Archive for April, 2007
K asked me to write a little something about my experiences from this record, so here we go.
Working with K is always a trip. He is one of the few friends I have left since “the old days” and he hasn’t changed a bit. He will always give you what he thinks, straight to your face. Praising or wrath!! (I have only experienced the praising this time, which is nice!!)
This makes the mixing a very easy process in one way, no messing about with psychology to get an honest opinion, but his obsession to details is enough to drive any studio-engineer to tears, lucky for me that I am a perfectionist to the core myself and can relate to his uncontrolled joy of “that perfect fade” or when I magically inserted an “S” sound to Jörgens vocal!!
We both share the vision that we first and foremost do this for ourselves. The only thing that matters is that WE can listen to the album, back to back without annoying us to death with little details. Once achieved, it´s sonic nirvana, sex for the ears, for all mankind!!
And this time we got there, faster and more painless than ever!!
I have been there in the background from the very foundation of the unique union that is TPH and have always been fascinated with the blend of the hardest and heaviest of metal clashing against the sound-scapes from the world of electronics. (Nothing you ever dreamed of hearing when the metal-fans puked over the heavy used of synthesizers on “Turbo” by Judas Priest, that I secretly loved together with “Somewhere in Time”…and, god forbid, Depeche Mode!!)
Anyway.. What always surprises me is their ability to write even better songs… all the fuckin’ time. I thought the last album was gonna be impossible even to match. But, of course, they had to make it so much better than the last one it hurts!!
A big part in what makes this album so incredible is the perfect aligning of many important elements. First of all, finally, at last.. REAL DRUMS!!
Say it with me: R E A L D R U M S ! ! !
And, my… I was gonna say God, but that doesn´t really go with the K-man, so I say..Dra åt hela jävla helvete what an amazing drummer he found!! Even though K’s drum-programming skills are out of this world, Me and K used to dream of contacting (and blow the budget) on a drummer-for-hire like Gene Hoglan Back to the praising of Mojjo. When K told me he had found a real drummer to record the album, alarm bells the size of Malmköping went off in my head, but I shouldn’t have worried. If there is one man more picky with drumming than me, it’s Mr. K!! He can tell you more about how magnificently Mojjo pulled off the whole recording. He’s worth a grammy for his performance, goddamn!! Hat Off!!
This time Michael once again proved that he is a true talent. It’s so good to hear him really “find his space” in the world of TPH. He runs over those strings (Not sure how many, 5 I guess!!) like a rabid squirrel from beyond!! His timing and his ability to NOT play what K plays all the time and still not clash is uncanny!! And the bass-sound we got is awesome too!! ‘ Even loud and “cloinky” enough for the K-master…
Both Jörgen and Jonna were much better recorded this time. Robban and Ture did a tremendous job in capturing the beauty and the demon in both their voices! It was a pleasure to mix. A little spanking from an UAD 1176 and some proximity-reduction with a Pultec (Hey, a little bit of geek-talk is cool!!) was all it took to place these voices right in your face!!! And K… I promise, there is NO reverb on Jörgen!!! Ever!!
Since it is no surprise that K is one of the best rhythmguitar-players in the world and Mazza is a mean bastard on all the six-strings, I really don’t have to mention this, but I just have to say that some of the riffing present on this record is top ten death metal riffing!! K is sick!!
There is a passage in “The Innocence of three faced-savior” that just blew my fucking ears off, no joking!! I had just imported all the files from Reason and had really no idea of what was on those tracks since you export and import them in silence.
Another spooky incident was when I had finished listening to one of the early mixes on my 25€ computer-speakers, I turn around and see my Decibel-meter reading 66.6 dB. I nearly crapped my pants…. again!!! Every now and then I would find the perfect balance of a guitar at -6.66 dB… of course…. and when a disturbing frequency turned out to be 666 Hz I nearly told K that I was off the project, and volunteer to mix the new Stryper or something!! I told K today, that if the whole album would have been 666 MB instead of 660, I would have stopped my involvement with this record right there!! (Since I had a flight to catch later that same day… I am actually writing this 38.000 feet in the air, closer to God than to the ground… I hope he’s not pissed!! If you read this, I survived!!)
I also hope that you hear that the mix is a notch up from my previous work. I have finally given in to the physics of sound-engineering and done everything according to the book and it’s weird, I have never used Less stuff to mix an album, but it sounds so much More that it brought me to an extreme outburst of joy after hearing the finished master in my so-fucking-hard-to-please car-stereosystem. I am one happy man writing this!!
