We recently had a chat with Chris Themelco of Monolith studios to talk about how he got in to recording, his favourite gear and new business ventures.
What sparked your interest to record bands?
Originally I was doing it to save some money for my own bands actually. Mostly just tracking some demos etc. When Orpheus Omega did our first album I did all the guitar/ bass/ vocal at mine and then from there my interest in recording grew quite exponentially. I got to do a few cool releases on the cheap for some friend’s bands and then I just fell in love with the process.
Can you name some bands/projects that you’ve recorded at Monolith Studios that you’re really proud of?
There are actually so many awesome projects I’ve gotten to be a part of that I tend to forget and they all gel together. But a few would have to be working with Harlott, In Malice’s Wake, Stormtide, Primitive, Naberus, Cryptic Abyss, Skarlet to name very few.
What do bands/artists need to do before coming in to the studio?
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. No really, that’s kind of it. I mean, make sure your instruments are well maintained and ready for a studio environment, but otherwise it’s all about making sure you come in prepared for any situation. And have an open mind. Usually some of the best additions to any project I’ve worked out have come up as a suggestion in the studio well after the pre-production process.
What is your favorite piece of gear you use in the studio?
That’s a tough one… I mean, my SSL bus compressor clone basically gets used on EVERY mix I ever do, and then on the tracking side my Empirical Labs Distressor is incredible on everything you run through it.
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Any tips for people wanting to get in to recording?
Don’t do it? Haha. It’s time consuming and if you REALLY want to get somewhere with it, the first while is going to be insanely intense and feel like there’s no real reward. But that’s how you learn. Lots of hard work and ambition I think. Try to listen to ALL kinds of music and think about WHY those records sound amazing. Go listen to a lot of Pop recordings too. Even if you’re a ‘heavy’ guy, trust me, you’ll learn a lot.
Lastly, we’ve noticed that you offer Kemper profile packs as well, can you tell us more about them and what made you wanting to do that?
I’ve fallen in love with my Kemper since I got it, and somewhat arrogantly so, I think my profiles tend to be a lot better than some of the stuff I hear that’s either stock or I suppose of some reputable nature. I know what I want to hear in the studio and from a P.A so I tend to aim my profile packs as all covering genre based sets that effectively allow anyone who buys them to record their own album with a tone that I would personally be happy to mix with