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Old November 21st, 2006, 07:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
Nygård
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Exclamation TURISAS STUDIO DIARY

As you may know, we are kicking off the recordings of our new album next week here in Finland @ Sound Supreme Studio / Hämeenlinna.

In this thread we'll try to post some words on how we are proceeding and other random bullshit every now and then. In other words: BEHOLD THE NEW STUDIO DIARY!

For the convenience of our readers, you will not be able to post in this thread. If you feel something here would be worth discussing, please just make use of THIS THREAD

So, check back later!

Warlord / Turisas
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Last edited by Nygård : December 9th, 2006 at 09:01 PM. Reason: added link to discussion thread on the new album
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Old November 26th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
Nygård
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26.11.2006 - Day 0 - Prepare for battle

Alright, time to start keeping you guys posted on how the new album is moving forward. As previously stated, we will begin the recordings of our second album tomorrow here in our nice little hometown Hämeenlinna, Finland. We will drag our gear to Sound Supreme Studios tomorrow morning and kick off the long awated 2nd album recordings together with producer/engineer Janne Saksa. I myself will function as the main/executive producer assisted by Mr. Saksa.

The workload so far has been immense to say the least, but still there's so many things that should have been done already, but which aren't, and just thinking of it is giving me a gastric ulcer already. The best thing is, that as the recordings finally begin, it's just work and we'll see what happens.

The material for the album has been in the works for the last couple of years. It will also feature an interesting concept theme, which I will not reveal for you quite yet. Today Jussi and I spent the day at our rehearsal room going through the pitch for each song and ended up transposing half of the songs to a different key for which they originally been written for. A nice little extra headache for the guys...

I'm nervous as hell about the schedule already, but hopefully that will push us to keep the workflow tight and we will make it... somehow. There's shitloads of material to be recorded/programmed and a lot of stuff is still quite unclear, but on the other hand I sort of enjoy the spontanity in making the decisions ending up on the album without too much time to ball around on every idea. I have my vision on how the album should end up sounding in the end, but I'm sure there will be a lot of interesting solutions and ideas arising in the process, and this makes everything so interesting, as there's no way of knowing how the final version will sound.

We'll try too keep you updated on how we proceed, so keep on checking back to this thread every now and then. We'll also try to post some pictures and videos if we can find the time for it.

That's all for now, tomorrow it begins... may the gods be with us.

Cheers,
Warlord
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Old November 30th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
Nygård
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27.11.2006 - DAY 1 - Setting up

We brought most of our gear to the studio at 9am and started setting up. We built three separate workstations, so while something is being recorded in the main studio, we can still work simultaneously on other shit like programming keys etc. We sat down and listened through the demoversions of the songs for everyone to get a picture of what we are up to.

This recording is a bit different, because we never actually played or rehearsed any of the songs with the full band. I've been working on the material quite closely together with Jussi and Tude for the last year(s), but the rest of the members have pretty much had only a couple of weeks to look into all the songs. A lot of things are still in the open and will find their form as we go on.


28.11.2006 - DAY 2 - Drums

The day was spent mostly on setting up, looking for sounds and recording drums. Tude and I have been sleeping over here at the studio, while the rest of the guys have chosen to go home for the night - which is a nice possibility you have when recording in your hometown. It's mostly me, Tude and Jussi hanging out at the studio for the most of the time, Antti and Hanu have so far been present a bit less, and the other guys are just not needed quite yet.

We are working around a click track and so we had to check through all the songs for one more time before starting on the drums to check that all possible tempo changes, and ending slowing downs are precisely as they should. So far we have the drums for 4 of 8 songs done. (Not bad!) For the other ones we still need to work on the endings a bit before Tude can nail down the drums. A lot of work will be overlapping anyway, and our setups can be left standing, so putting down the drums for the other songs a bit later is no problem really.

I need to take part in a last minute meeting with the label in Germany tomorrow, so Jussi and I are currently going through the songs so that he and Janne (the engineer) can start out with the basic guitars tomorrow. Because of my absence and the early state of the recordings, we decided it would be best that Janne will only do half the day the next two days while I'm away so I'm around when recording guitars for the more unclear songs. They will probably also start out on bass, as it shouldn't take too long for Jussi to put down the guitars for the four songs they can work on now.

