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Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 23 of 74

Getting Tones and Final Placement


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 23 of 74

Getting Tones and Final Placement


Lesson Info

Getting Tones and Final Placement

One thing that you guys should notice is that we have different monitors up. We've got Adam's up now. We used to have Genelecs. They were both owned by the studio. The Genelecs were kinda, one of them was kinda blown. We noticed this when we were getting drum sounds yesterday and the day before, and we pointed it out, but whenever we would hit the floor tom, it was kinda just making this weird low end rattly, farty thing. We tested it by panning to the other one, we panned to the other speaker, and the problem wasn't there, so we determined it was definitely the speaker. And so we changed them out. So, actually, I've never worked with these before. Have you? Not this particular model, no. Yeah, so, we're, I wouldn't say we're flying blind, but this is a new experience for the two of us. But let's get going. So, we're going to finish up drum tones and get to tracking with Anup. So, first thing's first is I wanna make sure that his headphone mix is okay. Headphone mix is super import...

ant because if the person playing doesn't feel good inside their headphones, they're not gonna do as good of a job. Luckily, Anup is so pro that he doesn't really care what he gets, he's got his own click track that he made, and as long as he hears that, he's good, but we're still gonna double check that everything is working the way he wants it to. So, Anup. Huh? How are you doing? Good, man, you? Good. So, let's just see that everything's working fine. I'm going to just play the song. And just play along, doesn't matter if you play badly, I'm actually not recording this. I just wanna make sure that your headphones are straight, and that whatever you need coming through is coming through. So, that's all we're checking now. Okay? Cool. (kick drum banging) (click track ticking) (rock music) How are those headphones working out for you? It's gonna take me a second to get this all figured out. Okay, so how about this, I'll just keep it running, and if you need me to stop it, just stop, and hit the snare twice, the international, the international signal for stop playing the playback. I got you. (click track ticking) (rock music) (mumbling) All right. Keep going if you can. Okay, sure. (drums banging) He hits like a beast, I like it. (click track ticking) You know what, I'll just record it. (click track ticking) (rock music) Can you turn down the fourth click? Four. On the out, though, actually. Which is this thing. Oh. Yeah, yeah. (mumbling) Which room mic did you turn up? What's that? Which room mic did you turn up, which room mic did you turn up? I just leveled up the one for the very back. Is that what you wanna be doing? And take four down. This one? Yeah. Even more. Which one is that, ride? China. Sorry, man, I can't hear you. What's up? I think, I think I'm good, I just gotta tape some stuff down. Okay, we've got, we've just gotta tweak a few things. I was getting some basic levels, but I, we're still gonna need to kinda go around. Man, that felt so good to play drums finally. Yeah, you really haven't been playing much. Ah, can you tell? No, I mean, no, I mean, during this session. Okay. No, I don't mean to, I don't mean in general. So yeah, once they're done taking that down, we'll have him go around and try to fine tune some of that stuff, but any thoughts, anything else, do you think we should examine? That sounds pretty good to me. Okay. (rock music) (click track ticking) I gotta crush that. Hey, how's it going? Cool, well, so, one thing I wanna do is I still wanna go around the kick, take a few samples, and also make sure we've got individual levels on everything, and that the balance in the overheads is good, and all that stuff we still kinda gotta do. Okay. So. (drum track playing) I always use API 2500. Oh, yeah, you like that one, let's try it. Love that one, yeah. Do you like it on mastered rooms? Yeah, rooms and stuff, yeah, really compress it. So, I tend to go to the, I just tend to do the low like, something around the line, then I'll just play around with it 'til it sounds right. All right. So, I go to load at the top where it says load. Top right, yeah, load, and then just choose drums, then there will be one that room. Yeah, and then just like, play it, and then see what it sounds like. That sounds great. Yeah. (laughing) And then that, you can obviously play around with like, the thrust and stuff if you... Try 'em loud. Put too much, medium is quite good, it's pumping, isn't it? Yeah. Maybe change the medium as well? That sounds great to me. I just started by cutting the bottom out, but... Yeah. Here we go with the much needed 300. Then I remove this for a second. There it is. Yeah. Horrible. Gross. All right. Much better. Maybe you don't need as much. I like it a lot better like this, but maybe... There we go. Ah, much better. Actually... We're on the China right now, is the placement