Skip to main content

Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Lesson 25 of 26

Final Q&A

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

25. Final Q&A


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:06:20
4 Songwriting Q&A Duration:26:32
5 Tracking and Comping Drums Duration:27:24
6 Editing Drums Duration:16:25
7 Drums Q&A Duration:31:15
8 Micing an Amplifier Duration:25:09
9 Rhythm Guitar Tones Duration:18:52
10 Tracking Rhythm Guitars Duration:34:13
11 Tracking Bass Guitar Duration:23:34
12 Bass Q&A Duration:21:45
13 General Q&A Duration:16:30
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Tracking Vocals Duration:18:27
3 Vocal Mixing on Galaktikon Duration:24:37
4 Vocals Q&A Duration:17:50
5 Mix Prep Duration:34:45
6 Mixing in Logic Pro Duration:42:03
7 Mixing Blazing Star Part I Duration:27:14
10 Mixing Blazing Star Part 2 Duration:19:34
11 Mixing Blazing Star with EQ Duration:30:09
12 Final Q&A Duration:24:12
13 Closing Thoughts Duration:11:22

Lesson Info

Final Q&A

And that was a good time for we have questions you know, there's some questions about guitar stuff specifically um why do use tape on your guitar? We cover that ok that's a good question that we did cover earlier somebody we covered yesterday and you should go back yesterday and find out why we put guitar tape right here and right here because it does make a difference when uh, recording it actually silences so extra kind of peripheral noise if you will you don't need this stuff ringing out and then on the night go and check it out and you will have your question answered yeah, what about fractal audio ax effects? I haven't used it no one's given it to me for free so I'm not using and I don't have well, you know what? I have gone backwards in the whole world of guitar camping and then uh and um so what is a simulation cabinet simulation and family? Finally I've gone as if you track to this whole thing, you'll find out that I started with a pod and that's how I record the first death cl...

