Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists

Known as the more loud and aggressive sibling of Rock Music, Metal music has defined its own unique style since its development in the late ’60s, birthing some of the world’s most popular musicians. We sat down with some exciting up and coming bands to discuss gear, live performances, and advice for bands wanting to follow in their footsteps.

By Aron PeakContributing Author

Article photo - Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists


This article is part of Musicngear's "Getting into" series: Getting into Dub & ReggaeGetting into Psytrance, Getting into Neo Soul/FunkGetting into House MusicGetting into DubstepGetting into SynthwaveGetting into Alternative/Indie Electronic, and Getting into Synth-Pop with gear, techniques and practical advice from established artists.

Nassau

Nassau are a five piece progressive, technical, melodic, death (amongst others) metal act playing their own cosmic/dimensional horror-inspired material.  Comprised of long time musicians who have been in and around the music scene for up to and around 20 years Nassau strives to make whatever they want into metal. From ska to blues and jazz waltz, as well as the usual assortment of metal genres, they pride themselves in being a bastion of freedom for metal. All 5 members sat down with us to go through their gear and advice.

Article photo - Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists

Musicngear: What gear do you use and recommend?

Clark: My cymbal setup has been curated with the idea of getting a variety of different sounds and effects from each one I use - Big cymbals, big sound. Sabian AAX Omni Ride, 18" and 22" models - with a thicker inner cymbal and a lighter outer cymbal, these bad boys are fantastic for going between crashing and intricate ride work. I mostly use them as crashes on my left side. Paiste 20' Giant Beat Crash - I use this as my main crash, and the tone is just phenomenal; it blends really well with my other cymbals without being too overpowering, and the size makes it excellent for - you guessed it - also using it as another ride. For such a large cymbal it has a fair bit of flex, which allows me to really lay into it.

Meinl 21' Byzance Transition Ride - this is my main ride, and it's designed to have a very short decay time when it's crashed. Similar to the Omni Rides, it makes it perfect for going between smacking the life out of it to clearly defined bow and bell work. Wuhan 18" China - a fairly recent addition to my setup, it's everything I want out of a China: devastatingly loud, thin and trashy. I can't see myself going back to the Stagg 16" China I used to use any time soon.

White Horse 14" Hihats - these hi-hats are about 8 years old and have surprisingly lasted the test of time; from the first cymbal pack I ever bought. I'll eventually get round to replacing them.

Stagg 16" China/no brand cymbal Stack - when I broke my first Stagg 16" I threw it onto a stack with a no-brand cymbal that came with my first ever kit, cut down to roughly 10 inches. It's a budget solution for a stack, but I love the sound.

Other Equipment: Tama HP910LWN Speedcobra Double pedal - I picked this up used and was incredibly impressed with it. Longboard pedals, extremely well crafted and a spring at the bottom to help recover some of the power on the kick, it's a fantastic pedal for double kick work; they're so good that a friend of mine tried them and immediately sold his DW pedal to buy one.

Mapex drums and stands - Mapex is an extremely consistent quality company, and I love using their drums. At the moment I'm rocking a 13" piccolo steel snare, which is pretty punchy but I'd love to upgrade to some of the more recent snares that Mapex has brought out; the steel shell creates a lot of overtones that I haven't managed to effectively dampen.

Millenium Still Series Cymbal Set - I recently picked these low-volume cymbals up for practicing and it's revolutionizing how I practice at home. With the response of a regular cymbal but quiet enough that your neighbors won't (totally) hate you, these trounce all but the most high-end electronic kits.

Remo Silentstroke Heads - In conjunction with the Millenium Still Series Cymbal Set, these mesh heads are specifically designed to work on real drum shells. The tone of each drum is preserved well, and the max volume is much less than any other mesh heads I've used.

I would heartily recommend any of the above brands and models, with maybe the exception of my current snare. Special mentions go to the Transition Ride, Speed Cobra Pedal, and Sabian Omni Rides.

The most important thing I've learned doing live sets is to roll with the punches - things can and will go wrong

Ben: Recording at home I use Ubuntu Studio with Reaper for Nassau stuff and some other bits, and a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 3rd Gen interface (that I'm borrowing and is FAR more ins and outs than I will ever need).

