22 Dec 2010

The 3rd album studio diary Part V: August, September, October, November & December

Pardon, some time has passed since the last update. It does not mean that Unshine has been inactive - very oppositive - the recordings have continued intensively, however, without sadistic pressure (to quote moukku master Pasi Crash from For Selena And Sin).

We have recorded guitars and basses during several short periods in the autumn - this felt very relaxed working method, also we were able to make the recordings under best possible conditions (mental, too:)). At the same time, it was possible to take a deeper look into the songs and beyond them. The song order will play big part in this album.

With this slow-cooking method, we have also recorded Susanna's vocals, they sound really unbelieavable and vibrant.

The mixings of guitars and bass starts on the 3rd of January 2011. Around this time other instruments, including some quite mysterious ones, will be recorded. We'll come then up with some visual and audio material from the studio along with renewed website.


2 Aug 2010

The 3rd album studio diary Part IV: 1.7. - 27.7.2010

After our short summer tour, it was time to concentrate on the forthcoming album preparations, which meant that I had to dive deep in to the swamp of guitar recording mysteries! And that was a deep swamp, I can tell you...

By the second half of the July I managed to clear out somehow how to manage guitar recording creditably in our little home studio called church boat (ask for the translation and real meaning of the word from any Finnish person). We had done some electric guitars there already with the last album, but they were just short breaks and solo kind of things. Last time, the big problem was that we did not want to make our neighbours angry and that's why we could not crank out the amplifiers loud enough & long enough. With acoustic guitars we obviously did not have this problem.

I already have a quite nice and compact system in the studio, which includes a control surface with faders and audio interface. With this system it is possible to record audio directly into Pro Tools.

So, I had to learn and decide how to manage the loudness problem first. (Warning: expect here messy technical explanations in the few next chapters). The answer came in the form of an guitar isolation box, which I managed to purchase from its' first owner as a good buy! But this was not the one and only solution, as the guitar signal had to be split up so that the same signal would go first in to the audio interface and then also in to the tube amp (Koch, as on the last album) and from there in to the isolation box and from there in to audio interface. It's a long way to the ears! Before the audio interface, I located also an impedance converter, which clearly enhanced the sound from the isolation box.

So, the signal from the actual guitar had to be channeled also straight in to the audio interface. In here, I put a brand new DI-box, which did the job along with splitting the signals.

Jasse, the studio messiah.

In the end (after talking and consulting with the only real professional here, Jasse from D-studio) the signal was decided to run also through Boss GT-10, which with certain adjustments produced a crispier sound than Koch itself. These two sounds, let's call them dark and sunny, could be later then combined in the mixing sessions. At the same time, two different DI-sounds will be also recorded. This makes it possible to reamp (= run the dry signal back to the amp, adjust the amp settings and record the sound from the best cabinet spot without re-playing the guitar -> no guitarist needed, no frustration/stress, no excessive consumption of beer etc.) the dry signal through whatever is needed and mix these sounds together with the already recorded amp sounds.

Setting up tubes etc.

Naturally, along with this technical hassle, all gear used for the recording had to be checked, strings and cables changed etc. This proved to be useful, as the first recrded DI-signals seemed to lack unwanted sounds like buzzing and snaps. The only thing I was told by Jasse to be avoid in the recordings was clipping in DI, which would make those parts unusable for reamping.

Ok, I think we're ready to shred...

13 Jun 2010

The 3rd album studio diary Part IV: 24.5. - 28.5.2010

Few words from the rhythm section...

At the end of April we had done lots of practising and arrangement for the songs of the upcoming record. I got backing tracks with rhythm guitars from Harri to check them out even more spesific. Well, as a conclusion no bigger chances were going to be done for drumlines.

For this conclusion I did some recordings with my own demo setup and listened them carefully. I contacted Jasse from D-studio (Klaukkala Finland) and nailed last nails on coffin of my own --> booked studio dates on last week of may. Oh dear. ; ) So I had over a month for training but it was not possible to commitment everything for training.

I had to take care of my job and I also had problems with my right hand. Even now while writing thing this my right forearm is bit sore. Reason for that might be drumming, even I'm all the time practising my hand technique, or so damn hard job sitting on office chair and using mouse on my right arm. Please, some sympathy. ; )

Despite of this, got some training done and day before recordings would begin I loaded drums on wheels and headed towards Klaukkala. Klaukkala, small town 30 km from Helsinki in the middle of... wehell... I don't know is it in middle of anything. We (me and my drumset) arrived to studio and I think it was band called Amoth recording their bass and quitar sections for their album. Looked like they did not need any help for their session so I started to screw my drumset up on stage "where all the magic happens". Or what do they say...

Next day I arrived to studio in the morning. As playful as I am, I was thinking of cycle to studios. As playful as "someone" is, it was raining like "something" and I took buss to studios. Jasse had miked drumset and almost tuned it ready for soundcheck. Only snare drum was going to need some tuning. We made also hard decision between Tama birch snare and 70's Slingerland COB snare. "The last one it is" we thought after some recording.

Rest of the day went with soundchecking and some real recordings. If I recall correctly we got recorded "WWW", "Defender", "Arduinna" and "Horses" (work titles). On next day, or evening to be more spesific, was going to be more recordings and Harri pushing recording button in monitoring room. Talking about hard jobs? ; ) Me and my really tolerant recorders ; ) got everything done in two days and two evenings. On last day Jasse did some drum editing and checked out everything was okay for guys to start recording guitars during the summer. While Jasse was doing his job I was sitting behind him and ripping my ears of while listening my drumming and also checking everything was okay.

Jasse is true professional and everything went fine in studios. Always during the recording session you get feeling you could have been prepared better, but I personally think it's part of learning this instrument (drums) and music making in generally. I'm exited to hear guitars and other stuff when it's done. Aren't you? ´Well, hold your "Horses" mystical druid process is on it's way... ; )

BR Stibe

12 Apr 2010

The recordings of the 3rd UNSHINE album will start soon!

The songs for the 3rd album are now ready for the recording, so we'll go to into the studio at the end of next month to start the official recordings!!

8 Jan 2010

The 3rd album studio diary Part III: The beginning of 2010

It's new year again! Or are we late? Did you know that days before our time, in celtic Europe, new year started on October 31 – November 1, especially regarding the Gaelic cultures? This is an interesting subject and I've been lately trying to find out a copy of 'Gallic Wars' written by Julius Caesar himself. This ancient dictator wrote a contemporary description of Europe in the Iron Age. This book, however, is nowadays very rare in Finland.

We had rehearsals today and it seems that we are gradually getting the bunch of songs together. At this point, I can tell you, that there is LOTS OF variance in the songs now.

January - April: Rehearsals, rehearsals and rehearsals...