”ARE WE THERE YET?”

 

a.k.a. “How to survive the studio sessions with a can of spam and a pack of fags- the 2009 edition”.

 

 

 

^ Written by that guy.

 

 

MONDAY 27. 7. 2009

 

9 Metal songs, 1 acoustic one and an unfinished intro. Vreth and Skrymer hiking in the woods with my portable recorder in order to record pieces of wood, bashing stones and godsknowwhat. Too many overlong workdays spent on massive pre- production since March. 5 different rehearsal versions per song for the bandmembers to listen to their own parts and learning them at home. 2-10 importable audio files per song for the actual studio. Tempo tracks? Check. Everybody knowing what to play, when to play and how to play? Check. Was the bass guitar fixed? Sound reference material. Are the lyrics finally ready? When should I book the violin player? Did he actually promise to come? Argh. Did the guys´ second flight to Germany leave on friday or saturday? Is this all really worth it?

 

IS IT?????

 

Yes.

 

Despite of B. Dominator not even touching his drumkit before entering the studio, I´m pretty sure this will go just fine. He was severely punished on the matter, though, by making him play the first song about 10 times in a row before it started to have the vibe it should have. He´s a pro, so I strongly suggest you shouldn´t try this at home. After consuming some leftover cupcakes from Routa´s wedding party last weekend (which I still, at tuesday morning, seem to have a hangover from) magister Tundra finally entered the studio. Being now exactly 32 years old, he was greeted with old cupcakes and mineral water. Talking about a birthday bash, huh!!! After farting around with the drum sound a bit, we had a fruitful session concerning the sound reference material and we saw it was good.

 

As I´m always writing this a day behind (...although it would be cool to try to write a diary a day beforehand. I should give it a try, actually!) it´s now Tuesday morning and Dominic Bullshag is already pounding his skins like a madman as we speak. I´m rotting at the office after a good 3- hour sleep (moving homes is srz bznz) and figuring out the lyrics Katla sent me. I should also work, but seemingly there´s nothing to do here, so instead I ordered a new digibox, talked with estate agents and started to worry about my weekend´s moving schedule which went flushed down like a turd just last night. "I´m sorry, the house you bought two months ago won´t be empty until saturday evening" "WELL THAT´S JUST FUCKING NICE, WAIT, I JUST TELL MY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO HELP ON SATURDAY MORNING WITH PAINTING THAT THEY CANCEL THEIR SUNDAY INSTEAD". I mean, what the FUCK. Seemingly, there´s no god. Also, I need sleep. Lots of sleep. Today I´m going to führer the studio after work, so expect some new and interesting information tomorrow. Same bat- time, same bat- channel. You have been warned.

 

 

 

TUESDAY 28. 7. 2009

 

Let´s see. I sneaked out of office….OH CRAP, WAIT, worked a full day and then rushed to the studio after a hard day´s work. And hurray, B. Dominator had played 3 songs. In two days? Hmmm. So, I told him that he has now one and a half day after this to play 6 metal songs, some additional toms for the intro and one acoustic song with a jazz kit. So, I went through the stuff he had performed to the hard disk, made a couple of notes about missing fills which are to be played again and made him rehearse the next song for one hour in a row. :D

 

What else? As I drove to the studio yesterday, I picked up Skrymer and Tundra from a music store, who had bought guitar and bass strings and several mouth harps and kazoos.

 

Meanwhile, Beast was still rehearsing his stuff so I thought to make him a little motivational picture to cheer him up.

 

For the Finnish people out there, yes, it is who you thought it is- straight outta Seiska. ^^

 

Today as I´m again at the office, Beast is still whacking his guts out. He has now performed one song and does another one as I write this babbling down, so when I get to the studio at 14:00….FUCK, SORRY BOSS, I MEANT 18:00 *whistles innocently*, there should be approximately 6-7 songs played. That would leave 2-3 metal songs, two other songs and some additional “fill- fixing” for tomorrow. I also, disturbingly enough, realized this morning that one of the new song´s synth arrangements sound a bit like Peter Gabriel´s “Shock the Monkey”. Beat that! Then again, it´s a goddamn good song.

