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74: Interview Episode With Grammy Nominated Producer And Mix Engineer Jacob Hansen

Jacob Hansen

Jacob Hansen Is Joining Us For This Episode!

Jacob has worked with some of the biggest names in metal and alternative music. He's produced and or mixed records for bands like Volbeat, Amaranthe, The Black Dahlia Murder, Heaven Shall Burn, Evergrey, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Primal Fear and many many more. 

We're getting to pick Jacob's brain and talk about

  • DIY recording
  • getting amazing guitar tones
  • mixing records remotely
  • reamping
  • the most common home studio pitfalls
  • guitar tuning
  • workflow and efficiency
  • communication
  • collaboration best practices
  • the future of (home) recording
  • evertune bridges
  • amp sims and Kempers

among many other things.

Enjoy!

More...


This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

(Thank you for that, Thomas!) 

Jacob's Website And Instagram:

jacobhansen.com

instagram.com/hansen_jacob

Jacob On The "Your Band Sucks At Business" Podcast:

yourbandsucksatbusiness.com/podcastblog/28



Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 074 - Jacob Hansen

[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] We are explaining all these pitfalls to you. So don't take it as like negativity or complaining from our end. It's just, we can do such a better job and we can serve you and your songs better if you follow these, these things that Jacob and us have just tried to describe in this episode. 

Jacob: [00:00:13] So exactly 

Benedikt: [00:00:15] this is the self recording band podcast.

The show where we help you make exciting records on your own, wherever you are, DIY 

Jacob: [00:00:23] stuff. Let's go.

Benedikt: [00:00:29] Hello. Welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host Ben at the time, and I'm here as always with my friend and cohost Malcolm Owen flood. Today. I'm super excited to tell you that we're not alone. We are joined by the amazing Mr. Jacob Hansen. This is super exciting. Jacob is a musician and the Grammy award nominated music producer and mixing and mastering engineer.

He's worked with some of the biggest names in metal and alternative. You're probably familiar with his work. If you're listening to this type of music, he's worked with [00:01:00] bands like Volbeat, primal fear, the black Dahlia murder, flashcard apocalypse, emigre heaven, Shelburne, and many, many more. So, this is super exciting.

We get to pick Jacob's brain today on all things recording. We talk specifically DIY recording. Of course we are talking about the challenges of working with bands who record themselves. We talk about guitar tone because like, if you've heard checkups work, he's amazing at crafting a super exciting guitar tones.

We'll talk about that. And we have all like, so many questions in our minds. I can't wait to get into this. I'm super excited. And first of all, I want to thank you for taking the time, Jacob, welcome to the podcast. 

Jacob: [00:01:44] Thank you. And, uh, and you're also welcome. Yeah. Thank you for, for having me. 

Benedikt: [00:01:50] So I'm curious, is it even correct that you are sometimes working with DIY bands or is that very rarely still these days?

[00:02:00] Jacob: [00:02:00] No for sure. I do a lot of very different, well, both mixing jobs and also just, you know, producing just bits and pieces of, uh, of, uh, a record. It doesn't have to be, or, you know, maybe they come here to do the drums and they continue somewhere else, maybe at home in a bedroom or whatever, you know, in an office playing guitars or tracking bass and vocals.

So, so there's a lot of different ways of doing this. Luckily, these days it's, it's possible. I love that. And, um, and it's not only, I mean, I do work with a lot of bigger bands, um, but it also taken smaller bands, you know, as long as it's cool. And I, I like the people and. And the music I'm, I'm totally fine.

It doesn't matter. It can be equally satisfying really, uh, to do really DIY projects as well. So, um, yeah, it's all good. 

[00:03:00] Benedikt: [00:03:00] That's cool to hear. Is it, um, like how, how important is the quality of those recordings to you? Like, let's say the budget is okay and the people are cool, but like you've heard the demos or the raw recordings, and it's not really what you use to working with when, like, when you produce yourself or when, when someone does it.

Well, um, I imagine that with a portfolio like yours, you gotta be careful leg T to have. Yeah. You gotta be careful that the results are at a certain level all the time. Like you probably can't have an amateur sounding thing, um, in between all the great sounding stuff you do. So is there, has there been ever, um, an occasion where you refuse to work on a, on a record or a song, even though you've liked the people and the budget, what was fine?

The quality was not there for some reason. 

Jacob: [00:03:49] No, I, I don't recall anything where, where I went like, no, this is never going to work, but, but I've of course I've had, you know, I've received files that were [00:04:00] like, where I went, oh shit, this is, you know, the guitars are so noisy or it's, there's something really wrong with this DIY signal or, you know, maybe you forgot to change the bass strings, which is a classic and all these things.

And it totally makes sense because, I mean, I mean, I've been doing this for so many years and I do this every day and these bands maybe do it, maybe it's the first time they've, you know, They have no experience whatsoever, just a little, maybe they've read a lot of weird things on the internet, like some parts true and some not so true.

And they start working and which is it's cool. And I, I, I can kind of see myself in the beginning, how I was, you know, just, it was trial and error or fumbling about, and, and just doing stuff and not knowing what I did. And, and I couldn't really, you know, how you can't really tell what's actually important.

Is it, I mean, is it [00:05:00] important to edit the guitars really heavily and be like, oh yeah, I edited for, you know, five days and then, well, the strings were like half a year old, so what's the point of the perfect editing. But, but you know, you know what I mean? It's, it's really, it's, it's a little tough. So. I try to, whenever I, I feel like there's some thing that could be an issue.

I try to talk to the bands and if they want, we can, we can go on a, like a Skype call or whatever, a FaceTime call and yeah. We can discuss it, but normally I just sent them a mail, you know, like, remember these things, and this is very, very important. And other times it's, it's like, it's maybe, well, we're recording drums that are telling me, you know, and it's in our rehearsal room.

And, and do you think these hundred dollars mikes are okay? And I'm like, yes, but it's not only about the mix. It's it's, you know how difficult it [00:06:00] is to recreate a drum set. And I've been doing that for 30 years and I'm not even done with that. I'm experimenting and learning all the time. So it's, it's tough.

It's not just something that is just jump right into. Well, you can, but it's gonna, there's going to be a lot of. Things that you don't know. And then. Yeah, there'll be some pitfalls and you'll do stupid things and spend tons of time on things that maybe it wasn't so cool. So, yeah. Yeah. But, but, but he also, yeah, you're, you're asking me if, if I ever, you know, said, Hey, stop, it's stupid, but I don't think so.

I think we. Stuff or I I've just, you know, called the band and said, well, there's something wrong. Your guitars are so noisy. What's happening. And they'll, they'll be showing me, oh, this is where the cable goes. And, and all of a sudden, I see, oh, well, this old screen that you have there, or maybe the cable is, you know, near some powers or so, you know?

[00:07:00] Yeah. So we figured out at the end. 

Benedikt: [00:07:02] Okay. So there's definitely guidance needed, um, because yeah. How should people know? Right. As you said, like, 

Jacob: [00:07:07] and they sometimes yes. Yeah, yeah. And, and other times people are actually pretty good at it and, and, and you get, I mean, not surprised, but you're like, wow. Okay. So this is very, very good.

It, they don't need an external engineer and it's, it's just all fine or you, you know, but, but also a thing that I sometimes tell these bands is like, maybe if you know some engineer in your area or, or there's somebody you can see. Can you come over, you know, we'll pay you for two hours and you can help us set this up.

And maybe there are some stuff that you want to tell us that we should not do it. It's so well worth spent that, that money. And, and, uh, I think it seems like some people are fine with this and some [00:08:00] are more like, no, no, we can do everything ourselves. This is going to be right. And then maybe not learn the hard way.

Benedikt: [00:08:08] Yeah. Yeah. I'm 

Malcom: [00:08:10] starting to find that, uh, I, I'm having to like a change of opinions, a little paradigm shift where drums, I think are the hardest thing to engineer. Right. Um, to get the drums to sound just how you want them on the way in as a really it's like you said, it's a lifetime learning thing. We'll never stop.

Um, and we'll always be chasing some new technique or some new sound in our head. Right. Um, but at the same time, The power of mixing drums, especially in hard drawn res has become very powerful. So I'm finding that as long as like there's some good rooms and good overheads, or even just good overheads, I can really make a slam in drum sound in a mixture happen if the plane's good.

Right. Um, so what I'm starting to realize is that guitars are actually becoming the thing that I'm like, how do we fix this? This is like the most commonly screwed up thing for bands in a, uh, kind of repairable way. [00:09:00] And it's either, like you said, noise, like just like outrageous noise or it's, uh, it's guitar tuning, which is something that Benny and I just talk about it nonstop length on this podcast is, is guitar tuning.

