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Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 27 of 74

Amplifiers - Lay of the Land


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 27 of 74

Amplifiers - Lay of the Land


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.

Class Description

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


  1. Intro to Bootcamp
  2. Purpose of Pre-Production
  3. Technical Side of Preproduction
  4. Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map
  5. Pre-Production: Importing Stems
  6. Pre-Production: Click Track
  7. Creating Tracking Templates
  8. Intro and the Tone Pie
  9. Drums - Lay of the Land
  10. Bearing Edges
  11. Wood Types
  12. Depths and Sizes
  13. Hoops
  14. Sticks and Beaters
  15. Drum Heads
  16. Drum Tuning
  17. Drum Mic Placement Intro
  18. Basic Drum Mic Setup
  19. Cymbal Mic Setup
  20. Touch Up Tuning
  21. Microphone Choice and Placement
  22. Drum Tracking Intro
  23. Getting Tones and Final Placement
  24. Primary Tracking
  25. Punching In and Comping Takes
  26. Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking
  27. Amplifiers - Lay of the Land
  28. Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out
  29. Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement
  30. Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain
  31. Finalizing Amplifier Tone
  32. Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
  33. Intro to Rhythm Tracking
  34. Setting Up Guitars
  35. Working with a Guitarist
  36. Final Guitar Tone and Recap
  37. Guitar Tracking with John
  38. Guitar Tracking with Ollie
  39. Final Tracking
  40. Tracking Quads
  41. Intro to Bass Tone
  42. Bass Tone Setup
  43. Bass Tone Mic Placement
  44. Bass Tracking
  45. Intro to Clean and Lead Tones
  46. Clean Guitar Tones
  47. Lead Tones
  48. Vocal Setup for Tracking
  49. Vocal Mic Selection and Setup
  50. Vocal Mic Shootout
  51. Lead Vocal Tracking
  52. Writing Harmonies
  53. Harmony Vocal Tracking
  54. Vocal Warm Ups
  55. Scream Vocal Tracking
  56. Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction
  57. Vocal Tuning and Editing
  58. Routing and Bussing
  59. Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels
  60. Setting Up Parallel Compression
  61. Setting Up Drum Triggers
  62. Gain Staging and Trim
  63. Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ
  64. Drum Mixing - Snare
  65. Drum Mixing - Kick
  66. Drum Mixing - Toms
  67. Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms
  68. Drum Mixing Recap
  69. Mixing Bass Guitar
  70. Mixing Rhythm Guitars
  71. Basic Vocal Mix
  72. Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars
  73. Mixing - Automation
  74. Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek



I'm on lesson 19! Already worth every dollar!!! Priceless insight! I have already incorporated some of the ideas (preproduction common sense stuff that I never thought of, but damn). VERY HAPPY with this course! ALWAYS LEARNING and looking forward to the next 50 (or whatever) lessons!!! Excellent course! GREAT PRODUCER/ENGINEER, GREAT DRUM TECH, and GREAT BAND!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


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.


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.