 

Bah, I guess it´s back to checking out some drywalls for the new living room from the internWORKING LIKE HELL. RIGHT?

 

PS: Routa is trying to figure out how to use Windows Movie Maker :D so we try to put the video stuff for you guys as well. Stay tuned, we´ll get back on that matter asap.

 

WEDNESDAY 29. 7. 2009

 

Pugsley!  I hereby demand the weekdays to be renamed as Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Fester, Lurch and Itt! While you maybe shouldn´t hold your breath about waiting for that to be approved, you may want to give an applause to us, because we´re in schedule after all. Hurra! It took some excessive mental whipping, Mr. Dominator busting myths about human physical endurance and lots of cigarettes and last- minute- hand- written drum notes. In other words, Lord Beasty Beast is still performing “Laahaus” and “Oingoborgir” while I´m at the office and when I get there, we check them out and get ready for the Ultimate Guitar Sound ™.

 

Speaking of busted myths, ultimate things and hairy people, I just got a link from Mr. Filet-o-Fish…oops, Fistoffeles of The Wicked this morning. Now what could be more cooler than having the Mythbusters Adam and Jamie in a same picture? Well, Mythbusters Adam and Jamie in the same picture with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, of corpse! Now you might want to ask yourself the eternal question; “Who the fuck is Amanda Palmer?” and I could just point you to….. for example…. to Youtube instead of babbling about it here….not because I wouldn´t like to promote her more in a Finntroll studio diary / Trollhorn´s personal diary (what this seems to mold into day after day *sigh*) but because you totally should check her out.

 

And also because I really ran out of anything interesting to say for a long time ago for what it comes to this retrospective Wednesday. After all, we just_recorded_drums_ .

Jesus Tapdancing Christ, how can you make something interesting and worth writing about it? HEY GUYS WE PLAYED DRUMS!!!! YEEHAW!!!!

Seriously. “First Beast Dominator played like KABOOM and then I suggested he´d play more SWISHWISHWISHWISHW and then a kick drum. Then we thought we´d be late but we weren´t, hurray.” Who the FUCK would be interested in that? Actually, who the fuck would be interested in this either? Hmmz. Strike three and we´re out, I need a mug of coffee….. badly.

 

Oh, and there are no pictures from yesterday because I thought taking another set of pics of Beast playing drums and Tundra drinking coffee and listening to the bass rehearsal demos would be an insult for any people who read this little….blog? Blob, rather. Hail Zlatan!

 

THURSDAY 30. 7. 2009

 

It´s 9 AM and I´m tired. Anything else? All the drum recordings were finally finished and even mostly edited yesterday. NO, not “edited” like Metallica or Sonata Arctica “edits” but rather “cleansed”. While I was re-recording some parts with Beast at the recording booth, Vreth and another engineer from the studio were editing the parts we had recorded an hour ago in another room. Rather ”efficient use of time”, if you ask me. But to be honest, it´s done like that only because we´re running badly late without those procedures.

 

“I'm late, I'm late for

A very important date.

No time to say hello, good-bye,

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late

I'm late and when I wave,

I lose the time I save.

My fuzzy ears and whiskers

Took me too mych time to shave.

I run and then I hop, hop, hop,

I wish that I could fly.

There's danger if I dare to

Stop and here's a reason why:

I'm over-due, I'm in a rabbit stew.

Can't even say good-bye,

hello, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.”

 

And then, at 19:00 PM when everybody was already tired and had burnt their eardrums with the constant chronic noise, we thought it was a good idea to start our mission for the Ultimate Guitar Sound ™. Needless to say, at that point it wasn´t very good idea. We ended up using a small Mustang combo and a Mesa Boogie, which started to sound like Entombed gone Sonata Arctica but only with the BAD sides from each proportion. Then we just sounded like Dismember. Then we realized that it´s the goddamn Mustang which is trying to drag us into the time-and-space-continuum called “Stockholm 1993” and kindly removed it. But it looked very cool, gotta admit. Then again, look how happy Skrymer was when he heard we have to do all the soundchecking again:

 

 

Meanwhile Routa was trying to do some shooting for the video diary, and I have proof of it now. And Vreth is a witness, too! Don´t you come say me we didn´t record any videos goddamnit!!!!