Um, and I've, I've been trying to figure out a way to like communicate that. And it seems like some people can hear it and some people can't. Um, so I'm wondering if you've encountered that and how you've tried to get around it in, in a situation where you're not able to be there engineering and making sure that guitar is in tune, which is a lot of what we do.

Jacob: [00:09:32] Yeah. It's it's rough. I mean, I even, yeah, shit. I've heard, I've even had bands where I went like, oh, uh, you know what? You, don't, what, what could be a step up from your last album, if you borrow or you go out and buy it, a guitar with ever tune and you play all the Whitman, you know, the rhythm parts or the basic parts on that.

And there'll be like, sure, that's such a cool thing. And then I [00:10:00] get the files and it's still fucking out of, and I'm like, it's a possible, but, but it's, but it's something that I've also seen. I'm not saying people are stupid, but it's just, yeah. There's also a little bit of how you have to develop your ear of, of ho when is the guitar in tune and that's a little.

Yeah, of course there's a scientific way of telling, well, this isn't too on our way or it's not, but there's also a little bit of taste, you know, people will be like, yeah, yeah, this is really in tune. And I'll be like, nah, no. Or, you know what I mean? So, so sometimes it can be a little, I mean, even when I'm working with people in the studio and I'm like, no, of course not in tune and they tune in tune and they're like, oh yeah.

And I'm like, nah, no, I feel like the, you know, the conductor in whiplash, you know, the white, my temple.

[00:11:00] And they were like, yeah, yeah. Now I know. I'm like, no, but you know, and it's, this is the thing that, how can you teach people that? And, and so, so I'm actually, you know, I'm so hoping that someday it'll work that. You know, tune polyphonic material because those rhythm guitars, if it's not just bang on, it's gonna suck all the way through the record.

And, and, and that's gonna make every one's life so hard. And like you're saying with the drums, I've, I've, I've received stuff where, you know, where I went, this is not even drums. This is the loudest high head in the world leading into everything. So I'm like, okay, but, but there's, you know, that's a way of dealing with that.

I can easily fix that. It's not a good starting point. Obviously it makes no sense. And it takes me. [00:12:00] You know, two, three days to fix that, which is like, why are you even, why would we? Hmm. Yeah. But, but like you're saying that that has been, I mean, there are ways to, to fix this and, and, and people will be like, how did you even, how do you do that?

And you're like, well, that was actually a pretty easy, but the tuning thing, tuning guitars. Oh yeah, that that's a tough one, but, but I mean, all the bands that I work with or all the people that I meet here in the studio, for example, if they come here to record drums or, or track or vocals or something, and we talk about their process, you know, or they have to go home and start tracking to, to the drums we did here, I'm like, get yourself a guitar with ever tune.

And they're like, no, but it's, you know, it's weird when you can't bend it now. But you have to it's it's it's [00:13:00] still, um, well, yeah, there are people. Well, who can tune a guitar on it it'll sound fantastic, but it's just, it's such a time saver. I can't stress that enough. It's and it's not for gent only, or the metal core.

It, you, I mean, I have, I actually, you know, first time I tried it, it was, I don't know, some years ago, maybe six, seven years ago. And I was like, okay, well, yeah, that's the best invention for guitars in 50 years. And I just like ordered, you know, a Telecaster, a seven string, a six string. And I just went on because, okay.

So I, so I know I have those types of guitars in my studio, so we can. If we need to overdub something, well, we pick up the Telecaster and it's crying, bang on into, and then we'd just go and people love that. And when they see it, how it really works in the, in the studio, it's like, yeah, well, This, you can't go back.

I mean, I can't even [00:14:00] myself, if I track something I'm like, no, I don't want to be bothered playing a normal, real guitar. I just pick up the one with ever two. And I'm like, oh, this is, 

Malcom: [00:14:09] yeah. I'm at the point now where I can't even imagine buying a new guitar without one, without another. It seems like it's the silliest use of my money ever.

Yeah, 

Jacob: [00:14:18] exactly. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:14:19] Do you have a bass with ever tune as well? Because those are the thing now and base tuning is sometimes even worse than guitars, or sometimes you think that guitar's out of tune, but it's actually the base or sometimes you think the vocals are weird and it's the bass or some like the basis for the reason for stuff sounding weird in the mix.

And they're like, do you have an 

Jacob: [00:14:38] average tune base as well? I don't, but I wasn't sure that it was. The, I know they've been talking about that, you know, for years, but is it a thing? Oh, I thought it 

Malcom: [00:14:48] was, but I wasn't aware it was a thing yet. I think it's only a 

Benedikt: [00:14:52] prototype still. Ah, okay. Sorry. I thought they released it already.

Jacob: [00:14:56] No, because it was something, some guy told me that. [00:15:00] Ton of years ago that they were like, yeah, yeah, they're going to present it, that name. And then something. I know it really, 

Malcom: [00:15:06] yeah. There was a prototype video, I think two years ago now. So they have a physical prototype that we're working 

Jacob: [00:15:13] on. Yeah. But, but I mean, base is, I mean, the first thing I do when, or at least, you know, my assistant, he does, it's just taking all bass tracks into Melodyne, but blink and learning, because I mean, if like you're saying, if the, if the fundamental notes of the whole mix is not in tune, you're going to struggle.

And, and, and it's always like, you know, you put it into Melodyne. It's like when you press tonight, Loop it falls down. It's almost like sometimes a half or a sunlight node. Sharp, you know, bass players are tuning like plume plume, and then, yeah, let's try, they're like hitting the heart, hitting [00:16:00] the strings so strong there's like, but there are ways to fix that.

And it's that, that's pretty easy. So I'm like, you know, when tracking bass players in the studio, I'm, I'm just, I'm fine being just somewhere. Um, but I normally just actually tune it, you know, a little lower than it's supposed to because when people start hitting it, it goes up and, or gets sharp. So, and I, I just have an, uh, an eye on a tuner that's on all the time and, and people just playing, but I know it's going to go into Melodyne and so I'm, I'm not worried as long as it's close.

Benedikt: [00:16:40] I wonder how much of that is like just having the ear or like the taste as you said, and how much of it develops and comes with experience, because I'm pretty sure as sensitive as I am right now, like these days to tuning issues. I'm pretty sure if I would go back 10 years or so and listen to recordings, I did.

I'm sure. I wouldn't [00:17:00] like let those go through these days. Like, I, I'm pretty sure that I would, that, that these are attitudes now to me and I didn't notice 10 years ago, maybe. So I, I think part of it comes with experience and that's the hard part, because that is something. You just can't do anything about if people just start recording themselves and they don't have the experience, it's going to be tough.

Jacob: [00:17:20] think. Yeah. No, but you're totally right. I it's it's it's the same thing. When you listen back to some of your favorite records from 25 years ago, or I'm left. Oh yeah. By the way or 30. And you're like, this was the best thing I love this thing. Or, and you realize, oh fuck, this is so it's so pitchy. That's terrible.

But, but on the other hand, it's, it's a great thing because that means, oh, we, you learn something or your ears developed. So you can just tell, you can tell things are out of time and out of yeah. Out of tune and it's just pitchy. And it's like, oh shit, well, they even rushing that [00:18:00] much. I didn't even notice it.

Or, you know, but it's like, you're saying it's. Uh, I don't know how you could actually. Yeah. What can you do? I don't know if you could, if there's something you can know, maybe you can just take a few hours with a person you trust that that can tell you, oh no, this is not in tune or, but it's, it's, it's also such a personal thing in some way, if you're a guitarist and you're like, now I've spent like 10 minutes tuning this one.

Perfect. And I stopped recording and it, and it's not in tune, you know, some people will hear it and, and, but maybe this guy doesn't, so how how's that even gonna. Yeah, 

Malcom: [00:18:45] no, it is one of those things where to work with a good engineer or producer that is on top of tuning is like the best way to learn you.

You kind of start slowly picking up what they're talking about as you're doing it. And just being told the tune over and over and again, and you know, all the little [00:19:00] tricks, like okay, tune that fret, you know, and like to hold the cord between that kind of thing. And then it starts to unlock, I think. But if you haven't had that opportunity, it's a hard thing to learn on your own.

Benedikt: [00:19:11] Um, that brings, that brings up an interesting question though. Um, especially the thing you said about your favorite records from like 25 years ago. So, um, because where is the, where are you draw the line between it's too sloppy or too pitchy? Not in tune, not in time. And when is it. Just right. And when is it like maybe too perfect.

Because some of those old records are perfect the way they are, even though they are not in tune and not in time. And like, people might argue about this. Some, some like it, some don't, but, um, where do you personally draw the line? Like what is acceptable and in which cases is it even, is it okay that it's not perfect?

And in which cases does it have to be perfect or does it ever have to be perfect? 

Jacob: [00:19:53] Yeah, that, that's also a little like, like w what is your taste? I mean, what, when do [00:20:00] you personally feel? It's perfect. I mean, for me, I, I, there was one person. I, I don't know who I listened to some podcasts with some engineer who said that he wanted his assistant to edit the drums.

