In what’s becoming a regular article around here, we’re delving into the studio to take a look at what certain bands we enjoy are working on for their upcoming records. We’ve already covered Uneven Structure and Rosetta, and both of those turned out really well. This time, we’re talking with Brody from Rivers Of Nihil, who’s filling us in on what the band has been working on to prepare for their soon-to-be-titled upcoming LP. Check it out!
This is the first of two studio updates I will be doing during the recording of our new album. In this article I will be taking you through the gear that we are using to track guitar and bass.
First off, this album will be recorded in a much different way than any music that we have done in the past. Jon Topore, Adam Biggs, and myself will be recording guitar and bass at my home studio in Reading, Pennsylvania. From here we will travel to Lancaster, PA to re-amp the guitar and bass as well as track drums, vocals, and mix with Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland at Atrium Audio. They recently worked with bands like Black Crown Initiate, August Burns Red, Everclear, Live, and The Last Ten Seconds of Life. We are very excited to hear how they can contribute to our sound! We recorded our very first EP along with a few demo tracks at Atrium over the years, so we are very familiar and very comfortable with they way they work.
The guitars that we are using on this album are all Carvin DC7x’s. A little over a year ago we started working with the folks over at Carvin/Kiesel guitars and we are super happy with both the quality of their instruments and the kindness of their employees! These guitars are perfect for our low tuning because of their 27 inch scale. Also, all of the guitars are outfitted with the new Kiesel passive pickups. They are an incredibly balanced pickup and they are the perfect fit for our sound. I feel like they are somewhere between the clarity of a Lundgren M7 and the saturation of a DiMarzio D-Activator.
As far as strings go we use D’Addario 8 string sets from which we remove the 64 gauge string (since we play 7 string guitars.) This seems wasteful but it is the only way that we can have our guitars set up in dropped F# while still having the tightness, tone, and proper intonation that we need. For picks we use 1.14mm InTune jazz style picks.
Our bassist is using his Spector Euro Bass on this album. This is probably the most resonant and crisp sounding bass that I have ever heard and i’m super happy that he has gotten the chance to work with them. He will also be using his Darkglass B7K (for monitoring) during the tracking of the album.
The actual tracking of the guitar and bass tracks will be done through a Radial JDI passive direct box into my Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. While we are using the DI box for the actual recording (so we can later re-amp) we are also using the Kemper Profiling Amp for monitoring during tracking. Tracking guitars with a DI signal sounds like a dry and clean guitar sound, so the Kemper allows us to hear our playing as if we were playing through a real amp. I am also using a Pro Tone attack overdrive for monitoring (and will probably end up using it on the album.) This little pedal does wonders at cleaning up your tone and exposing any tiny mistakes you may not have noticed before.
For monitoring I am also using my trusty Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones and my KRK Rokit 8s. I like to track on my big monitors and then listen back with my headphones to scan for mistakes.
I use Cubase 7.5 as my DAW and Toontrack products for drum programming. We are using the “Made of Metal” kit during the tracking of the album just for reference. Once we wrap up guitars and bass we will have our drummer Alan hitting away at some non-digital drums.
I also use WaWa coffee to fuel the hours spent tracking because it’s the god damn best.
Check back soon for a second update on drum tracking, vocals, and guitar re-amps!
You heard him! We’ll have another update after the record is nearly finished, so stay tuned!