Sharing some heavy stuff, riffs, motivation and energy with you! Fear Factory Cover, The Overcoming Project, Riffs and Chugs, Cinematic Stuff, and more!
There is a trend that I’ve been noticing for years, and that has crystallised into a succinct summary in my head just recently. 📈
Heavy Rock and Metal field is massively saturated these days. Too many bands fight for the attention span of listeners that is limited. 🥊
The problem is, however, that musicians are not actively trying to stand out. Some deliberately race to sound like band X, which is OK (although I personally think that bands form a niche by discovering their own sound, and it’s hard to break into an already pre-occupied niche). 🚥
Others, though, simply fall into a certain sound by using software (and hardware) that everyone else in the field is using! 🍃
As the technology has grown so much recently 📲, we have a few go-to very high quality plugins for shaping the guitar and bass sounds, and enhancing drums with samples. These modern tools are really easy to use and get results in no time.👌
These results, however, sound very similar! And because of their wide spread and limited sound libraries, we basically get 2-4 major studio sounds across all modern metal productions. The final sound has a staple that gets recycled forever! ♻️
As magnificent as it is for the creators of these plugins (and I have the utmost and greatest respect for their hard work and outcomes! ✊), this, unfortunately, does great disservice to musicians and bands who desperately need to stand out in the crowded market! 🔉
My takeaway would be – always experiment! 🧪 Try weird shit, new approaches, or simply spend time tweaking buttons on your plugins, actively listening and engaging with these tools, and making sure that these sound great FOR YOU and YOUR MUSIC, and not just good in general. 🧬
This will allow you to power up your sound 🧨 and move towards discovering something special, something that your fans will remember for years, carve out your own niche and rocket up your live and studio career. 🚀
Ever struggled when listening back to your recording against the click, or getting tight enough for pro metal level? This video explains what to look for when recording into the click track, and how to improve your playing.
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Resonances in Recording Heavy Metal. In this video, I demonstrate how the phenomenon of resonance is relevant in recording and processing Heavy Rock and Metal Guitars, Bass, Drums, Vocals, as well as on the mixing stage. I explain the way to take these resonances under control, too.
I hope that this video resonates with you 😉 Let me know if this was helpful!
▶ Schedule a free first coaching session with me: https://eolstudios.as.me/free-consultation
Hey Rock and Metal Musician!
I see a lot of horror studio stories, projects that never get finished, or just don’t sound 100% amazing.
And this may be the final nail in the coffin of your band trying to stand out in the saturated heavy market.
Studio recording in Rock and Metal genre requires a lot of preparation from a musician. Without knowing certain hidden details of the process when recording Heavy Rock and Metal Guitars, Drums, Bass, Vocals, Keys, one may easily fall into the trap of over-analysis, self-doubt, and just average heavy records.
To solve this, I created this comprehensive checklist for you in order to avoid pitfalls, save studio costs, and navigate the process of creating your next release with ease and efficiency. This works both for studio sessions, as well as DIY home recording.
These recording tips and tricks are based on years of my own experience as a Metal Guitarist, Composer, Producer and Mix Engineer. I hope you find it useful and if you have any questions or clarifications, never hesitate to get in touch with me.
TOP Rock and Metal songwriting mistakes that I’ve seen consistently while working on music for my clients. Want your heavy band to stand out? DON’T make these mistakes, and work on these areas to improve your songs!
Individual consultation with me: https://eolstudios.as.me/free-consult…
In this video, I compare Heavy Rock and Metal Guitar Recording Technique: Double Tracking vs Quad Tracking. I demonstrate how Double Guitars display maximum tightness, and Quad Guitars make material more blurred and atmospheric.
I built this Heavy Metal Production Studio through blood, sweat, and tears – and way too much of each.
Emerging as a naive dream of 25-year old myself, with absolute zero financial foundation behind it. But my desperate desire to make Heavy Records the way I’ve been hearing them in my head throughout my life pushed from ‘nothing’ to ‘something’. And here I had the first basis of my studio, my first clients and my first records done. Still, without a clue on how to grow it and build it from ‘something’ to ‘everything’.