Will have a nice 2 hour sleep before I need to leave for the airport. The nights haven't been too long anyways. Oh well, things are moving along nicely, but I don't dare to be too optimistic quite yet as all this (drums, basic guitar, bass) is supposed to be clear and easy - it's the orchestra programming and all the additional shit where the nightmare lurks.

There's a "Back to the Future" pinball here and it's pretty addictive. Todays highscore went to Tude with 2.138.309 points.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
Tude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nygård View Post
27.11.2006 - DAY 1 - Setting up



There's a "Back to the Future" pinball here and it's pretty addictive. Todays highscore went to Tude with 2.138.309 points.

It´s 4.200.000!
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
JW
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29.-30.11.2006 - DAY 3-4 - Guitars

We started the day by setting up the guitar amps & cabinets and testing some different combinations to find a killer sound. We found nice conbination after testing several different tubeamps and cabinets. The first song was finished with no problems and we decided to have a short lunch brake before moving on to next song.

Antti was programming something with another workstation and Hanu was rehearsing basslines. By the end of the day we had 3 songs finished and I thought that it was time to play some pinball. Todays highscore went to Hanu with 3.507.655 points

Today we did guitars to one song and Hanu started to record some bass with Janne. They got nice bass sound after spending some time to setting the microphones testing few amps. I spent my time with rehearsing the upcoming songs and observing the bass recordings..and of course some pinball.

-Jussi

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Old December 3rd, 2006, 01:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
Nygård
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30.11.2006 - DAY 4 continued - Back from Germany

The quick-trip to Germany went nicely, eventhough I'm starting to get really tired having slept only 2-4 hour nights for the whole last week. We went out to see Arch Enemy with some label people last night and actually ended up pretty drunk. Had a horrible waking up a few hours later.

Got back to the studio in the evening and sat down to listen through what Hanu and Jussi had been up to while I was away. Hanu will need to re-record some of the stuff...

Olli and Antti L. came in the evening and we went through all the songs and what I have in mind for them. I was actually surprised myself to notice, how little I've written for accordion and violin on this album. I think we will try out to do some distorted violin leads later on and use the violin more as a lead guitar in some parts. Live the accordion pair will have their hands full anyway as 2nd and 3rd keyboards.

I had planned to go early to bed as I was starting to fall apart, but ended up planning and scheduling stuff with Olli and Tude until 05 in the morning.

Hanu had put a tough standard on the pinball: some 3.500.000 points


01.12.2006 - DAY 5 - More drums and fixing bass

Another horrible wake-up. Janne works from 09-17, so that means that I have had to adjust to a VERY different timetable than what I'm used to. The day started out with putting down the drums for a couple more songs and Tude did a great job - we were done in just two hours.

After the drums we started fixing the bass for the tracks the guys had recorded on their own, and they definetly ended up sounding better. The album will feature this one slightly different song, that is quite brutally simple - no trumpets or choirs at all. "Hanu, lyö lujempaa! Nyrkillä Hanu, nyrkillä!" - "Hanu, hit harder! With your fist Hanu, with your fist!"

The bass fixes took longer than expected and I spent the rest of the evening trying to come to a conclusion about a song ending and how to do it, which has been in the open for too long and keeping us from recording the drums for it. Just got too tired and actually did a smart move deciding to go home for the night and get a proper sleep for a change.

And finally, the pinball score: Tude was so eager to point out earlier: Yes indeed, he topped Hanu: 4.200.000 points.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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02.-03.12.2006 – DAYS 6-7 – Weekend tuning

Our engineer Janne only works weekdays, but we have the studio as lock-out for all the time, meaning we are still working on our own during all weekends, evenings, nights and so on.

We have 3 different workstations, so that we can work simultaneously on different things.

STUDIO A: The main studio and control room is where all the audio recordings take place.
STUDIO B: A setup of our own computers we built up in the accomodation room. This is where most of all the orchestra programming is done which will be combined with the material we’ve recorded in studio A at a later point.
STUDIO C: A workstation for other smaller programming needs, like fast demo-tests etc.