For budget options, I would recommend the gear I use. If I had unlimited money I'd probably play Dingwall basses with Darkglass FX and Markbass amps.

Sin: So let me tell you a little story about my old friend.

I have been using the same microphone now for almost 20 years and know that when I say this, I mean I have not had to buy once since. The model in question is the Sennheiser e840 dynamic microphone and it is listed as durable which I can vouch it most certainly is.  I have no idea how many live performances it has been through and could not tell you how many times it has been dropped (or forgotten on a bartop) and yet it still marches onward like a trooper. I even use the same pouch it arrived in though I have no idea how I have not lost it.

I use the solid model and not the version with a power switch, (e840 S) and after the abuse, it has suffered I am glad of my choice as I am not sure it would have had the same level of durability.

It comes with an internal shock-mount capsule to help with being a tank, hum-compensating coil to reduce EM interference and is excellent at suppressing other on stage noises.   It is also one of the best mics I have used for reducing feedback so you can crank it that little bit further.  On top of all this, the sound is excellent and it can handle a lot of noise and with its slender shape it sits nicely in the hand.

All in all this mic can make a terrible PA sound not too shabby and can make a good PA sing…and let's be fair, we all run into our fair share of terrible PA’s both on the road and in last minute jam sessions when our main spot is booked up.

From harsh high and low screams to clear singing vocals this beast of a mic has got your back.  It’s easy to take for granted and makes that very known when you find yourself using another mic for some sordid reason.

Make your vocal life easier and grab one of these, it will last and it will put in the work so you can focus on yours.  Saint Sin Approved.

Magnus: I’m all about minimal gear footprint and having the Boss MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher handle all my effects is a game changer. If I was to try and make a minimal pedalboard with only what I absolutely need for a gig then I’ve got a tuner...noise gate...amp channel changer...that’s already the size of the whole MS-3 before I’ve added reverb and delay, etc. If you have a real amp making your tones it’s probably the best multi effects unit out there.

Guitars wise I’ve got an Ibanez RG7620 and RG7621. The OG 7 string, they’re an absolute steal on ebay if you want a slick, shreddy 7 string and don’t mind some cosmetic damage. I also have an RGAIX7U, which is the prettiest guitar Ibanez has made in years but it feels mediocre in comparison. One basically pays for the look and the attached Bareknuckle Aftermaths.

The goes through a Shure GLXD16 wireless system into the MS-3, which is then wired four-cable style into a Victory Kraken. Perhaps the single best recommendation I can give anyone from my rig is the Van Damme Cable Blue 4 core cable running my amp’s input, send, return and TRS channel changer all down one pipe to the MS3. Setup on stage in minutes with minimum faff.

The Kraken is the only 50W, all tube, American metal style amp that is anything like as small and light as it is (8kg!). A shade darker sounding than a 5150, put a really trebly pickup like the Seymour Duncan Full Shred in front of it and it sounds perfect. I’m yet to find an overdrive that convincingly improves it so I’m not using one. Gain 1 works as a clean channel but I’m not into it, using the clean preamp effect in the MS3 instead. Gain 1 is ace for low gain crunch stuff though.

Josh: I’ve been rocking Ibanez guitars for well over a decade now. The Ibanez S7420-BK was my first, and is probably still my favourite. Can’t get enough of that whammy bar! Although Nassau use 7 strings exclusively, I also have a very nice RGD2120Z in cobweb silver metallic finish. It looks like something Hades put together when he was feeling extra naughty! I also have a Ibanez RG7421-WNF, which is more of a chuck-around guitar. I keep it as a backup, however, as I’ve more recently purchased a gorgeous RGAIX7FM, which is my main live guitar when traveling light. Contrary to Mangus’s thoughts on his RGA, I’d say mine plays extremely well, and definitely sounds more refined, due to its DiMarzio Fusion Edge pickups.

For live performances, I have a Line6 Helix wrapped around an Evh 5150 III 50 W 6L6 Head IV 50w head, via 4-cable method. The amp provides all the beef I’d ever want, while the helix acts as my FX mothership. I also have a Precision Drive by Horizon Devices in one of the Helix’s many FX loops. It provides epic clarity and endless bite to my already beefy setup. This combination provides me with a wide array of sounds, which I simply couldn’t achieve with anything else. That being said, an AxeFX couldn’t hurt, if it wasn’t so outrageously expensive!

