Monday, November 19, 2012

"Tentacle Disco"

Wednesday....what happed in Wednesday? That was day 1 out of 27. Wait, I remember. Kick, kick, snaresnaresnare. This tom is too tight. This one's sounding too hollow. Did I go through this already?

Thursday, day 2 out of 27.

I have done quite a few albums, sessions and gigs with Beast Dominator. But I swear to Rivfader this guy has never, ever played this well. And seemingly he senses it too, as he's full of ideas and spreading ridiculously groovy and technical (yet extremely fitting) drum stuff to upon the poor listener. Seriously, if rehearsing pays off this much, we gotta start doing it more often. Besides, the more input and enthusiasm I get out from the other people, the more excited I am, which leads to even better results production- wise.
Trust me, when your only feeling is frustration and lack of all hope, you don't want to ask someone to overachieve himself and simultaneously doing the same yourself anymore. You just want that shit to end, mimick the demos precicely, finish it with pride and walk the fuck out. "Yes, it's good enough".

This is not definitely a "serious case of Finntroll", but rather universal. We've all been in a situation when you just want to wash your hands and walk away from that mockery of professionalism you've been shoved into, but obviously you can't. You may be leading it (in which case there's maybe a mirror too look on), or you might be responsible for your boss for the outcome. Whatever the reason is, you're stuck, screwed and want to punch babies.
With Finntroll, it happens sometimes. And with other bands or projects as well. I was once doing a movie score- choir recordings where the "professional" singers were actually a hungover bunch of metalheads and schoolgirls who were too shy to sing. I ended up doing the last Gregorian choirs by myself at my office, using a SM58, a harmonizer plugin to get my girly voice low enough and a fucking airport- sized reverb to mask those whiny exhales of mine into something more credible. The females got some serious "guest starring" from EastWest "female aahs a-e" and I am still so goddamn proud of how I actually got the final result to fool everyone, including the singers. :D

You know, motivation usually leads to better results. Add fun (I haven't had this much fun ever in a Finntroll- studio), people constantly pushing each other way beyond their skills, wacky ideas and awesome last- minute hooks and you're on FIRE.
And that particular hairy guy lit over half of the songs ablaze in one day. Jebus christ. Motivation, we all can haz it!

Friday. Day 3 out of 27.

It all started with arranging the brass section and printing notes for the players. Which I didn't do at the office in the early morning if anyone asks, by the way.
Beast decided that he's gonna start with The Dreaded One today and played it without me, using only the backing keyboard track. Vreth and Virta were producing the final versions and while I was reading the news at the kitchen, poor Vreth edited the approved and grooviest takes out from The Dreaded One. Beast was put to play it over and over again, because we thought he could play "less safe and more dangerously". We wanted drum fills which sound like a hulking orc in a car crash instead of a couple of cymbals, you see. And most of the stops and breaks were sounding so much better when played a tiny bit too "fast" compared to the actual tempo track that we wanted more of those as well. Like in Reign in Blood, where the music sounds all the time it's going to fall apart because it's played so uptempo. :D

If you're wondering what song is so dreadful Tundra is sweating constantly while rehearsing it in half tempo, Routa is turning from red to even more red and I refuse to record any guitar players, it's Nexro. Probably the hardest song for anyone in this band's history. When you hear it, you'll shit bricks. And when you hear it, spare a half-a-minute silence for the people who actually performed it onto tape for you.
Silence aside, Beast performed...or rather ass-raped with a hammer the missing songs and went to buy some well- deserved beer at that point. I was rather keen to see Mgla performing at the city, but yet spent two hours of watching people guitar- porno- ing amps, cabinets and whatnot. At 22, everyone was so tired that we went home. I didn't like the guitar sound at that point, but I was 100% sure the guys want to redo it tomorrow when they have slept overnight and hear it again. :D Missed Mgla, missed sauna but at least we had ice-cream at home!

(No, I don't actually give a rat's ass about guitar sound in general in this kind of music, to be honest. It's anyway so "traditional" that as long as there's enough distortion we can mold the sound in the mix instead of spending hours to think how many cabinets we need or what pickups give the best plectrum-hit-sound before we still have to mold it in that mix. Add ten thousand synths, play buzzing riffs with that sound you made for three hours and more drums, vocals and compress the fuck out of them and suddenly no- one hears any difference on that sound. And no matter what people want to experiment, it's going to be that 57 and Mesa anyway what they decide to use for the final sound. ;)

Saturday, 4/27.

Surprisingly, the guitar sound was tweaked to be actually good. For my great delight, all this had happened before I got to the studio so I was more than happy. Instead of the traditional "Skrymer plays all his guitars first and the Routa plays his guitars" we decided to have a different approach- when Skrymer has played one song, Routa plays his side immediately after. This way, he can get the same instructions Skrymer got at the same time and they both know what each other plays and we can test arrangements right away. We are also taking the clean signal for emergency, so we decided to do the most naziest, most evil and prolly the most anti rock'n'roll producer trick ever and made the guys actually hear the clean sound as well. No more timing problems, fuck- ups with wrongly rehearsed stuff or tune problems- with the clean sound accompanied, not a single fuck- up passes the producer's ears now unnoticed.

I recorded the guys playing Halkodisko and Kyyppari and left them at 21 to play Rivfader, which Virta recorded. I didn't see Necros Christos performing (yes, there was a BM- festival ongoing: we don't usually get darkthrones and gravelands playing every tuesday at local pizzerias here if you wondered that) either, but at least I got home before midnight.

Sunday, 5 of 27.

No, we don't rest, thanks for asking. In fact, we don't have a single day off during the whole session. Today we started with playing about 30% of Rivfader again. Could had been much worse if you ask me, so kudos for the guys. Then we stormed through (red clouds and holocaustwinds) Piraatti and Lolbster and I left Tundra to record the boys playing Mitävittua.
I have decided that in order to keep my mental health, making everyone's motivation better and actually being able to do my best, I won't do everyone's and their grandma's job at the studio. Thus far, it hasn't been a problem to anyone, but everyone have been doing their parts and even more. Just like a real band does.

Tomorrow I'll have the morning off from work so we start earlier with more guitars. Now I need some sleep. Later, peeps!

1 comment:

  1. Wow I really want to hear The Dreaded One hahaha seems like it's a master piece.