Episode #1 - Resurrection of the show | Interview With Brad Smalling

This is Episode 1 of The Metal Shop Podcast!

For those who are confused, The Metal Shop is back in action and we've reset the show at Episode 1. The Metal Shop enjoyed a light run from 2007-2010 before going into podfade after 25 episodes. Looking back at the show, there were things in hindsight that could've been done much better. So the decision was made to bring the show back, and start over at Episode 1 so there would be a clean slate.

Brad Smalling Interview:

In episode 1, we air part one of a two part interview taped two years ago with Brad Smalling of Evergroove Studio in Evergreen Colorado. Evergroove Studio is a solar powered recording facility in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, located about 30 minutes from Denver. Brandon went to Evergroove Studio to tape the episode in person.

Brandon and Brad discuss the studio's solar abilities, and the two talk about how Brad recorded "Stay The Course", the latest EP from The Threatened. Brad is the bassist of the Denver based metal band.

Project DIVIDE:

Brandon is now involved in a heavy metal videosong project called Project DIVIDE.

Project RNL:

When the conversation turns to Videosongs, Neil mentions Project RnL, one of his favorite videosong projects.

Notes And Credits:

As Neil and Brandon taped their banter, a thunderstorm rolled over Skyline Sound Studios that Brandon was unaware of. Since he was monitoring Skype, and not his mic feed, he didn't hear the static that the storm was causing in the signal. He apologizes for any static that was unable to be edited out.

This episode was mixed and edited at Skyline Sound Studios, which is owned by Brandon S. Hire and located in Central Ohio.

The interview with Brad Smalling was recorded on location in 2010 at Evergroove Studio in Evergreen Colorado.

The bumper music played to start and end the interview with Brad Smalling is The Slience, by The Threatened.



Brandon again.

So evidently The Metal Shop is too popular for Podomatic.com eh?

Fuck you, YET AGAIN, Podomatic. This show has been screwed by you twice now, and it WON'T happen again.

In truth, this show was screwed both by podomatic, and by me being a cheap skate and trying not to have to pay for podcast hosting (it's not like I'm getting paid to do this show after all......but you're more than welcome to donate to help pay for hosting by going to themetalshop.info [*wink*]). Hey, after all this downtime, a lot of my listeners aren't following the show anymore. During that downtime, the show's OLD syndicator, gcast.com (who incidentally was COMPLETELY free with no restrictions), closed it's doors. So as a temporary fix, the show was moved BACK to podomatic.com. How was I supposed to know that two episodes into the show's return we'd be shut down by podomatic?......AGAIN?! Guess that's what happens when you bring a mondo-celebrity on your show like Dave Chick........and then murder him! lol!

Fuck em. I'll be moving to libsyn soon.

Death Magnetic - The Moderus Remixes:

Brandon here.

We've all heard the complaints about the poor mastering job done on Death Magnetic. "DM" is one of the only albums I won't listen to anywhere but in my Bonneville, cause that's the one place that the extreme brick wall limiting doesn't annoy the holy PISS right out of me. Well, one fan did something about it.

When Guitar Hero released their Metallica version of the game, stem mixes of the songs individual components were made in order to make the mixes for the game. I don't know if these stems were made available to the public, or if they were leaked, or hacked, or whatever. But a guy who goes by the username of "Moderus" got ahold of the stems for the entire Death Magnetic album, decided to make a new mix for each song that would be without the brick wall limiting, and released them to the interwebs as .flac files.

I just got my hands on them.

I'll save my thoughts on this for an episode of the show, as the poor mastering job done on "DM" is something I hoped to address on the show anyway. This will give me a great chance to discuss that, show how clean the album COULD have sounded, and talk about what I do and don't like about Moderus's mixes.

Stay tuned.


Updates........and a concert review?

It's Brandon here, how you been? Been a while! How bout I buy you a drink! lol.