When at home, I usually go straight into a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen, then into Cubase. For practice, I use the Emissary by Ignite, going into GGD Zilla Cab sims. I would highly recommend the Emissary to anyone wanting to start recording metal in the digital realm. It sounds brutal, feels like a proper amp and is completely free. As a huge fan of Periphery and Nolly, the GGD products have been a must-have for me. From the release of their first Matt Halpern Drum library to their new “One Kit Wander” fusion kit, GGD have just annihilated the competition with their super real sounding virtual instruments, at affordable prices. Whatever style of music you play, GGD has got you covered for sure. I don’t think I’ll ever need a real Cab for recording, as GGD’s just sound so damn good!

You will want to be in the sound engineer’s good books at all times. After all, they are just as important for your live sound as you are!

What practical advice do you have for performing a live production?

Clark: The most important thing I've learned doing live sets is to roll with the punches - things can and will go wrong. This is especially true if you play drums and aren't able to use your own kit. I've lost count of the number of times I've had a stand drop and had to try and fix it while keeping some sort of beat. One of my favourite live shows was a Devin Townsend gig at the Barrowlands where the PA broke twice; during the downtime Devin brought out an acoustic guitar and proceeded to entertain everyone and interact with the crowd until they were back up and running. This, for me, is the pinnacle of live performance.

Other advice I would give is to consider what kind of vibe you want to be giving while on stage. This is where watching other bands and performers really pays off - from understated and broody black metal icons to dainty boys running all over the stage with their guitars, pick things you like and try to make them your own. Personally, I always put in the effort to make it look like I'm having the time of my life. I've found people respond very well when they can tell the performers are enjoying themselves.

Sin: In relation to production and vocals it follows in line with any role in a band.  You are an instrument and you have to put in the practise.  With metal vocals this really comes down to a few areas that are immensely important.

Firstly learn to use your core and diaphragm.  You will need to learn to hold the pitch / tone / note in your throat without it veering off from where you want it to be but if you put all that stress on your throat, you will suffer for it.    A little suffering is good for endurance it's true, but if you throw yourself at it head on you will notice a drop in your ability while you recover.  Using your core and diaphragm not only takes a lot of strain from your throat but it also helps you tenfold in endurance and scream length.  It helps you to control your airflow and to not be wasteful of it. This is the same for a lot of powerful clean vocals, and with metal it’s absolutely a necessity.  Also, learn where and how to breathe through the tracks you are writing and performing. If it doesn’t feel like there is anywhere at all to breathe, keep trying and you may surprise yourself with how much little air your diaphragm and core can work with.  I often find myself taking very small sharp breaths between lines I would not have thought possible, simply by getting familiar with the piece I’m working with.  This has to be second nature as if you hinge to try and think about this during a performance, the performance will suffer for it.  If you do not have to think about it you are free to fall into the piece and let it carry you instead of the contrary. Thirdly.  Don’t cup the f*cking mic.  Sure you will get some bassy lows but the second you get in a studio with a pop shield and your hands down by your sides you will find yourself struggling to stay afloat.  Sure, push on ahead but both you and a lot of others will hear the fact you are not comfortable.  The strain in your throat and tone will shine through and most importantly; you don’t need to do it.  As with everything else in music it simply takes practice and determination.  You *will* get there.  Onward we march so don’t let yourself the choice of the crutch.  Also, sound guys will like you much more for it and it’s always good to have a happy sound guy on gig night.

I use no other gear, no effects, and usually use very little to no reverb, preferring to go in dry.  The only exception to this is if I’m letting a sound engineer I know we'll have some fun.

Josh: Always try and get to your venue in plenty of time before playing. Many things can go wrong, so any extra time is always recommended. For those who prefer to leave it to the last minute, all I can really recommend is that you at least have a nice compact setup which can be swiftly put together, as you will want to be in the sound engineer’s good books at all times. After all, they are just as important for your live sound as you are!

Any useful tips for new artists, both in terms of generally starting out and also using gear in their sets?