Um, how was it again now? I forgot maybe about, well, wait a second. Yeah, no, I mean, superhuman, but. Unhuman, you know, it had to be really, really good, but still sound like a human being. Right. So, and, and I feel like that's, even though it doesn't really make much sense or, or, well, yeah, it's still a taste thing, but I think that this is, for me, it has to sound like this is the guitarist on his very best day.

It's like, it's maybe, I mean, it's not to the grid perfect. Or like them, because that sounds stupid. I've even mixed albums where people were editing, you know, just to the grid and the guitars were like, [00:21:00] and it just, it stops being music. It's just like playing Nintendo, you know? And, and it's, it's, uh, that, that doesn't work for me.

Maybe it's also something that is also different from Sean or to Shauna. I mean, some, some more dirty retro stuff could be much more loose and kind of wobbly or hippy ish. Whereas if you do some modern metal core mix where you have to compete with other, you know, really, really good players or yeah, well stuff that's been edited pretty hard, then you have to maybe be a little more yeah.

Hard on the editing. But yeah, I think I kind of decide when I, I mean, if it's me producing, I, I kind of decide already when, when, when I have a feeling of what, what, what is the band that I'm [00:22:00] working with? Well, what is, what are we doing? I mean, what kind of style and, and what would fit here. And, and, and I, I have.

Not a rule, but, but you know, when I have my assistance, uh, editing drums for me, when I'm not doing it myself, I love it. By the way, I love to edit drums. It's a strange thing, but, but I can always justify the time, you know, because it, yeah, it does take time. Um, but I kind of, you know, with I'm in pro tools.

So, so it's called beat detective in pro tools. Right. And when I edit drums, I'm, I'm never over 65 or 60% somewhere around that. I mean, I'm never a hundred because it's, it's, I'm like, why, why would it ever be hundred? But, but that might be fine for somebody else or that might work for some other, you know, [00:23:00] mixer, 

Benedikt: [00:23:01] uh, explain real quick for people who don't use pro tools, what that means, because a hundred in beat detective means that it's perfectly all right.

Right. And like 60% or it's like a percentage, like 60% is it moves closer to the grid, but it stops at a certain point, right? 

Jacob: [00:23:15] Yeah. Yeah. It, yeah, it will. I mean, if you, if you have a drum beat going in and the drama was a little sloppy or there was some thing that was a little wobbly and you didn't have the, you know, the relaxed feeling of a drama that knew what he was doing, and you want to edit that little part, um, you know, it was still keeps on what the feeling of, of the original take.

I think so at least, and, and it, it won't just, you know, tighten it up on a percent and I think that's a, well, to me, I think that's a good thing because you, even though when you're listening to drums and solo, you want it, you feel like, oh, this is actually be really, really perfect, but in the context of the whole band, it, [00:24:00] it, as soon as it's just a little tightened up, it starts to feel more like a.

Cohesive band or meant that actually knows what each other are doing.

Just the goal. 

Benedikt: [00:24:17] Let's maybe move away from the editing part a bit, because I mean, that, that is the most common issue and problem. That's why we wanted to talk about it. And that's the, as my company sort of said before on the show, that's the one thing we still kind of haven't accomplished yet that we've managed to be accomplished a lot with this podcast, the results we get from people and the feedback we get.

Pretty amazing. And some people really improve their recordings, but the tuning thing, and some of the editing performance thing is this is still something we don't know how to feel hit or miss. Yeah, exactly. 

Malcom: [00:24:45] Like there's some takeaways from this episode. There's a, for our listeners, we've been talking for like 24 minutes right now, and we've been talking probably 22 of those minutes about tuning.

So obviously this is important. Like let's think about that really important. 

Jacob: [00:24:59] And [00:25:00] like you're saying there's there, I don't see a solution just right around the corner. And it's also a little where you go, like, does it, I mean, seriously, does it have to be. Like a software solution or could people not really learn how to tune a guitar, but I know it takes time.

Yeah. It's not, there's so many things 

Benedikt: [00:25:22] involved. Like there's so 

Jacob: [00:25:23] many things involved as well, and it's not so fun. It's no fun to just right away. Yeah, exactly. I don't know. It will, hopefully we'll get there. We'll get there. The other takeaway, I think that's yeah, 

Malcom: [00:25:35] exactly. The other takeaway was just getting an tune.

It's such a good investment. 

Jacob: [00:25:40] It 

Benedikt: [00:25:40] is. So when it comes to the actual sounds, um, I heard you talk about, um, that on another podcast where I got the impression that you and I might be totally wrong. I would just want to ask that. Sort of tell people too, I don't know how to say record maybe safe signals or stay on the safe side, like record clean stuff.

[00:26:00] Don't risk too much when they record, because you can't undo things, but you can always add things. So, um, maybe if people don't have the experience that it's easier for you to get, just get clean recordings that you can then turn into whatever they want versus having something that is heavily processed or where like really bold decisions have been made.

That might sound interesting at first, but, um, tie your hands a little bit later in the process. So, uh, I'm just wondering what, what your opinion is on that. Am I, am I correct that you would recommend to stay on the safe side a little bit because Malcolm and I often preach that people should actually come in and be in where the producer hat and like make bold decisions so that they can come up with unique and exciting art.

Um, but yeah, everybody's different here, I guess. So, so what's your, your opinion? 

Jacob: [00:26:48] Yeah, but I get what you're saying. And, and, and I think what I was trying to avoid is that people, [00:27:00] you know, do something and commit to something that was actually a major mistake. And, and that's the thing where you're, I mean, if it's your, your first time tracking guitars and you set up an amp and a cap and you put on seven and you're like, let's go, this is going to be the greatest guitar sound ever.

And you'll be like, yeah, it does sound great. And when I get it, I can just hear a face issues everywhere. It's just that. And, and if, if I'm not asking them to, you know, at least track at the eye signal yeah. Where, you know, it's like, oh, they just spent so many hours recording this and now we have to throw it away because it's useless and that's just sad.

So, so I'm, I'd rather have people be a little bit. It's. I mean, it's cool when they experiment and sometimes there's something, you know, they might have a cool guitar pedal or it could be whatever, you know, um, which is, uh, which is a good thing. But, but it's [00:28:00] th there are just some basic things that have to be right from the start.

So, so getting a really good DIY signal, and then you can always, you know, use all kinds of amps still and track the amp signal and, or at least let me hear what was the thought behind that special sound. If, if I, if it, if I hear it and I'm like, this is so cool, let's use it. It's, it's all good. But if I'm like the idea's good, but it's just not done.

Right. Or it's, it doesn't fit into the mix or of it there's, this may be something. That doesn't really work within the mix context. Then I can, you know, listen to their idea and just try to replicate it with my amps or with my, or whatever. And that, you know, I guess that goes for everything. It's not like I'm asking people to not experiment, but it's more like, yeah.

Having the, the, [00:29:00] the, the chance to go back to just a clean DIY signal and ramp. Also a thing that I've realized is happening quite often, which I'm a little, I'm a little certain about is that the people obviously track a lot with campers, which is great. They fall completely in love with that Kemper sound, even though it's rubbish and then use this for the album.

And I'm like, yeah, yes and no. Um, no, you know what I mean? It's, it's like you get so used to hearing, you know, the, the stuff that you're just that's maybe it's the only thing you're listening to for, you know, three weeks when you're tracking guitars for your album. And then you, you can't imagine, you know, this is the sound I love this.

This is so great. You know, it's perfect. It sounds just like blah-blah-blah [00:30:00] so-and-so um, and when I listened to it, I only hear a cardboard boxes, you know? Like I'm like, no, it's just not, I mean, it sounds a little arrogant, but, but yeah, but you know, That's the thing that I, I S I see happening often. I'm not saying that I don't want to use people's guitar sound, but I'm just saying that, that this is maybe something that you dialed in.

You know, it maybe took five minutes, you know, dialing in on camera and that's, oh, I like this song. Let's use this for the album. And I would maybe spend, you know, two, three hours I'm choosing the right amp or working with this. You know, tracking two amps at the same time, sending it to the banner saying, do you like this?

Or should we, do you feel like we should go with the 51 50 or while we Bucknell? Well, where are we? You know, and plus my, I mean, yeah, actually, if you think about it, you would also be like, but why are they not interested [00:31:00] in my experience with amps and miking up guitar calves? That could be an idea to hear what I at least can do, you know, an AB to what their Campos sound.

Um, and, but that's also a little bit of a different topic because then we go into something where they, you know, they feel very strong about something that's, that's fine. W you know, and I can, I can live with it. And if they insist. On the Kemper sound I'm um, yeah, sometimes I'm like, yeah. All right, let's do it.