 

I really love it how my cell phone, AFTER taking a picture, blurs and twists it. Maybe it has an in- built “instapiss ™” filter inside it? You know, I autofocus the lens, stand still, FLASH, and….wtf? Why does the picture look like this? I swear my phone hates me. I keep hearing it at nights. Maybe I should sleep more.

 

On the record again (hum di dum), we are starting recording the Skrymerous Guitar within a couple of hours, and I´ll join führering a couple of hours after that. And then it´s all play and no work. This little studio diary will be going AWOL for the weekend, and I´ll update it early next week, depending on how my personal “Operation Switching Home 2009” goes along. Before that, please have some beers for me while I´m carrying bookshelves and vinyl collections. Adios!

 

FRIDAY 31. 7. 2009

 

Guitars from 10 AM to oblivion. The guys recorded stuff first without me and then with me, as presumed in yesterday´s notes.

Later, while I was carrying furniture and a goddamn fucking pedal harmonium (hi dear!) into our new home they played even more and then went to Germany. And lived happily ever after!

 

MONDAY 3. 8. 2009

 

Guitars. Me = painting at home. But I was spiritually present, though!

 

 

TUESDAY 4. 8. 2009

 

More guitars, more painting. And as I was occupied elsewhere, Tundra got the final mix from the live DVD audio.Which rocks my socks! It´s gonna be out as an audio CD too btw, as far as I know.

 

WEDNESDAY 5. 8. 2009

 

More guitars, me using dangerous electric tools at home.

 

THURSDAY 6. 8. 2009

 

More guitars…is this some kind of a fucking Bill Murray – movie revisited?

 

FRIDAY 7. 8. 2009

 

More guitars…seriously, I´m getting annoyed. To get me a fresh reminder from almost exactly three years ago at the same place….

 

“MONDAY 2.10.2006”

“… And noticed that there we little mistakes almost every time.”

“This is what you get when you don´t have time to rehearse at all before the studio.”

“With this schedule, we´d run out of time … “

“We were supposed to have way "too" much studiotime, and suddenly we were lagging so much behind that it would take weeks more”

“After a fruitful and voice-raised nice little conversation (hih) I went with Skrymer both guitarists to the recording booth, showed them each goddamn riff separately, wrote tons of notes and chord progressions, and whipped them again and again”.

 

In other words, nothing had changed since the last sessions and needless to say, this time the raised voice was a bit louder. And to be honest, there also may be a possibility that there were different things flying in the air accompanied with words you wouldn´t use in a kindergarten. Well, in the end we kinda did it.

 

 

And while Skrymer was practicing…                                                                ………Routa was doing his best, too.

 

Meanwhile, Tundra decided to fuck it all. After all, he´s turn would be tomorrow.  And as Beast didn´t have anything sensible to do, he started to Hitlerize stuff.

 

 

Then, Beast run out of useful things to do so he went to get some lunch. Lunch? Well, a 1.4 kg snack, rather. As Nino put it, “He propably breaths that amount in´n´out anyway”.

 

But then again, a well- fed drummer is a good drummer. Kids, don´t try this at home unless you´re a professional!

 

SATYRDAY 8. 8. 2009 (seriously guise, this joke is kinda getting old here)

 

Our morning started with bass and it went very well… WHO THE FUCK AM I KIDDING, WE STARTED WITH THOSE MOTHERFUCKING STUPID GODDAMN GUITARS AGAIN.

 

And after I had sat editing for a couple of hours, Tundra got to the studio and we started to record ze bazz. And then we fixed some guitars. And then we recorded the bass. And new guitar arrangements. At that point Tundra started to get quite annoyed, and somehow we just couldn´t stand this constant pressure anymore and started to drink heavily.

At the end it was 0:45 AM, all guitars and basses had been performed and I tried to get drunk as fast as possible in order to forget the last 12 hours. And so did everybody else, too.