Clark: Practice practice practice, that's what it's all about. This can be split into two categories, practicing solo and practicing as a group.

Solidify your playing before you start advertising your band and playing shows. First impressions are important.

For the former, you'll want to know your songs inside out - muscle memory is your friend here, and if you can get to the point where you can effortless pull it off you'll be ahead of many of your peers. As a group, you want to develop chemistry and really get in each others' head space. In a practical sense, each instrument needs to communicate with every other instrument to form a seamless whole. If you aren't using any backing tracks or metronomes, this becomes a push and pull between members, with particular focus on the rhythm section. Again, this is only achieved through practice - try meet up as often as possible to jam and run through your set.

Another good move is to solidify your playing before you start advertising your band and playing shows. First impressions are important. You want to explode onto the scene and perform consistently well. This is a trap I see other bands fall into all the time - Nassau were practicing together for years before our first proper show.

Ben: If you're just starting out, be prepared to spend thousands of hours practising. Get gear that works and spend some time working out how to get the best sound you can out of it. This is not a quick process. Going round rehearsal spaces and trying out different brands of equipment is useful if you have no idea where to start - that's how I know I don't get on with ashdown amps and that for the way I play, Trace Elliot are amazing for pop/reggae and terrible for metal

Josh: Make sure you have established your own sound. If you have your own unique flavour, you’ll soon have folk hungry for more. Practise makes perfect, obviously. Being in a band with people you share the same passion with always helps. I’ve been quite fortunate to be in Nassau, as we all have that drive that bands need to pull through even the worst of times.

Learn your instrument! By that, I mean both musically and physically. Guitars need to be cared for. If your strings are dull, change them. If your string height doesn’t feel right, you can learn how to adjust it. If in doubt, take it to a professional. Your technique can improve significantly when playing a well set up instrument. Other than that, just try and have a good time I guess. It’s all in good fun really.

Connect With Nassau ​​​​​​
Bandcamp / Spotify /  Facebook / Instagram


PARTY CANNON

PARTY CANNON are a brutal death metal/Party Slam band from Dunfermline, Scotland signed to Gore House Productions. Since forming in 2010, PARTY CANNON have brought crushing slams, brutal riffing, and - most importantly - the party all over the world, having toured in the UK, Europe, North America, and Asia. Bassist Chris Ryan sat down to talk us through some gear.

Article photo - Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists

What gear do you use and recommend?

I try to keep my recording setup as close as possible to what I use live so it has ‘my’ sound on it. At the moment I’m using an ESP LTD B-415SM bass (active with an EMG 40DC and 40P5), a Tech 21 Bass Driver DI V2 (greatest pedal ever), a Peavey MiniMAX 500 head and a Hartke XL 4x10 cab. When I record I usually blend the mic’d cab with a DI track for a bit more fullness. I like to keep my setup as minimal as possible using only what I absolutely need for that gig (less things to trip/spill drinks over on stage!) and believe knowing how to get the most out your gear trumps buying lots of expensive stuff. Despite just saying that, I do have a custom bass covered in pale moon ebony on the way!

I would say the main things would be a solid tuner, durable cables and getting a good, professional setup done on your instrument - a proper set up can make even the cheapest basses play and sound great!

In terms of pedals, I can’t recommend the Tech 21 Bass Driver DI V2 enough. That thing is a lifesaver and is one of the most versatile pedals out there. When used in front of the head like a stomp box it essentially turns any amp into a tube amp, which is great for me, as I like a lot of grit and percussive ‘clank’ in my sound. It can also be used as a rig in itself by plugging directly into the PA, which still sounds great. There’s been a huge surge in the number of micro-amp heads on the market recently and I really believe they are the way forward for touring bands. A few years ago I traded in my Peavey Tour 450 head for the Peavey MiniMAX 500 and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I loved the Tour 450, that thing sounded great, was extremely affordable and worked really well with any pedals I pit in front of it, however, it was also big, heavy and required a separate case to carry it around in (making it even bigger and heavier).

What practical advice do you have for performing a live production?

Know what you listen out for (EG rhythm guitar, kicks, etc.) and make sure you can hear that through your monitor (if there is one) while playing. Always be cooperative with whoever’s running the sound, as they should have a pretty intimate understanding of the venue and be able to make you sound the best you can in that room.