It's their album. It's their record. I'm fine. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:31:37] This 

Malcom: [00:31:37] is probably the most ruthless, Kemper reaction I've ever heard. 

Benedikt: [00:31:42] Thank you. And thank you so much for that, because I have talked about this quite a bit and Malcolm loves his camper and I had a camper twice and sold it twice because I bought, I bought one and then I sold it and I got the one with the power.

And because I thought if I can at least use my calves, but still like, I [00:32:00] felt the second one too. So, um, yeah, but it's like, some people swear by it. So I'm not saying it's not working, 

Malcom: [00:32:07] but like I've heard Jacob, I've heard your tones and like, they are what I chased, but I'm always out there. 

Benedikt: [00:32:14] And also, yeah.

Jacob: [00:32:16] Yeah, go ahead. Sorry. No, but, but what, I'm what I feel like I hear when I hear Kemper sounds and. I've talked to people who love Kemper and it's not too. I think the, you know, the, that thing, the Kemper is such a fantastic tool. It makes so much sense. I mean, it's, it's, it's cool for tracking at home, but in life situations, for me, it's even, it's insane.

It's so good. And it makes so much sense. I would never, ever personally, uh, bring out a tube head on tour or play live. And when I sit here and talk to bands, you know, who are like, yeah, we're yeah. We're thinking about what to do. And I'm a little bit tired of my big stack and I'm [00:33:00] like, well, it's 2021. And we're why are you even dragging around a huge head?

And, and you can control this and you can just switch blah, blah, blah. And I love it. It's not like I want to slack camper. Yeah. But that's it. I think when you make a really nice guitar tone, Whatever am miked up with good cabinets, good pre-amps and good mics and things. And you AB it's like Kemper just starts to sound plastic.

And it sounds more 2d to me than then. There's no depth in some way you kind of have a guitar sound like that's right in your face and you don't, I, it sounds a little weird, but it feels like you can't really hear the air moving. It's it's, it's just, I mean, for, for people who don't have the experience of, of miking of guitar amps, and, and maybe [00:34:00] they don't even have the room or the mic, so then it's a fantastic thing.

And it's, you know, it's yeah, it's good. But, but comparing it's like, I feel a little bit like, you know, the memes where people are. This guy is standing with a part and he goes like, it just sounds just like the real thing. It's fantastic. It was like that. I remember 2001, I worked with, you know, some people, they were like, we are, everything is part on this album.

It sounds fucking amazing. And I'm like, who would do that now? And I'm, it's this a little bit of. Truth to that, that this, you know, Kemper is the part of the fear of our time right now. Uh, but of course it's so much better, but still it's like maybe in some years we'll be like, what, what is this weird plastic tone?

Maybe not, maybe it's fine. Now. 

Benedikt: [00:34:53] I think a lot of it is also the we've talked about that as well. It's like, it's the IRS, because I actually have heard even pot tunes [00:35:00] recently where people just use good IRS with an old pot or plugin or whatever. And that was very surprised how much better. It sounded just with a great cab or a great IRR and the same.

I found the same to be true with the camper. I just can't stand the built in cap sounds. But if you switch the, if you turn the cab off and use a good idea, It's much better. So yeah, there's that, but yeah, I mean, it's a matter of taste, but I, I kind of agree and I think it's interesting because when we started this, this, uh, podcast today, you were, um, in the process of revamping something.

Yeah. And we could hear the loud amps, the background. So I assume you still to this day, like use your real amps and not rely on plugins and stuff, because like the camper is one thing, but there are really, really awesome plugins that in my opinion, often sound better than the camper. They are more like the one-trick ponies, but if you need exactly what they do, there are excellent solutions out there these days.

So I'm wondering, totally. I'm wondering, in which cases you still prefer your amps, or if there are records where you use a [00:36:00] plugin and you really believe it's the best choice, 

Jacob: [00:36:03] I think. I think it's maybe two, three records where I've mixed ever, where it's not real amps. It sounds weird, but it is. And, and it's, and I'm, uh, the funny thing is that I'm very often thinking when I, when I build a mix and I start and I put in the guitars, I'm, I'm very often trying an amp SIM and in the beginning, I'm like, yeah, this is, this is, yeah, this is pretty cool.

And this might work and maybe this is the album where it's going to be, you know, this and that SIM. And then I get a little further into it and I'm like, no, this is so thin. What the hell? And there's also something, you know, because I love stacking guitars or, you know, it's sometimes. Or very often I ask people to record for rhythm guitars because I love the fatness.

So I use [00:37:00] different amps or for maybe even every track and just the stacking of that just makes it huge. And as soon as I start stacking with amp seems, I feel like it just gets into face hill because there's something strange about it. It's not, it, it's not two, even two very different performances will sound kind of similar in, in an MCM.

And it's weird to me. I don't know why. So, so I, I, even though they're great sounding and I. I I'm also constantly buying new apps whenever they hit the market. I'm like, yeah. To depressed five, because it's, maybe this is the one and, uh, or people are always like, yeah, now this new one is out. This one feels just like the real thing.

And, um, uh, yeah, I jump on it and buy it, but I haven't, I, I haven't yet, you know, it hasn't, [00:38:00] it hasn't ended on an album maybe as overdub guitars and that that's fine. Or for solos it's, it's cool. And, um, you know, clean and crunch. I, I, it's just so much faster than me dialing in a good crunch sound that, or a clean sound.

That's a little bit of a, that's actually harder than, than making a high gain sound. I think it's interesting because there's so many variables, you know, when S when it starts to get into that territory, are we, w w what kind of. What does a clean sound? That's a lot of different things. Well, to me, it is, but yeah.

Malcom: [00:38:37] So the thing for me about amp Sims and camper and quad cortex now, amp facts, all the aspects, all those different ones is I think a huge advantage for, for me is like just the time-saving aspect of it, like where I've got one day to track way too many guitars with a band it's like, we're going to be able to get something that sounds awesome within the first 15 [00:39:00] minutes and then be tracking.

And then, you know, as long as we have that Dai, like you've recommended here, uh, we we're, we're not powerless and changing that, but at least we have something awesome to get us go and, um, and do a really good job with, I I've got a story. I recently did a guitar session. We had a 51 50 sitting beside me, so I had that going out to a cab.

I had, uh, one of those torpedo captures go in as well. So we are grabbing the head and running an I R loader. I then had the 51 50 on my camper. And I had the neural Nali plugged in with their 51 50 up and we started it at the app and we ended up it into them all and landing on the Nale plugin. And again, we've been quick, you know, really quick.

So it was just like, turn it all on which one did we like? And it was like, okay, the $150 options, what we're running with today. 

Jacob: [00:39:48] That's cool. And it's fantastic. And that's also what I'm actually, sometimes I get so frustrated that I have to spend time on ramping. I'm like, but, [00:40:00] you know, imagine if I could just, you know, put on the plug and just factory default and just go or whatever, you know, or that, that, that would be amazing.

But, but I feel like it's not, it's not really there yet, but 

Malcom: [00:40:14] your results really do speak for themselves. I think your 

Jacob: [00:40:16] guitars are just also, here are some, you know, some really cool mixes where I am. Hundred percent. It's it's amp Sims. So it's not like it's, can't be done. It's just totally, uh, I don't know, doc, in, in the eighties, 

Malcom: [00:40:30] whatever it gets you there though.

Right? It's like, whatever gets the result is fine. Um, yeah, that, that brings me to a question for you. Is ramping part of your mixing process? Like, is that just something that you consider to be part of mixing or is it yeah. Okay. Yeah. 

Jacob: [00:40:44] Yeah, it is. Yeah. And I, sometimes people ask me or, you know, do you charge X or, but it's just, it's just a part of the price and I am making a process.

Yeah. Yeah. And I, and it's, it's easy. I can just set up a session and [00:41:00] just, I, my studio is next to my home and I can just, when I leave for the day, I can just press record and it. Of course, when I have to change amps, I got to go out and press the switch and change the head for the next guitar or whatever, but I can just make a session so I can reamp during the night.

And that's cool. It's ready for the next day. We're good. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:41:24] I think what's really interesting about this whole conversation is that if people wonder whether it's worth hiring a mix engineer or not these days, because many people think they or want to mix themselves, as well as that doesn't stop at the recording and everything.

You just said, the amount of care and time and effort you put into making it like the best it can be is. I mean, I mean that, that clearly shows the value in, or part of, part of the value that's in hiring a mixing engineer. That really is something you just can't do yourself and that alone should. I think a reason enough to just try it and work with someone really [00:42:00] experienced because you just don't do that at home.

You just, you don't have to experience it. Don't have the gear you don't, uh, you know, you're not as objective anymore. You, can't not, you just simply cannot put as much effort and care into it as someone like Jacob can. And I think, um, that really everything you just said, like really shows me how much better off most people are.