During the last 1,5 years I have built up a system for sampler-based orchestral programming, which is quite complex and it took me a shitload of time to get it all running ”stable”. It’s still a bit buggy and annoying at times, but it allows us to work. This is the workstation located in the accomodation room, or studio B so to say. Working with it is a painfully slow process with an horrendous amount of work. But, the sounds are just amazing. You will love the massiveness!!

The agenda for the weekend was to get this workstation on it’s feet, all the projects imported and setting up a matrix or ”a soundstage” which we would be using for all the projects. The agenda also included introducing Antti to this system, so that he could work on the programming while I’m working as the producer for the guys recording in Studio A during daytime. I also had a new pack of samples waiting to be installed. The last thing on list was to get the ending done for a song so we could put down drums on it as the first thing on Monday.

We actually got pretty much all of this done. In addition, I finally got the notes done for Antti L. for the accordeon recordings that will take place on Wednesday. He will do some of the accordions and Lisko should turn up to record at least one track later on - if we can get a hold of him that is. Sunday night turned to Monday morning…

Pinball update: I found the time for a few rounds on Saturday night when everybody else went home and I stayed at the studio. I’m proud to say I am now holding the record with: 4.384.980 points. According to Janne the mens league starts at 10.000.000, but we still have many weeks ahead of us.


04.12.2006 – DAY 8 – More drums and guitars

…and it wasn’t until 8 in the morning when I had the ending done for the song. Took a quick shower and when Janne showed up at nine we recorded the drums for this song and one special bonus track. Now we only have one more song to do drums for, but that one is still pretty unfinished and getting the song in shape has been scheduled for the next weekend.

Spent the rest of the day on guitars and Jussi did an amazing job as always. Later in the evening I started to be pretty dead having had no sleep the previous night so I left Antti working on the projects and went to bed at 8 pm.

To be able to talk about specific songs here, we publish the working titles of the album:

*** ATTENTION, BLABBERMOUTH ETC. THESE ARE NOT REAL SONG TITLES ***

- 1st Song
- Slaavimaa
- Origin
- Cheese Please
- Balkaniralli
- Rabbits
- Nils Holgersson
- Last Song

Being too addictive, the pinball was banned for the day.

First set of photos should be here tomorrow.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
Nygård
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05.12.2006 – DAY 9 – Guitars

Had a nice 12-hour sleep, got up at 8am and started on the guitars again. We got all the guitars done for all songs we have drums on now, so that way we’re doing pretty nicely. We are really working very layered, but it actually works very well. Antti was working on programming for Cheese Please the day while I was producing Jussi’s playing. I normally spend the first half of the day 9am-5pm in the main studio producing and the evenings on various programming etc.

Jussi, Tude and I made ourself a promise to finish early – at 11pm – and go out for a beer for the first time during the recordings. For my part, one beer changed to a shitload of ”Jaloviina” and rum and at 5am I found myself utterly drunk trying to make my way back to the studio.

Pinball: too bad scores to be published.


06.12.2006 – DAY 10 – Independence Day Accordeon


Antti L. came over to record some accordeon parts. After an hour of struggling he decided to honour the Finnish tradition of accordeon player exhibitionism and of course the independence day by playing his parts naked (…his accordeon parts). I don’t know what the thing is with accordion players, but this is actually exactly what you would expect from one. Lisko will show up next weekend so we can go through the accordions for ”Balkaniralli”. It will feature some ultra-fast accordion stuff, but if anyone on this planet can play them, he is the guy. He’ll even make it look easy. Later the day Hanu was recording some acoustic guitars for ”The Last Song”.

Pinball: too bad scores to be published. It seems that bad karma has arisen around the pinball. Nervewrecking..

np. Eläkeläiset – Viinaa hanuristille


07.12.2006 – DAY 11 – Vocals for ”Origin”

The day was spent recording clean vocals for ”Origin”, which is in the best shape of the songs at the moment, mainly because it’s quite minimalistic and features no orchestras, keyboards at all. It’s still a very interesting song and probably the most brutal one we’ve ever written. Hanu recorded bass for ”Slaavimaa”.

Pinball: See self explanatory video clip
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Old December 8th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
Nygård
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1ST PICTURES


Nothing to add



Jussi and Hanu rehearsing in Studio C



Producing bass in Studio A



Antti working in Studio B



A family friendly photo of Antti L.



