Rest of 2018

So, we’ve spent out our autumn and end of the year by finishing up the rhythm guitars, waiting for the basses and planning the vocal sessions. We almost had a change to mix the drums with Matti A, Harri and Tomi on one Saturday, but we just too thirsty while building the vocalbooth that we simply forgot πŸ™‚

Rhythm guitars completed

Vocal booth, work in progress, timelapse video will follow later.

Vocal booth, ready…

Vocal booth, tested and…

…Approved πŸ™‚

Actual vocal recordings will start early next year, so it does look like we’ll be able to finish the album next year at least, mixing / mastering included

Summer, 2018

Yeah, it’s been a while since we updated this blog. During summertime there was not that much progress with the album. Couple of more tracks got some fine-tuned guitarings, but that work continues. Basses will be ready probably during this year. However, Juha Haipus won’t be playing those basses due to scheduling issues, recording 65min epic isn’t that easy task to do if you don’t really have spare time from works & studies πŸ™‚ But that’s the way it goes nowadays, few of us can afford to be full-time musician (except Matti A, who’s professional :D).

But that’s the end of bad news (for now at least). Matti P finally got his own mancave and is bit busy constructing vocaling booth + studio room. And that a notch towards more professional studio environment, which us a much-needed and anticipated improvement. So this might still turn into recording & construction blog πŸ™‚

Time to Lead

Yes, I’ve been lazy updating the studio blog, apologies for that. So, I’ll write a a bigger update now πŸ™‚

Yes, most of the keyboards are now completed πŸ™‚ I’ve been using my trustworthy combo of Kurzweil K7, Yamaha motif-rack xs and Roland Phantom for all the work, plus couple virtual instrument lead sounds, which I’m not yet going to reveal yet and a big bunch of orchestration virtual instruments (not all are in place yet, but I recorded leads, choirs and orchestration parts as midi too). So far it seems that this will be the first album without harpsichord sound (if I remember correctly, don’t remember all the songs from demo-perioid). And no Hammond sound, yet at least. I’m still waiting for final guitars from Harri, ’cause I need to change certain things according to guitar, so we’re definitely not yet there. Obviously solos are not yet done…

As for the keyboards, this album will sound a bit different from previous Ultimatium albums, mainly because the lead sound (main sound picture below) is most dominant in this album, piano being next in line. While composing these songs, I noticed that it was quite refreshing to change the dominant sound, since the keyboards riffs I came up with we’re quite different from what I composed earlier.

Couple of words for tech enthusiast’s about my equipment: As stated on previously post, I’m using win7 + pro tools (the cheap version, not HD) for recording + brand new RME raydat and M-Audio 2626 preamp/interface (which I’m going to retire afterΒ  this album). And of course with tons of virtual instruments and plugins etc. And an iPad for controlling the pro tools, so I don’t have to jump between computer and keyboards so often. And as for the actual playing, my method is simple: keep playing ultil you’re happy with it πŸ˜€ That sometimes takes a lot of nerves to spend one hour just for 20sec of music πŸ™‚

So, what’s next then: rest of the guitars from Harri, Haipus starts recording bass around a month from now and I’ll start figuring out the vocal recordings. And solos and also the non-musical aspects of this album (we need a title, a cover and packaging and…what was it…something important…no not that… Oh, A label to release our album!). Also, I recorded tons of video material while recording the leads (+6h ), so I’ll be posting some videos to our youtube channel at

And there’s a new controller for recording the solos, say Hello to legendary Yamaha dx7. Maybe I’ll even use one square lead sound from this machine πŸ˜‰

Days n+1

Now, almost all the piano-sounds are done and also couple of mighty orchestrations have been put to their places. There’s not actually that many super-mighty-100-stacks-of-symphonc-virtual-instruments (yeah, we cannot afford real violins or cellos) tracks on this album, but those few are mightier than ever. That being said, most keyboard riffs are played with piano or lead sound, but I’m saving the lead-sound-hell later πŸ™‚ Also I just finished with background strings sound recently, next I’m probably going to do choirs + pipe organ + Hammond and other background sounds. Oh, and I bought win7 license and installed it as dual-boot after I got fed up with windows 10 and the blue screens and all that other shit. Then I installed all the sw’s and resized win7 partition and re-did all above because win7 didn’t like it… Then I took backups πŸ™‚

Meanwhile, Harri has been doing this (if you know how the last picture relates to the first two, let me know πŸ˜€

Fire up the kb’s

So, on Monday and Tuesday evening I started recording first keyboards.. Don’t know why, but I decided to start from pianos. I use Kurzweil pc3k7 that I bought as a b-stock from Thomann, that’s absolutely the best for pianos of those equipments that I have. Things didn’t start so smoothly, first glitch was my iPad mini not connecting to Pro tools…duh, the software that’s doing the work was not running…and when it was running it said to me that this one’s outdated, download a new one…