ock stuff and I slowly built my own studio where I could turn up abs like we did yesterday as well and and I like the sound of an anti like what it does, but you'll see also I will use whatever is close to me that works and sounds good that sounds like a guitar that I could get a good reaction from I don't have the practical audio stuff I know people love it though yeah, I've never played with a fractal of putting played with kemper um it's uh you know, the same neighborhood of technology and I guess um, you know, I was really impressed with the temporary cans before the fractal hear good things about it. I'll be happy to try one if somebody sent anyone. Yeah, um on dh the camper thing it is you know, I'll play that again to somebody sends it over, but like, I think I was impressed with the camper to be honest with you it was actually really fun but you have the danger of the options you just really internet and loaded down ten thousand sound companies things like yeah me and that is that is the same thing that I stay away from is the multitude of options and I am you saw me working like if you go back to the first thing, watch me go back and watch me try to work pro tools on my hands or my fat fingers were knocking on things and I can hardly make it work I just want to get the song to be recorded and I want to get the idea down and the whole idea is that alec and I again, another reason we worked well together is that we like the limitation of options, even though limitation of options here, where with a thousand tracks in an orchestra, you know, but getting the sound down is like, you've got a microphone and you got to do it now go on dh their self imposed limits because we would truly read way can have anything we want, you know? I mean, but we weave we've, like, developed this whole thing into into into a place where we have our go twos and we can, like, be creative and can't get the job done. We we're not afraid to plug in a new piece of equipment, right? Especially not if somebody sends it to us. Yes, I'm already, um, yeah, see what's going on, like because sometimes you need to, like, get out of a creative rut or something like that, but it's usually during a time when you don't have a deadline, you know, just experiment with things and have some fun, and whatever it is, it is great to get a new piece of gear or to get like, a new guitar or get a new pedal on, I love all that stuff, and it does inspire creativity on the on the comm opposite side, but yeah, it's funny. I am. I like the sound of am's. I like turning up the ante. Like to hear the wall rumble a little bit and I like tio just hear the pick attack and I can hear that there's just a different thing. But you know what? I've never played when I'm sure I'd swear by it because a lot of people who might respect a great deal to get a great tone use that stuff. So there you go. You like guitars. We have a question about whether or not you ever mess around with seventy eight string guitars. Your stuff? Yeah. You know, uh, I was talking about steve I earlier. He actually gave me one of his universe. Seven strings, and you can hear that on, um, you can hear that on the death album three there's. A song that we have a seven string on, and that was data data data too tentative. Ghost queen is what it's called that. Oh, wait. It's got this, like, three over four, kind of field and dare to do to detain dictator to dated dated, and I use it in a weird scoop. He kind of like, uh, I used a very strange pick up combination on that one that just gives it a totally different sound, but that's really cool. And then gibson made me a seventh string thunder horse, which is pretty cool too. That was going on the road for the death out in three. And then, uh I used the legacy antzas well, the carbon amps to so the carbon guys I did a did a carbon, uh, did a few, like a year and a half ago, maybe two years I did a bunch of clinics for carbon and they ended up building me an eight string guitar and it's really cool it's I think it's called a dc eight hundred, but it's his beautiful guitar and I put in some seymour duncan passive pickups in there and it sounds really cool and my eyes go crazy every time I play it. Like I start my just started having palpitations because there are so many strings I don't know where to go. Well, too many options there too many options, but but, you know, when I listen to my sugar it's really cool and that all the gents stuff sounds cool, but they're great, they're great, but, you know, I have enough I mean, going making six work is enough of a thing but adding, you know, and I want a b and then was the other one have sharp underneath there it's crazy it sounds really cool though and that that could so really has a it's really well built the carbon stuff and and it really is it's it's actually very, very playable you just at some point you have to kind of not you have to I have to just kind of look at the six string and then and then keep going yeah, yeah steve give you your own box fan with the guitar he did not give me that uh that's just for him but it was really cool tio you know, between saturday and helping me with all that stands steve I learning me his is for twenty one and the guitar is really cool to have guys who are my heroes helping me out and inspiring in different ways that's really nice of them whether they're the coolest guys in the world you know what inspires you to go into odd time signatures on occasion like in starved or does support um what takes you there? Sometimes you know you get sick of standard time and every once in a while like starved was started was that just a riff I started doing over like a click there's like a reference it donned on downed three over for kind of thing that's got a different pattern repeats in like six is so there's cool stuff