Back to the Future!
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Old December 9th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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08.12.2006 – DAY 12 – Brutality, whiskey & composing

Whoa, my first diary entry. I’ve been fooling around in studio a couple of times before, but this was the first actual working day: we had to do a bit of composing/ arranging for one more song, ”Balkaniralli” with Lisko… Always expect the worst when working with accordionists. They either get naked, fuck your dog or something. Or escape to the wilderness. Hooray.

Well, nicely put it was kind of hassle from the very beginning. We both live in Helsinki (about 90 km south from Hämeenlinna) and I told him I would pick him up at around 3 pm. So far so good. Surprisingly, he was not at his place at the time I arrived, neither did he answer the phone. After 10 minutes of kicking the door of his flat, the janitor showed up and told me that she had seen the infamous musician in the morning. dragging a fucking armchair (!) towards the nearby woods. Great. As I had to get the guy with me to the studio, I had no choice but to go find him.

After getting lost a few times I actually found the guy near a small brook, sitting on the aforementioned chair, reading a freaky Kafka novel and sipping cheap whiskey. Don’t ask me why; I know I didn’t. He had ”kinda forgotten about the studio”. OK…

So, ultimately we arrived to the studio some 2 hrs late, but luckily this didn’t affect the schedule too much. After some shopping, talking bullshit and entertainment (read: pinball) we eventually dug out the instruments (accordion and violin) and started working. ”Balkaniralli” is a pretty frickin’ fast jig-type song that lacked a reasonable ending: this is something that had been floating in the air for too long, and now it was about time to nail down the song. Not the normal bombastic orchestrations or anything, but a nice drunken vodka party type of stuff. After a bit of useless, high-flown music theory discussion, we came up with some nice ideas that eventually fitted pretty well to the structure. Pretty wild stuff, and Lisko even has to use more than three fingers when playing the patterns.

Earlier on the afternoon, Hanu did his bass parts for ”Rabbits”. Recordings went pretty smoothly, so Warlord & co. had time to record already some vocals for ”Origin”. As he posted earlier, it’s pretty raw & brutal stuff, I must say. Wicked song.

The evening/ night was spent wisely drinking, uploading some diary stuff and, of course, playing pinball.

-Olli


09.12. – DAY 13 – Balkan punk, booze & orchestra tweaking

The day started super slow after staying up the night before. Eventually, we had a new look at Balkaniralli’s new ending, tried some modulations, tuned the tempos a bit and saw that it was pretty good as such. After some arrangements, me and Lisko did a demo of the song so that the guys can start recording drums, guitar and bass immediately on Monday. Jussi came to the studio later on the afternoon, and we arranged also some guitar parts: sounds pretty cool - and difficult because of the tempo. We’ll see how the final product turns out.

Rest of the night was spent on some orchestrations and rehearsals. Lisko went to see Antti V. at a party. He ended up getting (presumably) quite drunk – not back yet. He’s an accordionist and should crawl back to the studio in a city he doesn’t know too well. Sounds pretty awesome to me. Tomorrow morning I expect to see funny things.

And yes, some pinball was played. I suck, by the way. Need more practice… The machine seems to be turned off and even the cord unplugged nowadays. I assume someone tries to give the rest of the group a hint of some kind.

-Olli

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Old December 10th, 2006, 04:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
Nygård
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10.12.2006 – DAY 14 – Pompous orchestras and an adventurer returns

Worked late last night working on orchestras for "Slaavimaa" after having spent the evening arranging "Balkaniralli" together with Olli and Lisko. I went to bed around 5:30 and woke up around noon when Antti V. gave me a call:

- Have you seen Lisko?
- I thought he went out with you guys last night?
- Yea he did, but he disappeared somewhere during the evening. Is he back at the studio?
- *looking around* - No.

I close the phone and get up to make some coffee. After a while I start hearing a strange sound. I look around and realize that it's somebody throwing stones at the studio window. I go to the window and what do I see - Lisko standing out there looking really messed up and wearing only a t-shirt and jeans. (December, Finland...)