okay? Placements on it sounded good. Yeah, okay. Yeah. Ride through a metal zone. Did you mic the China from the top? Yeah. Yeah, cool. That sounded way better. Yeah, we just put a couple of felts and stopped 'em from moving as much. Okay. The other thing is I think right before he played, he might have knocked one of the coals out of place, so I put it back in place and taped it in place, so, it won't move anymore. Okay. Hey, buddy. Hey. Do you mind hitting the hi hat for us? Yup. Are we okay with cymbal selection with that? That's what I wanna start getting into real quick, yeah. Oh. We just lost 'em? Yeah, hey, hit the hat some more. Hey, so I'm gonna need you to go around your cymbals from left to right, and then right to left, okay? Just one hit each? Yeah, one hit each, just go around, and then back around, and then back around. All right. (cymbals crashing) Okay, hold up. What do you think of this crash that's right here on his right side? It sounds kind of weird. Yeah, the ride side crash. The ride side crash, which means the one next to his hi hat. The one that's coming out of this speaker. Okay. Yeah, here, check it out. Yeah, sounds kinda faded. Want me to go lock it down a little bit more? Yeah, we'll try that. Okay, do the same thing. (cymbals crashing) Better? Yes. Want me to do the same thing with the other cymbals? Yeah. That one sounds weird now. Hold up. Yeah, yeah, they just need to be tightened down. Basically, there's a, I feel like there's a fine line. Like, you don't wanna have them so tight that they're gonna break. Yup. Or that they're gonna be too short 'cause sometimes, I feel like if a drummer tightens the cymbals on to where they won't move, like, the sound will literally be just like, an attack, and then it dies, that sucks, but I also feel like they can't be too lose because then, they start fading. Whooshing around and fading, yeah. Yeah, you hear it, you can hear them swiveling, and it makes it a real nightmare for me to mix. All right, go again. (cymbals crashing) That's better. The rides are tighter, little bit of quality but the extra mic validated. Okay, hold up. Yeah, it's okay because it's lower. Yeah. Than we, that was actually what I wanted to check next was the ride mic. Okay, we're going to check the ride now. So, what I need you to do is to play the bell and then play the ride, and then kinda go back and forth between the two, okay? Does he crash on it? Oh yeah, good question. Hey, do you crash on the ride? Please say no. No, not really. Awesome, okay, so yeah, so just go between the body of the ride and the bell back and forth some. Wait, maybe I just lied to you, I might. Okay, well then we're gonna need to hear that as well. Okay. If he's gonna be crashing on it, maybe we need a different ride. Go for it. (cymbals tinging) That's all we're getting? Yo, is that how hard you hit the ride? I mean, in the section that I really use it in is probably... (loud ride cymbal crashing) (laughing) Okay, so you're not gonna, don't play without warning me, by the way, 'cause that just destroyed me, but so, you don't have any like, heavy sections where you're using the ride, it's all in the light part? Yeah. Positive? Yes. Okay, cool, all right, so, we'll, we'll keep doing that, keep playing ride bells and ride itself, and crash a little, and hang on 'til I say go. Okay, go. That sounds kinda creepy. Is there another ride cymbal? Yeah. Yeah, we got three more. Hold up. Do you wanna switch it out? Yeah, whatever you wanna go for. Something brighter. Something brighter? Something more sparkly and bright, yeah. Okay, more washy 'cause he's crashing on it? Not quite too washy, but definitely something that's got more brightness. Okay. All right, let's hear that ride. (ride cymbal tinging) That's better. Way better. Way better. Okay, hold up. Do you think that the mic might be a little distant? Sounds a little distant? Distant to what? Distant from the bell. For the crash or from the bell? From the bell, yeah, what do you think? It just sounds like the ride is a little... Maybe give it some more gain on the pre and see what happens? Maybe, we'll see. And what are we scooping? Like, 300? I was just dropping absolutely nothing, yeah. Okay. Okay. Could go ahead and just get that out of the way. But... Why not, right? Live dangerously. Hit the ride some more. (ride cymbal tinging) I don't think that's what it is, I think it is is that... Can we try another ride cymbal? Yeah. I mean, we can move, if it's distance, we can move the mic closer. Well, hold up. The other things, the other mics, the other rides that we have are bigger, so they could be deeper, possibly lower and darker. Or washier, I'm not quite sure. Well, what I'm hearing is that the bell sounds quieter than the body of the cymbal. I can move it closer to the bell. And that it also just kinda, yeah, it kinda just sounds real dinky. Does he use the bell? Are you gonna be using the bell? No. Okay, well then I guess it doesn't matter, does it? No. Okay. Well then keep hitting the ride. What'd he say? Yeah, keep going, ride. (ride cymbal tinging) No bell. No bell, just hit the body of the ride, wash it. (ride bell crashing) Do you want, do you wanna hear a different ride then? It's not bad. It doesn't have much presence again though, does it? Okay, hold up. You wanna just check one more? Okay. See what happens. I just feel like when it's going, it's gotta be right. Is that a 22? 