Um, hiring a mix engineer versus hiring versus mixing themselves if they are not as experienced. And I'm wondering what your opinion is there, because I mean, some people can mix pretty well, but I believe that unless you work on a lot of different things, like if you're only mixing your own band and that's all you ever did and you are lacking the experience, I think it's going to be very, very hard to ever be to professional mixed by someone like you.

So I don't know. Have you ever heard a mix that abandoned themselves where it was actually really great and sounded like a competitive record? 

Jacob: [00:42:53] Yeah, that's a good question. I sometimes. Yeah, I have, well, [00:43:00] it's, it's hard to say. And it's also, I mean, first of all, I think it's, it's, it's always a budget question.

I mean, it's, it's always like if people approach me and go like, okay, so what, uh, you know, what's, uh, how much is the full production? And when I tell them the price, they may be can afford one day. Yeah, no, not that I'm extremely expensive, but you know what I mean? They're not li I mean, it doesn't really make any sense for them to do it.

So, so they have to figure out alternatives and what's the best way. And, and I mean, I would, I, I would never recommend a band, you know, starting to mix their own stuff. Well, unless they had a lot of experience with that and some people do get started and. You know, or end with a mix that they kind of like, and they send it to me for [00:44:00] mastering only because that was what they could afford, which is also fine.

But then I sit there sometimes with, so, you know, with, uh, a mix that has so many obvious, you know, flaws or problems where I'm like, ah, this is oh, too bad. Well, this so-so, and that, that's where I go, like, okay, so let's fix some, some issues here. Um, uh, and, and, but, but that's also very problematic to, to go into this.

I mean, if I'm supposed to be a mastering engineer and I'm suddenly. And mixed consultant. Yeah. You know, remote mixed consultant or something happens off. Uh, but yeah. Uh, so it's also, that's, that's rough. And, and sometimes we land on a middle ground where I get stems and I can fix some things and, you know, I work on the, yeah.

Can you give me kicks narrow so I can at least, yeah. You know how it is? Yep. [00:45:00] This 

Benedikt: [00:45:00] is also dangerous though, because the stem mastering, sometimes, sometimes people have the expectation of getting a mix, but they just send stems because it's cheaper. So like, they, they will hire you for stem mastering, but they actually expect the mix, at least in my experience, sometimes that's the case.

So if it's to fix a master, then it's totally fine. It's a great option. But if it's just trying to get a cheaper mix, it's a little, sometimes a 

Jacob: [00:45:23] little difficult. Yeah. And, and, and very often I see myself, you know, going way, way into. Mixing territory, even with a stem mastering, because I, I want this to be good.

It's it's, it's just, I can't let this go. I just can't. And, and sometimes it's just, uh, yeah, I don't know. Wait, it, it, it is a little crazy. And, and, and that's where I feel like sometimes, you know, I, I, maybe I talked to the band and I'm like, so, [00:46:00] you know, how much time have you spent on the mix? And there'll be, you know, uh, I, I think, you know, two, three months or so, maybe not every day, but you know what I mean?

So I'm like it, your time is so poorly spent actually. Um, but I've, I've of course I get it because you also want to learn and maybe you can do better next time. And. And I was probably the same one. I started that, that, you know, I, I just took the time to learn stuff and maybe it wasn't good in the beginning.

And maybe if I send it to a soon engineer who would be like, oh my God, this is, this sucks on so many levels, but how even, I mean, you have to learn it at some point, but you're right. That the, the, the important thing is to where are you spending your time and money, the, you know, the best way. And that's where I think [00:47:00] it's very good to at least, I mean, or, or for me, it just send me a mail and be like, okay, this is what we're thinking.

And this is what we have. This is our budget. And how can you, can you help us, you know, get the most out of the money. And I would guide them to do, you know, many, maybe weird things. Maybe sometimes I'm like, Of, you know, a drummer is like, yeah, yeah, but we have the rehearsal room and, and I, I can borrow this suitcase of microphones that is, you know, and I'm like, oh my God, this is, I can just feel where this is going.

And, and then I'm like, but listen, even though it it's not what you want to hear, but the best thing was to go on a music store website, buy a decent electronic kit, record everything with, you know, superior drummer, you know, give me the MIDI [00:48:00] signals and let me, yeah. I can even, you know, maybe even help them edit or quantize.

And I can just, you know, put in the sounds that I like, and that I know will fit within this mix and this will give them in the shortest amount of time. So. You know, amazing quality and, and it will be really cheap and they can, you know, they can easily punch in it's meaty. You know what I mean? So that that's actually, it's, it's it's, I mean, it's no fun because drummers are like, yeah, it's fun to hit on, you know, real hits.

And I know, I know how it, how it is, but, but it's just, you don't have the money yet, but let's do it this time. And, you know, let let's do it like that by an E an E kit rented or borrowed it from a friend or whatever and make the drums like that. And, and even, I mean, even, even symbols are [00:49:00] selling so good now it's, it's, it's much better to use sample symbols that are sampled really well.

Then trying to record it with two 50 sevens, you know, and have no experience at all, or maybe choose the wrong ones, because that's also a thing that, that I would do in a drama situation, you know, in my studio, we would be discussing symbols and he would be like testing this crash. And I would be like, no.

And he will be, well, no, that sounds weird for this part. And it's all these small things. So yeah. So I know that the bands are so eager to do it, like the real thing, but, but maybe it's not the, you know, the smartest way. So, so I encourage everyone to, you know, either hit me up or just someone who can tell them what is the best way and cheapest way to get.

To get to a result that actually can compete with everything else that's out there, but [00:50:00] for a fraction of the price. And it's, it's actually, it's not hard. It's not that hard if you just do the right thing from the beginning. Cool. Thank you. 

Benedikt: [00:50:10] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. And again, the amount of care and attention to detail, you can just tell from what you, oh, you were just saying, like, I think don't many people don't even realize that you can, or you should shoot out Sam symbols or maybe change symbols for different parts or songs.

Like I think that's some, some bands don't even realize that there's that this is a thing and you should be doing that. So, um, this is where again, where your expertise comes in. And even if you're not producing it, you can still guide them through the process and help them with those. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.

Now, what do you see the future of home recording go then? Because all of that, I mean, there are all these, these options these days and all these great ways to solve these problems, which is great. And it enables and empowers so many people to make great records. But at the same time, a lot of people are afraid that this is that music is sort of maybe losing some things, some of the [00:51:00] vibe and character, because everybody uses E kits and amp Sims and stuff, and maybe they hire you and you can make, turn that into something really exciting, but still, um, are you also like worried that it's going to take away from the soul or whatever from the music is the future?

What do you envision the future of music and home recording? Like with all that. 

Jacob: [00:51:21] Yeah. I've I don't know. It's it's to me it, it's not a thing that I worry about. I'm I'm, I'm not the type. I think that, that, that, that is like, oh, it's killing music and not too much stuff is coming out and I'm not like, I just, I actually love that these days you can buy a laptop and an interface and you can just go start recording and make your own albums.

And even the, the way that the music business worked these days, where you can make an album and just upload it. And here it is, you know, to the rest of the world, without [00:52:00] any gatekeeper who will be sitting there and saying, no, this is nothing for no the market won't, you know, I love that. It's totally great.

Yeah. It's a great thing. And it's sure that will maybe be a little bit. It's it's always, there will always be a little bit of preset generation music, right. Where everybody's like, oh, so what's the preset for that. Oh. You know, and they press that button and they just go with it. But, but still, it might be cool music with the presets.

So, so I mean just more power to people that they can be creative at home and wherever it's. It's fantastic. I love the fact that it's, it's so easy now and that's, that's also what I'm, you know, when bands are approaching me and going like, yeah, we need to do this record. And how are we doing that? I even had a, you know, like a band calling me last [00:53:00] week about a production and, and they're like, They don't, you know, they don't have the time to go into the studio, you know, with small kids and families and jobs and things.

And the budget is maybe not as it was once. And, and I'm like, well, I mean, why don't you just recorded yourself? It's it's really not. It's not like I want to talk everybody into coming to my studio. Of course, that's the, that will be in a perfect world. Yeah. We should all be doing that. And, and I would, you know, guide and help and do the best that I can.

But, but I also like that I can just tell people, no, no, it's fine. Just do it at home. And there'll be like, oh, but then it's, I mean, it's, it's not rocket science. I mean, sent me a picture of how you're standing in front of the mic and Orland send me a test signal and I can tell you right away. And if you're even, I mean, I even.

[00:54:00] I think I said that in, in some other podcasts, but, but I even have a bunch of, you know, preamps and compressors lying around. So when people are like, yeah, yeah, well maybe tracking at home for this album and I'm not really sure. And I'm like, yeah, I'll send you my compressor and my IQ and my Preem. You can just yeah.

