Category Archives: Music

Metal DJ-Night at the Marquee

This Saturday from 7pm, Dark Metal Mass DJs will be rocking the floor at the Marquee. Expect the same melodic death/black/gothic metal you’re used to and then some!

Dark Metal Mass III

Dark Metal Mass

The next Dark Metal Mass will take place on Friday 15th December, and will be in the Marquee – mark it in your calendars!

Music Festivals 2007

Everyone knows about the overcrowded and vastly overpriced Download Festival, so I thought I’d point out some of the more obscure festivals taking place around Europe next year, including the ones I’m set to attend. This list is bound to grow as time goes on, so check back occasionally.

1. Wave Gotik Treffen

Location: Leibzig, Germany. Date: 25 – 28/05/2007

Not terribly obscure, this gigantic city-spanning event is nevertheless often overlooked. A lot of the time it’s because their line-up is announced relatively late, or because of the hundreds of bands playing, the few one recognises makes it seem like they’re won’t be enough bands one likes. Wrong! Anyone who’s into goth, industrial, cyber, or (because this is Germany after all) gothic metal and heavier stuff will be catered for. The various stages are divided by genre so if you find one that lists a couple of bands that you know and like you’re pretty much guaranteed to like the other ones playing there. Never a better way to get introduced to bands. Add German beer, the medieval and viking markets and the general atmosphere of the whole thing, and this a winner.

In my opinion the best way to enjoy this festival is from the wonderfully centrally placed Holiday Inn, but that sells out quickly. I would advise anyone interested to book accomodation straight away, even if festival tickets aren’t on sale yet.

Attending: Yes.

2. ProgPower Festival UK

Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Date: 31/03/2007

Don’t let the name put you off. Headliners this year are Jon Oliva’s Pain – that’s Jon Oliva of (currently on hiatus) Savatage mastermind fame. Some of you may recall Savatage’s song Believe as the first song Karen and I danced to on our wedding.

Also on the bill: Kamelot, Scar Symmetry, Communic, Leaves’ Eyes, and many more. The whole thing is held at the Centaur indoor arena.

Attending: Yes.

3. Metal Camp 2007

Location: Tolmin, Slovenia. Date: TBC.

We went to this one last year and it was fantastic. Great weather, awesome location in a picturesque valley in western Slovenia, and great line-up made this festival a sure winner, and – if we’d opted for camping – cheaper than Download, flights included!

Not sure if we can make it this year, especially with WGT, but perhaps this is one for alternate years. I’ve got pictures from Metal Camp 2006 for those wanting an idea of what it was like.

Attending: To be decided.

My Music Studio Setup

I’ve been dabbling with music recording, mixing and production for a couple of years now, and my experience as well as collection (both hardware and software) keeps growing. It’s enormous fun and I think there’s never been a better time to get into it: amazing new music software applications are coming out all of the time and bringing recording into the relam of the hobby budget. Here’s where I’m at.

Workstation

This is my workstation, which neatly shows off my newest addition: a pair of Tannoy Reveal 5As. I spent quite a while in Sound Control the other day listen to Bruce Dickinson’s Tyranny of Souls through a variety of near-field monitors at low to high volumes, and these babies made the cut.

Phonic MU1002

The Phonic MU1002 mixing desk. I’ve had this one for a while now, and while it does its job, it will be replaced by something a bit more powerful, like the Alesis MultiMix8, in the near future.

Shure PG58

I got the Shure PG58 mike at the same time as the mixing desk above, now over a year and a half ago. It’s a great and versatile dynamic mike, a little bit cheaper than renowned all-rounder 57.

Yamaha PSR620

This Yamaha PSR620 was my father’s keyboard before he shipped it up to me from Luxembourg. It comes with a large array of synth sounds, although I use it mostly as MIDI keyboard for my VSTis. A MIDI keyboard is simply essential to recording, regardless of genre.

Amplifiers

And here’s a snapshots of my amps. The main biggie – the Crate VTX212 – is a decidedly loud beast, and a birthday present from my wife Karen. The Fender practice amp on the right has fantastic sound for a thing of its size, and the one in the background is a bass amp. Various guitars, eletrical, acoustic and ukuleles, and sundry instruments are dotted around the room too.

My main DAW (digital audio workstation) is the great Samplitude 8, which I recently got free with Computer Music magazine. A collection of free softsynths, other VSTis, and plugins round off the setup, along with the sublime ezDrummer, which is easily worth its pricetag.

Current Wishlist:

That’s it for now. You can check out some recent stuff at amaranthlive.co.uk or this here MySpace, though more is in the works!

Budapest Stag Do

My photos: