THE HAUNTED’s OLA ENGLUND: ‘Simplicity Is Still The Key To Recording Metal Guitar – Many People Seem To Think You Can Use Loads Of Post-prod EQ’

Ola Englund

The Haunted‘s guitarist Ola Englund talked to Total Guitar about the process of recording guitars. Take a look:

“Simplicity is still the key to recording metal guitar – many people seem to think you can use loads of post-prod EQ and it’s as easy as putting a mic up.

“But the tone that shines through will come from the fingers and amplifier, so it makes sense to get the best source sound. If you are a metal player, pick hard on those strings. It really does sound a lot, lot better.

“When I did more re-amping back in the day, people would send over softly picked DI files and I quickly learned no amp can save that. It starts with your fingers and the tip of your pick. It’s about how you behave on those strings, so put some effort into it.

“Heavy metal is not dynamic jazz! Riffs always sound better hard and heavy. I’ll usually put a high-pass and a low-pass filter on the guitars. The guitars in my production tend not to have too much low-end, I bring in the bass guitar to rumble underneath and make an awesome recording even more awesome.”

“All those noises and mistakes are tiny quirks that are important to capture. Modern metal can be so polished, guitars can quickly sound like synthesizers or something programmed. People chop guitar signals and make them perfect… which removes a lot of excitement.

“The guitar is a weird instrument; it makes weird sounds so I think it’s better to keep those unique quirks. People didn’t sit and edit their guitars to perfection in the ’90s; they would be riffing out really hard on the strings playing a full song at a time.

“You can hear there’s a live feel you should never go back and edit out. Go for one take and keep that live emotion, it will shine through even a clean production. Let some of the mistakes stay because they make it more personal… music is supposed to be a wreck, in a sense. I can hear it when bands have surgically edited their songs.”