 

Sauna, Darkthrone, beer, vodka, tequila….listening to the outtakes we have performed during the days and suddenly we weren´t pissed off anymore but having fun and patting each other on the back with the mantra “Man, this is gonna rock, I can´t WAIT to hear the final result”. Whoever says alcohol and studio enviroment won´t match, should propably breath the fucking studio air for two weeks in a row with a tensioning atmosphere because of things not going as they should just to get wasted with the same guys and fuck the problems for that evening.

 

SUNDAY 9. 8. 2009

 

Are we there yet? Gods, I don´t want wake up. Neither didn´t Vreth and Virta too, which resulted us starting the new day at 15:30.

After carrying 5 synths to the studio, it was time for a very hungover and hysterical day. At the end we were rolling on the floor just because I drank Virta´s mineral water by accident. Then again, it was 0:30 AM at that point and we were, as punctuated before, having quite a hangover. But we saw it was good. We also have some goddamn wicked video material from those hysterical sessions, which hopefully ends up into that godforsaken DVD.

 

 

MONDAY 10. 8. 2009

 

Syyyyyyyyyynths. Seriously, we haven´t had this weird synths ever. Theremins, cheesy 60´s organs, kazillions of dannyelfmans, telephones and xylophones. And HORNS. Lots of them, ranging from jazzy sections to Rome- esque war. Now did somebody mention Gustav Holst? And what is really cool is that also Virta played some of the stuff, too. For example some hammond organ, where I was “clearly outplayed, brah”. I got home about 1 AM and at this point about 75% of all synths had been performed.

 

TUESDAY 11. 8. 2009

 

Brass of Power, Power Piano, Power Horns. How come all the coolest sounds in Korg have the prefix “Power” on them? There´s a lot of Baritone saxophone now. And meanwhile I was occupied with different emulations of far- eastern instruments, I had three missed phone calls and one SMS receieved from one certain guy. Yep, the violin player who I had booked and awkwardly enough forgotten he was coming. Nevertheless, as I ran to the lounge to call him back, the door opened and he stepped in. Boy, was I relieved. This certain violin player from a certain Finnish band (names witheld due to band- related conflicts, hehe) performed his duties like a machine on crack diet and we were extremely pleased with the results.

 

After that we finally called it quits for the day and I made the best phonecall during the whole day while driving home- “hi dear, please put the sauna on”.

 

WEDNESDAY 12. 8. 2009

 

And hereeeee´sssss JOHNNY! And…ta-dam, here´s me, back at the office. What a 1,5- week vacation, spent totally only on either moving, renevating or being at the studio. After the hard day at the office (sigh) I drove to pick up my son from the kindergarten, fed him and headed to the studio to check out Beasty Beast´s percussion whacking, which he had been doing for the whole day. I took care of the rest of the engineering duties and then he recorded me playing Djembe. I think everybody has now played or recorded each others´ parts for the album, which is kinda funny if you ask me. For example, Vreth played one guitar chord on Saturday which I think Skrymer recorded, and so forth. Well, it´s the end result that matters, not the egos. “Whoever is able to do it, will do it”, would be quite a guideline with this band.

 

(Btw, if you haven´t figured it out by now, we´re not using an audio engineer at all yet- we record and edit everything by ourselves except for some minor mic setups and stuff which we do with Nino.)

 

THURSDAY 13. 8. 2009

 

Despite of the fact I had agreed with Virta that we´re going to make some minor tweaks and extras to one song today 9 – 11:30 AM I woke up ten to nine by my better half who asked me “shouldn´t you be in the studio in ten minutes?”. I finally got there 9:40 with a fully prepared set of apologies on my mind. Which I didn´t really need after all, as Virta had got there only 10 minutes before me. Should have guessed it, hih.So, we performed the final synths, then I did some brass section exports in order to do them with proper samplers at the office and got to the office 12:30. Hopefully I´m not going to get hanged by my balls because of that.

 

Tomorrow will be a day off, and Finntroll will perform at Tavastia, Helsinki in the evening so all you Finnish dudes and dudettes should check it out. Then we´ll spend two days resting after this little 16- day studio period in a row. And on Monday, we start again. Next week will be consisting of vocals, acoustic guitars, banjos, kazoos, mouth harps, accordions and godsknowwhat bones and steel pipes. And on Thursday, it´s gonna be the “choir- day” which means we´re also getting plastered. Can´t wait, really. Not only because of the party but because it means that we´ve done all the performing to the album at that point and can start mixing the forthcoming week.

