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> My New Christmas Album, by Brandon Burch
thefireball
post Dec 25 2014, 03:40 PM
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Hello community smile.gif

I have been away for quite some time now (probably didn't notice tongue.gif ). I'm so busy with life in my new house, spreading my wings since I recently flown from the nest. wink.gif In my musical free time I have been mostly consumed with producing my very first Christmas album. It's just under 30 min, so it's not as long as I had envisioned originally. I decided 2 months ago that the production wasn't going as quickly as planned, and so I would not sacrifice quality for the sake of a few extra minutes on the clock. I have worked hard on this thing since July, and though it has been tiring I feel rewarded in this labor of love. I am very happy the way this turned out. More info on my Bandcamp.

It's a "name your price," so feel free to download at no cost. After all, it's Christmas! smile.gif

Download Christmas Album


It's kind of in the style of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but I did my best not to be a complete rip-off. By listening to choirs sing the songs on YouTube, I was able to incorporate my Rock style I started with as a beginner and weave with my current modern metal vibes. Everything in the arrangement was picked out by ear.

Thanks for checking it out, and Merry Christmas!
Brandon


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Darius Wave
post Dec 25 2014, 04:21 PM
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Hy mate! Nice to see You again! I had a little break as well...being busy with my band work smile.gif Nice "heavy Christmas" album - I would call it "Ancient Sweedish Christmas time" biggrin.gif I feel some "Viking" Influence there biggrin.gif


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HiimAlex
post Dec 25 2014, 04:21 PM
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Amazing Brandon! Well done with this one smile.gif I really like how you have taken "old traditional" songs and made them to metal songs smile.gif
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thefireball
post Dec 25 2014, 09:18 PM
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Thank you gentlemen! I guess it does have a Viking sound. smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 25 2014, 10:34 PM
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Nicely done!! This is a brilliant idea and it's how TSO got to be so big! Most folks don't realize that TSO is really 80's Metal band SAVATAGE with an orchestra doing xmas tunes. They went from starving to making so much money that they give millions to charity smile.gif



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thefireball
post Dec 26 2014, 12:28 AM
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Thanks, I'm happy to have it completed so I can focus writing on other things.


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Socky42
post Dec 26 2014, 02:14 AM
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13 tracks!? It takes at least a month just to finish one cover...Been planning a 3/4 track EP for like 2 years, I'll finish it one day. laugh.gif
Awesome mixing, playing and arranging my man; i'll have to check out Miroslav Philharmonik, it sounds amazing!


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Taka Perry
post Dec 26 2014, 02:40 AM
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Just stumbled across this on my visit to GMC forums, this is wonderful! The instrumentation definitely was the highlight for me! It sounds great, I use Miroslav Philharmonik too and it's a great piece of software to have smile.gif


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thefireball
post Dec 26 2014, 02:46 AM
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QUOTE (Socky42 @ Dec 25 2014, 08:14 PM) *
13 tracks!? It takes at least a month just to finish one cover...Been planning a 3/4 track EP for like 2 years, I'll finish it one day. laugh.gif
Awesome mixing, playing and arranging my man; i'll have to check out Miroslav Philharmonik, it sounds amazing!

I had a blast but I'm relieved to be finished smile.gif

QUOTE (Taka Perry @ Dec 25 2014, 08:40 PM) *
Just stumbled across this on my visit to GMC forums, this is wonderful! The instrumentation definitely was the highlight for me! It sounds great, I use Miroslav Philharmonik too and it's a great piece of software to have smile.gif

Thanks man smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 26 2014, 04:36 PM
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Congratulations Bran!

I'm always happy to see you thriving as a musician, since I've known your evolutionary path almost since you have begun playing smile.gif It's an amazing work of art, mate! I will just enjoy the music!


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thefireball
post Dec 26 2014, 06:16 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Dec 26 2014, 10:36 AM) *
Congratulations Bran!

