Don't Be Afraid
Final Fantasy VIII

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The first song uploaded to the new Youtube channel, and the first official GaMetal song of 2013. It's also the second remake of an old GaMetal song (the first being Grabbag 2011).

This initially started out as a recording test, and was only some 20 seconds long. When I realized how good it sounded in comparison to the old 2010 version, I decided to do the whole thing. Another reason I chose it as the first song with the new sound I have, is to get out the 'first song with new sound bugs', as I call them.

You see, whenever I change my sound up, for example a different snare or kick, different guitar tone or ways of mixing guitar tracks, different bass, etc, the first song usually comes out kind of strange, then it will iron itself out in either the 2nd or 3rd song forward.

Since Golden Sun Battle was going to be the song that opened up the new channel, I wanted it to be really good, so I needed a song to sacrifice to get those new sound bugs out of the way. Don't Be Afraid was the lucky winner. It's a fairly simple song to play, especially since I had done it before and this version doesn't deviate too much in composition to the old version, just mainly in sound.

My plan worked, and even better than expected. This first song with a new sound actually doesn't sound all that strange like it normally does for me (it's still there, albeit slightly).

So what'd I change up this year? Everything. Firstly, I got a new bass that sounds fantastic, an SX Ursa 5. I've been wanting to get a 5 string bass for a while so I wouldn't have to drop tune constantly. I also wanted a bass with a jazz pickup configuration, I've always been a fan of that bright bass sound that cuts through the mix and can be heard seperately from other instruments when needed.

A lot has changed with the guitar. I got 2 new guitars, a Dean Vendetta 4.0 (which I call 'The Weapon') and a Jackson DK2M (dubbed the 'Bootar'). The V4.0 is in flat Standard tuning, and the Bootar is in Standard. My Jackson RR3, the guitar I used to record all previous, is in DGCFAD (whole step down) tuning.

So wait, I went up in tuning? What the hell is wrong with me? Do I not listen to modern metal music?!

I'm a buck-the-trend type of guy. Guitars in metal keep getting lower and lower in tuning, or getting more strings to hit deeper notes. We are quickly approaching Drop Z tuning. So ironically, I've decided to sound different by just tuning to what guitars were initially intended to be tuned to (why else would it be called 'Standard'?). This also helps to lend to the slightly progressive and old school metal sound that I like and aim for.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy lower tunings and will be doing songs that have them, just not all the time. I don't like to wear things like that out.

Anyways, my 2 new guitars are also equipped with DiMarzio Liquifire and Crunch Lab pickups, aka the John Petrucci setup. I'm a big fan of his tone and I LOVE these pickups. They can do exactly what I want them to.

I also went back to using 2 rhythm guitar tracks. I was previously being a crazy person and using only 1 rhythm track, I had been doing this from Basilisk Mine Field up to this point. It's not that the 1 rhythm track sounded bad, I had just read and watched a lot of things about recording techniques and multiple guitar tracks and etc, and I feel I can really nail it now.

Lastly concerning guitar, I switched back to using Softube Metal Amp Room as my main amp plugin, having previously used Guitar Rig 4. I still run effects through Guitar Rig 4.

The drum sound got a complete overhaul. I was previously recording through my Roland TD-12 module (I record on a V-Drum kit). The dynamics on the TD-12 are amazing, but I always felt the sounds on it were kinda bad. I could never find the kick/snare sound I wanted. There's also the issue of not being able to post-mix because it all records as one track. A friend suggested I try running through a drum plugin such as Addictive Drums or Superior Drummer. I gave it a shot and went with Addictive Drums, and I have to say the sounds on AD completely floor those on the TD12, and maybe even the TD20. So I now run from my TD12 into a custom kit I created on Addictive Drums. As an added bonus, AD mixes superbly in my sessions.

Not much has changed in the keys department. I'm still running through my Korg Triton LE, either using it's onboard sounds or running it through plugins.

I think that about wraps up all the changes that have formed the new sound for GaMetal in 2013. I personally think it sounds awesome and miles better than my old stuff, which is why I'll be redoing some old songs this year. Make sure you look out for them!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention a HUGE change: all my videos from this point are now live playing rather than game footage. I just never really had the video equipment before, and I wanted to move away from the game footage because it seems the copyright monsters are moving and closer and closer to messing it up for everyone.

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