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We are trying to record vocals and would like them to sound like: kill'em all - AJFA, Killing is my Business - Rust in peace.

I am mostly interested in techniques, and how to make vocals sit in the mix, some typical approaches for this style etc. I know that they probably doubled them, used some delay, reverb, possibly some flanger phaser chorus... who knows... So please help.

We have the same sort of problem as Megadeth and Metallica, such as... could not find vocalist that would be worth keeping and so guitar player stood up to sign. So he is not near to be perfect, but seems to do fine when playing live. He has rather clean voice, no screaming or growling.

This was a demo recording, fx on tape,only 2 mics on drums, every one had 1 chance 8-) than we tried to write and record vocals.

Opus 3#2


anonymous Tue, 12/16/2008 - 13:49

Well, unless you have access to a very nice condenser mic, I'd say a dynamic is a no-brainer. Compression is usually best applied during mixing, so I'd say use light compression when recording and then apply most of the compression during mixing. A mic that can handle high spl's is pretty much a necessity: there's the ever popular sm57, but there are others that will work as well. I don't know if anyone can agree on the best way to scream. Accomplished vocalists swear that the best way to scream is to do something like use your lungs as bellows to push the air through your larynx. Quite frankly, I don't get this and I sound like an old geezer yelling at kids to get off his lawn when I try to do this, but then again I'm not very good at singing. 8) I know that most punk bands and old metal bands basically drew straws on who would sing and that lucky individual just screamed as loud as he could into the mic. It seemed to work really well for all those old bands, so maybe you guys can give that a shot. :D

anonymous Tue, 12/16/2008 - 13:55

Thank you for your time.

I have waves package with eq compressor some fx... + basic pro tools plugins. I have a condenser mic but for some reason I like how good old sm58 sounds on this... besides the place where we rehearse is not treated and noisy. We will go to a studio once we have 45+ min of material so right now it is just for demo purposes.

anonymous Wed, 12/17/2008 - 16:13

Listening to the mix, the guitars seem to have some strange warbly sound going on; they seem really heavy, but it almost sounds like you have a chorus going on or something. And I can't hear the bass -- I think a high pass on the guitars is a no brainer. The drums don't sound bad, the snare sound just doesn't have the bite one would expect from a thrash mix, but the drums sound fine overall. At the end during that tom fill it sounds like the toms are paper thin. I realize you're only using two mics, so you've gotta make do with what you have. :D The vox aren't bad, but they don't sound great, but I'm in the same ship you're in, so I know how it is, haha.

anonymous Wed, 12/17/2008 - 20:39

ok i remixed all of the demos, and we rerecorded vocals. I screwed up on 2 places... one solo is too loud and doubled track is too loud on judgment day but i was in a hurry and will remix it on Friday.

Listen and please comment! What you guys said here really helped!
P.s. high pitch thing in judgment day is a joke...

hueseph Wed, 12/17/2008 - 21:23

The delivery as it has been stated. Somebody give that singer a swift kick in the genitals or kiss his girlfriend or something. He sounds like he's trying to sing. He's not feeling it. It's angry music. The vocals should sound angry. Turn down the lights. Have a single shot of tequila or whatever it is that get's you into your focus state.

The doubling isn't working for me. If you're going to do that, turn down the second vocal til it's just barely audible. If it's not done just right it can start to sound cheesy.

This is of course, just my opinion. Add salt to taste.

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2008 - 00:47

Well, I think the largest issue with the mixes is the lack of low end in the bass drum and bass. The drums sound... distant. I just can't hear the bass guitar. How are the lows and subs on the bass and bass drum? Is there any way you can see what is going on there? The bass sounds like the bass from an 80's punk band: I can hear the treble slapping on the bass guitar when there isn't much else in the mix, but once the mix is full, it's completely lost. The sound is just... lacking too much "oomph" for the genre of thrash Imho. I think that's the hard thing about this genre is that it's really hard to get results that sound "hardcore" with a home studio. But keep at it -- you're doing better than a lot of people.

