Recording "Salt" - Part 5: Mixing

07.12.2009 – Mix

Here´s the last part of the studio diary thingy. This time about mixing and mice ...

Cheers!
ERIK


Saturday, 21.11.09
Once again I was back at Arlanda airport in Stockholm ready for some more WH action. Teddy picked me up and we went to the studio. We listened to some of the stuff Teddy had been preparing. Of course he had recorded his bass parts, which sounded extremely heavy and mean – great. But he had also been working on the general sound, mainly the drums. So we loaded up all the various files, checking that everything was working. This can be a bit nervewrecking, but we haven´t had too much computer trouble this time, except for a bit of the usual PC vs. MAC battle. Then I recorded the bass outro part that ends the long “Lost At Sea”. Teddy hadn´t got around to doing this, so it was easier that I just did it. Anyway, we went to buy some beer and that was about it for this day.


Sunday, 22.11.09
Today we, or mainly Teddy, worked on the basic mix. He was hearing some frequency in the vocal tracks that was annoying him, so that took a bit of work, EQ-ing and stuff. But we´re already pretty close to a great sound.


Monday, 23.11.09
We did the first mix-through of “Discovery”. Since it´s a very simple song, as far as the whole sound-scape is concerned, it can give us a good indication of the sound, before we start working on the far more complex mixes of the “real” WH-songs. We did some really cool Manowar-type drum effects on this song.

We then made almost complete mixes of “Away!”, “The Field” and the first part of “Lost At Sea”. And amazingly, and to his discomfort, Teddy is actually starting to dig WH ... HAHA!

Oh, I must also mention the rest of the studio household, which consists of a larger amount of mice. After all, we´re in the countryside in an old barn, so naturally there are mice. Only, since I´m living in the big city, I´m not exactly used to sharing my space with other species – at least not ones chewing on the cables.


Tuesday, 24.11.09
After clearing the mixing disc for mice (we think they´re working on their own album at night… probably a very cheesy one…HAHA!) we mixed the second half of “Lost At Sea” and “Sympathy”. We started on “The Desperate Poet” as well, but by this time the good lads in Teddy´s thrash-band F.K.Ü. came to the studio to rehearse for their gig in the weekend on the island of Åland. So I got to watch an exclusive F.K.Ü performance all alone in the control-booth. How cool is that? What a great band. I was even treated with some CD´s and merchandise – thanx guys, you mosh!


Wednesday, 25.11.09
We had a lot of fun today doing “The Mad Sailor”, “Tears” and “The Last Tribe”. Although I think Teddy considered killing me, because I´m so particular about everything…hehe. Still, he claims he enjoys it and that because we think so differently about music, we might actually learn something from each other.

Oh, and we also did a reverse acoustic guitar for the opening of “The Field”.


Thursday, 26.11.09
This morning we got the last recordings from Martin. He had the flu, but had crawled to his studio to send us the files – you rock, dude! So they were incorporated into the mixes, and we finished off “The Field”.

We then went to pick up Andreas at the station. He recorded his parts pretty quickly and they are quite insane. Aspiring keyboardplayers – don´t try this at home!

We then made a mix-through of “Water Of Life” before continuing with “The Desperate Poet”. This song was very complex to mix – a lot of stuff going on and very many changes in intensity and expression. But it turned out a really cool rock song. The trick is to have the things sound catchy and natural, even if they are complicated underneath. And I think we managed that.


Friday, 27.11.09
Today we started by mixing “Weather The Storm”. It became a great mix with lots of nice strings. We then drove Andreas to the train again, ´cause he had to play a gig with a country-band in the evening (?!).

Fredrik Klingwall, Teddy´s co-worker in the studio, arrived. He´s gonna be here the last few days ´cause Teddy is leaving early Saturday for his gig with F.K.Ü. But anyway, we already had an almost finished mix, so Fredrik is mainly gonna help with going through everything and touching up the last few things. Incidentally, Fredrik is also a big Monty Python- fan, so we spent the rest of the evening quoting all that good stuff.


Saturday, 28.11.09
Today, Fredrik and I did the last final touch-ups on the mix. Especially making sure that the vocals stand out all the time. And Fredrik was pretty cool at these things. We did the final mixdown and I went to check the sound on Teddy´s private stereo. It sounds rather amazing, actually!


Sunday, 29.11.09
A few final corrections were made before we made the master track, which is going to the mastering-engineer, Lawrence. So we made him a few notes about fadings etc. Then we had to back up the whole thing, which of course takes some hours. Luckily, Fredrik is also a Jethro Tull-freak and had brought a lot of their stuff on his laptop, so we listened to that, before he gave me a ride back to the airport – in immense fog. Luckily the plane wasn´t delayed because of this so I arrived back in Copenhagen on schedule.

Actually, this whole production has been so smooth – like nothing I´ve ever experienced before. So apparently, hard struggle is not always the road to great results, ´cause when I listen to the music, I´m pretty damned pleased. It´s definitely the first time I´ve almost cried listening to WH. Now the final test of the music is up to our fans of course. I really hope you´ll enjoy these songs, ´cause it´s definitely our best and we could not have delivered them anymore intensely.

And so, here ends this long winding studio report. Now we´re just dying to unleash these “shanties from hell” upon the world. So stay tuned to this website for details about release dates etc.

Your humble minstrel of metal,
ERIK