So, after a while of downloading and installing, I was up to speed…untill my Pro Tools decided that it’s not using any of my 6 cores and froze completely showing 100% cpu usage in its own performance monitor… So a reboot, bit fiddling with bios to make sure all the cores are unlocked all the time and we’re back on…untill Waves plugins decided that my computer id had changed and licenses are not on my machine. So I had to use my once-a-year-save-my-licenses-thingie that Waves has implemented and then I send angry email to them, this was not the first time it happened… And on Tuesday, two blue screens of death… After finishing up for that day, I started uninstalling recent apps that I had acquired, might be one of those…

In the end, I somehow managed to do pianos for a bunch of songs, some are still needed and probably I’m going to re-record some of them later, since I might have been bit rusty at the beginning… Or not, let’s see and hear πŸ™‚

Days 6 to ?

Now that the drums have been recorded, next step is to engineer and mix the drums, at least initially, so that Harri can start working on the guitars asap. On every album before this, we recorded basses before guitars, but now we’re doing things differently. Also, meanwhile Harri records guitars, Pulkkinen records keyboards simultaneously. We’ll keep you updated πŸ™‚ Who knows, maybe Harri will write his first ever studio blog some day?

Days 4 & 5

I apologize for my tardiness, I have been extraordinarily tired.

Regardless, the drums are finished, day 4 occurred on Monday 22.1. and day 5 on Wednesday 24.1. That Tuesday in between I felt quite sick, there was a flu going around, and I think it was doing it’s best to infest my body, but little did it know it was trying to fuck with a superhuman immunity system, what’s up?!

I knew I was going to be fine the next day, so I nailed the last of them with ease on the 24th. There were only 6 left after day 3 and I was done with almost all of the hard ones by then already.

The entire process took an easy 24h of work from the moment I touched the kit for the first time with these songs to that last stroke stricken. Four 6 hour sessions, 3 songs per session, my 16″ china and both of my crashes are completely done (they barely survived my last tour in China, and I use 2B sticks) but I am very happy with my work. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Now it’s off to a little bit of editing, bouncing the tracks and letting mr. Pulkkinen and the others take over.

PS. I videoed almost all of one of the songs on the last day. I think there might be some more video following later. Stay tuned, you magnificent bitches.

Day 3

Good evening.
Today was productive, despite continuing sleep deprivation. I arrived to Deerhouse at noon, and had scheduled another six hours. In that time I managed 4 songs, which is about 22 minutes of material, and a nice quick whey protein/coffee/yoga break. Including the two from yesterday, I’m roughly half way through the album now.

Today’s highlight I think was clearly a song called “Dark Cold Day”. I got to use some of my signature double ride tricks (which I stole from Gene Hoglan and Richard Christy when I was a teenager) and some long Neil Peart-style tom fills.
Here’s a little video clip of said events.

Day 2

19th of January 2018 – First day of actual recording
Location: Deerhouse Studio, Tampere, Finland

Myself and mr. Pulkkinen set up everything yesterday; I changed all the tom heads for fresh ones, added a 6th tom to the set, which I’ve wanted to do for a while, tuned everything, miked everything and so on.

We ran into a couple technical issues with getting all the recording gear communicating which each other, and had to wait for a couple more mics to arrive, courtesy of sir Henri Virsell (Manzana guitarist, all-around sound guy, master of boogie), so no time for recording yet.

Today I arrived at almost exactly 4 p.m., mr. Pulkkinen also briefly swung by. We checked everything again, everything was still working, and after he left, I tweaked a couple small tuning things and got to work.

I decided to start with “Mindcaptives”, which is an almost 12 minutes long prog epic. I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night, so I figured I’d fuck myself even more. “Ei anneta siimaa.”
If I’m recording myself, I usually don’t really rehearse the material beforehand. I only listen to it, maybe find the most difficult parts and figure those out a little bit. I enjoy coming in kinda fresh, recording almost part by part and being creative while recording, I’ve found this way works well for me.
Mindcaptives took about 4 hours of work (including a quick food break in the middle) and a lot of energy, but I think I came up with some pretty cool stuff. I took a little bit of video of some quirky shit in the middle.

The second song I attacked was titled “Vengeance”. A slightly more hectic one. I replenished myself with a whey protein shake.
I decided to try a Mangini-esque hummingbird hi-hat action on the intro, and I’m personally really liking it.
Mostly smooth sailing, until the fast middle part, where I actually got to do some blast beats. I love me some blast beats.
I got through this one in a little over an hour.

More tomorrow!

Day 1

So, the two Mattis started the sessions yesterday, by settings up the drums and mics and the recording equipment. Following unusual items were needed: hacksaw and vile… And the usual “why the sound is not coming from mic a to track b”-issue was faced, this time it was Pulkkinen’s interface and rather the lack of reading the manual (yes, I forgot to turn the device off and on again after configuring it)… Nevertheless, we’re advancing again!