torsdag 29 januari 2009

No More Reviews...

Ok, after some consideration I have now taken a decision. I understand the recording business have struggled long and hard with idiots uploading CDs on torrents, before they have even been released. They have tried adding voice-overs, cutting tracks etc, but the problem is for us who are trying to review the albums. These things are highly annoying. Cutting the tracks short is like giving me a book where the final pages of each chapter have been ripped out. Voice-overs makes me wanna turn off the CD and throw it away and it doesn't help giving a good impression of the CD.

So, the new deal is that we now have to get a downloading account for each label, log in, download each new album track-by-track, burn a CD-R ourselves and print out the cover/promo sheet and review. THIS SUCKS!!
In most cases I don't get paid for reviews, and now I don't even get a CD for my efforts. Why should I put my time and effort into helping a label/band to sell their CD when I have to pay for it myself and don't get nothing (but a bunch of mp3:s...)? I have taken the decision that I will only review CDs I eith get a promo/copy of OR if the label will send me a proper copy after the review has been published. I have much better things to do with my time!

Listening to:
ANDROMEDA - "The Immunity Zone" - The prog masters have done it again"
CRUCIFIED BARBARA - "Til Death Do Us Party" - AWESOME! Heavy gritty ballsy metal!!
ADD - "Elements Of Emptieness" - Great new US band!

måndag 26 januari 2009

The pros and cons of having the studio at home

I have my own studio at home. It's no grande pro equipment, just the stuff sufficient enough to record guitars and, if needed, vocals. When I demo stuff I just plug in the POD XT and I cand go all night. It's quick and dirty, but the sound is good enough. I often use it when I sit and noodle around with solos for records I'm working on. Some of them have actually stuck and ended up on an album. I do admit when comparing the sound to recording with a miked up Hughes & Kettner there are a lot of frequenzies missing.
To the point, the pros about having a studio at home is I can write, demo and record whenever I feel inspired, be it 8 in the morning or 2 at night. I can go on for a couple of ours, take a break and watch some TV, eat or go out in the garden, my own garden. This is quite refreshing compared to being locked in a studio with the pressure to perform all the time, seeing the clock (= money) tick away.
On the con side, I have a tendency to overwork things. I'm currently working on the Constancia album, and to be honest I think I've re-recorded the rhythm guitars three times in some songs, I hopa dn believe it's all for the better. Yesterday I received the final vocal files from David and when adding them and listening back to the complete songs with vocals I felt, hmmm... maybe I should change that solo to do something cool together with the vocals? Knowing myself I know exactly what to do tonight (before and/or after I've interviewed Herman Frank for FUZZ that is). It's hard to put the foot to the floor and say stop when the possibility is right before you. I guess we all chase for perfection. Well, as long as someone sets a deadline it works out.
When this is done I will start working on the new Mountain of Power album. Yes, I have a sort-of deadline on this one, so I can't really keep noodling around too long. Tempting though :-)

Listening to:
HERMAN FRANK - "Loyal To None" - Not bad at all! Classic Acceptish metal
STORM - "II" - Re-issue of the female fronted US band. Great forgotten gem! Thanks Rock Candy!
SANTERS - "Top Secrecy" - Another band that deserves to be resurrected!
STEFAN ROSQVIST BAND - "The Guitar Diaries" - Great Swedish player!

onsdag 7 januari 2009

Recording guitars at 4.00 in the morning...

Christmas is over, new years eve has passed and I have finally recorded all the guitars for the upcoming Constancia album! I decided to try and give each song its own vibe and sound (which will of course be of great joy for the mixing engineer, hehe). I've used my Hughes & Kettner Trilogy with a H&K 4x12 cab (Vintage 30 speakers), miked with a Shure SM57 up close and a big membrane AKG at a distance. I've basically laid down two rhythm guitars with two tracks each for each song. Plus additional lead and harmony guitars. Some clean guitars I did with a Pod XT. Saturday night I recorded acoustic guitars until 4 in the morning. I used my old Washburn steel string, miked it with the same two microphones. It came out sounding pretty good I think. The only problem playing and recording yourself, is I have to sit by the computer to be able to record/stop etc without having to run back and forth. Plus I need to maintain the same position for the sound to be consistent. As the mikes are really sensitive, eeven though I have really tight and good headphones, I had to turn the sound (click in particular) down really low for it not to leak into the recording.
David has finished the vocals, too, so now I'm just waiting for the vocal files and I will have a listen to it all to see if anything needs to be added. It's really exiting to hear how it's developed since the first demos. It's so much fatter and heavier now. Feels great!
Me and singer David Fremberg have also been collaborating on a cover which can be quite cool, too.
So, life is good, and tonight my girlfriend's back from England :-)

Listening to:
Sky High - "Download" - Heavy blues rock the way it's supposed to be played
Rob Johnson - "Shredworx" - Great collection of Rob's nice shredding
Coney Hatch - "Friction" - What's up with Canada and all their great bands?
Santers - 4-CD box - Finally got this Japan release! Another great Canadian band!