and I like on time stuff I like I think it's cool I like stuff from I was listening to yesterday it was something it was really near you know like a radiohead two came on the stand down don't don't don't don't don't don't anyway there was a lot of cool there's nerdy cool seven I like old genesis stuff you know like uh but it's fun you know if you're going for the idea is when you finish a song what's different how do you write a song that doesn't sound like the last song but still you're utilizing all the same kind of things that make the band the band so death clocks case I have low two guitars I have double cakes I have to have the sound of nathan and I have to have the kind of fast guitar leads and then the harmonies and maybe a little bit of keyboard stuff so that's the sound of death clock to me how do I still make it be death clock and be able to explore outside of that a little bit so starved is is is something we're we're doing syncopated cool stuff and messing with odd time and then going back and do kind of four stuff you know and just fun experiments and you know no one's telling me what to do any of this stuff there's no person between me and the the listening audience of the records it is basically I like this it's the record you know and it's how I'm feeling at that particular time and it's you know it is a snapshot of that era and how I'm feeling musically you know and how this reacts death album three is a little bit of a drier album um there's a little bit more just kind of straight bass guitar drums grooving and that shows up on starved which is which is a reaction to the previous albums galactic on which is this big huge here candy you know, a galaxy of sounds so there you go. Yeah. Brennan what was your set up for home movies like in comparison to middle aka lips those home movies recording to have a very specific sound that I find cheesy and wonderful. Um well, this is what I learned and this goes back to our whole philosophy is that thank you, first of all, for liking that stuff um is that I had and this is me building my home studio as early days of home movies. Um I had a pod I I had a friend of mine and gotten a line six modeling amp and it was like early two thousand's or late nineties and I couldn't believe how cool this stuff was or like he was let you lose late nineties I couldn't believe that you could sound like metallica and then you could sound like stevie ray vaughan and they could switch it and sound like you know eric johnson or something and and then I saw the pollen and how that's cool it's a it's a direct line box and instead of is the only thing that besides the rock man thing that didn't sound like a squaw key eric clapton direct line from like old cream records you know where it was just that that's he's plugging into the the board yeah um and so I thought that was cool and then I found out that pro tools had there's a pro tools free back that you could download and I think it's four tracks and I could just ping pawn everything into one track and so early stuff is really, really simple I think I had a couple drum loops and I wouldn't have known how to grid it so I would just kind of cut it and paste and they'd be just like a hair off everything was just often wonky and weird and crappy and then I then I, uh take my pardon and in my my mac and a big frosted white one that was all rounded, I plugged my eighth inge quarters to eighth inch into my head phone jack and that's how I'd record everything and I got on tv and but the songs are you know kind of memorable and they were fun and I you know, would layer you could hear a lot of stuff that I do here back on the like franz kafka rock opera and stuff like that it's very similar to this stuff but this is scarier in a darker side to that but it's it's all from the same place and you know it's very simple and then I got like kind of big boy stuff which is a big pro tools hd and you know the d command thing that I used tio make certain record and then building the the inside you know, the isolation booth where I can put my amplifiers where I could put my speaker cabinets and have my amplifiers on the inside and tweak all that stuff and you know be ableto make guitar sound like uh a little bit more natural so that's there you go that yeah john wants to know what kind of advice would you give to him or anybody that wants to get their music on tv? Is there a mean is they're sort of well I can tell you all I can tell I only know one way and that's the way I did it yeah and I went to music school and while it's a music school I started taking writing for tv classes and I start taking the writing part in the comedy part very seriously and I started doing standup and I started performing I said, I don't know what to do with this guitar. Someone put in the case for a little while and then I'm gonna go and start doing standup and humiliate myself and slowly try to get good, and I realize that it's really hard to be even like a decent good tourist. I'm you know, I'm no slouch, I don't play guitar, but nobody's really looking for a new guitar player? I learned, but everyone's looking for somebody need to make them laugh, and if you have a sense of humor and you have a personality, no one is really in competition with you. If you're gets hard player that's pretty good, everyone is in competition with you, but no one's going to be no one to be me unless they're ripping me off. And still this it's, not me. So your personality is a big, big deal, the fact that you have one if you have one, some people don't, but but you know, if you've got a personality in a sense of humor, that's a big deal, that's, a it's, a bigger deal than your musicianship and a lot of ways so that's, how I got in, I was doing comedy in one night. That night, I happened to be funny. Most of the nights I was