First of all, a few quick updates. There are reports that Dave Chick survived his assasination attempt whilst leaving The Metal Shop Bunker after taping episode #25. We will address those reports when we have all the facts sorted out, as we don't want to comment on an ongoing investigation. lol!

Don Howatt from The Apostle Fractal has sent a segment about midi, we're unsure where that episode will fall in the scheme of things but I have it in que. I've also produced a segment that is waiting in the wings, Neil is tossing around ideas for one at the moment, I've got a mic review segment in production for the Rode NT-4, and we've got another rant episode (like #24) planned. So things are rolling again at The Metal Shop, and we truly appreciate all of you sticking with us through all the unneccessary down time. You rock.


So I got the chance to see "Them Crooked Vultures" last night, which was cool because it was my first ever concert where I got to view it from the VIP section (Thanks Rob!!!!!). I'll try not to bitch too much about my complaints with The Fillmore's VIP section, because since the other option was general admission, at least I got to get close to the stage without facing the pitfalls of standing in the middle of a crowd that large (Hey, I'm not 15 anymore ok! lol!). Besides, the tickets were a gift, so I have no right to bitch at all since I wouldn't have even been GOING if I hadn't recieved them.

Anyway, aside from the complaints I have about the VIP section at the Fillmore in Denver, the show was pretty good considering that I had never even HEARD of "Them Crooked Vultures" until about two weeks ago when I was offered the tickets. Once I learned who was in the band (I'm a HUGE Grohl fan), I couldn't pass it up! And that leads to the most dissapointing part of the entire evening for me. The VIP section at the Fillmore is off to the far left of the stage, right beside a huge stack of speakers, and you are viewing it from such an angle that you can only see who's in the front center and far right of the stage. Dave Grohl being in the back center, I couldn't see him the entire show! Occasionally, I'd see a cymbal moving, but that's about it! lol! I was really dissapointed, but at the same time.........the tickets were free!

Seeing John Paul Jones whip out every instrument imaginable was really fucking cool. I've NEVER heard a mandoline kick so much ass in a rock song! lol! Josh Homme was a cool presence, kind of like a stoner Elvis. And then there's the fourth member of the band, the guy they hired for the touring, a guy who I thought I recognized the entire time I was looking at him, until it finally dawned on me who it was. None other than Alain Johannes, former vocalist for Eleven! I've loved their song "Crash Today" ever since the early 90's, so seeing him in "Vultures" led to a very mild geek out.

Check out "Crash Today" from "Eleven"

Ok, so here's the skinny. The band was TIGHT! The band sounded HUGE and AMAZING. The band had a hell of an energy that I could only have hoped to reproduce live in my wildest dreams. If I had been able to see Grohl, it would've been one of the best shows I've been too (Powerman 5000 currently tops that list). But it did have it's drawbacks, and they weren't related to the band. THE SOUND AT THE FILLMORE SUCKED! It could've been the fact that I was already pissed at the bad placement of the VIP section at The Fillmore, or it could be that the stack of speakers was litterally 10 feet from me blasting many thousands of decibles as my ears. I'm not sure which, but I tell you that I noticed things (thanks to the fact that my ears are more in tune with things than they once were) that I don't think I'd have noticed a decade ago when I went to concerts more regularly. The speakers kept breaking up and distorting, and obviously not in a good way. There's the good analog saturation type of distorting, and then there's the squealchy digital clipping type of distortion. This was the latter. Some of the guitar effects used included pitch shifting going up an octave, and this did not help the clipping situation, but rather it made it 10 times worse! I have to wonder if I was sitting in the center of the venue behind the mixing console if I would've heard it as plainly as I did when standing right beside a 20 foot tall hanging enclosure of speakers, but the fact is that I heard it, and because I'm an audio engineer by trade, it partially ruined my enjoyment of the show.

From my vantage point of 10 feet from the PA speakers, the mix got really muddy at times and the band just sounded like noise played to a drum beat with a vocal harmony over it. I couldn't make out what was being played at times, and THAT added to my frustration. Another problem I had was that the vocal could've been much clearer in the mix, as it was hard to understand what he was singing. Again, I think my perspective of it all was skewed due to my placement by the speakers, but I got what I got.

