Week one - from six-six-six to six-six-strings
Studio diary 2006
The recording of our first album "The Contaminated Void" begun on the unholy day of June 6, 2006 (06/06/06), which also happened to be the Swedish National Day. A good day to start some Swedish death metal in other words.
In all honest the recording sort of started the day before when Dan Swanö and I put up the mikes on the drumkit. This was not entirely easy as the soundcard in my recording equipment failed to deliever 16 recording possibilities at once. At the end of the miking session we had gotten 12, with hopes for more.
Early on the 666th we continued the miking and sure enough Dan Swanö proved why he is a recording genious and came up with a way to get two more preamps for the mikes so we were able to get 13 mikes on the drums and by that get all the separation we needed for the recording.
We did a soundcheck and Dan left me happy with the basic drumsound.
The drums, miked with 12 mikes...
...and a 13th in the far end of the room, for ambience.
A little preamp for the cymbal mikes.
The laptop is recording it all.
Dan Swanö sampling the drums.
Parts of the band showed up a few hours later and we began tracking the drums. André played support guitar and we were able to record four songs before we called it the quits. I took the harddrive with the recording with me home and did some edits.
The next day we continued the drum tracking after my work hours and this time Anders B played the support guitar. I was sort of tense before starting this day's session as it's very demanding to be both the musician and engineer at the same time, but that tension soon disappeared and we mangaged to track five more songs, leaving us with only six left and three more days of drum recording scheduled. Things certainly looked bright at this point. Again, I took the harddrive with me home for edits.
The "lounge" in Coldworker studios.
Anders B listening to the drums before he heads to a Down show.
Time to record some drums.
André plays the support guitar.
On Thursday both André and Anders B came to the studio to play the support guitar after my work hours. Our goal was to record all the remaining tracks and to have Friday off and perhaps do some additional recording on Saturday. Said and done, we worked our asses off and tracked them all. Good work!
Here's a little video of André and I rehearsing "A Custom-Made Hell" before tracking it.
Oskar and Joel slacking in the lounge.
Oskar checks the recording status on our recording sheet.
Joel, after one pizza.
Thursday and Friday night I did some final edits and decided that the drums were fully recorded, which left us with one whole day ahead of schedule, as we had planned to soundcheck and start tracking the guitars on Sunday.
So on Saturday, Oskar and I went down to record some bass. As we are recording the bass straight into the computer we could just go ahead and begin. Pretty soon we realised that we had forgotten to properly tune the support guitars so it sounded a little bit weird when we tracked the bass, but we managed to record three songs in the few hours we spent down at the Coldworker Studios.
Oskar tuning the bass (wrong)
Oskar stuffing his face with chocolate after struggling with a hard song.
Bright and early on Sunday Dan Swanö came down again to soundcheck the guitars. We had borrowed a Triple Rectifier from Mathias (Millencolin/Soundlab) and turned the knobs until we got something good. As the plan was to to dub all the guitars (2xAnders B + 2xAndré) we decided to get an alternative sound for one of the players so we got a 5150 plugged in as well. After trying an older Marshall 4x12 cabinet we ended up using Mieszko's Marshall cabinet which sort of felt nice for me. It's fine that he can be part of the record in some way.
Again Swanö left us very happy with the basic sound so we began tracking the guitars. Anders B started and pulled of five songs before be had a little lunch break. Before that I wanted to hear what the sound was with both guitars and bass only to discover that the bass we had recorded was totally out of tune, which meant that the support guitar was allright and that the three bass tracks was not to be used! Typical!
André and Anders B discussing the guitar sound.
Dan Swanö soundchecking the guitars.
André then continued the tracking and recorded five tracks to. Only a song called "D.E.A.D." has all four guitar tracks so far and it sounds massive.
That concluded the first day of guitar recording and the first week of album recording.