Recording with Josha & Matthijs [30 May ’21]

The drums and guitars recording sessions

Wait a minute, hold up… Didn’t we already record drums and guitars back in 2017 and 2019 respectively? Why yes, we did. But for unknown reasons we never got hold of those files. (And yes, the studio was paid, that’s not it.) After some deliberation (and after the bass parts were recorded (read about the bass sessions here)), I decided to move on with the project which meant those instruments had to be recorded all over again. Only this time, my brother Josha would be the drummer. Josha played bass for Akelei live in 2009 and you can see him in the video we made for De zin die ik verloor. He’s always been a drummer however. We started our first metal band as teens but haven’t really been in a band together since 2009. Josha did play with Akelei for our show at Baroeg last year though, and the experience was a very positive one for us. So he was my first and really only choice to perform drum duties on this EP. Of course, that required some planning and time to rewrite, finetune and rehearse the parts and the studio date only came halfway May 2021. We recorded with Dave Schinkel at his DSStudio in Delft. Josha knew Dave from his time in Eve’s Fall so they were already on really good terms. We got the job done that day and I wanted to keep the positive momentum going, so I booked guitar days at Studio Moskou for later that month.

ample amplication

I booked two days because one is never enough to record all of the guitar work that goes in an Akelei song. A typical Akelei song is about ten minutes long, there are usually three guitars in every song, and sometimes even four different parts playing all at once. Add to that that I like to record rhythm parts double, on two different amps, and you can do the math. I asked Matthijs to help me out. He played with us during the Baroeg gig and he impressed everyone with the beautiful tones he crafted on his Fender Jazzmaster. Furthermore, Matthijs is such a nice guy, skilled musician and easy to work with, that I couldn’t think of a better person to work with. He took it upon him to play the clean parts in the second song of the EP. We spent some hours reworking and optimising those parts and then we felt ready to hit the studio. I went to Utrecht on the first day to record rhythm guitars with Silvia behind the control desk. We managed to record all the parts on one amp, a Marshall JCM 2000 but didn’t have enough time to double those on another. That came on the second day, after Matthijs played his clean parts. We got an Orange TH30H to double the rhythm guitars on. That sound mixed really well with the recordings from day 1. Matthijs sent his signal to a Fender Twin (dry) and through his effects chain into a Hiwatt SA-112. We placed mics in front of both amps and sound insulation boards in between to prevent them from bleeding over. This way we were able to record the pure Fender tone as well as the effects chain signal. Nice to have come mixing day!

We worked for nine hours with only a few short breaks and then decided to call it a day. There are still a couple of things left undone, mostly leads, but we will be able to record those in Delft. We will return to Studio Moskou for vocals!

Misha

Listening to: nothing, because I’m tired and want to sleep.

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