Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp


Lesson Info

Amplifiers - Lay of the Land

Most bands aren't as skilled as you guys, not to kiss your ass or anything. But, this is a fortunate situation that we got two really really good guitar players in this band. You, and Ollie. Who are both here, and we're gonna get to hear the difference between what guitar players sound like. We're gonna go through head selection, cap selection, mic selection, guitar selection, and then guitarist selection. And we really wanna emphasize that one thing you really learn from this whole thing is just how important a guitar player's hands are. Now, before we do anything with gear, kinda like with drums, I think the 50% of the tone's the drummer, and 80% of the tone is the guitar player. One thing that we'll definitely cover is that even if you have two really good guitar players in a band, like in this band, you always want to go with the guy whose got the right tone and the right feel for the part you're recording. Now I just want to get that out of the way before we go any further, becaus...

e a lot of people think that you pick one guitar player because the other guy sucks. And that might be true in some situations. Some situations you don't talk about. But it's not always true. No, it's not always true, just depends on how it feels at the time. Yeah. Mainly, it's normally the guy that wrote the riff. Yeah, absolutely. I've recorded some bands that people would know of that are really really good, where there's two really good guitar players in the band. Both excel at their own way. And they just record the songs that they wrote. No one's gonna have a better feel for your music than you. Exactly. I find that the guitarist gets the feel of the song that they've created. And even if you got two guitar players, the slight variations in their playing can make a huge difference to how tight it sounds. Yeah. Well, everything from micro bands to arrhythmic inflections to how you grip the foot board, all those little things make a huge difference in how hard you're actually picking it. Every body's completely different. Also I wanted to say this because one thing I get asked a lot is, mainly from experienced bands, is should one guitar player play on one side and the other guy on the other side, like we do live? And no. I mean, unless, this is gonna sound old, but the first Guns N' Roses Record, I have to tell you, for instruction, each guitar player played on their own side. But the thing is they never ever played the same thing. There are situations where it makes sense to have each guy play on their own side, but it usually it when they don't play the same thing. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. If you're going for that modern sound, modern heavy sound, where you want a consistent low end, and one consistent wall of awesome, you pretty much have to have one guy do it. Because one guy is gonna... Every feel is gonna be unique to the person. And that can even extend to base. Extend to everything, yep. That why a lot of guitar players of metal play the base parts too, there's nothing to do with the fact that the base player is good or not. It has more to do with the fact that only the guitar player can play exactly in his own feel. Exactly. So, sometimes the base player will sit it out, even if they're perfectly skilled. Just because you're going for one homogenous, perfect, cohesive, glob of good. (both laugh) Gob of good. Yeah. So um, Thad, maybe we should talk about what tools we're working with this time around. Okay. Before we go further though, and talk about these amps, if you wanna dispel the myth of opinions about amps versus sims. It always comes up, I feel like it's one of those topics that no matter how many awesome things come out, no matter how many records come out, made with digital amps, this is just something that people will always be fighting about. Like Mac versus PC, Cubase versus Pro Tools, Amps versus sims. And they're completely idiotic debates, they're nothing. It's about what sounds good at the time. Absolutely. And if the guitar player is 80% of the tone anyways, I feel like that's what's gonna make all the difference in the world. I mean, you've used sims a lot of your career. Yup, we've use a lot of sims products to be part of it, all the albums we've recorded. They sound great. Yeah, some people think so, some people don't. Well, but they're gonna think that anyways. Yup, exactly. You've re-amped some stuff for me for records I've done with real amps as well. Yeah. Yeah, and um. On my records and records that I've worked on, there's no... You never go in with a preconceived notion of "we're gonna use the Cameron this time or Power for this time or we're gonna use the 5150 this time, or the Diesel one. It's always specific to the situation. Exactly. And so, yeah, so we have all these amps here, and that's fun, we're gonna have a good time, we're gonna show how to mic them and all that. But we've also got the Line 6 Helix. Yeah we do, just like my products use power, actually have a temper. Yeah, so we don't know which one gonna be the tone. We're open to seeing which one is gonna sound best. It doesn't matter how nice these amps are or the mics are or the room is or the cabs are, we're just gonna go with what sounds best. I think that's how everyone should approach guitar tone. With that well, what do you got. That is come via your request. Yep, I have four Mesa beauty headset. And I have Mark V. I got an old school, 2-channel Dual Rectifier Blackface, I've got a triple Rectifier 2-channel, an old one again, and then a Mulit-watt jewel, which is a 3-channel. And the reason being is that the 2-channel and the 3-channel had fundamental differences between the tones. A lot of people associate the 3-channel one with the bottom, its got a slightly more abrasive sound. Whereas the 2-channel tool is associated with more of a rounded kind of, a more full sound. But then again, that's just opinions, isn't that certain. Its just going down with which sounds the best, really. In my opinion, I don't like triples. Yeah, you have to crank them really loud to get into sounds at their best, so yeah I'm pretty sure we'll end up going with the jewel of the muck, V, initial take. But yeah, we're gonna try the triple and it might sound good, we don't know. Yeah. If it sounds good, it'll be the first time. (both laugh) In my experience. But we'll see. Yeah, we'll see. Yeah, I'm gonna give the port a try, and Mattie has a lot of different amps in there to try them out for you as well. So these were provided as sims, assuming that they were biased and tubed recently. Yeah, I believe so, yeah. Okay. Yeah that's something that if you're gonna do it with amps, you should make sure, I would always put new tubes on at the beginning of every album and get it re-biased so that you get a guitar set up which we'll go into, once we actually pick up a guitar. Also another thing I'd like to go into as well, even if you got two of the same amps, they can sound completely different from each other. Some people prefer like a Lug Nut 5150, to a signature 5150, and they can sound completely different even though its practically the same amp, so. You also got to keep them in check as well if you've got two of the same amp. Even 6505 sounds completely different. Yeah. That's, I feel like that's one of the benefits of the digital amp, is that once you dial that tone, you've got that tone forever. Especially in a touring situation, you don't have to worry about bad mikeing or a bad room or anything. At least you know that you have your tone. With these, even the same amp might sound different from day to day depending on all kinds of factors. The air, the electricity ... That's what sort of factor if you put an amp through a cab, because every room sounds different, it's gonna sound different in the room as well. There's so many different factors that go into guitar tone. Well, we'll attempt to cover as many of them as possible. So, lets talk about first steps in actually getting a tone, with an amp, so. How do you do it? Tell me you like to go into the actual live room? Yep. Check the heads. If it doesn't sound good in the room then its not gonna sound good to your mic. So you should go into the room, and send the amps individually through the cabs we have, and choose which ones we like the best or the best two that are the best. And mark them up from there. And come back into here and see which one sounds the best. Yeah, let's do it.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp will give you access to one of metal’s most in-demand producers and educators. You’ll also get to watch the talented and seasoned performers of Monuments show you how to record flawless takes and how to prepare to enter the studio.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp is the definitive guide to recording and producing metal. From soup to nuts, start to finish, A to Z, you will learn everything you need to know about recording and producing a metal song.

