Homunculus - 2006
Homunculus is my fourth instrumental effort. I utilized some new production skills I gained over the past two years to hopefully create a clearer more punchy recording. I also focused on creating a lot of depth and cool textures to have the listener hear something new each time they listen to it. I tried to maintain a decent level of technicality in my playing without sounding like a robot. If I went for it and kind pushed it a bit too far I'd generally keep the take. I feel that its important to keep the spontaneity instead of going over it 100 times and losing the vibe. In other words no "ProTooling" was done on this recording
The idea behind this album is that each song represents a facet of one's personality. I personified each song through graphic representation and style and composition. Each song is its own character that lives in one's mind and that character has its own paradoxes that I also express through the music. I prescribe to my previous principle that each song has to pull its own weight without any solos and if it didn't... well into the scrap heap it went.
This recording was done at my project studio Splinterhead Recording and will more than likely be my last recording using my Roland VS-1680 as I'm in the process of upgrading my studio. Most of the instrumentation remains unchanged. I used my Carvin DC-747c seven string for all electric guitar parts. My Carvin LB75p 5 string bass was used for all bass parts. And I played my Ovation Celebrity acoustic for any necessary acoustic guitar parts. My Yamaha RS-7000 synth/sequencer was used for most of the synthesizer parts and some sound effects. I also used Acid to create sound effect beds that I flew into my RS as well. The only real new piece of equipment that I used is a guitar synth and that I pretty much kept that to a minimum. I recorded one solo with it and doubled a few others. My drums were all programmed in real time using my trusty R-70 rhythm composer. No drum loops were used.
I tried to maintain a certain spaciousness in the drums and tried to give them a punchy live sound. I mixed them wide and applied gated reverb in varying amounts around the kit. A bit of compression on the snare to tame it and a bit of overall room reverb on the two track mix down to put it all in the same space.
The rhythm guitars were recorded direct using my POD 2.0 and my Carvin Tone Navigator. The effects were courtesy of my VS-1680. The solo guitars were recorded using either my POD or Behringer VAmp Pro. The Behringer, when tweaked, provided a nice base to work off of. It's a nice piece of gear and a major bang for the buck. Don't attempt to use it in a live situation though, not so happening. Any acoustic guitar parts were done direct and I applied some eq to round them out a bit. Bass guitar was also done direct. Eq and preamp algorithms were applied as well as compression and sometimes light chorus to the bass to spice it up a bit. I really tried to mix up the guitar sounds to suit each song. Some of the tracks have a more vintage vibe while some others are much more modern. I also mixed up the clean solo sound a bit as well. Going from a fat warm sound to a bell like chorus sound again to suit the song. The only real difference in the dirty solo sound is whether I used the neck or bridge pickup.
My RS-7000 was my main piece of gear as far as synths go. I either used my keyboard or my guitar to input any midi info to trigger the synth. Any effects like reverb and delay etc on the synth tracks were all born from the RS-7000 as well. This time around I also used Acid to put together long sound effects beds that would be either to complex to create in RS or just be way to big file-wise.
The mix down this time around was particularly tough. The tracks are pretty dense and I had to really focus on creating space for everything without making it sound one dimensional and flat. I used a lot of subtractive eq to really hone each instrument and applied very little effects overall. The only send/return effects I used were delay, chorus, and reverb. For inserts I only really focused on multiband compression, broadband compression and parametric/graphic eq's. I really tried to let the raw tone do most of the work for me. As far as mastering I used Izotope's mastering suite which really provided a nice environment to try some new things.