I'm always happy to see you thriving as a musician, since I've known your evolutionary path almost since you have begun playing smile.gif It's an amazing work of art, mate! I will just enjoy the music!

Thank you, Cosmin wink.gif


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DeGroot
post Dec 28 2014, 02:48 PM
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This was a real pleasure to listen to. Love the arrangments and the fresh approach to some classic Christmas songs.
The production is so good and pro sounding… would like to here more about how you produced the guitar sound if you get the chance. Great job!


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thefireball
post Dec 30 2014, 01:58 AM
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QUOTE (DeGroot @ Dec 28 2014, 08:48 AM) *
This was a real pleasure to listen to. Love the arrangments and the fresh approach to some classic Christmas songs.
The production is so good and pro sounding… would like to here more about how you produced the guitar sound if you get the chance. Great job!

Sure man! Thanks for asking. wink.gif Glad you enjoyed. Here is the info below, notes I took from going back to my project. The overall guitar rhythm sounds were made with EZMix 2 Guitar Gods expansion.

Two presets were chosen because I didn't want phase issues with having same guitar tones in both channels.

*Fredrik - Koloss Rhythm LR1 - Mix
*Fredrik - Rhythm - Mix

Lots of EQ and Compression (most compression was from EZmix 2 because it's already pre-set for me. I didn't want pumping guitars.

The EQs were:

High Pass 140 hz
Lowered 150 hz - 225 hz
Surgically removed 3k around 5k
Low passed high fizzy frequencies
Boosted 750 hz and wide small cut at 3k again

Bottom line is I removed all the boominess (though it was painful to do so in the guitars) - but trust me - let the bass guitar and kick drum have room, it helps with headroom (how loud you get get the mix) and more importantly helps make a much clearer mix. I had to find a fine balance because my album was recorded with the 8-string, and the 8th string has a slightly different sound than the other 7 strings on the guitar. This made EQing a challenge. I would get it to sound perfect on the big power chords, but when I switched to 8 string parts, it all of a sudden sounded like a log truck.

After the boominess was gone, which was an ongoing process all the way through the mixing stages, I kept cutting the highs with a low pass more and more. It causes the guitars to be buried in the mix more, but when brought back up in volume, they sit nicely and don't steal the orchestration spots. Also the fizziness doesn't ruin your ears. I have learned frequencies around 3K and 5K sound the worst to my ear so I always cut them in rhythm guitars.

For the guitar solo, I just used Devin's Epic Solo preset and just boosted presence and cleaned up those high and low frequencies as well. I just didn't use as much detail in the solo as the rhythms.

When mixing, always have reference tracks - or do what I mostly do - that is go to the stereo you listen to the most music in. For me, it's my car. I know my car stereo very well and have listened to many professional mixes in there from commercial. I usually listen to the mix on my studio monitors, check the mix with my mixing headphones, sync the mix to Dropbox, and load it up and listen on my way to work. That night I will make the adjustments needed. I sometimes mix in my car with my laptop. Just be sure your laptop doesn't have any Dolby Enhancer on it. I didn't realize until the late mixing stages I had my Dolby Home Theater Enhancer activated on my laptop so it was affecting what I was hearing through my car stereo whilst mixing. It had been greatly exaggerating the bass and lowering the mids.

Wow, I intended to write a short post, but hopefully this was insightful. biggrin.gif I have learned so much from this community.

-Brandon smile.gif


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DeGroot
post Dec 30 2014, 04:16 AM
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Thanks for the detailed answer. smile.gif Some of the guitar notes/chords were so low I had thought to myself it might be a downtuned 8-string. It all has a warm clarity and nothing seems to get lost in the mix. No doubt the whole process sounds like a lot of hard work and it has paid off. This album will be in my rotation next Winter season as well!


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jstcrsn
post Dec 30 2014, 04:34 PM
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like everyone else said, WOW
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thefireball
post Dec 31 2014, 02:08 AM
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Thanks Gentlemen. smile.gif


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