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Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Lesson 16 of 26

Vocal Mixing on Galaktikon

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

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Lesson Info

16. Vocal Mixing on Galaktikon


  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

Vocal Mixing on Galaktikon

Let's listen to some actual music and because we're talking a lot and which camera should I look into because we're talking a lot and um I even in this one and its hard tio it's hard to relate anything any of this actual music just like ones and zeros and a bunch of boring stuff so here's a song going to play this from the top u play from the top is a song called beast blade off of um the galactic on record which you can get on brendon small dot com if you like but there's a lot of really cool guitar and there's a lot of cool different vocal styles now this is totally different than the death clock stuff I'm singing in more of a lower register and then I have some high falsetto stuff have some some kind of louder belting out the stuff that happens later on and it's just a different feel man so it's a generally different sounding song yeah but the religious questions there's still elements there elements if you listen that gets harder for the top it sounds like kind of a brutal death me...

tal riff but it's a but if it were double time it would sound like crazy in this but we decided to make it half time and then try to make it melodic and try to throw in a lot of different elements so here goes wait wait so there you go. That's ah that's that one more time wasn't so that's the sun that's that's a song from galactic on which is a big story that we're telling throughout the whole thing and that's ah that's the bad guy's song and it's ah it's got a lot of different revives a lot of false said a lot of screaming a lot of breath penis um and stuff going on there's a lot of stuff going on I actually going to dig into the mix of this you're gonna make a dignitary and hear their mother stars hilarity the guitars recorded what am piease for the guitars and all that stuff will get into all that but we can isolate a moment I don't know what you have in mind or um we can go dig in and then this explored the vocals a little bit you know uh so actually isn't easy makes plug in on this vocal track right here on your main vocal track these this is the session that I got in from you like when yes like that after you had taken everything back to your studio recorded this this is what you gave me and said go make sense of this yes and so this is ahh this kind of ties into like previous segments right on but it also tying to the next segment of mixed preparation but for this purpose right here a cz you can see there's like a bunch of vocals uh that are you know that we have to listen to him and see what they what they are and what they do for us there's one thing vocal one is a good place to start uh well so it if that's okay with you leave the room for a while so I have uh it's ah this plug in right here vocal with slap delay is the easy mix plug in your you teo teo you can see it's it's ah it's a vocal recorded through a microphone nothing really extraordinary about it yet other than it's the lead vocal which is extraordinary probably tons of puncheon's probably lot of comping on my I probably you can give it to you comes yeah lou in little bits off you know little snippets of locals yeah everywhere and then on this section right here it looks like you double it up let's see what we have there for my breathe through prison we got ourselves a harmony so harmony uh it's a very exciting way to differentiate a section yes and build on a song um there's probably some whispered tracks in some places let's see what we have here, jane reactions it sounds like yourself silly, but yeah, there's a lot of the things that are not terribly embarrassing themselves, but you can't really hear him but along with the lead vocal sound chain that's that's where the that's the the answer party where there's like a question answer thing going on let's see where that one is must be this one here wait we're going on there yeah that's there you'll find all kinds of weird stuff in these things there's on on on the chorus if you go to the course I think there's a doubled line between the uh if you could find what the courses but there's a double line I think it's ah this one it just knocked if I think I did this section way have their this is course even about that on the second half of that line I decided to do a an octave falsetto kind of tick away things that you just the things that you hey go away things thatyou terms the things that you so there's that and then the second on the next line right after that we'll hear something if you can find it oh, there you go but you can hear clearly in that isolated um headphone mix that you can hear the song playing in the headphones in that thing and there's a new good shall pay with you it's quiet somewhere there yeah, and so is that okay, turn around show okay with you gonna share it with you with that you get a lot of kind of extra transient white noise sometimes, you know, maybe now's a good time to talk about your thing that you've experimented with before your track of, um lightened always track your noise track. Yeah, um, you know, a lot of a lot of people go on about the analog being better than digital and have experimented previously with just putting a little bit of tape ists throughout the entire song to blunt approach als recording session that's digitally record like a whole track with just yeah, just just the tiniest amount of it, of little little tape pissed to glue it all together and give the illusion