I go downstairs to opent the door for him and he leaps inside shivering of the cold. After offering him a coffee it turns out that the guy has spent the night in jail (!) and lost all of his belongings, including his wallet, phone, clothes and his other shoe. He doesn't remember anything of the night having had plenty of vodka and Jäger at Antti's place. According to the police, they had taken him in as he was banging the window of a nightclub with his shoe (?!) He had also got totally lost walking from the police station to the studio, not knowing the town, and obviously not remembering anything from how he got anywhere the previous night. So he had spent an hour and a half trying to find the studio, wearing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and only one shoe. The distance is like 700 meters...

I expected something to happen, as something always does when this guy is around, but to be honest, this is a bit more.

On the musical side, I was working on orchestras the whole day while Tude was practicing the high-speed playing for recording drums for the last song, "Balkaniralli" tomorrow morning. Lisko was doing nothing for the whole day and went back to Helsinki tonight together with Olli. He will return on Thursday to record some accordion.

The pinball is off and unplugged so no scores today. It's too bad for our common mental health.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 06:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
Nygård
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11.12.-14.12.2006 - DAYS 15-18 - Spinning on chairs, Accordion virtuoso gone missing, and a John Lord wannabe

Monday started out well putting down the drums for the last undone song "Balkaniralli". No problems there, eventough the high speed stuff required some extra takes to get the speed-ups sound good. The easiest way to describe the ending of the song is to sit down on a chair you can spin around, look up and spin spin spin... We actually did this later in the day while listening to it until the point of almost throwing up. Dizzy...

After the drums we recorded bass on the remaining songs, and guitar for "Balkaniralli" so now we have all drums, basic guitar and bass done, exept for some extras like percussion and double bass / acoustic bass and all the guitar leads etc. which will be done later on.

I spent the evenings on programming as usual. The pinball machine has stayed off quite well, exept for some random balling now and then. Janne (our engineer) had one game yesterday and scored more than anyone of us for the whole time here which was quite devastating.

Last night I talked on the phone with Lisko and we decided that he would take a early train to Hämeenlinna so that we could record his accordion parts today. Antti V. was at the station at 10:09 to pick him up as agreed, but no-one showed up. We have been trying to call the guy the whole day but he doesn't answer his bloody phone. Lisko, if you are reading this: WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?!??!?

So today we have been doing all sorts of leads and small stuff we could do. This morning I fooled around with some Hammond stuff for "Nils" which actually sounds pretty cool, even if the original idea was completely different. We'll see - the elegantly distorted Leslie sound is just amazing... Hail John Lord.

Otherwise it's mostly programming for me and Antti V. for the rest of the day.

MISSING

Have you seen this man?
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Old December 15th, 2006, 02:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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15.12.2006 - DAY 15 - Lisko found

Lisko is back. No huge drama this time around (thank god). Something had come up which he had to attend, but as told earlier, he had lost his phone, so we had a bit of a communication problem there. He just showed up late last night.

Kicking off the accordion recordings right now. Wooohaaa.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
Nygård
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16.12.2006-9.1.2007 - DAYS 16-44 - Bellydancing, epic orchestras and Orrorrossomaroi!

It’s been quite a while since we posted anything… A lot has been going on. Where should I start.

After getting the drums, bass and guitar done during the first weeks we started working on everything simultaneously. Accordions, acoustic guitar, lead/additional guitars, some vocals, percussion – Tude did a great job on ”Balkaniralli” emulating Bulgarian dancing girls and the jewelery / money belts on their shaking hips while they dance. This was done using an ashtray, Finnish, German and Spanish Euro-coins, and a genuine Turisas-hoodie. The same song also features the band of step dancing chimpansees – well, at least in Janne’s ears – it’s really supposed to be a group of partying people, but I have to agree that I really can’t get over the image anymore when listening to the part. We also had our first guest musician on this album, Aleksi Aromaa, here to record some groovy double bass on the same song. You can check his site here

Lisko proved himself unhuman again: as a person he might be a bit odd, but CAN HE PLAY!! He put down Balkaniralli in less than an hour – and most of that hour was spent setting up microphones, arranging and producing. I have to put a video clip online for you later. You just look at the fingers running over all those black and white buttons high-speed and your jaw drops.