Borrowed until you're done. That's fine. Awesome. Very, very cool. Yeah. And, and it's. It's it's such an easy thing to do for me. And I can even, you know, I can dial it in. They can just, you know, we can just talk about how do let, let me see the needle. How has it, yeah, it looks fine, you know? Great. Because I know that I'll get a signal that I, you know, I will, I like, because it's, it's got some of my, well, some of my sound is already there and I maybe I even, you know, borrow people, uh, Mike, or I tell them, go out [00:55:00] and buy a secondhand, whatever you 87 or something.

And. And I think that that's, that's such a cool thing to be able to do. And, and, and just the fact that more and more bands are doing this makes me happy because there's, of course it's great when they come here and it's cool too. I mean, I, I lose a little bit of the social interaction of course. And yeah.

Um, that's a little bit of a drawback, but, but I'm, I'm totally fine with people sending me stuff as long as it's. Well, and I think it's these days it's so easy to do well, interfaces are cheap. You can buy a cheap laptop and imagine if you take a studio budget and you're not spending it on the studio, or you have a little bit of a budget, say like 2000 euros or maybe a little more, and you just spend it on a few select pieces of gear or rent something, you know, imagine what you actually [00:56:00] can do, you know?

Yeah. So agree. Yeah. I agree. I'm just happy that, that everything is just so much easier for self recording bands and, and what, what is even better is a podcast like this. If people. What stop reading weird things and yeah. It's Hey man. Yeah. Well, yeah, but, but that's maybe how it is and yeah, because I hear some crazy things.

Sometimes people think they have to do yeah. Eight 

Malcom: [00:56:36] microphones on a guitar out. But when you said that, I was like, that's the one that's the one more Mike's is better, right? 

Jacob: [00:56:44] Face hell will arise. 

Benedikt: [00:56:46] Yeah. Sometimes the advice is not even bad. It's just for wrongful the type of person who reads it. Like sometimes the advice could be good for you or me or Malcolm, but, um, if someone records for the first [00:57:00] time, they might be completely overwhelmed with it and use it the completely wrong way.

And so there's that and like the internet. Yeah, of course it's completely unfiltered and whatever you stumble across, you can, you can only hope that it's the right information for your situation. 

Jacob: [00:57:13] So, yeah. And, and a lot of myths. Maybe from older days of recording where ah, you have to do it like this and never, never, ever blah, blah, blah, and stuff, which is maybe some of it is the truth.

And some is just, no, no, you don't do that anymore. Or, you know, but it's yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:57:34] Well, you see advice from people who are at a level that is nowhere near what the most people are and they are speaking from a situation where they get, where are you? Well-prepared and excellent recorded tracks, which is a completely different situation.

Um, so if people seek mixing advice, for example, and they watch some, some alias mixer do their thing, those source strikes are probably not the same type [00:58:00] of track that you work at work with at the beginning and stuff like that. You know, some, some of the things might just not be applicable or you might have to solve a lot more problems than they have.

And 

Jacob: [00:58:08] yeah. Yeah, you're totally right. And in, in some weird way, I kind of liked that. Have been a part of, you know, solving so many stupid problems for a long, long time. I, you know, I can really remember when, when you know, I was recording drums for, yeah. I don't know, maybe 10 years where I was like, I drum sounds so bad the time and I was fighting to get a better and better.

And then I had to do a cool German band actually. And they came in with, you know, a fantastic drummer and he, you know, the, it was new hits and everything was in tune and he knew his kid and I was like, yeah, holy shit, this sounds so good because I, that I've actually [00:59:00] been fighting and doing, you know, learning how to optimize really poorly sounding kits.

I, I really, I, it never dawned on me that. That you should have new hits. I didn't think about that. I wasn't, you know, people came in with a drunk and I was like, sure, I'll put on mine. And I don't know why I'm, you know, how it is. You've kind of yeah, yeah. In the beginning. Yeah. But, but what I'm also saying is that if this guy came in as the first one I recorded, I would, I wouldn't have learned all the tricks, how to get, you know, poor drama sounding better than they really are.

And then when a good drama comes in, it sounds fantastic. Yeah. You know, so it's, it's, it's actually great to be able to learn all these tricks, how to fix, you know, poorly recorded, whatever, or, or just trying to make something out of a mess instead of [01:00:00] just going, well, I can't do anything. So I'll just pull the faders up and this is how it sounds.

Yeah. You know, I, yeah. So, so I. Even though I want people to, you know, be better at recording themselves. And of course it makes sense, but, but I, I think it's, it's, it's a good way as a mixer to learn and, and, and experiment and get really good at turning she had into. 

Malcom: [01:00:26] Yeah, absolutely. I couldn't agree. More.

Some of my favorite mixes this year have been self-reported tracks that have been said to me, and it forces me to do things differently. Just like, oh, I can't, I don't have the wallet guitars to do my usual thing too. I have to make it sound big, a different way. And that's led to some really cool discoveries for me.

Benedikt: [01:00:45] Yeah. Yeah. I also think it's you are the type of person Jacob, where I find it. So impressive that at the level you are, you still just continuously keep learning and studying and trying new things and yeah. Uh, it seems like it. Yeah, it, [01:01:00] it, it's impressive because you could think, um, you just don't have to do that anymore because you know how to do everything properly, but you still keep educating yourself.

You still seem like someone should tries to experiment, try new things, and you are not a hundred percent. You feel like you were still not a hundred percent there yet with everything you do it probably. And that is something that, that is, um, also really remarkable. And I think that people should pay attention to that because, uh, the best of the best are that type of person usually.

And they just constantly try to solve these problems and try to figure out new ways to do this and never stop learning. 

Jacob: [01:01:33] So, yeah. Yeah. I agree. It's it's I think it's important that that's the, there should always be this, I mean, in fact it should be like every time. Yeah. Well, yeah, at least in my head, every time you end the record, you'll be like, now I know what to do on the next one.

You know? Yeah. This one is cool, but yeah. Now, you know, um, because you have to, I feel like you have to learn [01:02:00] constantly. And I'm trying, even though I've been doing this for many, many years, I'm trying to follow new trends or see, you know, okay. So how's this guy actually doing this, or just constantly.

Figuring out, you know, oh, is there something I could do better, you know, with this sound or this type, or maybe, ah, should I, you know, obsessing over drums and maybe this way of tuning is cooler or, you know, it's important. It's, it's, it's really important to be constantly learning. And also as a band or a musician, I, I, I would say that if you, if you kind of feel like I'm fine on my level now you're like, Ooh, a little.

Yeah. But I mean, there's this, I don't know if it's true, but, but I heard this story where I don't know if you know, Jeff Loomis is a fantastic guitarist. Who's an archenemy now. And he was at a certain point. I heard that he was taking lessons, which is like, yeah. And [01:03:00] that's just, I mean, yeah. He's like, oh, Hey, look at me.

I'm the Wolf. Wolf's best guitarist in the metal. And I need lessons, you know, this makes so much sense. Um, so yeah, you just can't. You know, learning new tricks and things. It's, it's very important. Yeah, absolutely. 

Benedikt: [01:03:19] Yeah. Any particular success stories that you remember where a self, because Malcolm, you said some of your favorite records, um, that you've worked on in the last couple of months where it's self recorded.

Do you, um, Jacob have any, or remember any particular sessions records that you're really proud of? Or the band did a lot themselves? Something that turned out really, really awesome. 

Jacob: [01:03:40] I it's, I can't even remember, but, but actually these days there are much more self recorded mixes that I do then, then, you know, produced a while where everything is done by me.

Excellent. So, so it's, it's, it's more or less all of them. [01:04:00] Okay. Yeah. I mean, it's. It's, it's kind of rare that people are doing a full album with me nowadays because it's, um, there can be some, so many reasons for that. And, and, but, so yeah, there's, there's a lot of bands who are actually good at recording stuff themselves.

So, and, and I can't really, I don't know if there's any favor

well, I mean, it's that, that when people, for example, if people mentioned evergreen of which I've done a lot of albums, they, they record, you know, they they've recorded at a studio, they have an engineer help them set up, set up. Um,  for example, at top floor in Gothenburg and, and he, he sets up stuff and they just do everything else themselves, and they're good at it.

It's very well done. And then Tommy England, the singer goes home and he records his vocals in his own own home [01:05:00] studio. And. Everything is just, you know, meticulously made. And everything's just very nice. So it's just a dream for him as a mixer to get these tracks. And it's just, you know, everything's so well done and nothing is out of date.

No, but, but what I mean, it actually, it's, it's, it's fantastic that people actually so good at it when it's not their everyday job. They're, they're doing this, you know, every second year or maybe for two, three weeks. So, so there hope

Benedikt: [01:05:38] I'll get back home. Anything you want to want to add to this? Because I have so many questions in mind. I think I would, I could go on for hours, but like, is there anything that's. Uh, 

Malcom: [01:05:49] I mean, yeah, I mean, I'm sure I could keep you all day Jacob, but, and again, thank you so much for coming on. It's just totally amazing.