On the other hand, there were some really sweet sound system moments involving the low end. I could swear that Grohl had some sort of super-deep bass trigger hooked up somewhere on his kit (but can't verify that BECAUSE I COULDN'T SEE HIM .....calming down.....), because during this one really driving rhythmic mid-tempo song there would be this inaudible low end sub-bass rumble that would just shake the floor. I've never felt anything like that at a concert, it was sooooooo fucking deep! INSTANT GRIN! It added so much dimension to the song they were playing, which I can't identify because I'm really not familiar with their songs yet (though I will be getting the album as soon as I can, they were really fucking good last night).

The show as a whole was just a straight up rock show. No fancy effects, no tricks, just plug in and rock out for the good people of Denver. It was refreshing, and especially for a band of this superstar stature, I hope to see this more often. Sure, putting on a "show" with special effects and stunts can be cool (guy on fire in Cunning Stunts), but sometimes you just need to let the music do the talking and that's exactly what these guys did.

Before the show, I was looking into the band, and I noticed that they have their own Youtube Channel. There's a vid on there of Grohl called "Fresh Pots". Evidently this guy is more of a coffee nut than I am. I wonder if he drinks Dave Mustaine's own blend of coffee? lol!

THAT ONE is gong in the youtube channel! Dude, seeing his drumming in this vid just makes me even MORE pissed that I couldnt' fucking see him at the show. Grohl is one of my own personal rock icons (Nirvana, Foo, Probot, love them all), so this was a big deal show for me just because Grohl was there. What a let down!

I might comment on this during the show, we'll see. I'm not sure when Neil and I can get together again, I have to check with him. But we'll try to bang out another episode for you soon. Thanks again for sticking with us. We'll see you on the RSS!


And the Storm King mixes are rolling in!

Ok, so I've recieved a few mixes, and they are all very good. Scot Gallop's is very tight fisted modern metal, my own is a bit bass heavy, Neil went Old School, but the most interesting one I received so far is an industrial take on the song! All of these mixes are below in the flash player for you to listen to, and I've included the band's mix (done by Dave Piatek) for reference.

Still waiting for your mix. Email it to me at metalshoppodcast@yahoo.com. Keep it metal!

Episode #24 update.

Well, as you've seen below in this very same blog, I've already recieved one remix of Storm King's "The Death Equation". Thanks to Scot Gallop of Bloomington, Indiana for the remix.

I'm working on my own remix at the moment, and the focus of episode #24 will be about that remix. The plan is to have me and Neil each do a segment about what we did to mix the song. After that, we'll be moving on to other topics for future episodes, while playing your remixes as they come in.

Here's the snag. Hopefully it won't take long for me to get episode #24 ready. Unfortunately I have had an unexpected event come up and will have to move, therefore my time will be focused on that until October. I'll work on my Storm King mix and on episode #24 when I find time, but finding a new place to live in under 30 days and getting moved in in that time will be rough and will obviously have to take priority over the show. So bear with me, and I'll have a new episode out when I can.

As for ideas for future episodes:

I'll be doing a review of Rhythm Rascal, as well as a review of some free drum sequencers you can use in Reaper and other programs that support Virtual Instruments. I've asked Brian Stephens if he'd mind recording some single hit drum samples and sending them our way, and he said he was excited about the idea. Those single hit samples would be great for drum replacement, or for use in Rhythm Rascal. Hopefully, when he gets those ready (not rushing him, he's a busy guy), he'll be able to come on the show to talk about how he recorded the samples. I've asked Neil to put together a segment reviewing Addictive Drums. So lots of drum sequencing, midi, and replacement stuff to talk about soon.

In a recent episode of Sessions With Slau, Slau talked about the multi-track files from Stevie Wonder's "Superstition". I've been talking with Slau and he may be coming on The Metal Shop at some point to talk with Neil and I in sort of a round table setting about another set of multi-track files that I've located. The song we'll be discussing could very well be "Verse Chorus Verse" from Nirvana, which I recently found the mastered multi-track files for.