 

Fingers crossed, people!

 

 

MONDAY 17. 8. 2009

 

Vreth goes all screechy! Tundra recorded, Virta dropped by. 4 songs gnarled. I was busy making orchestrations for the songs at work and later played some 2vs2….nerf rogues.

 

 

TUESDAY 18. 8. 2009

 

Vreth goes all screechy again! Read all about it a couple of lines ago! I also did some orchestrations again, and am starting to afraid Virta´s going to need a goddamn sampler on live gigs. Because orchestrated BM is so 2006, we´re doing it just to piss you guys off. Ta-dam!

 

Oh, and no computer games for me tonight, as I´m dropping to the studio with my son to harass the takes a bit. Tomorrow there will be a lot more to tell about ze stuff, as I´m going to get there earlier and actually participate on the recordings. Then we´ll do some acoustic guitars, mouth harps, kazoos and godsknowhat middle- eastern percussion instruments (!!!!) and then I´ll banish everybody else and start recording and producing Vreth singing clean vocals. It´s going to be a long day, and you´ll be hearing more about it on Thursday 20.8. Sieg oder was????

 

 

WEDNESDAY 19. 8. 2009

 

I woke up and went to work this morning by my car- however, I never actually arrived to the office with it.

 

You see, some motherfucking piece of shit middle- aged penis who was driving the lane on the right (I was driving the left lane), was kind enough to decide to turn left and cross the road just 1 km away from my workplace…..via MY lane, crashing his car straight into my car´s front-right side. “Boom”, said the car, and suddenly there were a lot of pieces of metal and plastic flying in the air. And the head of the car had turned from a shiny working thing into a pulp of metallic mass and the tire went from the shape O into the shape of  8.

How convenient, said I, especially as the guy was claiming it was my fault. I guess I missed something at the driving school then.

 

Of course with my luck, my car was damaged way harder (ironically enough, it was newer and better than his, who drove a 15- year old Opel) , so he could still drive his away but mine was dragged away by a tow truck. One hour spent waiting for the truck, of course. And thanks to his arrogance (and claiming not being guilty), this whole process is now “on investigation” by the police and it will be about one month until the case gets solved, and before that it´s illegal to fix the car. And of course my motorbike ain´t working either as we speak. Not that I would have needed any transportation while having a family (kindergarten travelling ist krieg now) , work, studio sessions etc, and the nearest grocery store being 3 km from home.

 

Fuck this! But now into more cooler things.

 

I finally arrived to the studio about 17:00 after work, and Vreth had sung pretty much everything except for that one acoustic song and one metal song. The only problem was that as we hadn´t had the “acoustic instruments-  session” yet (it was scheduled on Thursday) , there were only the drum tracks on the hard disk. So, I grabbed the acoustic guitar and started to lay down the basis on the top of the drums.

However, here comes the funny part: The studio is constantly running a couple of sessions on top of each other, so we´ve been hanging with a certain Finnish producer at the lounge for a couple of weeks during our breaks. And when this guy heard that we´re using acoustic instruments too, he went to another studio room and returned with a goddamn mandolin, bouzuki and a very weird Bulgarian acoustic “guitar”. Needless to say, we were bouncing from excitement, and thanks to him, our acoustic song turned from Kari Tapio into Leevi and the Leavings. :D (For the non- finnish readers, think REM´s “Loosing my Religion”- kinda arrangement instead of the originally intended Country-ish- style). Then Vreth sang his vocals on the top of that and we were very pleased with the results.

 

Here´s Vreth with the Bulgarian guitar:                                                       And here are the stuff we used: Accordion, banjo, bouzuki, Bulgarian guitar ^^ and on the front lies the mandolin.

