I fly out from Melbourne International Airport today, headed for Warsaw, Poland before a train to Białystok to spend two weeks with Wojtek & Slawek Wieslawski at Hertz Studio, whose production and engineering credits list some of the biggest names in the history of heavy metal, citing work with Behemoth, Vader, Decapitated and Hate. I’ll be working with Dariusz ‘Daray’ Brzozowski (Vader, Dimmu Borgir) for drums and Wacław ‘Vogg’ Kiełtyka (Decapitated, Vader, Lux Occulta) for guitars, before moving onto vocals and finally mastering in their dedicated mastering suite.
I feel like I’m confident enough in my engineering to be follow their workflow, and can pick and choose techniques and tricks to bring into my own workflow rather than taking their work as gospel (regardless of how big a fanboy of Hertz Studio I am). I’m not sure what to expect from Hertz, whether they will be full of tips, tricks and advice or if they’ll have a more conventional workflow and their sound is dictated by their rooms and mics etc. Hertz’s drums have a definitive sound, that to me sound like a lot of parallel compression, and the studio boast racks of outboard gear and an Amek console, but I’m not sure what how they pull the fierce, driving tones that they do. I’m excited to see how some of the most intense performances in metal are recorded, mixed and presented so articulately, usually with a very organic sound; how much of this is Hertz and how much is the artist?
I’ll keep this blog up to date as we move through each stage of the course – along with photos of the rooms, gear and how we set up our recordings.