Blood, sweat, and tears. Coming back from my Doctorate studies at 5 PM, to get started in the studio. From 5:30 PM to 9:30-10 PM at night. Every business day, for 3 years.
Jumping into the studio full-time in 2018, with no way to remain in Australia and just desperately hoping that things would work out. Yet another round of 12-hour days, now in the studio and on the studio development side of things, thanks to The Six Figure Home Studio.
Going back to vicious routine, one last time as I promised myself, in 2019. 4 days a week at University lab to finish my immigration, the rest of the week is for the studio, in the name of heavy music, for my clients.
And ending up here, at the tail end of COVID, with ‘something’ turned to absolute ‘everything’ for me, and with future looking solid as I finally live the studio life I’ve been so desperately chasing for so many years.
I’ve paid a very high price for this, and now I take pride to call EOL Studios my job. At least, until I disappear from the face of this world, as a Doctor of Metal. And yes, EOL stands for Echoes Of Life – but that’s for another time and another story.
The mere single path – on the entire Earth.
5 Things I wish I knew when I first started playing Guitar/Music
This is a bit of a tricky article to write because it means getting stuck into some frustrations or regrets in my 20+ year playing journey and looking at some of the mistakes or set backs that have happened along the way. The goal is to try and set you guys up with some knowledge so that you can reach your musical goals FAST and quicker than I could. So lets get stuck into it
1 – Don’t suppress your dreams, goals, desires
This was a big one for me. I was always kind of scared of music in a weird way. I had a natural talent and ability with it during high school and the music teachers and staff at the school could see that, but me being young couldn’t.
I did well in school in general and thought that I could suppress my love and desire for music and choose a safer and more traditional path. This led me to a few careers I came to hate and burn out in and this constant battle to keep music alive in my life.
Now you don’t have to be like me, dedicating your life to music and doing it professionally. But if you genuinely love music, you genuinely want to play guitar and have goals that are creative or musical, you have to listen to it and see them through. Its the only way you will know if its for you or not. Don’t suppress this stuff, the more you suppress, delay, put off, procrastinate, the more it builds up and yearns inside of you to come out, and often it just comes back stronger at some point and can cause damage in doing so because it has to fight you and that internal suppression to be heard.
I see this a lot with people wanting to learn the guitar. They go through a battle early on where they try and learn and teach themselves, they hit a big brick wall, emotions kick in and they hit what I call “the dip” in the playing journey where things become challenging and not so easy for a bit.
If you get through the dip, you’ll play for life, if not, you’ll keep bouncing back and forth. throwing the guitar down and back in its case for weeks, months, years in frustration and anger, then come to regret it only to pick it up again realising it was a mistake and then having to work harder (particularly emotionally) to get back to where you were and then try and break through the same barrier that got you last time.
Don’t suppress! It creates twice the work!!!
2 – Don’t ever be afraid to invest in your playing
This was a big one for me at certain points of my journey. I strongly believe in continually investing in myself. Its what I call a “professional” behaviour and if I ever see a “pro” not doing it, it makes me want to steer clear of them because a true master knows that the more he knows, the less he knows.
Continually investing in yourself, continually challenging yourself keeps you grounded and humble. It keeps you hungry. It keeps the spark, joy, inspiration and innovation in you.
There are many different ways to invest in yourself and your playing. Here are a few examples:
-Environment. Where you play guitar is important. Are you practicing in a messy bedroom with heaps of stuff lying around, or are you investing in the space in which you perform and actually feel comfortable and enjoy spending time in? I know that when I didn’t have a home studio set up properly, I wouldn’t play guitar. This was a problem when I was share housing more. I didn’t actually feel comfortable to practice and be vulnerable and make mistakes. You’re practice environment is extremely important and it needs to be a space in which you can focus.
-Gear. The better you sound, the better you will feel when playing which is important. I often find gear and tone will inspire new ideas and ways of playing in me.
-Education. You always have to be investing in your knowledge and we’ve never had a better time to do that than right now. When I grew up and learned as a beginner I was forced to find just a local teacher, and try and learn through tab books. YouTube didn’t really exist just yet and the access to the information and resources and support we have wasn’t what we have now. We are truly spoiled right now and live in an amazing time.
