers in the background.

Production

The drums were recorded very quickly, but we still changed the heads once in a while and made sure everything was in tune all the time. Our drummer and I decided to record some samples with his Tama Starclassic kick drum, but to switch it out for a sampling pad while recording. This made the editing process so much easier and quicker. We used quite some mics including two Cascade Fathead ribbon mics as a stereo room pair, which turned out very nice and were used for the majority of the room sound. There are some room samples involved, but no artificial reverb whatsoever.

I made many, many Kemper profiles for the guitars until we found just the right sounds for the album. I recorded the guitars partly at home and partly in the studio. The Kemper with it's S/PDIF connection definitely gave me a lot more freedom and I could record whenever I wanted. In the end we used mostly the classic Peavey 6505 / Rectifier combination with two different cabs: a Mesa Boogie Rectifier Oversized 4x12 and my custom 2x12 cab with V30 speakers.

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The bass was recorded through the Kemper and split to three different tracks later on. I used a lot of hardware studio gear (mostly compression) on on the bass.

Speaking of hardware compression... I bought a Distressor for the vocal tracking, which paid off in almost finished sounding vocals in the tracking phase. I also think the Distressor really helped the performance of our vocalist along. Money well spent.

The recording phase went smoothly as we were well prepared, but most other things were a rather bumpy ride. We had huge problems with the CD pressing plant, including sending 1000 CDs back because of a misprint in the booklet. This caused delays further down the road but we (barely!) managed to meet the previously agreed upon release date.

Credit, where credit is due

Since I spent a lot of time recording and mixing this record, I wanted someone capable to master it. I thought long and hard and decided to go with Mr Ermin Hamidovic (Systematic Productions, Melbourne). I've followed Ermz's career for years in different forums and I like his attitude and his work ethic. He's not fucking around when it comes to music production. He guided me through some minor adjustments to the mix and we settled on a master rather quickly. I think he did a great job polishing this record to it's final form.

You can buy the album on all relevant platforms like iTunes and Amazon. We also sell the CDs and vinyl LPs in our Bigcartel store (http://amplifiedhate.bigcartel.com/). The vinyl version is limitied to 300 pieces (150 white / 150 black vinyl). Of course you can stream it on Spotify as well:

Current projects

Right now I'm mixing a punk rock album for Rising Resistance and recording a alternative rock (I guess) album with Room 45. More on that soon.

EP for Outset Of Circle finished

I recently did a 3-track EP for Outset Of Circle (Metalcore, Burghausen). They are quite a young band with not a lot studio experience, but they did very well! The songs are diverse and include everything from acoustic guitars with clean vocals to the inevitable breakdown.

Some insight on the recording process:

We tracked the drums with a mesh head on the kickdrum for easy editing. Otherwise regular drum tracking with ORTF overheads and stereo + mono room mics.

For the guitars we used my own Aigle Septor 27" six string baritone guitar tuned to drop C#, so everything was nice and tight with no intonation problems. The bassist plays an awesome Australian fanned fret Dingwall bass, which sounded amazing and was very easy to fit in the mix.

Vocals were again a SM7B into 1073 and a Distressor. A combination that is hard to beat for screamed vocals in my opinion.

The guys proceeded to make a nice "analog lyric video" for lack of a better term, which you can watch below. They included some friends and citizens of their home town Burghausen. Also they managed to involve some refugees, which is a wonderful gesture. The video got them some local press coverage, which is always nice.

In other news the album of my own band Amplified Hate is taking shape. Three weeks ago we recorded some group shouts up until now I prepared the session for mixing. We might do some minor vocal and guitar overdubs, but otherwise everything's pretty much finished. 

The debate around the album artwork and title is concluded, but the result is still top secret ;) We also agreed upon hiring a dedicated (well known) mastering engineer, but more on that later.  

EP for Voice Of Insanity finished

Last week I finished an 3-track EP for a local band called Voice Of Insanity (Metalcore/Deathcore). We recorded the three songs in a single weekend, which is quite impressive if you acknowlede the technicality of the music.

I did a few things differently this time around. I used a mesh head for the bass drum because I needed a way to edit the drums very quickly. This way I could completely ignore the bass drum while editing all the other tracks. I tended to the bass drum separately later on. Win! Recording everything within this brief time frame would not have been possible without this measure.

We had quite some problems with the guitar recording. The guitars were intonated just fine, but because of the low tuning (drop A) the strings were way too bouncy. The guitarists could minimize this by softening their playing in certain parts a bit, but sadly it's still quite noticable in the final product. I tried Melodyne DNA, but it altered the tone of the DIs in a way I really didn't like. I gave the band some suggestions for heavier string gauges.

The bass recording worked out way better. The bassist used a very nice Ibanez fretless bass, which sounded surprisingly gnarly even without the fret clank of a normal fretted bass.

Vocals were easy. SM 7 B into 1073 into a Distressor worked out perfectly for the singer. He can scream and growl for ages with no apparent wear on his voice. Impressive!

All in all it was a very fun project and I dig the result.

Check out one of the songs here: 

Coming soon: 

  • Progess on the new album of my own band Amplified Hate
  • A second EP I'm working on

New homepage!

Welcome to my nice, clean new homepage. A facebook page alone isn't cutting it anymore, so I decided to fumble this little beauty together. The site navigation explains itself, but still:

about

A quick introduction to me and my studio with some pretty pictures.

blog

Detailed posts for every project I'm doing at the studio and information about upcoming releases, new sexy gear, techniques and insights. 

music

Listen to samples of my completed projects. 

shop

You can use this page for hiring me to do your mixing, mastering, editing or reamping jobs. More products soon! Of course you can always shoot me an email to talk about your specific project.

links

Here you can find information about my dear friends and sponsors and visit their homepages.

upload

If you click this you'll be redirected to my wonderful 1 TB Dropbox, which I love so dearly. It's the fastest way to send me the files you want me to work on.

contact

Write me for a quote, to ask questions, to give criticism or simply to talk audio.

 

Well that's all there is for now. New content will be added regularly, so be sure to stop by from time to time.