and I was on a show with a guiding ron lynch, who ended up being on home movies really great comic and the comic that not everybody knew at the time, but was really funny guy named louie c k and so this these group of producers saw me on a good night, and they thought I was friends with those guys, which I wasn't, um, I just hung out and bothered them, and then I ended up kind of getting into this world of tv and co creating home movies, and I got to hire myself as the musician and that's how I got on tv. You have to create the show first and higher, so because, you know what? If I'm not doing the music on the shows that I created, I'm not doing any music, I'm not doing any voice over. The only reason I get work is if I created first, then hire myself as a voiceover hear my voice on anything else, not really a couple of things, but it's, mostly because I I don't know I'm pushy and but I also have ah, you know I I'm a control freak and pushy but that's what you want in a guy that creates a tv show you when someone who kind of gets the job done and knows what he's doing to a degree so that's how that's my only advice I can give is what I otherwise you know, good luck, you know, I don't know how to do it, I really don't because I don't I don't know the entry point. Really? Yeah, how do you usually go about lyric writing, the lyric writing process for a show? And how do you or how did that different from your approach to damn star? Um well, lyric writing like this song let's say, for this on here, my my main, my main the thing I would say is you need to write the song you need to get it done, and I will say what I think about lyrics I love the queen I love freddie mercury love his voice, but I'm not listening to the words I'm listening to the tone ality of the words and I'm listening to, um I'm listening, the energy and the and the sound of the word that's almost more important and often times when in doubt here's my rule when in doubt be vague um because you can create some kind of an idea and it and not everyone's listening, you're you're just casting this kind of idea and this splash of of words that sometimes evokes a mood and that's, sometimes cool, but sometimes in very little literal. Um, I've written songs about the brutality of comedy and it's very literal words from my own experience about how comedy is the most brutal thing in an episode about comedy I wrote, uh said that really just absurd is feminist song called in drama, which I really like the lyrics of, and they're really brutal on there really, really hard core and it's it's, you know it's from a woman's point of view and it's from a man's point of view is being killed by a woman and it's just really brutal, but it's it's really fun? I see the comedy in that um so those air just like those air these things, and I think it really I think my favorite lyrics I think, are not the funny ones, but they're all over death album three I think those that's my favorite lyrics, I think crushed the industry has a lot of fun, just anti money just just like anti matter like everything is nothing, nothing there's nothing there's, nothing left, money is made up, things just are gone the housing market crash all that stuff that's what that that's all totally brutal and that to me is an interesting subject and I'd like to just make that is horrible sounding as possible and laughing at it at the same time. S o check out death out of three for lyrics but for the doom star I'm telling a very, very literal story, so what I did for that was I worked with two other writers is to beat down story beat out the idea of an outline, which is the most important thing when writing a story is making sure you knowing where your story goes, so I worked with two other writers mark brooks and janina julia, who is also on home movies she played, she played the mother after paula poundstone left, and she's a super smart writer, and we would just sit there and talk about story I'd have to it's almost like when I when I doom star happened the first meeting, I had to basically have the idea it may not be perfect, but here's the idea it's just like how I did at the very top of this thing this may not be perfect, it may not be specific yet, but here is the idea I'm gonna pitch it to you, so I've got to come up with something so everyone else has something to do so in that case, I said, I know these sequences I know what I want to start out with this the birth of this star and know that this is going to influence this thing is going toe pretty much kind of start to cast the very beginning of the end of the whole thing of end of the whole series and I went through every little being said this has to happen this has to happen uh toki has been captured, but toki is now I'd like to see him try to like try to just muscle through this horribleness and through abigail he's going to find his happiest moment in his life and just hold onto that while he's in this terrible place until he gets rescued. So we go back and I wanted to I wanted to track through the inception of death clock once they finally got magnus out of the band if you don't know what I'm talking about yet go watch the thing it's really it's really fun and how toki actually first audition in the band that's all story that I found very interesting and cool and backstory and still pertains to what this story is really about so I have to so yeah there's a lot of stuff on I have to have themes I have to have like the whole idea is basically that these guys is much as they I think that they're tough a zb rules they think they are they need each other and they love each other and it's not it's so brutal to admit that the ultimate brutality and they're brothers so how do I go from these nihilist from the first episode these horrible self serving jerks too, to a family and that's