"Killing Time" just isn't doing anything for me. "Judgment Day" is sounding pretty decent to me. "Fast Loud and Rude" sounds alright, but the vocals don't sound quite right to me. The thing that is bugging me about the vocals is that they just don't seem right for the style. With all respect, the vocalist sounds like a cross between James Hetfield and Fat Mike. And Fat Mike wouldn't sound so good on Metallica. :lol: Maybe the vocalist could try to sound more like Slayer: they have a good punk vocal sound that works great for their mix. Of course the guitar leads sound good, but the rhythm sounds a bit flubby to my ears.

I hope I don't come across as harsh. I think the sound is decent, but I just want to point out areas that I think could be improved upon. :D

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2008 - 05:14

No you don't sound harsh, in fact i would rather get slapped in the face but the result will sound good.
I think bass guitar has a big bump in 80-200 region... I don't know if i can go any hire on that? What should i do?

The problem with drums... that we only used 2 mics kick and e609 3 feet away. And cymbals are to loud. I tried to eq them as much as i can but than snare gets lost completely.

Guy has only been singing for 3 weeks as of today. So it is hard to have a good delivery when you don't know what youre doing yet 8-) I think with more practice and your help we should be able to get there 8-) Keep comenting

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2008 - 05:41

Next time you track drums, put on some headphones with nice isolation. Vic Firth makes some good ones, and move the microphones around. Make sure you get a good balance before hitting the red button. Try more in front of the kit, or higher up in the air.

How are you recording the bass? Line out? DI? microphone? It doesn't sound like there is much bellow 100Hz. If it is a line out or microphone, maybe the bass player has rolled the low end down, or is it a small speaker? For bass I normally use a DI and keep the tone and volume pretty much centered so that if it doesn't work out in the mix then I have some material to work with. I'll tweak the sound in the direction that I think will work, but when tracking I like to leave some headroom. If the bass player rolls the tone all the way to the treble side, then you are never going to be able to fill out the low end by EQing it back up.

... and high pass the guitar as mentioned. It seems the guitar has more energy near 100 Hz than the bass!

Keep it up, and you will keep learning. Rock on!

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2008 - 07:06

I am a bass player 8-) Bass was DI-ed from my Sansamp RPM preamp with tube compressor in the fx loop. My bass knob on the preamp was around 2 o'clock, but I do roll it off completely on the guitar itself, otherwise it does not sound like an angry dog 8-). So do you suggest i need to boost it up for recording purposes? Cause when we rehearse (I use ampeg 810) you can hear me and feel me pretty well... Especially toward the end of the room. when bass freqs developed completely. I will rerecord bass on friday, it should not be that hard, cause i can play all songs in 1 take.

Guitars are rolled of at 250hz. rollem of even more?

And I have nice headphones. The whole purpose of this recording was to hear the arrangements, not to record an album or even ep or whatever. But I appreciate everyones input and time. If we can make it to sound worth something more than just basement recording for band members only, It will be awesome. Even though most of the local bands in this state sound soooo shitty on their myspace recording, not to mention their skills, that when i show it to someone their jaw still drops 8-)

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2008 - 07:09

2 Greener:
Cymbals are Zildjian A customs, but since we only used 2 mics (1 for the whole kit 1 for kick) I cant just turn the knob down. I have turn down certain freqs where cymbals sit, unfortunately in makes snare to sound so shitty that its not worth doing. I will spend a lot more time with mic placement next time we record anything.

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2008 - 08:42

Ampeg 810 and rolling the bass off on the guitar explains the sound. If that is what you want, then keep it. I'm a bass player as well, but I like bass in my bass. I use an Ampeg 115. Deeper bass sound, but not as much power as your 810. The bass will sit better with everything in the mix if you don't roll off the low end.

Unfortunately rolling off the guitars more isn't going to help if the bass doesn't have any frequency content on the bottom end.