Metal Music Manual: Producing, Engineering, Mixing, and Mastering Contemporary Heavy Music (Paperback) book cover

Metal Music Manual

Producing, Engineering, Mixing, and Mastering Contemporary Heavy Music

By Mark Mynett

© 2017 – Focal Press

382 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138809321
pub: 2017-03-08
$64.95
x
Hardback: 9781138809314
pub: 2017-03-22
$175.00
x
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315750071
pub: 2017-03-27
from $64.95
$58.46


FREE Standard Shipping!
e–Inspection Copy

Description

Metal Music Manual shows you the creative and technical processes involved in producing contemporary heavy music for maximum sonic impact. From pre-production to final mastered product, and fundamental concepts to advanced production techniques, this book contains a world of invaluable practical information. Assisted by clear discussion of critical audio principles and theory, and a comprehensive array of illustrations, photos, and screen grabs, Metal Music Manual is the essential guide to achieving professional production standards.

The extensive companion website features multi-track recordings, final mixes, processing examples, audio stems, etc., so you can download the relevant content and experiment with the techniques you read about. The website also features video interviews the author conducted with the following acclaimed producers, who share their expertise, experience, and insight into the processes involved:

  • Fredrik Nordström (Dimmu Borgir, At The Gates, In Flames)

  • Matt Hyde (Slayer, Parkway Drive, Children of Bodom)
  • Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Sepultura, Machine Head)

  • Logan Mader (Gojira, DevilDriver, Fear Factory)

  • Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Killswitch Engage, Testament)

  • Jens Bogren (Opeth, Kreator, Arch Enemy)

  • Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Soilwork, Behemoth)

  • Nick Raskulinecz (Mastodon, Death Angel, Trivium)

Quotes from these interviews are featured throughout Metal Music Manual, with additional contributions from:

  • Ross "Drum Doctor" Garfield (one of the world’s top drum sound specialists, with Metallica and Slipknot amongst his credits)
  • Andrew Scheps (Black Sabbath, Linkin Park, Metallica)
  • Maor Appelbaum (Sepultura, Faith No More, Halford)

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 (www.mynetaur.com), where he provides engineering, mixing and mastering services for clients from all over the world.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUS019000
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Heavy Metal
MUS032000
MUSIC / Recording & Reproduction