Experiences in mixing and mastering Black Metal and Death Metal and basically any genre.
To be honest, starting out with recording, mixing and mastering as a self proclaimed audio engineer is not easy, and it comes with a lot of assumptions, which we all know is the mother of all fuck ups.
For example we tend to believe that a huge, awesome looking studio filled with an enormous mixing console and a lot of outboard gear and expensive mics will make the best mixes and masterings ever possible… then we learn that while this is not at all bad, it is not the whole truth. It comes down to preferences and actual knowledge about the genre, combined with technical skills, listening situations (room calibration, speaker calibration, headphone calibration) and of course also quality of equipment over quantity.
Dark Prod Studios had all that through the years, big studios, big consoles and big costs…
What have happened lately here at Dark Prod is almost entirely dropping actual tracking and recording of bands. A few exceptions to that rule. We have been specialising instead on distance work within reamping, mixing and mastering. All genres are welcome but Dark Prod specialises more and more in Black Metal and Death Metal, and also Doom/Stoner/Sludge- Metal perhaps.
So, what does this mean practically?
Dark Prod is now streamlined and consists of different ”huge studios” that we can rent when needed, but the core studio is small, and focused on the hybrid mixing/mastering between modern high quality analog gear such as in SSL console and digital gear such in the latest VST plugin from the biggest brands. Analog SSL EQ and tube analog Hammer HM2 EQ for adding frequencies. Digital for surgical removing bad freq. Analog SSL stereo compressing and analog summing.
When it comes to listening the biggest investment is made. With Focal SM9 monitors and Audeze LCD X (2021) headphones, together with calibration from Sonarworks Sound ID. We started to trust the sound and with that really being transparent with sound and translating sound to every speaker in a true and honest manner. (as possible)
Studio A is powered by an analog SSL BIG SIX console with 4 analog stereo SSL EQ, 4 analog mono SSL EQ, 4 analog mono SSL compressors and an analog stereo G-bus master compressor.
Listening by Focal SM9, Audeze LCD-X (2021) with Sonarworks SoundID. DALI concept 8 hifi speakers and Audio Technica MTH-50 headphones. MacBook Pro 32gb ram and Logic Pro.
SOLD- MIDAS VENICE F24
Group mix insert and tube mastering EQ:
Another very useful stereo compressor RNC1773
Other cool outboards:
Fostex Spring Reverb, Alesis old midiverbs and FX, and a lot more.
TUBE AMP GEAR AVAILABLE FOR RE- AMPING:
Tube Amp Heads: ENGL Thunder 50W, Marshall JCM800 50W head and Marshall JCM800 50W combo, Sunn 300T. 1976 SUNN MODEL T 150W RED KNOB.
Speaker Cabinettes: 2x SUNN 412L, Malmberg with PREROLA vintage greenbacks 4×12″, Laney 4×12″, Marshall 1960AX 4×12″, AMPEG 8×10″, two Sunn 4×10″ cabs. Hagström 2×15″ vintage bass cab.
Analog load box and cab sim: Rivera Mini RockRec
Reamping of Hooded Menace (Suomi)
VST software worth of mentioning
Sonible Audio- Smart: Compressor 2 & Smart: Limiter 2
Soundworks ID Reference
Soundtoys- complete bundle
Baby Audio- complete bundle
Abbey Road Studios- complete bundle
Neural DSP- Fortin Nameless and Parallax