The biggest quest during these weeks has been the orchestration work. Many of the songs feature pretty big orchestrations and most of my time has been spent tuning those. I still have the rest of ”Rabbits” to do tonight and then there’s two songs remaining. It’s a slow process, but the sounds are highly rewarding. It takes roughly a 12-hour working day to get about 1-2 minutes of material sampled. The system isn’t completely error-free either, but I came to the point where I’m getting more done using a bunch of workarounds instead of trying to get everything running like a swiss watch. One irritation related to this is that I need to bounce (ehm… convert midi into audio) track by track and in real time. With about 30 tracks of orchestra and 5-8 minute songs, not to mention that it has to be done both ”wet” and ”dry” (only reverb and dry singnal separated) which means double the amount of tracks – well, you do the math. I’m looking forward to the day when all of that is done!

I also had a brief meeting with the leader of a more classical orientated choir some days ago to check trough the material. Those recordings will take place in a couple of weeks and I still need to provide them some more material upfront, so I’m definetly not running out of activities here.

We’re pretty tight on time at the moment, but after some really depressing days I think I finally found the flow again, so at last the time pressure is starting to become a source of creativity instead of killing it completely. Well, been here over a month already and I haven’t really left the studio except for a few occasions and the weekly shopping trip to our local supermarket Manu, 100m away. (There’s actually a small gnome living here in the studio which we have started calling Manu. He does some nasty stuff, and but can’t really tell you more about him now…) On christmas I was working until eight in the evening and then decided to take the rest of the day off and go to visit my family and eat some decent food for a change. The diet here would probably not make a food consultant very happy: The traditional Finnish dish: ”Maksalaatikko” - liver casserole - every second day - well, at least you can get it with or without raisins (yes, raisins!), so maybe the diet isn’t that unbalanced after all.

On new years eve we went out for a nice dinner in a restaurant, after which we had a few beers in a local pub while playing Trivial Pursuit. Finally Tude and I ended up at a nightclub and I found myself consuming a considerable amout of JD-coke. When we crawled back to the studio I managed to pour a full bottle of Schweppes Russian Mixer over myself trying to eat meatballs straight from the fridge while lying on the floor and being too pissed to stand up. I politely wiped the floor with myself and passed out.

What else… Olli came back from the States and we did some violin recordings some days ago. Fuck the guitar solos, indeed!

Have started out on clean vocals for ”1st song” and ”Slaavimaa” and Hannes did some backing vocals today. These songs are really starting to sound like something by now. That’s the part I love the most – when you are finally starting to hear how it’s going to sound after just keeping it your head for a couple of years.

Pinball:

I think the pinball just isn’t as attractive anymore. Most of the time it’s shut down and someone has a round or two usually when I’m having lunch – as it’s in the same room I’m working in and the noise is pretty annoying. The high score has been beaten many times and according to the official list written on a coffee filter, here are the results from the last weeks:

Me: 4.284.980
Tude: 4.718.320
Jussi: 5.472.980 (or was that Tude..?)
Jussi or Tude: 6.290.850

AND THEN:

Tude: 10.766.940 !! He made the second place on the ranking list in the machine with the initials FAC.

I have had to accept my defeat in being a bad pinballer and have spent my time writing music instead, a field in which I dare to hope I’m worth more.

The pinball has been challenged by the XBOX and Pro Evolution Soccer 5 for the last weeks and Tude and I have had some real thriller matches in the middle of the night (excluding the Brazil-Finland game from last night). The best commentary language is definetly Spanish and so it’s actually very educational as we are learning new words here too, even if we have no idea of what ”Orrrorrossomaroi!” means. We are constantly babbling, shouting, coaching and going mad at the players while playing, so I think a secret recording of our own commentary track would in fact be pretty entertaining.

If Jussi is around tomorrow, I’ll tell him to upload some more photos for you guys so check back for those later.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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MORE PICTURES


Fuck the guitar solos!


Guest musician Aleksi Aromaa grooves


...




Need to be FIT TO PLAY!


Liver casserole - Delicious!

We clearly know what we are doing. Watch the video
here
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Old March 19th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
Nygård
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10.01.2007- March 2007 - DAYS 45- ONEHUNDREDANDSOMETHING...

So it happened. I got far too busy to find the time to keep on writing this diary - which is unfortunate, as the start was good and there would for sure have been loads of interesting events to report to you guys about – but somehow I think it was more important for me to spend the time working on the album, than to pretending to be a journalist.