the big trajectory of the whole show? So you have to have all that stuff going on spitting in the back your head and then I have this outline and I each one of these songs I have an idea about so at the top of this thing I have to talk about these monks seeing this thing and in the issue of his character the the one that's played by verner herzog in the previous season, I have to know what the tone is and I'm in their parts that I'm thinking of like I'm trying to think of like, a place to hang my hat like, what does this remind me of? This is from jesus christ superstar this is the judas overture or he's saying like, I don't like what I'm seeing here, I don't dig any of this stuff and things are changing and everything is dangerous and it's getting worse and I wanted to kind of use that as a template later on tokyo gets in the band in that sequence and I'm thinking tonally, not musically, but totally it's from annie the musical when she goes in a daddy warbucks is houses like I think I'm gonna like it here. That's what toki is doing right there. So I'm having a place and I'm thinking, how can I be a hero? It's it's, the most self serving song about this guy who would rather be, uh, he thinks anyway, you get the idea of all that stuff. So each one of these things, I have to have a tone, we have to have a point of view and it has to be funny and afternoon where the jokes are coming from too soon. There you go, that's in a nutshell, that's the whole wash of doom start you get a question, they told me they're going to yell at me if I didn't. So south park did a stage thing? Would the rock opera be kind of like a bridge between tv and stage? Do you think it would play, but it be difficult to do any of that? I mean, you know what I think? It's cool. I loved what self south park I think is the funniest animated thing on tv I think they've always got they've got a reason for being on tv, they've got this major. They have their satirical and not a lot of shows are somewhere just joke machines and they always have something to say and I was so blown away by their thing the book of mormon itches so musical and just some of the best storytelling and just so funny and just belly laughs from everybody and I'm cynical I don't like I don't don't laugh that much I just go oh that's pretty good but that that night and I saw that it was so funny anyway I don't know that I would do anything with this I know that in this instance in in with this orchestra with the amount of voices I have with whatever I can do this with the amount of money and I have those things cost millions of dollars that's out of my reach right now and I already did what I wanted to do and I got to do with the way I wanted to do it so yeah there you go hopefully that answers something have you ever considered releasing instrument stems for death clock songs like nine inch nails does if there were if there were a market for for that if people were interested I don't know how to anticipate that all I know is that if there were some kind of if there were enough people out there there were interested in that than I'd say yeah you could make him downloadable we could probably do it um I haven't downloaded me like I said I saw the queen thing once but I don't really and then and then I heard some of any man helen's guitar stands from like van halen one which is really cool to listen to because it sounds like him by himself but I don't know maybe someday in the future you know, I never really be use any anything like I find I need myself to like go play with but those kind of stems but uh don't I hear that other people some people do maybe and then maybe that does help people is that there's a thing about like getting remix is done that way from fans all right, which could be kind of fun, you know? Sure I don't I mean, my my main interest with recording is getting a song that I think is cool out to people who may think it's cool and that's it isn't like I don't know this is the most in depth we've ever gotten with anything technical and it's cool to have this be out there because it really does I think it's a walk people through exactly what the process is from beginning to end and I think that's cool that this is probably better than that I think you know, to watch this whole sequence is probably more important than listening to our stems um but maybe a who knows what I know

Class Description

Adult Swim's Metalocalypse is a cheeky parody of metal culture — featuring the shenanigans of a cartoon band called Dethklok. In Toontrack Presents: Studio Pass, you'll get a closer look at the creative process behind this mesmerizing metal powerhouse-turned-TV-series.

Brendon Small is the creator and primary musician driving Dethklok’s music, including its four full-length albums. In this installment of Studio Pass, Brendon and producer Ulrich Wild (Pantera, White Zombie, Slipknot, Deftones) will show how they compose, engineer, and mix the music of Metalocalypse – explaining the recording techniques used for Dethklok’s drums, bass, guitars, vocals and effects.

The music behind the hilarious spectacle that is Metalocalypse is no joke. Join Brendon and Ulrich for Studio Pass and learn about the unique creative process behind the music of Dethklok.


John Thaxton

I love Brendon. He has always treated fans super well. There's so much wisdom to be gained from listening to him about workflow and music in general. Great class!

Aaron Thurtell

Being someone new and looking into recording songs, I found this class very informative and in a way essential, the idea of recording seemed over whelming and I had no idea where to start, being a fan of Brendon small and Ulrich Wilds work on Dethklok and Galaktikon I found it very enjoyable and must for any fans of Brendon small looking into how he goes about making a record