Metal Month has come and gone! It’s been a good one, so we’ll recap it all right here for your convenience in case you missed any of the excellent features we put together with Toontrack, the Swedish software company behind some of the best recording tools out there for metal musicians.
Metal Month kicked off with a live-stream of a Soilwork concert, beamed directly from Umeå, Sweden into your bedroom in real-time for your lazy behind. Here’s a clip from that positively electric concert in case you missed it:
Famed metal producers Jason Suecof, Daniel Bergstrand and Mark Lewis collaborated on the new Metal! EZX expansion pack for EZdrummer consisting of nine drum kits tailor-made for metal, so we figured that’d be a great opportunity to interview the three of them about the new software, recording technique in general, and some of the favorite albums they’ve ever worked on. If you’re into recording and you’re a fan of their work — and if you’ve got albums by The Black Dahlia Murder, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah or Six Feet Under then you most certainly are — then this interview is a must-read.
We also spoke with Andy Sneap, a man for whom the prefix “legendary” is not an overstatement at all. Sneap has produced and/or mixed records by Obituary, Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Testament, Killswitch Engage, Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Amon Amarth and Carcass, to name but a few, and now he’s dialed those tones directly into his brand new Andy Sneap EZmix expansion pack for EZmix2 for you to use on command. Andy’s software pack focuses primarily on guitar and bass tones but also includes a selection of settings for lead vocals, background vocals and drums. Read our interview with him about how he approaches mixing, what his biggest challenges are in any mix, the gear he can’t live without and more.
Producer Jocke Skog programmed the Metal Amps expansion pack for EZmix 2, so of course we had to ask him about how he dials in his tones and what exactly “impulse response” is (we’re still not sure! but it has something to do with producing incredible simulations of amplifiers). And when we found out Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren released a Metal Beats midi pack, well, we asked him all about that too, and he shared with us some of his favorite drummers of all time and today.
We showed you behind the scenes videos of the recording and creation of the Metal! EZX, Andy Sneap EZmix and Rock Warehouse (Superior Drummer) expansion packs — absolutely fascinating stuff if you’re recording nerds like us. And we shared this video of guitarist Andy James shredding through an original song using only the Toontrack products we’ve mentioned here. Dude can play, and it sounds phenomenal:
Last but certainly not least, our sister site Metal Sucks featured six unsigned bands from the Toontrack family that we thought were especially good. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the special Toontrack editions of their Unsigned and Unholy series.
Thanks for making Metal Month a huge success, and we’ll see you again next year. In the meantime, keep cranking out awesome music with your new recording tools, and don’t be afraid to send us samples of what you’ve been working on to news[at]geargods[dot]net.