 

After that, our friend Masi came to the studio to make a special guest visit with his Daf. The Daf is an old Iranian (Persian, rather) drum, which you could basically think as a huge tambourine with the lack of a better description. We were really excited about the sound, and when using that on the top of Djembes and bongos, it really sounds like there´s only lacking minaret- calls now from some parts to make it total Türkiye! Now, imagine old scandinavian folk melodies and instruments and throat- singing on the top of that and you´ll have some weird shit coming up, I can tell you. Then finally me and Vreth played our Furious Kazoo Army and decided to call it quits. Routa dropped by with his wife, Masi´s wife and his wife´s brother (!!!!!) and they were starting up a party when I was about to leave. Well, at least they offered me a beer, which was quite nice after this little day in Hell.

 

I got home at 23:30, collapsed to the bed and woke up…..

 

THURSDAY 20. 8. 2009

 

…just to continue what we started yesterday. Luckily the studio was even more cleaner than it had been for days, so the folks had really made up for the party they had and I (as the “responsible producer”) didn´t get hanged from Nino´s side because of the abovementioned drinking session. I met Vreth 11:30 at the studio, opened a beer (vacations for the win :D ) and started to play accordion on the top of the songs. Yes, we *do* have a real accordion, and Vreth insisted to have a picture of me playing it, so you guys would believe it…..

 

….so here it is! Notice that also he used the instapiss ™ filter!                             And because I ran out of pictures to balance the layout, here´s a picture of a cat. Enjoy!

 

About 15:00 we had played all the accordions and acoustic guitars but somehow I couldn´t resist laying some extra mandolins and bouzukis too. They just sounded too good to not to use more. :P Then Tundra got to the studio, and we did some clean vocal stems with him and Vreth for a couple of songs.

 

Then the wraiths appeared. First came Pasi, an old friend of mine (plus the others) who has done some stage lights for Moonsorrow and Finntroll sometimes too. He just wanted basically to drink with us, but shouted something to the mic as well later. Then came Skrymer, Virta, Beast and finally Routa. Then Mitja from Moonsorrow showed up and as my long time friend Antti “Sörkan Trent Reznor” Eräkangas had a free day (he´s working at the studio opposite Sonic Pump) he came also to party sing with us. While the others were starting drinking, I was busy burning my fingers with the banjo. And then some mouth harps. And then some beers. And then we all did a quick guest appearance for an album they do at the next room, but that´s a different story, hehe.

 

The rest of the evening went very well, and we did a LOT of choirs. Huh´s and Hah´s, Hey´s and Heils (!) were present, and we also made a lot of choir takes for the orchestral parts. However, they started to sound pretty goddamn decent after Mitja “the human fog horn” had laid down some baritone- singing and Beast (who was drunk enough to do it) had done some SOPRANO outtakes. Seriously, we got that on the video cam, but it was hard to record it due to the extreme laughter. All in all, I can´t remember the last time I´ve laughed so much at the studio than at this choir- session. At about midnight we had recorded everything we needed and it was time to turn the sauna on a drink heavily- after all, we were with good friends and had just finished the recordings of the album. Party tiem!

 

Friday was obviously free, and the weekend went smoothly, everybody spending it in their own. And then, next week and the final mixing!!!!

 

 

MONDAY 24. 8. 2009

 

“Uhh”, said certain Tom G. “Uhh”, said also certain Nino Laurenne when he started to check out how much there is to do in the mix. Countless of keyboards, choirs, samples, younameit. And only 7 days? We tweaked the overall sound, made drums much more boomy and grim instead of triggered small boxes they first sounded and managed to mix the first song properly. Tundra had lost his phone while in Belgium on weekend, and couldn´t call us…so he got to the studio when we were literally putting our shoes on out feet in order to leave. Poor sod! We did a mix of the song (work-title, ofc) “Arabi” and went home, excited to hear how it will sound at home- after all, this is now how the album will sound.

 

 

TUESDAY 25. 8. 2009

 

“Arabi” sounded good, yet muddy. Back to the drawing board, and this time with much more “air” in the mix. Comparing yesterday´s first attempt into this, it was basically just the same mix did better. Now this is how the album should sound like! Raw, massive, energetic and powerful with lots of bass on it! The low end reminds me a bit of Bolt- Thrower, actually. :D Then we did the first mix of “Emperor”, and went home. Later I found myself dying a lot more than usual during Bladestorms, but that´s a different story.