It was a pleasure to mix this album and it’s and even bigger pleasure listening to it. I am sure you’ll all agree with me once this bomb of blasphemy is released upon mankind!!!
/ Dan Swanö, somewhere, way above Germany 27/4 2007
That’s some incredibly nice words from Mr. D. We can never thank Dan enough for the incredible work he always does with us. Thanx for the kind words, the longtime friendship and the vision you share with us. We’ll work together soon again. Stay tuned at this site for some surprises later on… We just need to have everything completed before we do.
Stormvox has sent us all the codes and whatnot for the album and we are now in the final stages of sending them the master. It will prolly take a few more weeks though before all the details are down.
As soon as we have a releasedate, we’ll announce it here… together with some other cool crap.
Thanx for the support guys, we truly appreciate it.
So, Dan was over last evening and got the last stuff needed for him to start finishing up this bastard. I also asked him to bring over a sample of what the sound will be like and… Damn.
This will sound heavy as elephant-shit.
He did a real quick temp mix for me and we sat down listening twice to one track that he got a few weeks back to start with. Dan’s fucken incredible to say the least. To hear everything with the planned sound feels absolutely awesome, and knowing this temp mix was done quite fast…
I absolutely love the bass sound for one. It’s clear as fuck, it’s distinct and crushing. Ampeg is Satan among bass amps. The guitars are ace as are the drums. Mojjo‘s done some absolutely fantastic work. At times I forget he’s actually playing on this shit since he’s nailed the stuff so damn close to how I initially programmed it. And those goddamned vocals… And those… Well, you understand by now that we kinda dig this, haha…
I’m almost losfer words.
Dan’s now got everything and will start working hard on this. As this rough mix was done in a hurry just for me to hear something, he will do a real mix today or tomorrow and then let me hear it so I can tell him yes or no, what needs to be higher, lower, etc…
His plan is to try to get a song done each day and then I’ll just work the details with Mr. D.
This just turned out even better than I imagined it would considering I have been sitting with the rough stuff for some months now and gotten used to that sound.
If Dan has the time he’ll write something up for you, but first on his agenda is to completely dive into this a 100%, so studio updates from D is very secondary.
Now you know, it has started and in a few weeks it should be finished.
Well, well, well… There we go. Michael‘s done with the last song and all 7 of these bastards are now completed. K is getting home again tomorrow and will now spend the coming weekend sorting the last details before mixing will start, together with Dan Swanö. The plan is that Dan picks up the latest additions to the songs on Monday and then we are off diving into this bitch head first for a while. We can’t really say when we plan to have the final mix and mastering done, but it should take at least a few weeks to get everything right. As always, we are in no hurry. Having worked on this album on and off for some 5 months… we sure wanna spend the last phase without any stress. Like we would know how to stress anyways.
Hopefully this album will be completed before the end of April, but we are not sure. That’s sort of a plan anyways. We have also talked to StormVox (yeah, that would be the label) about a possible releasedate, and we are aiming for August-something. More on that as soon as we know more ourselves.
Besides that, we once again thank you for the support and interest in what we are doing. This album is for you. Actually, it’s for us, but we gladly dedicate some bits of it to you Haters.
Michael‘s soon nailed 4 songs and his plan was to have 5 done by yesterday evening. That leaves him with 2, and then all the bass is done. He’s got some fucken insane ideas that he’s obviously going to try out this coming week. Haha, I can’t wait to see what the fuck happens with this if it works out.
On another note:
I have worked with the vocals during the last weeks and it all feels fucken excellent now, and I believe my work is pretty much done. I also did some new shit to some of the tunes that feels really, really good. Will probably go thru all the keyboards and programmings to see if there’s anything I can enhance them with while waiting for Michael to send over the rest of the bass. This is a wonderful process to say the least. It’s all perfection and I get a huge smile while listening to what we have created this far. The time spent on this recording is insane, but it’s worth every second of it. I could never imagine it would turn out this fantastic actually… Yeah, ok, I could. I so thank the guys in the band for helping me to make everything I ever dreamed of musically to come alive. You guys (and gal) fucken dominate.
As mentioned earlier, Swanö is about to start re-amping all the guitars this week, that will be interesting, to see what kind of guitar sound we end up with. Dan knows his shit and spent countless of hours last week to find a sound suitable for the purpose. It looks promising.
And some useless information: Yesterday I went thru all the lyrics in the booklet to look for any typos and so on, found a few and those are corrected now. Reading thru the lyrics really made me feel good. I guess Christ’s not exactly on the same level though… J and Jo are delivering those with such precision and awesomeness it brings a tear to my eye.
There you go, the latest update.
More to come.