Bring spare consumables such as batteries, plectrums, and cables as well as a tool kit - you will need these things and it will be as soon as you’re about to play.

If you’re playing through a borrowed cab definitely check your ohmage before switching on and playing!

It’s important to play appropriate lineups for your genre in order to have the best reach

Any useful tips for new artists, both in terms of generally starting out and also using gear in their sets?

I would say the thing that helped me most starting out was learning about EQs and what ‘shape’ my tone fits into. Given the type of music we play, a lot of our gigs are pretty DIY setups involving shared backlines. Knowing that my tone is pretty scooped with a ‘smiley face’ EQ I can apply that shape to any amp I’m using and tweak from there in order to get the sound I’m looking for no matter the gear situation. This will come with experience but learn about as many amp types as you can so you can be prepared and get the most out of what you’re using. A good way to do this is to just check out what other players are using and look up demos online.

When starting out I think it’s important to have a quality recording together before trying to promote yourself. It might take a bit of investment, but having a good recording, logo, band promos, etc will make you look more professional and might set you apart from other local bands also starting out. Marketing your band to the right people is important - think about what scene/genres your band fits into and what kind of people would be interested. There are plenty of groups online tailored to specific music genres that welcome self-promotion as well as a variety of sites with large followings to premier your track on (Slam Worldwide, Gore Grinder etc). Networking with the right bands and trading gigs is also one of the best ways to reach the right people. I’d say it’s important to play appropriate lineups for your genre in order to have the best reach. For example, we play brutal slam death metal so there’s not much point in us jumping on bills with bands that sound like Avenged Sevenfold.

Latest release ‘Cannons Of Gore Soaked, Blood Drenched, Parasitic Sickness’ out now on all major platforms.

Connect With PARTY CANNON​​​​​​
Merch / Spotify /  Facebook / Instagram


Zed Destructive

Zed Destructive is a Black/Death Metal band from Israel. The band is named after its vocalist Zed Destructive who is also the vocalist of the band Winterhorde, and was the lead guitarist of the band Thokkian Vortex. Their sound combines death metal and black metal with dark melodies and aggression, fast and technical playing, vocals that range from high screams to deep growls, and lyrics about the occult, anti-social and anti-religious topics.

Article photo - Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists

What gear do you use and recommend?

I play an Ibanez GSR205B-WNF 5 string bass, it's lightweight and has active pickups that really boost the signal and it’s great for the type of music we play. I also use the Digitech HardWire HT-2 Tuner and a Darkglass Microtubes X7 Distortion Pedal.

Our vocalist plays a BC Rich Warlock Special Edition and uses a Korg Hyper Distortion.

Our lead guitarist plays an Ibanez-RGAIX6FM, MXR 75 Super Badass Distortion, a delay pedal, and a noise gate.

And our drummer uses Sabian and Zildjian cymbals, Tama Iron Cobra double pedal, and a Pearl snare drum.

We usually use random cabs and amp heads owned by the venues we play at, same for the rest of the drum kit.

As far as production goes, we use the same gear but we record DI tracks so we skip the pedals and use VST to achieve our sound.

We use Cubase Pro 10.5 and a wide variety of plugins like Toontrack EZmix 2 and Toontrack Superior Drummer 3.

On stage, we use a PC and a mixer for In-ear click tracks, and for sending playback tracks to front of house.

I would definitely recommend the Darkglass Microtubes X7 for bass players, it is super versatile and it sounds amazing.

For those who got the budget - a Kemper is a great investment.

Hire your own sound guy for live shows. The quality of your show improves when the sound guy knows you, your sound, and your set.

What practical advice do you have for performing a live production?

The first advice is to get a click track for the drummer, you stay in tempo and sound better. The second one - get to know your bandmate's stage gear. When you're on big stages people tend to move around more, sometimes to not make one guitarist go all the way back to his gear to press one pedal you could understand the situation and go press his pedal for him, while letting him know that you got his back.

Another advice is for those with big budgets - hire your own sound guy for live shows. The quality of your show improves when the sound guy knows you, your sound, and your set.

Any useful tips for new artists, both in terms of generally starting out and also using gear in their sets?