that it was recorded on analog. You know what that does, though? Because I because I heard you did that and you did on death out in one, I'm not mistaken. You put tape, piss on the whole record and it's interesting because I've experimented with that like I'd find like a like a super long decay rate river been hit like it's there, and it was going to make that long sound, and I would just record print that whole thing without the hit on dh. I tried that on my own thing and it's a really interesting thing, because sometimes our recordings can sound really, really clean and sometimes it's a little unnerve ing and un riel. And almost like when you, when you shoot a scene with ah, for those you don't know about, like filming a scene with, like, in a room, if we were to film this scene in this room and we added a lot of stuff where we didn't want a lot of stuff, what we would need to do afterwards get thirty seconds of room tone and they use that, and they duplicate that overall the cuts so you don't notice a change in tone free because that camera and this camera and the camera neck all these different cameras would have a little bit different tone where they sat, where the microphones were in the room and the way to make that all sound like it's one big fluid scene that may have been shot three hours from itself in order to different days. Is this sound that kind of throws to get a room telling the hiss the natural sound of white noise that we're always hearing? So if we hear a song without any of that stuff, it's either a really clean super poppy recording or or your manufacturing your case you did, and sometimes it's an interesting thing sometimes, you know, sometimes you don't yeah, and I mean sound is so important, and you, khun the test of that when you want your youtube video you're more upset when the sound cuts out that when the video actually cuts out right you know it's it's a weird thing yes, the sound has I mean if you shoot with the crappiest video in your sound is great you don't have a problem you know um but we're that remind me because there's a lot of hits and white noise and a lot of stuff that kind of builds up overtakes with the headphones and those were those really mid rangy headphones to and you can hear that mid range peeking through is I probably I'm pulling one on helping my ear in trying desperately to sing into no there's a section of this I think where it's I think we build a lot of voices to that or more bel t audi voices but I'm not I am not because I'm the one that recorded all the vocals on that I am not doing anything from uh one take to another differently with a microphone or the settings really I may get a little bit closer on the microphone that put my put my mouth on the microphone on the quiet or higher parts because if you try to belt out a falsetto over a whisper it just not gonna work way have to lower the volume of your voice and get closer the microphone and it's a it's a technique that even if you're doing stand up or singing alive and a lot of the note is you you see, microphone, you see people singing and kind of doing a natural fade away, unlike american idol, my tv show, they were crappy, horrible show that they do that on, but but, yeah, you use your own technique when you were in there and whispering is also getting on it, and you can ah, high pass filter will sometimes really bring out your whisper to I'm not. And I'm sure you noticed that when you yeah, I mean, a lot of that happens in mixing, you know where what we really like. Dig in. Yeah, and carve out some space and make certain things heard over other things, like they, like, find the important frequencies for each each vocal track. Listen, the next section with that little kind of chromatic climb up or the build up before the big kind of blowout outro guitar solo. Probably this stuff here. Yes, that sounds terrible. It's. Terrible and embarrassing, but leading what? You will see it once it's doubled and stuff. You know, by the way, all my vocals sound okay. When they're buried in the mix and they sound, they sound believable on ok, you remember when they all freddy mercury stuff kind of got out and they had, like booking me and rhapsody and you could listen to the isolated freddie mercury stuff I couldn't wait to hear that to hear him make a mistake and his vocals air so perfect I think they said like roy thomas baker said at one point when he would double attract they would they would phase they go they would phase with one another because they were still person years like that that are so extremely on, right you know and like some of it is luck a little bit, you know, and some of his technique and I know some guys who could hear what they had done and just duplicated right? I am asking you what whose some of the best singers you worked with remember what your answer was? I wonder if you do. Uh well, one of the guys was robin zander of cheap trick. Yeah, he was that's who I was referring to is like he put down this vocal on it was amazing on dh they wanted to double inside. Okay, let me hear it. What I had done and what he had and and he listened to it and he tried a couple of times and it was spot on, you know, he's, a great singer and cheap trick is a great band um so anyway, you don't have to be robin zander to make a record you could be a crappy guy who's hacking his way through like myself, and it'll still I mean, the song sounds good, it sounds like it's put together after doing some nipping and tucking a little bit of pitch correction and some not so pitch corrective but that's what we do, yeah, way record several takes and we pick the best ones and way put our best foot forward with an album, which is a different thing from live, which is have, you know, the live energy and time. And