June 2018

Hello friends,

We’re about midway thru the year already, which is hard to believe. It seems when you are making music 10 hours a day every day time really just blows by… whodathunkit?

We have some new acquisitions here, such as an Orban 672A mono equalizer, a JLM TG2 (with impedance control). Also some cabinets that are on display down below.

Deathbed from Brisbane have also just wrapped up an EP here. They are a metallic hardcore band that incorporates sonic elements from instrumentalists such as Scott Carlson (repulsion) and Danny Coralles (autopsy), however their stylistic influence draws from modern hardcore such as Knocked Loose and Desolated. It is unlike contemporary metallic hardcore bands to have a stripped back, harsh and less over-evaluated production, so it was a pleasure to make a recording that was as ugly as a live performance.

Another fun project this month was high school kids Dandelion. It was their first experience recording anything and they were quite hesitant to jump into the deep end. However, they were quite comfortable soon enough once they realised it was not at all intimidating. They were quick to discover how fun making records really is! Their first show is on the 30th of June at Common House in the valley.

Another hugely fun project was tracking a song for a split with Hraun, some photos of that one below aswell.

Blacktone Speaker Cabinet

Dylan from Blacktone Cabinets was kind enough to build us a custom speaker box that would end all other cabs. We needed something that would be the ultimate utility for almost any situation and Dylan was more than accomodating to make it happen.

This cab is loaded with 2 Eminence Texas Heats in the bottom, 2 75w Lorantz in the middle and 2 Weber Blue Dogs in the top (which is actually open backed). The Texas Heats are 150w, incredibly responsive so great for chugging, they produce a very thick sound without pushing too much air that it leans towards being boomy. The Lorantz speakers are incredibly detailed in the mids. They are actually 75w so in the case of having different wattages, the 4 speakers together are rated to 4x the speaker with the minimal wattage. This makes it a 300watt 4×12 (16ohm) input for this bottom section.

The Blue Dogs in the top of this cab are 75w, so they are a tad more open and smooth than where they are usually found (in smaller combo amplifiers). These versions use higher temperature voice coils, although they are the same mass as the lower power voice coils. This is for a consistent frequency response and a predictable attack.

If you are game, an amplifier with 2 x 16 ohm outputs can run this whole thing.

Another new cabinet here is this vintage Vase cabinet, these are loaded with celestion G12s (non heritage version). These are considered a lesser speaker in response to the other versions within the line, but their response is a missing ingredient here amongst the other cabs we have. They have a detailed low end and not much top at all. This is a great thing when presented with a telecaster or strat being plugged into a bright amplifier, it can help reduce sizzle and unusable top end.

Its great to have a piece of Brisbane history here in this studio, more info on Vase’s heritage can be found here.

Deathbed EP tracking

Almost all of modern metal, or metallic hardcore in this case is drum replacement, DI’d guitars and amp simulators. When a band comes here wanting an alternate production it can be challenging considering their contemporaries have an inhuman amount of punch and volume across all instrumentation. The obvious help is great playing and the right sound sources (drums, amps etc.). Although once that is taken care of, some practices I have adopted from years of struggling with this, plus others tips I have gleaned from those who are willing to share are:

– Hi pass more than you would think necessary, some people even hi pass at 500-600Hz on overheads (all before compression).
– Use a VCA comp on overheads to duck the snare, as this sorta music wants mostly top snare in the mix.
– Gate room sources keyed from the snare and toms, if the music is slow enough you could even use the bass drum additionally. This shouldn’t create any sort of chatter, as you only want to be taking a few dB off to eliminate cymbals. Do this before any other eq or compression.
– Sometimes the guitar won’t be existing much in the mid zone.
– Key the high mid frequency of a multi-band compressor on guitar from the vocals.
– Key the low frequency of a multi-band compressor on the bass from the bass drum.
– When using compression or distortion on vocals or other sources, its much more transparent to perform this incrementally. A limiter and then 3 or 4 different compressors doing very little sounds much more flattering than one compressor smashing someone’s voice (especially if it is software).
-You need to have a gross amount of mix buss comp/limiting on the whole time, although you will take it off before a final bounce, understand it will be pushed to within an inch of its life after you are done with it.

Hraun tracking session

This was only one night and one morning, but it was a great project to work on with some really old friends. Everything live and mixing was just a case of massaging the monitor mix to 2 track!