blockstudio

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Mastering

This awesome video teasers a future album release by Apollo Static called “Flowers of Despair” (so this will be the title track then) via his label Ketzerpop from Leipzig / Germany. You can preorder the album via the artist’s homepage. We mastered the video edit version using plug-ins from independent developers like Klanghelm, TDR, Fielding DSP and Sknote. There is really no reason to go for dongle-secured big package software which used to dominate the professional market for so long. We even consider to leave Cubase behind and go Reaper because it’s so streamlined and fast.

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Leaving the north from time to time Stralsund-based singer-songwriter Georg Laass was visiting our studio for some days during the last four years. Whenever he showed up we recorded a new song or another version of older attempts. By late 2014 we had assembled four tracks for today’s release “Songs from an open field” (EP) which is now available via Bandcamp as usual. The willing listener will find a rock band sound as well as accoustic folk on this EP and it might be a hint of things yet to come (another more band like approach for instance). The artwork was created by Georg himself with a little support from his brother Johannes who also mixed and mastered these songs.

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Maybe our earliest approach on serious music production whatsoever – my colaboration with beat mate Oliver Wicke and lovely voice Viola Manigk. The fundamental elements (samples, guitars and synths) came together already 10 years ago and were complemented time after time by additional recordings namely drums, strings and keys. And of course – the voice – being the point where it all started to make sense. Also Oliver created fine video clips for some of the songs (see track information). Because we never knew how to take up the thread again we decided to just put it on Bandcamp in the realm of the blockstudio. So here you have it, please enjoy!

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This month we finalized the second album called “Wires of Woe, Ways of Waste” by The Cold View. Particulary the mixing job was a fine thing to do because it allowed the engineer so much creative freedom. Though the artist is officially a metal guy he does not make any amends to mainstream sound (I’m repeatung my self I fear). No harsh high mids and clicky kickdrums, so much subs and warm saturation. The album will be released this summer (why not winter) by Doom-label Endless Winter (to form the evil alliance of cold).

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Ghost Guitar

Although the picture above does not suggest this I will talk about my digital setup today. Because I recently purchased some of my favourites I also streamlined my plug-in folder quite a bit. And these remained in the mix: If equalisation is necessary I put up the DMG Audio EQuilibrium – one of the most versatile EQs to date. Don’t let the complex settings fool you, just choose a preset to start with and go on from there, you can easily strip down the feature-heavy UI into a straight forward display. While mastering I use a linear phase FIR mode with M/S ability. On solo tracks I choose a more light weight design, often cutting with precise “digital” curves and boosting with broader “analogue” filter models. Marvelous sound really.

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As the studio is ready to mix again we updated our SoundCloud playlist and references. We’d like to mention particularly the guys above (to be watched in an older live video), a music project called “Aktion X”. Coming all the way from Leipzig they visited our studio to record vocals and some additional takes. The instrumental mixes were already done elsewhere so Christian just had to fit in the new stuff. The results you can listen to when you get to the Cloud and via the player on this website’s right side.

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First official release, second to none

We’re happy to announce our first album available via blockstudio’s Bandcamp domain. Titled “LFO” (because in the end it all comes down to low frequency oscillations) it contains Christian’s musical efforts during the last 10 years (or so). Some tracks are stretching back to the days of Deutsch-SüdOst, reflecting a more dark and industrial form of electronic wave. Others bring you ambient sound scapes evolving into psychedelic jams, and you will have those heavy beats contrasted by weird atmospheres and accoustic voices. “LFO” sums up CNHN’s strongest musical expressions until today and could be understood as the beginning of a new era where the best is yet to come.

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The Cold View & Searching for colleagues to join forces (meaning: to rent a room)

Digital Funeral Drone Doom project The Cold View asked for mixing and mastering from the block, so we did that in analog manner, cranking it all up. And maybe one day you will hear what it sounds like, meanwhile TCV is searching for a label … Please help’em out. As we help out others: New stuff to record, mix and master is on the way, different parties involved, and even some old friends will drop by again?

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New tracks uploaded, Demo-CD released

First things first: June/July will be a busy time for us, so if you’d like us to record/produce/mix your stuff any time soon, you better hurry. Second (but winner of all hearts): Back in February, when the winter revealed his true face yet again, the brave Squiggles recorded 10 tracks in two days. It was all live in one room, all amps turned to the wall, drums surrounded by some dash panels – still loud as hell. Surprisingly the seperation of all these instruments went really well, so no problems during mix sessions later. We tried analog mixing with the band listening to it right away, that partially worked out but sometimes it did not. So we ended up mixing stems in the box, then summing those on the X-Desk with some dbx, Toft and Prime compression to it.

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Tracks uploaded, mastering for ortloff, mixing BIL002, Making-Of Probezeit

More than once we promised to show some work we’ve done in the studio and here it is (on the right side of our site or directly at SoundCloud). Among the chosen tracks you’ll find the Probezeit demo songs, and some electronic moody wave industrial ambient made by Christian himself (highly recommended as a soundtrack for video and video games). You’ll also have some sessions where we recorded the musicians alltogether, mixed just a little, and put it together for private listening.

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