Apple Macbook 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM, Avid Mbox mini, and RME Fireface 800, running Avid Pro Tools LE 8 and 9. Shure SM57 and SM58, Sennheiser e606, RODE NT1-A, Neumann TLM 49. Universal Audio LA610, Focusrite LiquidMix 32, MXR M-80 Bass DI/Distortion, Radial ProRMP reamp box, Roland electronic drum set triggering Steven Slate Drums.
Production Notes & Credits:
"Juggernaut Wings" is a male vocal Metal song. Andres Malta played guitar, sang and handled the tracking and mixing. David Alves was also on guitar. The rhythm section was Manuel Machado on bass and Goncalo Lemos on drums. Claudio Anibal rounded things out on vocals. The track was mastered by Mario Barreiros at Estudios do Mar.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: This month's Spotlight is an awesome metal band effort that comes to us all the way from Portugal. Beautiful Venom have delivered a blistering track with all of the earmarks of the genre intact, along with a few pleasant surprises.
Andres tells us that his objective with "Juggernaut Wings" was to "create a really aggressive mix where everything is loud and aggressive enough, but you can listen and pay attention to all the elements. I wanted to have the clean vocals as a resource to the screamed, and not as another element to be in the spotlight."
As for the gear end of things, Andres further explains, "I cut the drums on the Roland electronic drum set using the Steven Slate library and then recorded the real cymbals on top in the studio." The guitars and bass were all cut through an MXR M-80 bass DI/distortion box into the Mbox mini, and then reamped in the studio through an Engl Savage 120, Screamer 50, Peavey Valveking, Marshall Blues Maker and a really old Fender (all captured through a trusty Shure SM57).
The clean vocals were recorded using a Neumann TLM 49 through a Universal Audio LA610 preamp, while the "screamed" vocal employed a Shure SM58. (Andres doesn't mention what, if anything, the rest of the mics were used for, or what he uses for monitors -- tsk, tsk! Fortunately we can see in the photo he sent that they're Yamaha HS50Ms, a very good small-format powered speaker.) The mix was done via Pro Tools LE 8 with the Focusrite LiquidMix, Avid and Softube Trident A-Range plug-ins. Fair enough then!
But all the gear in the world won't help you if you don't have the talent to use it. Fortunately, Beautiful Venom have both in abundance. We absolutely love the guitar tones here, and after years of articles in RECORDING about the virtues of reamping, it's great to hear it so successfully employed.
The Roland-triggered Steven Slate Drums really shine as well. While the cymbal recordings in that drum library are fantastic, Andres was savvy enough to hear what he wanted in this specific track and to take the initiative to improve his recording by bringing his tracks to a larger facility where the cymbals could be recorded using advantageous room ambience.
As for the vocals, while the "screaming" may not be everyone's cup of tea, the push/pull between the scream and clean vocals was very, very effective in providing shadow and light to the track.
Lastly we must complement Andres and Mario for the mix and mastering. The mix has successfully captured all of the aggression as intended, but with a clarity that is very difficult to achieve given the sound sources at play. As for the master, Mario has gotten a loud, full and driving sound without any audible artifact or over compression. Kudos to all involved, gentlemen!
Summary: Hits like a velvet brick!
Contact: Andres Malta / Beautiful Venom, email@example.com