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Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 8 of 74

Intro and the Tone Pie


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 8 of 74

Intro and the Tone Pie


Lesson Info

Intro and the Tone Pie

Welcome to day two of the metal recording boot camp. As you can see are not at CreativeLive Studios anymore. We're actually at Clear Lake Audio in LA. This is where we're actually gonna be doing the deed, and right next to me is Matt Brown. He's going to be drum-teching this session. He's actually a phenomenal drum tech. Anything that you've heard me do in the past two years, or that's come out of Audio Hammer Studios in the past two years, this guy is, in a big way, responsible for the drum tones. Also happens to be a great drummer and a great engineer, so bringing that knowledge to the table really really helps. So if I don't know an engineering trick, he definitely knows it. He's also done a lot of other stuff on his own that's pretty noteworthy. You can see it in the slide right here. So, yeah, if you ever need a great drum tech, hire this guy. So anyways, today what we're gonna be going through, is we're gonna get a lay of the land of the studio because this is a new place for me.

I've never been here before, except for yesterday when we did some set up. We're gonna take a look at the gear, what we have available, what works, what doesn't work, mic selection, all that, drum selection. We're just gonna see what's going on. And then, once we're done with that, we're gonna get straight to actually working on drums. We're gonna go through drum selection, head selection, tuning, sticks, all of the above, getting some basic tones, taking samples. From that point on, if we have time today, we'll get on to cymbals and getting the rest of a badass drum sound. Anybody that's watched CreativeLive before, watched my old drum class, or watched the Andrew Wade guitar class, which is actually really, really good, that was about the tone pie, and the idea there, is that it takes multiple things, multiple elements put together to get any one sound. So, you're trying to get a really, really good drum sound. It's not just the microphone you choose, or the preamp. Actually, I'd say it's 50% drummer right? Yeah, you know, the saying is the sound is in the hands, and that's really true of the drummer, moreso than almost any other instrument. But, that alone is not gonna do it. If you're in a-- No. Terrible room, terrible gear, terrible drums, terrible heads Yeah. All that. Doesn't matter how good the, there are some great drummers that can make everything sound good, but for this kind of context you have to have everything working together. For sure. Yeah, so we're gonna show exactly how that all works together. Luckily we have Anup Sastry here, the drummer for Monuments, and who is just a beast of a drummer. So we have the drum side of it, the drummer side of it, well taken care of. So from here on out, if we get bad drum sound, we know that it's on our end, which is always a really good thing because there's plenty of times where we've been working together, where we'll be miking up a drum kit and we know we're doing everything right, but it just doesn't sound that good. Yeah. And it's the drummer. I'll have him go in and play and hit something, and it sounds amazing. Then you have the drummer come in and play it, and it doesn't sound that good, so you know the drummer is messing it up. In this case, we have the luxury of knowing the drummer's not gonna mess it up. (laughing) Right, exactly. So if there's any engineering problems, it's gonna be on our end. But yeah, we're gonna go through the importance of the actual drums, the heads, the sticks, the mics, the pre's, and the room. And then also gonna get into the actual construction of the drum. Yeah. Like the wood types, bearing edge, and all that. So I think before anything else, we kinda need to define the goals for the session. One thing that we always do is we talk about how we want the actual drums to sound. Yeah. Yeah, I think that because Monuments is a really, really heavy band, downtune stuff, but also very, very busy, we need to take into account that the drums need to cut through giant wall of guitars. But they also need to be very, very articulate, because Anup does a lot of ghost notes, a lot of little articulations. So we need something that's gonna be very clear and punchy, but also huge. Right. So that's kind of what we're going for. Yeah.

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.