-Technique. This is the hardest and where a teacher is important and why I still have teachers I work with. Invest in your technique. It will make you more comfortable on the guitar, it will open up your abilities for new styles, genres, licks, speeds or ways of playing and keep the guitar journey fresh and fun for you.
-Support. Find people who bring out the best in you. I’ve had horrible relationships where I had people very close to me tell me that music was stupid, that my goals with it were a waste of time. Get rid of these people ASAP, they are toxic.
3 – Its a marathon not a sprint.
This is very important for beginners and even intermediate players because when you first start the perceived progress is HUGE and very fast. It feels like things go at the speed of light. Your first riff feels amazing and comes quick, then your first song, your first solo. Then it feels like things slow down, mind you they don’t really, but the gratification that was there at the start does.
You’re still learning riffs, you’re still learning new things but the same buzz isn’t there. The gratification actually continues to slow down the longer you play, so its very important to understand this and know that it is a marathon and not a sprint.
4 – Find balance in your playing and practice.
I know some incredibly technical players with no feel and horrible song writing skills. I know some incredibly knowledgeable musicians who can tell you everything about theory but can’t create anything to save themselves. I know some amazing players who don’t understand how to record themselves or promote themselves and then go without an audience.
Balance to your playing and musicianship is everything. I try and find all of these areas and understand that they are part of being a modern musician and always strive to improve them and learn more in them
To be a modern musician you can no longer just sit in your room or get out and play shows and expect things to come to you. You have to be more entrepreneurial and multi-disciplined/skilled. Enjoy the learning behind all of these areas 😉
5 – Its ok to be different
Own who you are. Own that you’re different. You might be the odd one out in your circle of friends who likes rock music, who dresses different, why? because music changed you as it does all of us who feel called to it. Own it. There is only one version of you, and you only get one shot at this to enjoy it so enjoy it and enjoy the journey. Don’t beat yourself up for not being someone else, or not where you think you should be, this will kill your progress. Own where you are and work at it and enjoy it!
Cam Bird is a Recording Artist, Producer, Composer and Guitar Instructor from Melbourne Australia.
Merch Store: https://teespring.com/nl/stores/cam-bird
Studio preparation has to be taken as seriously as it possibly can be. You have a really short timeframe to get the best out of your music in the studio. You have to find the right people to develop trust and let them polish your tracks. You have to be prepared to work hard on practicing your parts to absolutely nail them on the day. And you have to plan the budget accordingly, to get the best bang for the buck!
In this article, I will walk you through this process step by step which has proven successful over the years of my experience as a Heavy Rock and Metal producer.
- How to find a Studio / Engineer / Producer whom you trust.
Trusting your producer/recording engineer is the foundation of successful record. It all starts with communication and discussion of your initial goals. I recommend outlining what you want to achieve first. It could be as simple as – get my first professional recording done. Or get a major album released and pitched for a label. Or get a track with for a music video to develop relationship with concert agencies and then open to international bands.
Your goals would define the production approach, and how you and your producer allocate the budget. They should come up with a few possible offers based on what drives your record and remains important.
For instance, if you are after a natural and live feel for the record, it makes a lot of sense to invest into studio time for real drums and not save up on programmed drums as this would impact the sound significantly. On the other hand, if you only have screaming vocals that come in occasionally, it makes no sense to hire an expensive studio session for vocal recording with huge microphone brand names – it simply would not impact your final product!
Once your prospective producer has developed a strategy for your recording, you need to understand whether it aligns with your vision for the final sound of the track, and compare this offer to what other professionals are offering.
Another important aspect is producer’s past work and social proof. Whether you like their style of sound, and whether their past clients are raving with satisfaction – can be a major criteria for choosing a professional.
- Budgeting and saving for the costs of studio recording.
It’s no surprise that we as heavy musicians make no money in the industry nowadays. And the production process remains fairly expensive. With our desire to spend as little as possible on the studio time, I believe that we still get what we pay for.
