Guitar Sessions with Toby M. - Six strings, one ego
What it's all about

This is my private place where I put all my guitar-related stuff. Mainly this will be mp3s of stuff that I recorded. "Covered" stuff is courtesy of the respective bands. And of course, all my own creations are © by me, so keep your dirty hands away! Gackt is watching you with his evil kamasutra powers!

Equalizer Fun [ 2004/04/21]

Last time I talked about the equalizer filter and how it's supposed to alter the sound and sound quality of files. Due to my exams I didn't have the time to tinker with this, but today I recorded some guitar stuff with my small mp3 player and it came out really bad, it sounded totally muffled and flat. So, this was the #1 case for the eq filter.

I uploaded a "before" and an "after" file so you can check out the differences. It took me just a few minutes to get this done, so it isn't nearly representative to what you can achieve when you spend some more time adjusting the sliders to perfection. But it clearly shows the added punch that it will give your recordings.

For those of you who are into graphic design, this filter kind of resembles the gradation curves in Photoshop. There, you adjust the brightness of certain colour ranges to improve contrast and general image appreance, clear fog and dull colours and make the image more lively. The same thing happens here, only in an audio sense. You take certain ranges of frequencies and turn them up or down to achieve the same results, that is removing dull sound and adding more clarity or bring out an instrument's tone better. In both cases, image and sound, you can take bad material and improve the quality a lot, or just add the special details that will turn a good material into awesome stuff.

From now on, I think that I will rework all my recorded samples before putting them into a song. Hell yes. Haha, I think that the more you get into this stuff, the longer it will actually take you to finish a song, cause there's so much stuff to be done.

The guitar solo that I'm playing here is the ending part of the solo in Glay's "Haru wo Aisuru Hito". It is a very nice solo in my opinion. Go listen.



In other news, I worked on Song018 presented below this week, and it's nearly finished, at least in terms of composing and recording (unless I decide to record the guitars again or so). During the last two days, I recorded bass, which rules. I will see and EQ all the samples though, this song will rule, and I love it very much. I still haven't tried to add vocals though, I'm hesitating because I have no trust in my singing voice. But I think I should just do it and see afterwards. :-)

New Stuff [ 2004/03/09]

It's been a really long time since the last update here. It's been a stressful time at work and stuff. At least the album is finally out. But I'm already off to new things, and this time they will be much cooler than before! Read on!


This upcoming song lacks a real name until now, but that does not decrease it's coolness. It started off as a metal/nu metal (more metal though) song, but it also features slow, melodic parts. And LOTS of great guitar riffs! The guitar is tuned down to C. Well, actually it's not really C-tuning, I think I have a "wrong" note in there because I tuned "from memory" without looking up the actual notes. But it works with the song. :-)

When I started this song, it really kept me motivating and I worked a a couple of days nonstop (well, the evenings). The song quickly grew to it's 5:30 minutes present length. After that I took a break from it, and added bass last weekend. The bass parts suck though because a) the recording is really bad and b) I was too lazy to tune the bass down to C so I left it at standard and tried to find some riffs there. Hehehe. Anyway, check the clip.



Another new song that I made last weekend. I can't stop listening to this one, as with Numetal2. It doesn't have a name yet either. This song is much more down to earth and quiet, but features some (imho) very professional riffs and arrangement. Actually the guitar parts are really easy. It took me ages to record some fast palm muted riffs though, because they are so fast and are played on alternating strings. The sound quality is really good, but (as with Numetal2) it will probably become even better because I am going to do some real mixing (see below).

The song structure resembles a "real song", i.e. there are verses and chorus. I would like to try to add lyrics/voice to this song, but it'll be really hard and I don't really think that I can sing well. Whatever. If it sucks you can still listen to the instrumental version. :-)


Mixing and mastering

Yesterday I made a quick Google on recording and related stuff, and I found some nice information about mixing and using equalizers. I quickly applied the knowledge to some of my recorded guitars and basses and it really sound much better. So, in the next time I will (among others) concentrate on this part of music production. It should improve the sound quality of my recorded stuff a lot.

I found a nice table of equalizer frequencies and their use here. For my own use, I modified this table to be somewhat more convenient and print optimized. You can see the result here. Feel free to download it. You can print it and hang it above your pc or inside the toilet or wherever you do your mixing.


Yes, this would be a dream!

But this would be awesome too, for the start. :-)

Don't say a wrong word now or you will die a slow, painful death! :-)