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