Get a tuner pedal with an LED display it's great for low-light environments like dark stages, and avoid using clip-on tuners on stage it looks unprofessional.

Our lead guitarist recommends using humbucker pickups to lessen the signal-to-noise ratio.

Our vocalist, our lead guitarist, and I advise using a good noise gate to keep things under control on stage - getting random feedbacks and noise on stage could ruin a whole set.

Everyone in the band agrees that practice makes perfect, play as much as you can, learn new techniques, rehearse as much as possible!

In music, there is no point where you can say, "I know it all, I don't need to practice anymore".

And the last tip is - just have fun.

Your bandmates are your family, find a way to communicate and get along and meet outside of music too.

In the end, you will look back and what you'll remember is those guys you spent years with at studios and on tour buses, make it a positive memory.

It's important to develop a good friendship and mutual understanding between the band members.

Connect With Zed Destructive​​​​​​
Bandcamp GrimmDistribution (Ukraine) / ​Bandcamp Wings of Destruction (Russia)Label /  Facebook / Instagram


H8BALL

H8teball are a 5-piece masked metal band from Kirkcaldy Scotland. The band formed in early 2017 with one goal in mind: To make as much mayhem as possible and sound heavy doing it!

Article photo - Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists

What gear do you use and recommend?

Jahren - Bass: ESP LTD Bass, MXR Bass overdrive pedal, Hartke TX3000 Head, Peavey TKO75

Ging - Lead: Epiphone Explorer Gothic, Behringer BG4 125 Ultra Stack 400w, Marshall Code 100 Head, Trantec 54.4 Wireless, Chord CPT-01 Tuner, Electro Harmonix micro metal muff distortion, Neewer Noise Gate

Duffy - Rhythm: Ibanez GRG170DX-BKNDunlop Kirk Hammett Signature Wah pedal, Electro Harmonix micro metal muff distortion, Korg Pitchblack Advance chromatic tuner

Liam - Drums: Mapex kit, DW 300 Double Bass pedal, WHD Black Snare, Custom Cymbals,  Wincent Natural 5B Sticks

Shaggy - Vox: Behringer XM8500

Get involved, talk to other bands, networking with other bands and promoters is vital

What practical advice do you have for performing a live production?

Have set lists. Get in early and help set up. Test all your gear as early as possible. Know what u want to do and don’t over complicate anything. Be ready for sound-check; other bands won’t like you eating into their check time. Keep amp heads warmed up or on standby. Communicate with bandmates.

Don’t be a Robot, people want to see you enjoy what you do, if you are, they will too! Enjoy it interact with the audience, have fun.

Any useful tips for new artists, both in terms of generally starting out and also using gear in their sets?

Again be punctual and help venues and promoters. Get involved, talk to other bands, networking with other bands and promoters is vital. Keep the members involved. Everyone has to be contributing not just musically but also with running the band. Work with promoters and advertise shows; you would be surprised how many bands don’t promo gigs. That last practice before a gig is vital to treat it like the show you're going to do. Save your money.

Connect With H8TEBALL  
Facebook


INVERNE

Inverne is a melodic gothic metal band from Poland. A combination of unusual style where werewolves, witches, possessed madmen, and bloody aristocrats meet heavy drums, progressive bass line, expanded guitar melodies, and symphonical arrangements.

Article photo - Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists

What gear do you use and recommend?

Guitars: Ibanez art 600 (custom pickups – AHB Seymour Duncan, Schaller equipment), Jackson WRMG, Gibson G-45 Studio Antique Natural, 2x IV Mesa Boogie, 2x Evh 5150 III 50 W 6L6 Head IV, 212 EVH V30, Ibanez TS9, TC Electronic effects

Bass guitar: Warwick Corvette 5, Hartke LH-1000, Hartke HX 410

Drums: Pearl Vision with extended shell

Plugins: Nexus VST for Nuendo

Solo guitar: Ibanez art 600 (custom pickups – AHB Seymour Duncan, Schaller equipment), Randall Diavlo 45, TC Electronic G major 2, Behringer FCB1010, Harley Benton 212 v30

Rhythm guitar: Jackson WRMG, Engl Thunder 50, Harley Benton G212 Vintage, TC Electronic G-Major 2, Engl Z12

Pedalboard: Korg Tuner, Boss Overdrive SD1, ISP Technologies Decimator

Drums:  PDP Pacific, Sabian drum cymbals

Vocals: 2x Shure Beta 58 A

Sampler:  Line6 Tone Port UX2

Avoid the multiplicity of equipment – the less, the better

We recommend the most mobile set up as possible – minimal weight and electronics. Instead of using single guitar effects, it's easier to play when you're using memory banks. When it comes to guitars it’s nice when both of them sound different – for example, dark and bright timbre.