Therefore, it is so important to allocate budget effectively around your situation, not just a random offer that you get. You may be a talented and experienced guitarist, and can save up a significant chunk of money by recording guitars at home and sending them off to reamp later, rather than spending unnecessary studio time on it. Sometimes, though, you may need producer’s guidance if unsure on getting that superior tight sound.
Or, on the other hand, you may want to record your band completely live in a major studio – which saves time as opposed to multitrack recording. And then perform your guitar/vocal overdubs later at a project facility, which is less expensive to hire.
- Work bloody hard on your music and songwriting.
Heavy music industry is saturated with music of all sorts. If you want to be successful, you need to stand out, be unique. One part of it is your band’s brand and image, and promotion strategies. But it all actually starts with your music, and your actual songwriting. To stand out, you need musical hooks, be it death metal precise blast beats or sweet power metal catchy guitar licks. Such parts require a very precise and intense arrangement and songwriting work.
Therefore, I advise bands to work on their music very hard – but to a point. As our hearing gets blurred easily, and we can no longer tell what’s good and what isn’t in relation to our music. So being open to producer’s musical touch, slight diversification and polishing of your music can be extremely helpful to deliver your message across the board to your listener.
- Practice practice practice before studio!
This one is obvious, but is sometimes neglected. Of course you need to know your parts the very best way that you possibly can before the studio to use your time effectively. However, sometimes over-practicing the parts can lead to detrimental results. I suggest slowing your parts down to 50% of the original tempo and practice to the click so that your brain understands their layout really well. Then, you can gradually increase the speed and see a massive increase in the quality and flow of your playing!
- Good communication within the band, no bad blood.
A band is a multi-member powerhorse, which moves forward as a well-oiled heavy metal machine. But once there is miscommunication, bad blood arises, and this stops the whole thing from moving forward. This is especially relevant in the studio, where you are so limited in time, and stress levels are high. To not let bad blood happening, just talk! If there are issues, come to the common ground. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice one’s ego to get the mutual progress and success. And these ego issues can be dealt with later.
My rule is – No ego is allowed in the studio. Leave it by the entrance and get to bloody work.
- Have your ideas set, but be open to experimentation
Knowing your parts is crucial to successful session, but don’t be too rigid with these. Sometimes a spark of creativity leads to massive improvements for the song. An extra improvised guitar solo over the bridge, or an octave down harmony in the chorus can really lift certain sections. Be open to experiment!
- Communicate your perception well.
This one is huge. If things are not sounding as expected straight away, don’t get emotional. Try to be objective, explain ideas professionally. As your music is your heavy metal baby, it’s incredibly hard to stay cool during the birth process. However it’s the crucial part in order to get the sound that you want – just explain it! If you struggle to do so, provide reference tracks. The ones that you like the sound of, and the ones that you don’t like the sound of – to get the full reference spectrum.
- Have a backup plan and discuss it transparently (different mix engineer, etc).
In rare cases when things do not work out exactly as expected in the middle of the process, just stay cool and come up with a backup strategy. If you are happy with the recording but not quite digging the final mix, it may be important to collaborate with a different mix engineer for different approach. The only thing that can go wrong is when musician is not satisfied with the final product. So being open and transparent, and working towards everyone’s benefit, producer included, shouldn’t prevent you from changing the course if this what your music calls for.
- Have marketing strategy (at least basic one) ready before you finish production!
Huge one! So many bands record outstanding EPs and albums and then have no idea on release strategies! And there are many resources out there that actually provide healthy advice on Facebook / Youtube / Spotify marketing for your heavy Rock and Metal music. Check these out and get a rough outline before you drop your tracks out there. And if you need more help – consult with a professional in the field.
And that is it for my advice on coming into the studio and recording your heavy Rock or Metal release successfully! If there are any questions or comments, feel free to shoot these my way! Until then, happy practicing \m/
Dr. Mike Trubetskov is a Rock and Metal Producer, Guitarist, Composer, Arranger and Mix Engineer at EOL Studios from Melbourne, Australia.
Mike walked his Metal path from a Doctorate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to moving to Australia, building his studio and producing albums for sick heavy bands.