 

Here´s a little cellphone-video of us mixing one song- notice that it´s not fully mixed yet, though. Also consider this as a sneak- peak into the new album although that this might not be the best example about the album´s song material. ;) NOTE: You need something like Windows Media Player Classic with the latest ffdshow codecs in order to see it- at least Winamp didn´t work.

 

 

WEDNESDAY 26. 8. 2009

 

“Emperor” tweaked into superbness, with some additional old- school analog mixing involved! See all about it here. :D Then we finished “Julsagan”´s first mix, continued with “Mikkihiiri” and at the moment me and Vreth finally left the studio, it started to rain instantly like fuck. Luckily, I ordered the sauna in advance from ze missus. Nice! Tomorrow we´ll do “Laahaus”, then the final mix of “Julsagan” and the 1st mix of Mikkihiiri. Then we have 4 metal songs and the acoustic one left for Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Quite pace must we keep, my young Padawan.

 

And just for the fun, I´m using these working titles of the songs so you guys can guess then which are which (and most importantly, “why”) when the album comes out. ;) Actually, it would be very cool to arrange a quiz at the launch of the new album (ofc we´d translate them from Finnish to English in case needed):

 

“Here are the working titles of the songs, please put them in the correct order to match the real names and give your best shot why the working titles have been named as what they are. Best matches and/ or explanations win a signed copy of the new album”.

 

THURSDAY 27. 8. 2009

 

“Laahaus”, “Julsagan” and…..”Mikkihiiri” ready. Nothing to see here, move along!

 

 

FRIDAY 27. 8. 2009

 

Sigh, it took me one hour to get to the studio by public transportation. And an hour to get back from there to pick up my son from the kindergarten…and then we missed the bus and walked a 2.5 kilometer trip to home instead of waiting for 35 minutes. Anyway, we did more tweaks to some songs and realized we still have four left plus the acoustic version. Which means that….

 

SUNDAY 29. 8. 2009

 

….yep, exactly this. While the other guys were travelling from Germany to Latvia and then finally to Helsinki, I spent my Sunday mixing “Boingo” and “Samiricon”. When I got there, I spent 20 minutes on wondering where has the sound gone from the speakers. So, I went to consult Timo Tolkki (!!!) about the mixing desk which, in my opinion, didn’t function properly. Tolkki checked out the desk for 2 seconds, slided one knob up and suddenly there was sound. “Don´t worry mate, you can´t guess how many times this has happened to me too with this particular extra volume slider”, he said, grinning. Geez, I propably don´t have to tell you folks how stupid I felt, hehe.  Jakke, a workmate and a Crimfall mastermind came to hang out too, so it wasn´t that hell after all. Got home about 23:30 with a couple of songs mixed.

 

MONDAY 30.8.2009

 

HOLY GODS, the vocals were mixed so loud it was particularly impossible to hear any other possible upcoming tweaks when I listened yesterday´s tracks at home. So I dropped them a fine 4-5 db and checked it again, this time with Vreth and Virta, who got the studio after me. Then we did the final mixes of “Boingo” and “Samiricon” and I realized “Mikkihiiri” sounded like shit so I took it to the table again. I added some more clean vocals (professional studio recordings ftw, just holding a mike on hand singing at the mixing desk) and edited the instrument and overall balance a bit more. And finally it was in a shape to be considered as ready. Then we did the first mix of “Kummitus” and edited a bit of “Warcraftgrimash” before calling it quits for the day, and I even got home 22:00 today which was a blast. Tomorrow will be the “be all, end all”- day and still left is finalizing “Kummitus”, mixing “Grimash” properly and finally do “Galga”, the acoustic song.

 

Some gourmet pictures to soothe your mind:

 

“The Producer´s Survival Kit” ™                                                                          The “King Foo Makkaraperunat” ™

 

 

TUESDAY 1.9.2009

 

After transporting myself to the office in the morning, I had to go to the police station already at 12:00 in order to interrogate me about the car crash I was involved a couple of weeks ago. It turned out that there were some things quite unclear and even some ehm…”different”  information from the other driver´s point of view, thus resulting into a new investigation. Lucky for me, because they were already stated that “both are guilty and we just let the insurance company to decide the repair fees”. Maybe there is still a hint of justice in this worm- infested humanity?