Trying to think back on what happened during these unreported one and a half months, I realize that the whole winter has been more or less living in a strange world of my own. Working for seven days a week, living in the same building, having no need to go anywhere further than to the supermarket located around the corner – it all just becomes a foggy cloud where the hours, days, weeks or even months lose their meaning. I can not remember any funny anecdotes any more, or in what order things took place, so I’ll basically just try to sum up what was done since the last post so that this journal gets its ending. I might come back later and edit in some stuff, if I remember something.

Working totally multilayered – something that had been done from the very beginning of the sessions – continued all the way to the very end. We did, vocals, additional guitars, lead solo violins, choirs, percussion, orchestral programming, additional guitar and bass, background vocals, accordions, additional guest musicians etc etc., everything in a nice mess.

In January we had a field day in Tampere, where we recorded some mixed, more classically orientated choirs for “Rabbits” and “Last Song”. Later on in the recording process, we had to do some changes in the choir and this actually went pretty complicated and we ended up spending a lot of time on these mixed choirs, but when everything was put together in the mix, every second used proved itself worthy.

The projects grew larger and larger, and because of the huge number of tracks, some of the songs had to be taken to the mix in several Pro-Tools sessions so that we ended up doing a lot of mixdowns before actually getting everything to fit in one session. It seems, it makes no difference working on a 8-track recorder in 1997 or the biggest studio in Finland ten years later; you always run out of tracks (and nowadays) computer horsepower.

In addition to the “more classically orientated choirs” we recorded our own “not so classically oriented” man choirs. This setup featured about 10 people – ourselves plus a number of friends. This was a great excuse to get drunk “to capture the authentic feel you know…”. Especially recording ambient crowd noise was fun, using a highly secret technique based on authentic realism. Achieving the ambience sound of a big feast obviously required a big feast.

Olli played some great “guitar” solos, but without guitar. Actually, most of all “guitar” leads on this album are actually played with a electric violin abused by the Geigemaestro himself. It’s amazing what you can get out of this little conservative fretless instrument if you dare to experiment and have the talent.

Finally, after shooting down the deadline for a couple of times, in mid February the work moved from Sound Supreme in Hämeenlinna to Finnvox Studios in Helsinki. The mix was done by Teropekka Virtanen, who instantly got into the material very much and put in a lot of devotion and extra time in the mixing process. Unfortunately, there was still orchestrations to work on for two remaining songs, and because of the lack of space in Studio A at Finnvox, I had to move my own system to my home in Helsinki and try to work simultaneously both at Finnvox doing the mix and at my home doing the last programming - last night even recording the last bits and pieces and guest vocals at the small recording booth located at Finnvox A Studio. This, coupled with heavy timepressure and being badly behind schedule, resulted in the only thing possible – even less sleep. During the last week of mixing, I counted 15 hours of sleep in total and some 150 working hours.

The last night there was still a couple of guest vocal lines missing, and after having two lovely girls over to do some last fill ins in female lines starting around midnight, we started out the last piece of the puzzle: A part of Nils Holgersson production titled “homolaulu” – “the gay-song” together with guest vocalist Antti Paranko at 5 am. Olli was also there to slap me in the face whenever I tried to fall asleep and to keep up the great vibe of the final night (before the final mixing day). The gay song turned out great when we found the correct production line “Bad Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals”. Antti Paranko also starrs on Balkaniralli, where he did an amazing slavonic tenor –performance assisted by Olli and I doing Cossack dancing and jumping around Studio A clapping hands, to get him in the right mood.

Teropekka showed up at 10 am and we started the final mixing day which turned into evening, into night and finally into morning again and around 5 am the next day we were done.

Next Monday we flew to the UK to play a show and when we returned, there was still some last adjustments to do and then the album was finally mastered at Finnvox by Mika Jussila.

I’d like to thank everyone involved in making this record, the band, the around 30-40 additional musicians, Janne Saksa for co-producing and recording and all the skilful craftmanship, all the additional engineers who helped out, Teropekka for the big input and devotion in the mixing process and Mika Jussila for finalizing the sound.

It’s done, it’s finished, it’s better than Battle Metal.
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