I've been in touch with Bob at Acoustic Music Revival in Denver, and he's agreed to come on the show to talk about the differences in acoustic guitars and the tones they produce. Should help you pick the right acoustic for what you wanna do in the studio.

The Apostle Fractal's Don Howatt is working on a segment about how he's reworked midi drum data to create bass lines. I'm quite interested in that one myself, since I don't own a bass.

Since I've become a fan of Sessions With Slau, I may be using his show's format for a few segments I want to do about some recent recording sessions I've been involved in (as I've told Slau about already. After all, imitation is flattery). At christmas last year, I got a Sansa Fuze 8GB mp3 player (thank you Sarah), and it has a built in voice recorder that actually doesn't sound bad. I've been taking it to recording sessions and hitting record while all the tracking and candid banter is going on. It's not the greatest, and it can't handle very high SPL's, but for capturing the talking that goes on at a session this is a pretty cool device. So I may be doing a segment about some ways you can apply this little voice recorder, and I hope to do a segment about recent sessions and play bits and pieces from the sessions that I captured using the Sansa Fuze.

Neil mentioned in episode #23 that he had a friend who was doing some recording, and he was going to try to interview that friend about the recording process when it's finished. That should be an interesting listen as well.

So stay tuned. Lots of cool stuff coming from The Metal Shop. Keep it Metal!

Props to The Home Made Hit Show.

Just a quick thank you to Dave Criddle from the Home Made Hit Show for mentioning The Metal Shop at the end of episode #169.

Check out the Home Made Hit Show at http://www.homemadehitshow.com

A cool new tool that I will likely incorporate into the show.

Screenr. It's a new thing that is incorporated into Twitter. It allows you to make screen shots of whatever you're doing and publish them. This below is my first Screenr vid, and it's just a short shot of Rhythm Rascal. It really highlights my need for a RAM upgrade (running 512 mb! GRR!), but that's not the point. Enjoy.


The Metal Shop #23 is finished!

I'm working on getting everything up on the server so I can get it out to you all, but you'll be pleased to hear that Episode #23 of The Metal Shop is now finished!

Also, if you're on Facebook, be sure to become a fan of The Metal Shop!

Stay tuned!


Episode 23 progress.

I just wrapped up a double-ender with Neil McDougall for episode 23. This episode will be a MASSIVE episode if all goes according to plan. It's been 14 months since I've been active on the show, and it feels good to be back in action finally.

The things we discuss on this episode include the reasons why I'll no longer be including Trivia in the show. Quite frankly, if you've listened to the show for a while you know that it never really got that many responses anyway. It was a cool idea (that I "borrowed" from The Project Studio Network), but it never latched on with you folks, so it'll be gone from here on out. And those of you who read the blog here will know that ahead of time.

Of course, episode 23 will be focused around the interview with Dave Piatek, who recorded Storm King's latest release, during which we talk about the recording process for the album as well as some of Dave's personal recording techniques and methods. Scott Massie, who you heard on episode 17, gave Dave permission to donate the multi-track files to the Storm King song "The Death Equation". I have recieved the files, and so has Neil, and you'll hear us discuss our thoughts briefly on the files that we recieved. We'll both work on our own mixes, and they should be on the episodes that follow #23. But when #23 is released, you'll all be able to get copies of the files by downloading them from themetalshop.info, where I'll post them in mp3 and wav formats in zipped folders. Download them, have fun with them, practice your mixing chops with them, and send us the results. We'll play them on future episodes.

I won't ruin the rest of the show for you, but I will tell you that quite a few of you over the past years have told me you LOVE long podcasts, and for those of you who fall in that category, this come-back show will NOT disappoint you. Thanks for sticking with me and Neil during our unintended downtime. Episode 23 will be up as soon as I can get it to you.

- Brandon.