Benedikt: [01:05:55] I'm having fun. Thanks for 

Malcom: [01:05:57] making it a great day. Like honestly, some [01:06:00] of those evergreen records are just like my favorite guitar tones ever. So that's, it's amazing here in that. They're so hands-on with their own stuff. That's pretty cool. I got to ask you actually, ever too. Yeah. Ever tunes involved in 

Jacob: [01:06:12] a

remarkably in tune. They are. Yeah. But they're just, they're fantastic players, all of them and, and they they've been around for ever. And I think they've just gotten good at. Recording themselves. And it's, it's, it's the drummer of Uranus who was really in charge of the recordings and he's good at this stuff.

So he knows when it's not in tune or yeah. But 

Malcom: [01:06:40] yeah. One more nerdy question for you, just that you mentioned that you like, uh, quad guitars a lot where you have four rhythms, right? Um, yeah, I guess you're doing two left to, right. Do you like it to be the same guitar for intonation stuff? Or do you like the guitar to be swapped out between those 

Jacob: [01:06:54] states?

I, I mean, it's, I, I [01:07:00] very often use the same guitar, actually. It doesn't have to be another one. It's cool. If it works. But, you know, in, in, uh, let's say before ever tune, it was kind of impossible. I thought it was really hard to have two guitars. I mean, if you wanted to track two guitars with this type of guitar and then two with the other ones, they would be out of intonation all the time and you would be like fighting and I would sometimes live with it, but, but I wouldn't, I wasn't a fan of it.

So I would always more or less try to have at least, you know, the same guitar and sometimes even the same guitars playing all four to get everything pretty well locked in, but with ever tune it's, I mean, you can almost pick up any guitar and, and just dub it with different ones. And I liked the, the way that, that the, that the wall of sound gets even more.

You know, thick [01:08:00] or whatever, or wherever you want to go with with adding a different guitarists as your third and fourth guitar. So sometimes I would even say, you know, let's, let's do two with a really heavy or maybe active whatever, uh, sound, and then, then dub it with a Telecaster or, you know, or  pickup or something that sounds much more transparent in some way, unless it's not humbucker.

Like I like that as well. So yeah. Two different guitars are cool, but, but the main thing is, is the tuning. If it's not in tune or it doesn't intinate then ah, then it's problematic. It'll be of course, hell 

Benedikt: [01:08:42] yeah. You said something interesting here. And that is like single coils signal, color, color pickups in metal.

And that is something many people don't even try or think about. And I think it can work really well, especially the P 90 is a great pickup. So I was, um, I'm wondering, um, is that often the case, is it only for a doubles or quad tracking or is that, do you [01:09:00] enjoy tracking with, uh, like say stock Telecaster, for 

Jacob: [01:09:02] example?

Yeah, I do it a lot. I it's, it's actually something I feel like is it's a little bit of a no-go for many bands, you know, if I say, okay, let's I have an idea and they're like, eh, no, I'm like, you're so missing out. And, uh, and I think I do that a lot, you know? When I produce stuff, I'm, I'm very often like, oh, well, let's, let's play this riff on this.

Or if it does, if it has a split that guitar, so we can have the single coil really, you know, 20 sound on top of it and maybe play that riff on them. And it's so cool. Yeah. And, and people are like, no, no, I never, you know, sometimes it's, it's always can be a little, little bit of a fight to get people understanding how cool it actually is to dump stuff with different types of pickups and different types of guitars.

And even if it gets a little [01:10:00] crazy, you know, even different tunings and different voicings, which is a very much that, that gets a little complicated at times, but, and also more for court and stuff then, then riffing. But, but riffs are, I mean, I've, I've, I've tried, you know, Many times may almost dumping a full album with a Telecaster, all the, you know, riffing and it's so cool.

And, and the guy that I introduced it to at that time, he was like, he was not really happy about it in the first place, but then when he heard that, how, what it gives to the whole sound, it's just, it's amazing. I love, I love it. So, so I think that is something where, of course it requires a little bit of experience and you, you have to know what you're looking for, but, but I think that this is a place where a lot of bands.

Guitarists are actually missing out that they're so focused [01:11:00] on humbucker sound and it's always the bridge, um, where I, I would, you know, let's do the versa at, on the neck pickup. And, you know, I, I love this, you know, experimenting with, with the small tone changes that can be in a guitar. And yeah. So yeah, I do that a lot and I do a lot of, you know, when, when the chorus hits, there'll be just big chords on a Telecaster or.

Whatever with a P 90 or, you know, stuff like that. That's, that's amazing. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [01:11:34] Clarity and the attack is awesome and yeah. Yeah, totally cool. Now, um, other than everything we've been talking about on this, on this episode, is there any pieces of advice that you would give to any DIY band, like something we've missed, but that is absolutely crucial for you or anything?

You, you always tell bands because it just absolutely feel like it's the most important thing. 

Jacob: [01:11:57] Well, there are so, so many [01:12:00] things of, I mean, one thing that, that I feel like has been a little. Or can be a little weird at times, even though you kind of try to teach the band or the, the producers of the bands, you know, file delivery.

It's also a thing, I guess you've also, I don't know if you've had a, a whole episode about that, but, but that that's an episode. Yeah. Three weeks ago. I 

Benedikt: [01:12:25] think we did that, 

Jacob: [01:12:26] right. Yeah. Okay. But yeah, but that, that, that's maybe something that can really destroy things, you know, of course not just naming tracks.

Yeah. All this, you know, just, just having like, uh, making sense of a session or just, you know, naming tracks the right way organization, just basically, but, but just the delivery. So, so I'm often telling Ben, please make sure that you deliver it this way, because this is. The way that works for me and my assistant.

And they're like, nah, [01:13:00] no, we'll just do something weird. Like some Russian site where you can pick it up and press download 50 times and yeah. 

Benedikt: [01:13:14] Yeah. Google drive like, oh my God. Drive with permissions. Not enabled 

Jacob: [01:13:19] or stuff. Oh yes. And I, I, I think that's, that's also a tough thing because I've, I feel like, well, it was in my, you know, I send out a PDF too.

Bands that I worked with and I'm like, it's in there and it didn't you read it and maybe they did, but they're like, but I like this better. Yeah. So are you like, okay, well how okay. Going to do this? And sometimes I'm like, okay, I sit there and wait for Google drive to sip stupid file or, yeah. And, [01:14:00] and even worse is that the thing is that sometimes, you know, when, when, I mean, things are really, really fast at my place here.

I'm, uh, it, it, it, everything goes so fast that if I, I might miss something, you know, sometimes it's like, Oh, by the way it was, you know, you, you kinda, you mix and you're like, oh, by the way, was there a solo for this sent by this author guy who wait a sec? How was it? And that's, oh my God. And then you start looking and you look through mails and you're like, no, that was not on a male.

Was that in messenger? And you know, oh my God. And they didn't put it into Dropbox, so it's not there. And these things, this is, and this is just where I feel like bands are just wasting their money or, you know, my time, if I spent, you know, I, sometimes I can, you know, if I have 15 minutes, I can, I can maybe make a perfect [01:15:00] drum sound in 15 minutes.

Now I'm not saying that, but you don't want any. And if I spend 15 minutes on looking for a file, how it's such a waste of time, but, but that's, that's something that. I'm not saying it's all bands, but there are a lot of bands who refuse to it's like, and it's sometimes like, I I'm, I'm telling them, okay. So can we please use Dropbox?

Because, because that works really well for me and my assistant, it's set up in a way that it's, it's just perfect for us. And they're like, but, but I, but I don't have the, you know, I don't have the money for it or, and I'm like, but you're paying me a lot of money to mix this and out of that budget, couldn't you?

I mean, I can't even believe you. Didn't why didn't you sign up for a, just for a short period of time. The full Dropbox or whatever. It's just like sometimes where priorities are just out the window. It, yeah, they [01:16:00] don't, they're like, no, it's fine. I can just, yeah. Put it into messenger and you can just download it from me.

And I'm like, oh shit. So yeah, 

Benedikt: [01:16:11] it's, it's hard because on the one end, we want to remove the friction as much as possible when we work with clients and we want to make it smooth and easy for them. Of course. But on the other hand, as you said, it's such a waste of time. If we have to do all these, all these things that we shouldn't be doing, we should focus on the, on the art instead.

So, um, yeah, it's hard sometimes, but at the same time, it's not because as you said, it's easy to sign up for some service like that or just, or to just follow your guidelines. I'm sure you, you, you even, I'm sure there's plenty of like handholding involved where people just need to follow what you tell them and then there'll be fine, 

Jacob: [01:16:44] actually.