Eyal Levi will take you inside the studio with Monuments as they record a song from scratch at Clear Lake Recording in Los Angeles. In this bootcamp you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for a session in preproduction by choosing tempos and organizing the session
  • Record flawless drums from selection and reheading/tuning to mic choice and placement to editing
  • Record rhythm guitars
  • Record clean and lead guitars
  • Record bass guitar
  • Record, edit and tune lead vocals, harmonies, and screams
  • Mix and master from session setup to final bounce

What comes with purchase of the class?


Intro to Bootcamp
Purpose of Pre-Production
Technical Side of Preproduction
Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map
Pre-Production: Importing Stems
Pre-Production: Click Track
Creating Tracking Templates
Intro and the Tone Pie
Drums - Lay of the Land
Bearing Edges
Wood Types
Depths and Sizes
Sticks and Beaters
Drum Heads
Drum Tuning
Drum Mic Placement Intro
Basic Drum Mic Setup
Cymbal Mic Setup
Touch Up Tuning
Microphone Choice and Placement
Drum Tracking Intro
Getting Tones and Final Placement
Primary Tracking
Punching In and Comping Takes
Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking
Amplifiers - Lay of the Land
Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out
Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement
Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain
Finalizing Amplifier Tone
Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
Intro to Rhythm Tracking
Setting Up Guitars
Working with a Guitarist
Final Guitar Tone and Recap
Guitar Tracking with John
Guitar Tracking with Ollie
Final Tracking
Tracking Quads
Intro to Bass Tone
Bass Tone Setup
Bass Tone Mic Placement
Bass Tracking
Intro to Clean and Lead Tones
Clean Guitar Tones
Lead Tones
Vocal Setup for Tracking
Vocal Mic Selection and Setup
Vocal Mic Shootout
Lead Vocal Tracking
Writing Harmonies
Harmony Vocal Tracking
Vocal Warm Ups
Scream Vocal Tracking
Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction
Vocal Tuning and Editing
Routing and Bussing
Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels
Setting Up Parallel Compression
Setting Up Drum Triggers
Gain Staging and Trim
Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ
Drum Mixing - Snare
Drum Mixing - Kick
Drum Mixing - Toms
Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms
Drum Mixing Recap
Mixing Bass Guitar
Mixing Rhythm Guitars
Basic Vocal Mix
Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars
Mixing - Automation
Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek


  • I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.
  • Amazing knowledge is being presented here. If you want to start out recording, this should be your first step, it'll save you lots of time and get you awesome results. Highly recommended class.
  • Wow is all I can say. This bootcamp goes in so much depth from tuning drums, setting up guitars, to recording and mixing. I have learned so much by participating in this bootcamp. It has taught me some new recording techniques and signal routing for my mixes. I just want to thank Eyal, Monuments, and Creative Live for taking the time to do this. It has been amazing and I will keep going back to these videos.