Mike is now going to lead you and his clients on this metal path!
- Studio Website: https://www.EOLStudios.com
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/eolstudios
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EOLStudios/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eol_studios/
- The Overcoming Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYchSVTYVxk&ab_channel=EOLStudios
Heavy Metal Musicians often struggle performing fast 16th note parts. This has nothing to do with their technique as it’s already up to the level. Contrarily, I show in this video that understanding the positioning of each note in the bar is the crucial step of performing it cleanly. This may help you immediately improve your recording and performing results by developing missing listening skills.
Short description: Technique to improve Heavy Metal Recording on Guitar, Drums, Bass or Vocals, be it home or commercial studio.
In this video, I discuss the fine line between Producing and Mixing Heavy Metal Music in the modern days with the prevalence of home recording studios. This information is applicable to musicians who self-record at home, and send their work for external production and / or mixing.
In this video, I break down what it takes to select the production approach for your next Heavy Metal track. I emphasise the importance of not losing the big picture, and consulting with the music and its message to come up with the best technical and creative strategies. I provide tips and tricks on recording your heavy rock and metal guitars, drums, bass, vocals, and mixing it at home studio.
In this video, I discuss the importance of Pre-Production process in heavy Rock and Metal Music. I demonstrate that using MIDI or Guitar Pro is an indispensable approach, allowing one to solidify all the parts prior to recording and achieve greater tightness in the final song.
In this video, I discuss psychology behind the recording process in Rock and Metal Music, and how one gets fixated on just a single mistake in otherwise a good take, and discards it then. I provide a method to improve one’s perception for judging recording takes of vocals, drums, guitars, bass, or any other instrument, be it a home studio or a large recording facility.
In this video, I discuss why is it important to commit to sounds during tracking, and not put this process off until later music production stages.
Writer’s block is a main problem when writing your new tunes. Many people are chasing inspiration which comes and goes. In this video, I discuss strategies to deal with writer’s block and make consistent progress on your rock and metal new songs.
In this video, I discuss ways and approaches to achieve the live feel in your recording. When you want your music to sound natural and flow like it’s being performed live, follow these steps!
In this short video, I will talk about how to create diversity in your music, and why it is important. It will be particularly interesting for any of you musos who are striving to create engaging compositions, exciting and encaptivating for your listeners.
Tags: songwriting, arrangement, song arrangement, music, heavy music, heavy metal, rock, home recording, home production, home studio
The Overcoming Project is a psychedelic-melodic-groove metal studio project conducted by Mike Trubetskov, PhD, Guitarist and Producer at EOL Studios.
Today Heavy Magazine is premiering the second single release titled, “Anxiety“, which features world-class musicians: Jon Howard (Threat Signal, Imonolith) on vocals, Mike Heller (Fear Factory, Malignancy) on drums, and Sergei “Efes” Fomin (FS Projekt) on bass.
Mike Trubetskov composed the track, performed guitars and all the production and mixing business. Tony Mantz mastered the track at Deluxe Mastering.
Talking to Trubetskov today about the new track he says, “’Anxiety’ depicts a psychedelic journey towards defeating one’s deepest fears, with blast beats, on an extreme edge of the consciousness.”
“Anxiety” is released digitally on all streaming platforms and is accompanied by a lyric video produced by Andy Pilkington at VeryMetalArt.
This happens again. You see a shining post of another band killing it, opening with international acts, releasing a fantastic video, celebrating a sold out gig with their fans.
As you’ve been quiet, working on your new release for quite a few months now and not making that much progress rapidly (isn’t it damn hard to make music promptly hey?), you inevitably start comparing yourself with that band.
These thoughts lead you to an inevitable spiral of self-doubt, negativity, insecurity and sometimes even envy.
The scarcity mindset becomes real. Music business is ruthless to us, creatives. So much pressure and so much stress brings weak thoughts to even the strongest of us. And we sometimes may think that the success of that other band is our own failure.
