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Metal Music Manual

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Foreword Chapter 1: Introduction Audio Video Interviews Forum Chapter 2: Contemporary Metal Music Chapter 3: The Parameters of Heaviness Distortion Proximity Perceived Loudness The Distortion Paradox Sonic Weight Transients Spectral Dynamics and Transient Brightness Clarity Definition Intelligibility Performance Precision Pre-Production Chapter 4: Pre-Production Vision and Leadership Rehearsals The Budget Click Tracks In Practice Tempo Mapping Click Tones Guide Tracks Click-Free Tracking Live Guide Tracks without a Click Overdubs without a Click The Click Track Acid Test Chapter 5: Sound at Source Drums Drum Shells Shell Thickness, Diameter, Depth and Hardware Symmetry and Flatness Drumheads and Re-Heading Batter Heads Resonant Heads Re-Heading/Bedding-In Drum Tuning Kick Tuning Snare Tuning Toms Tuning Dampening Kick Dampening Snare and Toms Dampening Hats, Ride and Cymbals Bass and Guitar Down-Tuning Baritones/Longer Scale Lengths Guitar Overdrive Pedals Amp/Cab/Mic Simulation and Modelling Amplifiers Bass Amps Guitar Amps Loudspeakers and Loudspeaker Cabinets Engineering Chapter 6: Engineering Overview Isolation=Separation=Control Headroom Printed Compression Printed EQ Chapter 7: Drums Set Up Kick Drums Attack Mic Porthole Placement Low Frequency Capture Isolation Tunnels Double Kick Performance Solutions Kick Building Snare Top Snare Bottom Toms Batter Mic Double Miked Toms Concert Toms Metalwork Hats Ride Cymbals Spaced Pair Close Miked Cymbals Paired Cymbal Miking Room Mics and Controlled Cohesion Triggers Recording Drum Hits from the Kit used for Tracking Sample Creation Drum Edits and Quantization Gridding Phase Retention of Human Feel Micro-Editing Quantization-Based Tools Chapter 8: Guitars D.I.'s and Re-amping Speaker Selection Isolation Tactics Amp Volume Mic Selection Loudspeaker Frequency Radiation Mic Placement Proximity Effect Off-Axis Placement Double Miking Double Tracking (vs. Quad Tracking) Quad Tracking Tonal Variation Multi Amp/Cab Recording for Double-Tracked Guitars Mix Center Rhythm Thickener Chapter 9: Bass D.I. Dirty D.I. (Series) Amp/Cab Distortion Amp/Cab/Mic Isolation, Speaker Selection & Master Volume Mic Selection Mic Placement Double Miking Phase Alignment Emulation Layers (Parallel) Reinforcement Distortion Chapter 10: Vocals Scheduling Coaching, Communication and Comping Engineering Polar Patterns and Gang Vocals Handheld Vocal Recording Vocal Compression Monitoring Headphone-less Vocal Recording Recording Further Instruments Mixing Chapter 11: Edits, Polarity and Phase Alignment, Samples and Gates Edits Mix Groups Polarity and Phase Alignment Drums Phase Alignment Bass Guitars Waveform Edits Multing Drum Samples - Overview Drum Sample Selection Drum Samples Libraries vs. Samples Created from the Kit used for Tracking Kick Sample Selection Snare Sample Selection Tom Sample Selection Sample Implementation Kick Snare Toms Isolation vs. Cohesion Gating Kick and Snare Gating Keyed Gating Toms: Gating vs. Automation vs. Waveform Edits Chapter 12. Balance and Stereo Width Mix Group Component Balance Mix Balance Panning and Stereo Width Mix Center Sides Monitoring and Room Acoustics Monitoring Level Headphone Monitoring Chapter 13: Compression Signal Chain Order Compression Parameters Timbral Coloration and Transient Design Drum Compression Signal Stability Punch Transient Design Attack Settings Release, Threshold, Ratio Make-Up Gain Hats, Ride, and Cymbal Compression Room Mic Compression Parallel Compression Drum Bus Compression Bass Compression Reinforcement Distortion Series Bass Compression Signal Bracketing Parallel Bass Compression Bass Automation Keyed Compression Rhythm Guitar Compression Palm Muted `Chug-Thump' Lead Guitar Compression Vocal Compression Parallel Vocal Compression Sibilance and De-Essing Limiting Chapter 14: EQ Parametric EQ High Pass Filters Sweep EQ Corrective and Surgical EQ Instrument EQ Drums Kick Drum Optimized Kick HPF Cut Settings Kick Weight Low-Mids - Broad Corrective EQ Attack/Click Frequency Bracketing Snare Top/Snare Samples The Baxandall Curve Intelligent EQ Snare Bottom Toms Context and Interdependence Metalwork Room Mics Low Pass Filters Spectral Masking Distributed Creative and Corrective EQ Anti-Masking in Mono Bass The Missing Fundamental Low-End Low-Mids High-Mids Additional Layers Bass Reinforcement Distortion Frequency Bracketing Channel EQ / Group EQ Rhythm Guitar EQ HPF and Low Frequency Emphasis (Cabinet Thump/Sonic Weight) Mids Big Mono vs. Panoramic Width Low highs - Mid Highs Mirrored EQ Dynamic EQ Vocals HPF and Lows to Low Mids Mids Highs Chapter 15: Effects Processing and Automation Reverb Reverb Decay and Pre-Delay Times Drums Decay vs. Level Snare Reverb - Aux Sends Guitars and Bass Vocals Processing the Reverb Return Paths EQ (Reverb Return) Transient Design, Compression, Tape Emulation and Pitch Shifting Reverse Reverb, Special Effects and Automation Delay Processing the Delay Return Paths Pitch Thickening Width Enhancement Distortion Parallel Snare Distortion Megaphone and AM Radio Effect Sine Wave or White Noise Reinforcement Analogue and Tape Emulation Mix Referencing Automation Chapter 16: Master Buss Processing Master Buss Compression Master Buss EQ Master Buss Limiting Summing Mastering Chapter 17: Mastering DIY and the `Four Es' of Mastering Signal Chain Mastering EQ High Pass Filters and Low End Control Low-Mids and Mids Low-End Foundation Upper Mids and High Frequencies Stereo EQ vs. Mid/Side EQ Low-end Localization Reverb Unified Mastering - Bridging the Divide Compression Broadband Compression vs. Multiband Compression Broadband Compression Mid/Side Compression Side Chain Filtering Multiband Compression Two Band Three-Band Four-Band Multiband Parameters Low Band Mid Band High Band Mid/Side Multiband Compression Parallel/Upward Compression Harmonic Enhancement Stereo Width Enhancement Stem Mastering Soft Clipping Limiting Automation Fades Mastered Output Peak Levels - CD Chapter 18: Loudness Normalization Loudness Metering and Mastering Practice A Final Word Index

About the Author

Mark Mynett is a record producer, recording-mixing-mastering engineer, author, and Senior Lecturer in Music Technology and Production at the University of Huddersfield, England. As both musician and producer, he has over 20 years' experience in the metal genre; has written numerous heavy-music production articles for leading magazines, including Sound on Sound and Guitar World; and in 2013 gained the world's first PhD in Contemporary Metal Music Production. He owns his own studio, Mynetaur Productions (, where he provides engineering, mixing and mastering services for clients from all over the world.

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