hard rock

Tackling Issues

As a guy who's just put a couple of steps into the proverbial ocean of what is known as producing metal music, I've realized programming drums is a real pain in the arse (and mixing as well, lest I forget) I know some people who are pretty good at getting rhythms and writing them down on a drum roll. But, I'm not one of those people. My drumming abilities have always been noobish to say the least. And that's where the setup helped. I had MIDI hooked up to the computer and fortunately, the drummer was kind enough to tap that stuff down on the keys. Things became a little easier from there onwards.

My euphoria was short-lived unfortunately, as half-way through programming drums, we realized it was taking too much time and we decided to skip to the guitars. Brutal heaviness called. And I would be an idiot to not pick up the phone-call.
Guitar tracking followed, with nothing except the click at the back.This was also around the time that I figured it was not such a great idea.
Guitarists get sloppy when they just have a click. Lesson learnt.
Lesson #2 - Two takes are never enough for a clean guitar part. Especially when they're both messed up.
Lesson #3 - Editing guitars on the go > Editing later
Layers upon layers of guitars were stacked up on top of each other. Not all as good as you might think. Recording four takes of everything always helps.
Lesson #4 - The more guitars, the greater the awesome

When you're a band coming in to record your song. How tight you play pretty much defines the producer's scale of happiness. When the guitar's tight as fuck, everything eventually follows, but it's always slippery ground, when a guitarist's having a bad time with the click. I'm pretty sure most of them are like that. Nonetheless, after some incessant chatter, chips and lunch, we got back to the beast that was recording guitars. And it was almost like nothing was on time at some places. And some places seemed to have made it to the foundation stages.  And of course, everybody loves a tight band. Like this one I just came across below. What a guitar sound. I think I'm in love. Not that it's metal but nonetheless, A defined guitar sound is always a good sound, I guess.

 
 

Coming back to point, Bass tracking followed soon. It took about an hour. Which paled in comparison to the fact that guitars probably took about 5-6 hours. Then came the part where I tracked cookie monster vocals. It was my first time not recording clean vocals, so frankly I was kind of curious how I would approach it in mixing, but things turned out pretty fine in the end, I guess. Experimented with a lot of tricks like pitch shifting and parallel processing. FUNFUNFUN. Sidenote - Need to get myself a good dynamic mic soon. Gear updates soon, who knows. Woooo.

Not surprisingly, the first thing I did once recording got finished was go and grab a plate of momos / dimsum from the street vendor outside. Ah, the taste of victory. Jubilating.

GAMETYM!

One of my cooler hobbies when I'm not playing music or writing or maintaining blogs is to play games. I just recently finished Bioshock : Infinite and Crysis 3. I love to shoot stuff. First-Person Shooter Games are my second love. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I like chip-tune influenced music as well.

I recently joined an experimental/progressive metal band called Heisenberg as a full-time keyboardist. We jammed more than a couple of times and things just sort of, fit together. Even though it's just been a couple of months playing with Heisenberg, The energy and the vibe is incredible. The band has some incredibly talented people.

Somewhere around early October this year, I got a mail from Heisenberg's drummer Dipan Das. He had been working on an original composition on his own. He thought it would be a good idea to share it with us all. I heard the track a couple of time, and the guitars sounded pretty well done. The drums sounded pretty good too.

 
 

Now, having the creative itch that I have to work on almost anything interesting that comes my way, I decided to try working on keyboard stems for the track. I had recently got myself a copy of Logic Pro X and just upgraded my Mac to Snow Leopard and I figured it would be a nice way to test out the system.

What I ended up inadvertently playing on the track were a lot of chiptune sounds. There was also a lot of the trademark ambient sounds, something that I tend to do a lot, the main reason for which is the fact that Porcupine Tree has always been a huge influence on me.

As if the bundling up of chiptune with ambient sounds wasn't enough, the last section of the track had a very heavy breakdown-ish rhythm to it. I was at a point of confusion again and I decided to experiment a bit more and used saxophone sounds to make something like an improvised saxophone solo. It was a really interesting track to work on, and I still keep going back to the track just for the chiptune

 
 

Heisenberg is no stranger to the chiptune genre either. I would not be lying when I say Aishwarya Uniyal, the band's guitarist was probably the guy that got me into it and it seems like a really interesting genre. Heisenberg has released 8-bit versions of all their songs, something that's really unique and unheard of, in the scene. Something that makes me praise the band even more.

I have also been doing lots of interesting sounds on the Heisenberg songs and they all have fresh makeovers, which makes me look forward to the band's next jam. There's everything ranging from dubstep to chiptune to Electronic loops, and it's crazy.

Crazy is good. Right?