It is super important to understand that this is the main mistake in this line of thought. Just because someone released a successful EP absolutely doesn’t mean that your won’t be successful! Just because someone has played a huge gig absolutely doesn’t mean that their fans would turn your gig down. Conversely, this only means that the music scene is growing, the demand is increasing, and there actually will be place for your music in the scene!
The healthy way is to stop comparing yourself with the others and start comparing yourself with you in the past. Have you grown in the previous few months? Have you developed a new skill, wrote a new song, improved your performance or made progress on long-standing album in the works?
Your path as a creative is unique and must be different to anyone else – that is the definition of authenticity. Aim to be a better version of yourself every new day, and your progress will never stop coming.
One of my very talented clients told me that the society doesn’t value music as a commodity anymore.
This thought strikes me hard, as it is the truth. People value food, lifestyle, luxuries and money much more than the subtle and elusive yet extremely powerful art of music.
It is a very sad battle – to fight so hard for something that the majority doesn’t even consider valuable!
However I think as music has been devalued for a few decades now, it is the very time for us, musicians, producers, engineers to strike back and show everyone what the real value of our precious art is!
I value music because it enhances the raw emotions, brings cathartic revelations, makes the listener connected, shivered, excited. I value music because at the end of the day it can break the useless consumer society cycle and force someone to open their ears and step on a path of inner development.
Music also makes the musicians who performed the record eternal, leaving massive legacy after their death. In fact, when I listen to certain artists I can feel them singing and playing right in front of me, no matter how long ago they passed away or what happened in their lives.
I urge all of us, musicians, to show everyone how hard we work to capture the depth of life into our creations.
I urge all of us to show that there are things infinitely more significant than the dull cycle of consumerism, and that is our art and our soul.
I urge all of us to fight our battle hard, and I know that collectively we can make an impact that will spread across people who have the ears to listen.
In this video, I discuss when is it appropriate to attempt to record your band live as opposed to instrument by instrument recordings, and what could determine this choice.
In this video, I describe a method to gain a more objective perspective on guitar sound selection.
I illustrate it by going through one of my sessions and showcasing 5 different guitar amp models.
I then explain why and how I picked the most suitable one.
//Song and material is by Russian band NST (Nol’ Sekund Tishiny or Zero Seconds of Silence).
In this video, I discuss how simplifying things in the recording process may really help your home Rock or Metal recording to sound better.
In this video, I talk about how we as heavy musicians and audio professionals should never stop learning. I provide 10 different approaches to learning in the field of heavy music and hope you find these useful.
In this video, I discuss the importance of creative and technical thought and process separation in music production process. I provide actionables that are aimed to help you achieve it.
I’m glad that the “Sample War” is getting to its conclusion, similarly to how the Loudness War ended about a decade ago.
Sample-replaced drums are mostly outdated now, and the productions still done this way send us straight back to 2015.
Sterile sounding songs are not in trend anymore. I see more and more musicians requesting natural sound of their records, despite how heavy they want their sound, and I highly respect that.
Still, there is a lot of misunderstanding about using the samples. People tend to think about it on the extreme side of things – either full replacement with lifeless plastic sampled sound, or no sample usage at all.
I advocate for a different approach to using sampling and the modern sound production technologies in general.
Instead of going for the “trend”, we are going to help the source material to shine, whatever it requires.
For example, if the original recording of the kick drum is lacking the punch in the 100 Hz low end range, there is no harm to gently blend an appropriate sample to make the original recording fuller and bigger, dial in the missing part yet retain the original character.
Similarly, if the snare is lacking a piercing attack at 3 kHz, there is no harm in gently blending the transient sample in to get the attack back!
Moreover, one can colour the samples by using all the emulations of analog gear available at our fingertips. Console and tape saturation, analog-like EQs, etc. It’s our job to utilise these tools properly, with a careful consideration of the character of the song.
Our ultimate aim is to open up and enhance the original sonic character and the original message of the artist, with all the tools available.
We should never aim to throw this character away and replace it with generic, lifeless and characterless samples.
Tags: drum samples, recording drums at home, slate trigger, drum sound, drums, home recording studio, drum kit online, digital drum kit, drum triggers, sound samples, ezdrummer, free drum samples