so I believe, I think brian beller told me something that I thought was kind of a smart idea about what recording is because in one way or another, we're cheating when we're recording were taking a lot of time to record one little part. We're not nailing it all in the first technique we're taking this much time we need to like even when you watch the movie la bomba and he's doing a million takes of let's go, it is us cheating in one way or another to to make the best sounding thing that we can, and beller said something that was really smart, which was record is you at your best? It may not be true, but it's you at your best at that given time with those circumstances with the financial resources that you have in the studio etcetera but that's what it is it's you it's your best and uh um that's what it is it doesn't have to be it's not totally honest and I think you said this is very true of many things um you know, uh recorded song is like a sausage yeah, it tastes really good that's all we need to know you don't want to really know what's inside albums are like saw there may there may be people inside of that sausage possible soylent green is people soylent green um ok let's keep going. Um so were you referring to leg was going after the chorus or you know through the whole song and I'll show you where it is from after the course yeah, isolate that part with the vocals and you're gonna hear what's going on on the track and it's again it's not perfect but it sounds good with the track it all works together and sometimes all that white noise kind of cancels itself out with all the other stuff that's going on and you don't even hear it you know what? I'm going to take it away way wait little bits of single vocal and some doubled booze in there yes, yeah there's one lead one and they both come together and they should get you. And you probably heard a bad edit go by. Yeah, which is, uh, how is one of my signature and part of signature sound before he gets to me? Uh, that's probably right. This section right here? Yeah, and so my job is to once I get the stuff to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen and leave the pick this portion of it or this portion of it, I'm depending on on what's going on, right? Yeah, you know, yeah, I think you call them at one point, rogue and it's what I do, I'm just trying to get anything down in a timely manner, and it isn't always pretty, and I think if I had all the time in the world and all the vocal power in the world probably trying to make it smoother have todo will do the same thing because you want to get this stuff done. Yeah, I think you're focusing on one thing as opposed to the tedium, you know, I agree, I think there was a definite this this also this record is bill to have the idea was that I'm gonna have a studio record with tons of layers of stuff that hopefully all work together and make the music more powerful when we got to the the next death park record? It was a lot more stripped down because this record was so elaborate, so I thought let's make a drier more kind of like, what would death clock sound like? Live a little bit war and death out in three hundred being a contradiction to this record not to death album too, but to galactica on then the doom star requiem is totally different because I didn't do is many layers and some someplace I had, like fifty voices in unison, seeing like something, and then I had single lines that were a little bit, I think, a little less process a cz this in a little a little more kind of in character, so they could be a little bit more faltering at points sure, because I have nathan explosion saying your pickle seeing or something, and and it was it was a cleaner process, and a lot of that was better technique, I think through my voice, better technique through my headphones, on being able to hear and just and then also not wanting to do a record is as elaborate as this one. Sure on dh the dems are reckoned this was character voices, yes, his character, so I will have them sound like they were in yeah, but it wasn't it wasn't brendan right now I mean, it was these were other people like if you will you know, still you doing it but yeah, I think they were in situations where you wouldn't have there was acting so they have a different animal day in a million emotion yeah, very different stuff. What else would you show in this thing? I think we'll probably get into the mixing of this thing so we'll probably isolate someone run as you as you heard when I played back just a snippet of it before was ah, the cake sound was very different because this is, like, just a rough mix, right? Basically at this point just kicking and vocals, right? Because that's what you were doing at the time yeah, you know, you needed to hear the the temple of the song and whatever one guitar that gave you the pitch and yeah, the vocals that you were doubling to or whatever yeah, so that that's that's what goes back to the what we need to hear to make this happen right? Exactly what what's what's going to make it? Oh yeah, when I'm doing my pre when I'm doing my overdubs and my you know, my big finalizing and all the extra guitars that ill layer and all the vocals that ill layer my mix in my in my room is crazy it's just ridiculous it's, really guitar driven it's, really? Then I'll turn up all the stuff. You don't hear any drugs or any base, because I'm all working. I'm just working on vocals and guitars, and brian billers mixes, component may, saying, vocal itt's written, it was, is really it's just kicking, snare and base, but the kick is there, really quiet, really, just based, so you can hear the his attack, and so you can lock in with the with the transience of the drums.

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