Spiritbox – Holy Roller
Spiritbox – Holy Roller Download Now
Mixing Engineer: Daniel Braunstein
Performing Artist: Spiritbox
Song Title: Holy Roller
Session Files: The multi-tracks are 44.1, 24 bit WAV files.
Daniel Braunstein is a songwriter, producer and mixer based out of Los Angeles, CA. A metalhead at heart, Daniel is most known for his work with Metalcore and Hard Rock genres. However, his passion and experience working in diverse genres such as Pop/R&B, has helped him develop his approach to creating and mixing, that blends unexpected elements from various musical worlds in order to create his unique and identifiable sound.
Daniel is Co-Owner of “The Hallway Studios” in Woodland Hills, CA, where he has had the privilege of working alongside a number of rising and established acts.
“I’m honored to be doing a NTM! I hope I can provide some insight into my workflow and help aspiring producers and mixers to develop their own style and create sounds that are impactful and full of personality.” – Daniel Braunstein
My goals were to make this mix as energetic and hard hitting as possible. Because I produced the song from scratch with the band, I had a lot of control over the sounds we used, so from the very beginning I was able to choose parts that worked together. When it came time to bring the song into the final mixing stage, I was already 80% there, so it really came down to just some small tweaks to bring more grittiness and character in, as well as cleaning up my bad edits that I had been neglecting!
Things To Keep In Mind:
– Drums were created using Superior Drummer 3, which has been printed out into Kick, Snare, Toms, Hat, Overhead and Room.
– The kick track has my triggers printed into a single file, with none of my processing.
– The snare is split into two tracks – one is the original superior drummer snare top with no processing, the other has my triggers printed, with no processing.
– Toms, hat, overhead and room are all straight out of superior with no processing.
– Bass and Guitars are DI, but I included amp sounds as well. These were made with parallax and archetype but do not include any of my post processing.
– The guitars labeled “Low” are the same take as the main rhythm guitars, but are pitch shifted an octave down.
– The Leads include all my processing.
– Percussion includes all the additional rhythmic elements and impacts, 808s, etc.. and include my processing.
– Synths are printed keyboard / synth elements from the song and include my processing.
– Vocals I included different options for wet and dry, if you wanted to try to go from scratch on any parts. If not, the Wet tracks will mirror my vocal mix, but without my vocal master buss processing. For fun I included the intro vocoder part wet and dry, so if you wanted to re-create that or experiment with it, I can go over how I made the sound on the livestream!
-I think getting it to sound gross and distorted, while also being clear may be a little bit challenging for some students, because some of the things I did in the mix may go against what they have been taught or have read are the “proper” way to do things – however, there are some very careful moves made in order to clear out space for things in the track.
-Dealing with the vocal competing with some of the distorted elements in the mix that live in the same frequency range
-Controlling the bass, which goes into multiple low tunings as the song progresses, and enabling those low notes to be audible on normal sound systems.
-Being Okay with not giving a f*ck and just going for it.
– We wrote this song in about 2 hours together when I came and visited Spiritbox last winter. We wanted to make a stupid heavy song that would stand out from the more ‘Hard Rock’ oriented stuff that we had written. We had a lot of fun creating it and were basically just laughing the whole time about how heavy it was, and after Covid hit, and we couldn’t meet up again to finish their album, we decided to finish the song remotely. We did a couple remote sessions where I was being stupid and trying to make the song more pop and the band was NOT down with it. We ultimately all agreed to keep it simple and heavy! We added in the vocoder part in the beginning and the breakbeat section to give it some unique edge and boom, that was it. Courtney cut her vocals with me on Zoom basically in 1 take and we were done.
– Upon opening my session to output the multitrack stems, I realized that my gain staging was horrible. Oops. Tracks are clipping all over the place and I had all sorts of weird mix choices that you will see when I go through the session. I will go more into depth about this, but I believe that the careless mix choices I made brought a lot of life to the song and mix that a more “cautious” mix may have not. Our mission with the song and mix was to make it gross, so I played the part by not overthinking anything and letting stuff distort and get nasty on its own!
-This is an example of a mix that I don’t think I ever solo’d anything on. Maybe for a quick second, but for the most part the mixing was done listening to the entire song together with all the instruments playing at once, and making adjustments as a WHOLE. The sound of the track is about the full experience and I wanted to be a part of that while mixing.