Warchitect pic story (my latest prod, death / thrash / prog)


Dec 30, 2005
The Netherlands
Hey guys!

Let me tell you about my latest production: Warchitect. A dutch death / thrash / prog band. You can clearly hear the influences from bands like Death, Atheist, The Haunted. We all agreed their CD should sound fresh, vivid and organic. We wanted to give it a certain old school and raw vibe but with a modern quality to it. Obviously, not your common metal prod of these days.


For drums, reamping and the guitar solos we used a local (small and crappy) studio. They use Nuendo as DAW and MOTU for their interface. No analogue desk, all in the box. This is my preferred way of working anyways so that wasn't a problem.

The acoustics of the recording room were, well, not there. Better no acoustics then bad acoustics right? :lol:

Control room:

And some of their gear:


Especially the drums had to sound organic and old school. We chose to not use triggers or sample replacement whatsoever. The kit we used was an awesome sounding Premier kit, especially the kick sounded very controlled but thumpy.


The drummer thought it was a cool idea to use his "St Anger snare", as he called it. Fortunately it didn't sound as a metal chair being banged on, but it actually sounded very good. Lots of crack with lots of harmonics. At one point I wanted to use a snare trigger for failsafe, but the snare sounded so much better without the trigger stealing the harmonics we decided to throw it off.


The studio had the usual collection of mics. Not too much though, I barely could record drums. The local engineer was in awe when he saw I used 16 mics for the drums. He only recorded rock and pop bands... well no excuse but anyways :loco:

The mics I used on drums:
kick - AKG D 112 inside, Sennheiser e602 outside (I couldn't believe how good this mic sounded in this position)

snare - SM57 on top, Sennheiser e604 on bottom (weird choice on the bottom, I know, but it sounded good with his snare!)

toms - SM57 betas on the 2 highest toms, 421s on the 2 lowest toms

OHs - hmm I forgot, but they were expensive and sounded good :headbang:

room - 1 AKG 414 (I'd rather have used 2 mics, but we only had 1 good mic left haha)

hihat and ride - some condensers I didn't know, sounded OK.



First time I used reamping and it was a very good experience. I ordered this Little Labs RedEye and used it as DI for recording all rhythm guitars at my home studio. We used the free GuitarSuite plugin for monitoring, worked quite well.

The guitar players have some pretty cool amps that really add to their overall sound. I'm talking about an Engl Savage and a Diezel Einstein. Not your most common amps in this genre! We chose to use quad tracking, throwing one pair through the Engl and one pair through the Diezel. They both used a Bogner 4x12" cab with V30s in it. Back in the studio I used my RedEye box to reamp the guitars, worked great!

I used 4 mics:

-SM57 fairly on-axis

-421 just off-axis

-a condenser in between (just as a failsafe, didn't really wanted to use it and I didn't in the mix)

-Sennheiser e602 (I used for the kick) at the back of the cab (this Bob Rock tip is really cool if you want some thick lowend).




I also chose to reamp the bass since he had a pretty cool amp. An Eden if I remember correctly. It complemented his fretless bass playing pretty good. The weird thing is he uses a fretless bass but plays it with a pick o_O So what approach do you use? I use very different mixing and micing techniques for both so we just tried until it sounded cool.


Mixing notes

I started with drums. It had to sound pounding but also completely natural, no sample replacement, no over compression, no tricks. The snare sounds different with each hit, the way we wanted it to sound. Same for the kick, no typical clicky metal kick, but a thumpy kick with plenty of low end (hopefully not too much for sub woofer users). We only fixed some kicks time wise, we didn't use a click in the first place because of the organic character we wanted. So fixing would be hell anyways.

Guitars were pretty hard to mix because of their character. They are very mid centric, cut the mids and the guitars are gone. There's almost no air around 8KHz, the highs are all around 5 to 6 KHz, never mixed guitars like that!

Vocals still have to be done, but that'll happen next month so I first wanted to let you guys have a listen at this work-in-progress and ask you all to give your honest opinion! Any advice or criticism is welcome as I really respect a lot of you guys here.

And here are 2 tracks: the mix is not definite at all and some things are still missing (besides vocals of course). It's hard to capture the band in 1 song so I chose 2.

This is their most straight forward thrashy song:
http://www2.hku.nl/~tymon/temp/Warchitect - Solitude - premix - 3 okt 2007-07.mp3

Nice intro, some cool leads at the end of the song:
http://www2.hku.nl/~tymon/temp/Warchitect - Cast Away - premix - 3 okt 2007.mp3
Hey Tymon :) what's up?...

I listened to the tracks... I'm no expert when it comes to mixing, my only experience comes from mixing 7-8 of my songs. There are people more qualified to help...I basically replied to say hello :), but since I did I will mention a couple of thinks I would change...
I think the snare sounds too thin/dry ...maybe it would be a good idea to add some reverb.
I think there are times in these songs where the toms lack attack and get a little lost in the mix. Maybe some compression would fix that, I'm not sure though cause I basically have the same problem each time I mix one of my songs... and I imagine with real drums would be even more difficult.

It's a very nice sounding production overall though... good job!
Thnx for the comments so far!

The guitars are both Engl en Diezel on each side.

Hmm I was actually quite happy with the snare and the drums overall. But I'll look into it!
There's actually quite some verb on it already, don't want to add anymore.

And what's up Kimon? Everything OK in Greece?
Yeah...I kinda figured that the snare sounds like that because you wanted it to sound like that...

Everything is ok here in greece. Seems like you're busy with recording other bands, haven't heard any of your songs/samples in a while, I'm always interested in hearing them.
Well, good luck to your sound engineer/producer career:).
Nice production.

For the people who like "organic/natural" production, you should listen to the new ANIMOSITY album called "Animal", it has and awesome in your face organic sound.

check : www.myspace.com/animosity

The last Unearth album sounds very "live" too... i love it.

The "Ballet of the brute" from Hatesphere also.