22, you wanna move the stand? Probably need to move the stand around, huh? Need to move the stand around because it's bigger? Yeah, probably. Okay. Yeah, that's perfect. Right there? What about backwards, this way? Away from the drums? Yeah, you can move it back that way too, so, away from the mic. Okay. Okay, go between China, stack, China, stack, okay? Thanks. (cymbals crashing) Sounds a bit quiet. Yeah it is. Okay, hold up. Want me to move it closer to the stack? Question is, we don't have anymore inputs, right? Okay, so yeah. Okay. Just try to get another stack in there. Okay. China, stack, China, stack, please. And hit them at like, real volume that you play at. Stack's a little bit quiet, isn't it? It's quieter in the room too. We could try switching out the stack too. Hang on one second, buddy. The stack itself is two pretty heavy symbols. So, if we go with a little bit lighter, they might speak a little bit more. Yup. Okay, try it. Okay. We're gonna change out the stack cymbal combination. What do you have on there right now? It's a Bosphorous 18 China, and then a 16 MB10. Let's try the 17 on top. This one's a little bit lighter, maybe. You don't have any splashes, do ya? No. Kay, let's hear a China, stack, China, stack. (cymbals crashing) That was even quieter. Yeah. Okay. Hold up. What about... Is there a way to maybe get him to raise it a little bit? To raise the stack? Raise it or lower the China a little? I'm sure we can ask him. The other question is, is it possible to just run another channel and bus them to the same thing through the console? So you're bussing both mics to one input. I'm sure we could do that too, yeah. 'Cause that might be a better solution. Yeah, probably so. So, 57, I'll try that out for starts. Okay. That's coming in on this one. I'll set that up right now. Let me go place it for him. Thanks. Channel four is what he said. Channel four? Yup. Channel four, huh? 17. Really, okay. And then I guess it just needs to be bussed to the same as the China, whichever input that would be. Well, that would be in the four. All right, let's balance this. Can we go China, stack, China, stack? (cymbals crashing) Oh, that sounds crazy. Why is it... The China sounds really low. Yeah, what happened to the China? Phasing. Yeah. Put the phase on that channel, look for it. Nope, I did move it over, I moved it to a different spot on the China. That sounds crazy. It's also way quieter. Little bit further away. That much further away, look at the difference. Hold on, what channel is the China going into? Knee four. Let's kill knee four real quick. All right, so now we should just be hearing the stack. Which, we're not hearing. Which, we're not. Hit the stack. Yup, there ya go. (mumbling) Yeah. Go between the stack and the ride. Stack needs to come up a little bit. Okay, go between stack and China now. Here, I'll move the China. Back to where it was? Yeah. Okay. Oh, hey, also, Matt, could you put the original stack back on? (laughing) Yeah, we just were trying, he liked the way this one sounded better, which was a high hat cymbal instead. Did he? But I could put the original one back on. He's fine. Yeah, can we change it back to the original? (laughing) They like this one better. Okay, so the China mic is back to where it was? Yeah. And the knee was set back to where it was? Yes. Okay. Please go China, stack. (cymbals ringing) Yeah, better. A little loud, huh? Yeah, but it's better. Stack's still quiet. Yes it is. Whoa. Whoa, hold on, hold on, stack's quiet 'cause we're 19 and two, that's why. Go in and put it on that input, and we're only monitoring the China. Bounce it later if you wanna fix that a little quieter. This one? Your ride is down negative 19 and your China's only down negative two on the fader on Pro Tools. Yeah. (mumbling) Cool. So weird having it on both channels. That sounds good on the room now. I think. Yeah. Hey play a beat involving China and stack real quick. (drums beating) That's cool. Okay, thank you. I was hearing something I wanted to check out. You hear that? Is he detuning the snare already? Sounds like it might be going down. Yeah. Hey, we gotta get the snares tuned again real quick. You wanna run in there and do that? Do you wanna hear the originals? Yes, I do. Okay, okay. (snare drum tapping) Hey, you wanna hear the sample? Yeah, sample please. (snare drum banging) It definitely dropped a little bit. (snare drum popping) All right, let me hear it. Still a little bit... It's a little low, I think. Yeah, it sounded low to me. That's better. Let me choose a different hit. Okay, cool. Sounds good. All right, cool, we're good. Wanna double check the toms since you're in there? Sure. (tom drum banging) That's fine, great. Okay. Next. (tom drum banging) Cool, all right, great, thanks.

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.


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.