Sleep Token are different, like super major big time different. Softly spoken pop aesthetic meets discordant percussive metal different.
Different is great. It tests and pulls at the boundaries by which we choose to asses music by.
All in all ST (sleep token) is very close to my heart in terms of what its intentions are and how it tries to achieve it.
I worked very closely with ST on the song framing and ensuring that every phase of each song was being presented in the way they originally intended.
Much like a prog record there isn’t any sense of an ABAB type repetition that’s common in pop music, instead it’s a textured journey down multiple avenues and pathways, showing and highlighting different perspectives of the song along the way.
I could write about this project for some time but I’m very aware that this is supposed to be an engineering / mixing focused blog so I shall move on.
Tracking // Drums
In terms of the space, we ended up at Monnow valley. This happened to be my first ever solo flight session at MV, although nerve wrecking I think it came together rather harmoniously without any negative turns.
The initial outline from ST was to achieve as much as humanly possible without the need for rigid quantisation after the fact. Every play / part, had to emphasis what else was going on. Tricky, but great fun to achieve.
Tracking // Guitars & Bass
All tracked back here at G1, using an array of options like the Kemper, Axe fx and plugin amp sims. The attention wasn’t so much on ‘authentic amp sounds’ but more along the lines of ‘how cool can this sound, can it sound more cool?’
Quite a different approach considering some would be more enclined to try and ensure that ‘this does definitely sound like a 5150’ over what it actually does for the context that it is sitting within (the songs DNA)
** Cool bit, for the end part of TTN, the guitars were tracked 6 times. 3 different takes / tones each side. More tone, more drone.** – George
Bass, I think is a combination of my jazz bass and some software stuff, obviously my poor 4 string won’t handle going down to drop ZZZZ so that’s when the synth stuff needs to kick in, however I do believe at those parts the Jazz is playing the upper octave for that sense of movement and clank.
Tracking // Vocals
How freaking amazing is this dudes voice? Seriously?
I used a different mic for each song, each time he sounds amazing. This is what it’s all about, right here. A great voice always sounds great. We used my modded Oktava m319 for one track, the AKG c414 b-uls for another and the sm7b on one more. Who cares what processing went on, just listen to how mega dope his voice is.
Can you tell I appreciate his voice? Haha!
Drums – Tracked by G1 at Monnow Valley
Kick In – Beta91a + D112
Kick Out – U47
Snare Top – 57
Snare Bottom – 441
Toms – md421
HH – 7b
Ride – c451
China – c451
OH – Modded Oktava mk012 in ORTF
RM1 – R121
RM2 – C414
RM3 – U87
Kemper / Driftwood Profile Pack (along with other bits and bobs too for the multi tracked parts)
Dingwall Darkglass > FabFilter Saturn
Different mics for different sections
C414 BULS / 7B / Oktava m219