What practical advice do you have for performing a live production?

It doesn't matter if we're recording in the studio or playing live – before showing anything to others it’s really important to carefully listen to the tone. I think that in metal music the most important thing is that sound of every instrument needs to be selective and placed in a different frequency range. Any useful tips for new artists, both in terms of generally starting out and also using gear in their sets? Avoid the multiplicity of equipment – the less, the better. Find a high gain amp, cause sometimes there won't be a chance to use boost, while playing live. In my opinion, when it comes to guitars, the quality of components highly affects the sound, so it’s worth buying a higher quality instrument. When you're looking for the sound that perfectly fits into your music, you can try different pickups, bridges, or strings. When you find it, your guitar should always sound perfect.

Connect With INVERNE​​​​​​
Facebook / YouTubeSpotify


Burning The Dream

Burning The Dream is a progressive metal band from Glasgow, Scotland on the more extreme end of the progressive scale with flashes of death, thrash, metalcore and nu-metal influences.

Article photo - Getting into Metal Music: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established & Upcoming Artists

What gear do you use and recommend?

We use 7 strings for our guitars. One is a Solar Guitars with the Seymour Duncan Solar pickups and the other is an ESP Ltd Eclipse with EMG pickups. For bass, we use a 6 string Harley Benton B-650 Black Progressive Series bass.

Amp wise we run a Kemper and an Axe FX II. The last recording was just the AXE FX but was later reamped with a Kemper profile and mixed between the both. Live the Kemper goes straight through FOH and the Axe FX II is mic’d up through a Marshall cab. For bass we use a Darkglass Microtubes X Ultra pedal through an Orange OB1-300 Bass Head.

We recommend that people should shop around and see what works for them. Not everyone likes going down the digital route and prefers tube amps. So it’s really personal preference. For metal, though I don’t think you can go wrong with a Peavey 5150. There’s also great smaller amps out there now like the PRS MT 15 Amp and the  Evh 5150 III 50 W EL34 Head BK so see what works for your own sound.

There’s nothing worse than having a massive sounding song but you can’t put that across live

What practical advice do you have for performing a live production?

For live production, we always like to make sure that we can recreate what we do recorded. There’s nothing worse than having a massive sounding song but you can’t put that across live. Also, try and get 2 tones that compliment each other. I personally don’t like it when 2 tones are exactly the same or at the other end of the scale so different that it sounds like 2 different genres but having one that’s a bit beefier and one that’s got more clarity can totally work.

Any useful tips for new artists, both in terms of generally starting out and also using gear in their sets?

Man, that’s tough haha. Staring out just be true to yourself and don’t try and be the next Slipknot, Meshuggah etc. but have your own sound. It’s great having your influences but don’t just rip them off. Do as much as you can yourself before you ask someone to manage/book tours etc for you so you’ve got complete control over your brand. As far as gear goes just make sure you’ve got stuff that is reliable and that you can use properly, so if something goes wrong you know how to fix it. Most of the time you’ll need to bring your own amp head at least so make sure it will work in 99% of situations so you’re band will always sound the best you can. If the sound engineer is shit that’s nothing you can control haha.

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About Aron Peak

A passionate writer with diverse interests, an eclectic range of styles and over 5 years of experience writing for the likes of global music festivals, market leading technology companies and national arts and lifestyle outlets. Aron is also a professional music producer and runs his own record label Bare Bones. Over the past 7 years he has had multiple releases that have been supported both in the UK and Internationally (e.g. BBC Radio 1, EDC Las Vegas etc), and has toured across the world as a DJ.

Contact Aron Peak at aron.peak@musicngear.com

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