Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp


Lesson Info

Vocal Mic Shootout

We're gonna be checking three mics, the U87, RE20 and SM7B through three different sets of pre's. I mean, through three different pre's, API's, and then through three different Neves to hear what they sound like. We're gonna be sending each one of these pre's through a distressor into an 1176. As you can see, we've got three distressors and three 1176's so, they're all gonna be set the same and this'll give us a really, really good idea of what the differences are between the mics. And again, we're just gonna go for what sounds best on his voice. As far as the settings on the distressors go, I'm gonna figure that out as we do this but more than likely I'm gonna start in a somewhat neutral setting as far as attack and release which is kinda like, down the middle, five and five. Probably gonna go ten to one like they're set right now and I'm gonna get above 10 dB of gain reduction on the distressor and then we'll see what happens, maybe even more, sometimes it sounds better when it's hig...

her than that, so let's see what happens. Hey, hey, hey. (deep scream) Alright, so, yeah, go into the SM7B and just kinda like check it a little and see what's going on, alright? Alright. I'm gonna record you, I just wanna see what level's coming in first. Okie dokie. Hey hey, check, one two. (Monuments track plays) Hey, check, one two. ♫ I would be wise to lay in ♫ Parents or planets sublime Alrighty then. Alrighty, so real quick, what I ended up settling on with the distressors is actually a super fast attack and a medium release, just because I wanna clamp down (clears throat) 'scuse me. I wanna clamp down on his vocals immediately. I've also got a pretty fast attack on the and a pretty fast release as well and I like it, I want his vocals to be super compressed. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. So, we've go the U67, the RE20, and the SM7B through the three API's as well as the three Neves and we will check them out. Yes we will. So here's what we got with the U67 Okay. Let's do it. Let's hear it against the music actually. Let's check it out. Check it out. (laughs) Yeah, yeah. (Monuments track plays) Sounds nice. Nice shitty take. (laughs) What, are you just warming up? (Monuments track plays) Sorry, 20, I kinda like you but I feel like it's kinda boring. Yeah, the RE20 through the API, is that what that was? Yeah. That was actually nicer than the U67. Here's the SM7B through the API. (Monuments track plays) It just hits harder It's what we used on the record. Yeah, I mean, we wanted to try different things just because that's what you do in the studio but on the record, we shot out, what, like five different mics? Big time. And ended up with SM7 through an API And we basically were like, it seems like it's going to be the same case. Yeah. It's, as you heard, it's not like there's anything wrong with the other ones through the API. Not at all. I'll solo them. It's just that Characteristics of the mic. And my voice. (Chris Barretto's vocals) That's the U67. I mean, it sounds nice. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I don't like the RE20 at all. (Chris Barretto's vocals) that just gives so much more. Let's just check the Neves too. It's just go that perfect combination of body and crunch slash cut. And attitude. Yeah, the attitude is there. So, the U67 through the Neve I actually had to de-ess it a little bit 'cause it was super ess-y. (hisses) Yeah. It wasn't through the API but it certainly was through the Neve. So this is the-- Does the Neve have the tendency to be super ess-y, or is it just me? I think it's just you, and it wasn't on the other mic. So this is the U67 through the Neve. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I don't like it at all. SM7 through the Neve. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I don't like that. I don't like it either. It just doesn't have the attitude. The presence, yeah. It's an attitude thing. Here's the RE20 through the Neve. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I dunno, I feel like the Neve colors your voice too much in the wrong way. I believe you are correct. Yeah, I feel like the API just captures you very, very well. We'll play it against the music too. Do you have a reason you think why the API and my voice go so well hand in hand? API is a much more full-frequency, punchy sounding pre-amp when you drive it harder and a Neve is more, people think that it's got better low-end, but it doesn't. What it does is, it shaves off some at the top, some at the bottom, and you get more low-mid presence in it. It adds a little bit more coloration, so a lot of people like them for whatever reasons, but on your voice, I just think we need something that just captures you, doesn't color it too much and just pushes you in front, 'cause I want it to sound exactly like you do in the room, we don't need to mess with the character of your voice. Fair enough. That's what I think, that's my opinion on the why. What kind of vocal type do you think that I have that works so well with the API, just out of curiosity? Like, if any other vocalists are out there that are kinda like me in that respect, is that something that they could use too? It tends to be a really good choice for this style of music, for heavier music, 'cause it's so punchy that it does help push vocals to the front. I feel like if I was recording some sultry jazz singer, Probably not. Probably not. Something a little more body, a little bit rounder. Darker, yeah. We need the brightness to punch through. And I feel like my voice isn't that bright naturally anyway, so I feel like it gives it a little bit of an edge. That's what I personally think, but you tell me. Well, yeah, it definitely does. I mean, even against the other microphones via the API, those definitely have more edge than the Neve ones, but the SM7B just wins. Let's hear it against the music though. Let's do it. No. Just kidding. Alright, so here's the SM7B Neve against the music. (Monuments track plays) SM7B API now against the music. (Monuments track plays) Just a world of difference. Night and day. Here's the U67 Neve against the music. (Monuments track plays) It's like, that sounds nice, but we would need-- It's just missing that little something. Yeah, it might be good for a different genre. Here's U67 API. (Monuments track plays) Again, it sounds nice. Smoother, a lot smoother though. Man, this SM7B wins. (Monuments track plays) It naturally sits in where it should be. Yeah, so let's roll with that. Cool. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Alright, let's get a screaming tone and a finish this. Yeah!

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.