Needless to say, I was very happy for how things had turned (even though I´m still not labelled as “not guilty”, at least I am definitely not “guilty without any questions” anymore) and jumped into the studio.

We started with the second version of “Kummitus”, where we put a bit more of drums present and I took some pre- recorded banjo files from work, as we though the chorus could use another stacked octave melody line still. The Finntrolls strive for perfectionism!

 

After “Kummitus” was ready and “Grimash” edited into it´s first incarnation, the clock was striking 17:30. That wouldn´t had been a problem unless there wasn´t coming a bunch of journalists to get a sneak preview of some of the songs at 19:00 and after that the time for mixing would be finished. I already knew this, so yesterday evening I asked Nino to “prepare Galga tomorrow morning before I get there as well as you can”, so I could just do the final overall balance without concerning about any EQ´s and compressors. And he did an excellent job, as always. So when “Grimash” was finished, Vreth burnt it into a cd and went to the lounge room to check out the overall balance while I started finalizing “Galga”. And while I had finished “Galga” I went to discuss with him (and the rest of the band who had arrived while I was mixing) about the possible forthcoming tweaks to “Grimash”. Then we listened to it, made the tweaks, burnt it into a cd and took a second spin….*whistles*, finally ready!

 

18:30….fuck, this is getting VERY close. WTF? Journalists already here? But it´s 18:45, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Luckily, it was only two people who are also our personal friends (other being my respectful cousin who also plays in a certain band with me) so we told them to “get some beer and relax, this will take a moment still”.

 

So, meanwhile the rest of the band were entertaining the journalists with our management representative, me, Vreth and Virta were still doing “Galga”. And when clock strike 19:00, it wasn´t finished. “Fuck this”, we thought. “We´re not going to ruin the last mix because of some people from some magazines want to hear some songs”.

Then we did it properly, and even added some churchbells and timpani to the background despite of the fact that we already should had been ready. And we saw it was good, and finally marched from the mixing booth to the lounge at about 19:20. We played the journalists (there were 7 of them, I guess, all from some Finnish magazines or ze interznet) four songs. They were played 4 songs, which were “Julsagan”, “Boingo”, “Laahaus” and “Kummitus”. There´s already a finnish- written review about the sessions in here, which Mape, being a cool dude, published right away so you can check it out! I wonder what the other people are going to say and when? Hopefully soon, I want to see their confusion written on a paper too instead of their faces. :D

 

 

At about 20:00 the whole session was over and the journalists gone except for a couple of friends. Then we went to buy a shitload of well- deserved beer from the nearest gas station, turned the sauna on and started to listen to the album from the lounge´s stereo equipment. And then we listened it again. And again. Man, were we satisfied or what? The upcoming Cthonian album also kicks some serious ass, but that´s a different studio diary, though. :D But hey, WE ARE FINISHED WITH THIS!!!!!!!!

(Or, rather, somebody else, to be honest. I still have a LOT to do before we master the album. But first, I´m going to Scotland to drink whiskey for the next week because I really really REALLY feel I´ve earned a vacation now with my better half. It propably rains anyway for the whole time, but at least it´s Scotland instead of Sonic Pump studios.)

 

 

 

See you on the road, in the forests and lurking in the shadows,

The Fat Bastard and the rest of the Finntrolls (…who I know read this shit anyway…I know I was a pain in the ass every now and then, hehe, but we fucking made it, dudes!!!!!!! :)

 

 

 

PS: No, we´re still not gonna announce the title of the upcoming album because we´re not 100% about it yet. :D It´s gonna be out on January 2010 latest via a certain label we have inked a deal with a couple of weeks ago, who will announce things more in the very near future.

 

PPS: Man, I can´t believe this ended. Kinda crappy feeling when I start to think about it. :S Maybe I should book another studio session for us? (OR MAYBE NOT????  -signed, your mental health)

 

PPPS: Scotland!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, fuck this, I´m outta here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!