Sonic Pump Studios 20.11.05
The day started quite early as we had agreed to get going at 11 am so we could get all the needed gear and ourselves to the studio early enough. It was around 12 o’clock when we arrived at Sonic Pump with Mikko. A.Malinen, our soundman, arrived soon after. We loaded the gear in and Mikko went to pick up the rest of the band (Toni wasn’t around as he’s in Barcelona skateboarding).
The first thing I noticed when I stepped inside the studio was that it looked like a fancy hotel or something, at least to me, and made me think of HIM somehow. I chilled out ’til the other guys arrived and then I went to set up the drums. Malinen set up the mics and then we waited for the hungover soundengineer/studioexpert Nino to arrive.
Soon everything was set up end ready for me to go bang the drums one by one as the studioguy was turning and pressing all kinds of weird buttons and stuff to make them sound right. I felt weird sitting there with Mikko and Sampo looking at me, and Nino and Malinen speaking to me through the headphones, afterall it was my first time in a studio. The guys in the control room knew what they were doing though and the sounds were soon set.
It was time to start laying down the first drumtracks. We started with the two songs that felt most familiar to me so I wouldn’t feel all too nervous and then went on for the rest of the tracks. Mikko and Antti-Ville took turns playing demoguitars for the record and Sampo played bass.
In three hours I had laid down some sort of drumtrack for every song and it was time to take a break and listen to them. Most of the tracks were allright, some were not, so I’d have to go and play some more. I played for a couple of more hours and after each take listened to Malinen and the other band members judging if it was ok or not.
I felt weird and tired when we had finally recorded and listened to the last tracks and went to watch Metallicas Some Kind of Monster to chill out. It made me feel good, at least it hadn’t taken me a year to lay down the tracks for the record and we didn’t need a psychiatrist in the studio either.
My part is now done, next sunday it’s time for the rest of the band to start stressing out.
Recording guitars: Making a long story short
Few days after recording the drums Antti-Ville and I packed our equipment and headed to RedFive Studios in Vantaa. After fine wooden floor and leather couches Sonic Pump, we found out that RedFive was a nice little garage/bedroom studio with a little bit more punk rock spirit in it. So after a cup of coffee we put up our gear in the garage and did a little soundcheck. Malinen turned some knobs and in no time we had the sound we wanted. The main guitar was my Gibson SG Special, plugged into a Peavey 5150. Later on we also doubled all the guitars with A-V’s ENGL Thunder head. Both amps went through the same Orange cab, and the sound was captured with a Shure SM57.
Being a first-timer in studio wasn’t easy. We had to simplify many parts of the songs due to lack of skills. And some parts… well, let’s just say they didn’t fit in the songs at all. Luckily we had our engineer – the King Of The Riffs – A. Malinen, who guided us with the tough parts and produced us to make a better record. Although it took us longer than we had expected, we got all the songs on tape the way we wanted… So now when the guitars are done, it sounds superb!
Red Five Studios 5.12.05
While recording guitar parts Mikko and Antti-Ville had made some little changes to the songs. And since the day of bass recording was a bit delayed I had more time to rehearse those songs. I remember having some frustrating moments trying to keep up with “On the Wrong Side”.
I was supposed be in the studio at 9 am, but thait was also postponed to 1 pm cause Antti had to get some stuff from the place where played withhis band Down My Throats last Saturday. And traffic jam gave me even more time to wake up. I Think I have a little bit too progressive sleeping rythm.
Couple days earlier Mikko had fine tuned my bass and I had bought a Boss Bass Overdrive pedal, so we got quite good sound out of my equipment. I won’t try to describe the sound, I’ll just say it was good. I started with “Like a Ghost” and then just played the songs in no particular order. Suprisingly “On the Wrong Side” wasn’t as difficult as I had expected. Things wen’t quite smoothly and after couple of hours we were finished with all the bass tracks. But I can honestly say that this would have been quite different experience if I hadn’t had all the tracks on my computer to rehearse to.
Recording vocals: losing and finding my voice
Everything was ready and waiting for me when I came back from a two week long Barcelona vacation Recordings began on Sunday and we had a gig in Turku on previous Friday. Straight to the stage with a bad flu and no singing in a month. Although the gig was great the outcome wasn’t. My flu got worse and I had a sore throat and fever on the scheduled recording day. So my voice was pretty much lost. We did one song and decided to postpone the recordings. Fuck.
…two weeks later. A new try. Last two days of the year and 13 songs to do, oh shit. My voice opened suprisingly well and I got used to the headphones. I read words and names from the walls of Red Five studio. Memories of the events and people that I had forgotten kept flashing before my eyes. I was happy it wasn’t the late nineties anymore and I screamed like there was no tomorrow.