Yes. It's not that hard. But of course, I see that, that people have their habits of, of working with files and, and, and they kind of continue with that. If it's, if it's a habit they have within the band with their, with [01:17:00] their file sharing system or they have, oh yeah, we always use Google drive, which is fine.

And, but, but if I ask for, you know, please do not, or, and please use this, they should know that this is actually pretty important. It's just not something I'm saying, because I'm, you know, well, yeah, I like this, you know? Um, but yeah, that, that can be a struggle at times. And it's, it's even with the, yeah.

With the, with bigger appliance that, that it can be a problem. And I don't know, I don't know. 

Malcom: [01:17:33] If there's other audio engineers even. 

Jacob: [01:17:36] Oh yeah. But yeah. Then again, it's of course shit happens. And you, you saw me fumbling with the Bluetooth device in the beginning can happen or anyone and uh I'm yeah. It's, uh, you know, embarrassing, but, but no, yeah.

As long as people actually, or bands try to pay attention to what the mixer [01:18:00] says, or I know there's a lot of, I mean, I've seen papers sometimes when I've sent out stuff that I produce for other mixers where I'm like, oh, this is a 10 page PDF. This is crazy. But, but please read it. It's it's, it's, you know, it's, it's important information and there's no reason if you want to start on the right path with this mixer that you you've hired, then please, you know, follow the instructions.

It can't be that hard. Yeah. You know, 

Benedikt: [01:18:33] and there there's a reason for it. People need to understand what you just said that it's not because you want to, um, like you want to torture them with your instructions, but it's, they're actually getting more for them, for their budget, for their money, because you have to spend less time on like these, all these things and you can focus more.

Yeah. Like it's better for the end result. It's it's it. They just, yeah, it's just, um, yeah, they just get more for their money and it's [01:19:00] really worth paying attention to that and doing that. And it's not just because you want it that way and there's no benefit in the, in it, for them. There is no. 

Jacob: [01:19:07] Yeah. And it's like, yeah, you know, I could have delivered a mixed to you today, but I didn't because I spent like one hour looking for the files and then I had to download it from media fire or, and, uh, so yeah, it's good.

Thank you. 

Malcom: [01:19:25] I've got a golden rule that I've been putting in that nobody does. And it's just, if you're sending me something to mix, you have to export the files and then re-import them into a blank session. Your, your song should be there, right? Nobody, nobody ever does it. It's like, you didn't do this because it doesn't work.

When I bring it in. I can tell that, you know, everything's at a time 

Jacob: [01:19:44] that's a classic way. You get a session file. And of course I know when everything's stress and maybe you work till three in the morning on the deadline of the mix, then you panic. Then you just send your session and you know, [01:20:00] then the whole drum kit is missing.

And I can tell from the, the, you know, when I follow the pet, oh, it's on your desktop. It's not here, you know, but it works here and I'm like, yes, I know. But 

Benedikt: [01:20:14] yeah. That's why it's most often not the best way to do it. No. 

Jacob: [01:20:19] And I know I try not to receive sessions, even though people are in the same dollar. So I am I'm.

I'm like, please let, well, sometimes we can. If I have the time for people to send a test session, we can try it, you know, and see if it works. But yeah, more often than not, it's it's like, don't send me a session. Just send me the, yeah. The wave files. And yeah, 

Benedikt: [01:20:45] that's one thing people see a lot when they follow these big alias mixers and they watch their tutorials where they always talk about like, they open the client session and they have to have all the same plugins because the plugins are in the session that, and the, um, have all these things the producer did.

And some of them they [01:21:00] keep and some of them they replace and it seems like that is the way to work, but that's again, only because these people work with others. Really great producers. And like, there, maybe that's the way they do it, but it's not applicable to most scenarios. Like it's not going to happen most of the time.

And 

Jacob: [01:21:16] you're totally right. And, and this is a, for me, most of the time, it's, it's a red flag. If people are like, oh, I'm just gonna send you the, the session because it's got a lot of cool plugins. So you can just start there and I'm like, It's just nightmare. Oh God. No, I can't. I, well, you know, I need, you know, my way of doing it and they're actually, you know, you're not paying me to work on in your assistant.

It's not, it's not making any sense. So, so for sure, I mean, if there's something in there that they like, they can, they can always just print it. You know, the, the truck just processed it and with their little plug-in on it and say, this [01:22:00] is what I got. Maybe you can use it. Maybe you can. Well, we'll see. Yeah.

But yeah, so of course it's, it's, it's just the basic rule off. Please read what, you know, what it actually says in the information PDF that I sent or the, the mix of sense to you. And even though it can be long, sometimes it's such an important thing. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [01:22:25] Yeah. All right. Cool. Um, I want one, one thing I want to say before we wrap this up is that I don't want this episode to come across as like totally naked.

We're complaining all the time about people, about bands. No, I think it doesn't, but I just want to say that we, we don't, we really love working with like bands will record themselves. Of course. And it's only, we're saying these things because we're so passionate about making it the best it can be and turning it into the best it can be.

And that's why we want to save you from, um, like if you, from making these mistakes and we were explaining all these pitfalls to you, so don't take it as like negativity or complaining from our end. It's [01:23:00] just, we can do such a better, such a better job, um, and we can serve you and your songs better if you follow these, these things that, that Jacob and and us have to try to describe in this episode, 

Jacob: [01:23:11] Exactly.

I mean, we choose, or at least I can speak for myself. I just want to help it's it can come across a little when I'm like, why would you even, you know, uh, but it, but it's, it's excellent. It is because I, I, I so want to get into the mixing part where I am creative. I don't want to fumble about with all kinds of, you know, Antune things.

And of course this happens, like we've talked about it, but, but it's just because yeah, I'm, I'm so ready to work on this and make this the best it can be. And if the obstacles are just, you know, if they're just heaps of them, because they didn't, you know, read a PDF that I sent. [01:24:00] Just, ah, that's just too bad.

So yeah, no, no, it's not that we're just bashing everyone doing, you know, DIY recordings, not at all. I mean, it's, it's also maybe it's well, let, let's say every time I get a DIY session, there's maybe just one or two problems. It's not like it's 50, very rarely. It's like, nothing can be used. I mean, you, you probably also know that.

So it's maybe this one little thing and sometimes it's even like, you can just send a mail to them and go like, is it easy for you to change this little thing? And they'll sometimes feed force your yeah. Then do it because it's. Everything's so much better. And yeah, so it's actually, I mean, w w we are here to help, we're not here to, to bash people and make them sell their laptops on their interface.

[01:25:00] Benedikt: [01:25:04] like, yeah, that makes sense. Right. Well, thank you again for taking the time, Jacob. This was a really insightful, helpful episode. I think. Malcolm, do you want to add anything? 

Malcom: [01:25:17] Yeah. Thank you for taking the time. Uh, I have no idea how late it is over there on I'm only 

Jacob: [01:25:23] five. Okay. It's fine. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

What time is it? 

Malcom: [01:25:28] It is now 8:35 AM. Over in Canada here. 

Jacob: [01:25:32] Yeah,

yeah, 

Malcom: [01:25:36] yeah, yeah. Um, yeah. Thank you so much for taking the time coming on. Um, yeah. Big fan of your work, of course, as well. So I think our listeners are going to get a lot 

Benedikt: [01:25:45] out of this. Yeah. And by the way, you did a cool interview with Malcolm in his other podcast. You're Ben Sachs at business. So people, uh, you want to check that out as well because I've listened to it and it's awesome.

It's so much valuable information in there for most of you. I think it's [01:26:00] um, so yeah, go, go, go, go over to your band. sucks@business.com and look for the episode with Jacob. Um, you're going to enjoy it 

Malcom: [01:26:07] a lot. Yeah. W we talked a lot about the relationship between a producer and the band and the band relationships and, you know, just keeping people happy and that creative process.

So if that sounds good to you, go check that out. 

Benedikt: [01:26:21] Cool. All right. Thank you, Jacob. It's been a blast and where can, where should we send people to, if they want to check out your work, where can people find you the 

Jacob: [01:26:30] easiest? Wait, I have a fine homepage, uh, which is www Jacob hansen.com. And, um, I have an Instagram account as well, which is just Hansen on a score, Jacob, all in small letters.

Um, and that's probably the best way. And yeah, so hit me up if there's, if you have any questions or if you want to work with me, I'm here waiting, 

[01:27:00] Benedikt: [01:27:00] do that. People. I'm going to put that in the 

show notes. If you go to the surf recording band.com/ 74, this will be the show notes for this episode. There you'll find all these links and yeah.

Check out Jacob's works, work. It's phenomenal. And if you're into metal, you'll probably know a lot of what he's done in that. Yeah. Go check it out. Hit him up. You're not gonna read. Hopefully not, no, not at all. All right. Thank you, Jacob. So 

Jacob: [01:27:25] welcome. Yeah, you too. Bye.


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