“You Wouldnt Know” HELLYEAH

In May 2006, HELLYEAH — a metal supergroup comprised of musicians from Pantera, Damageplan, Mudvayne and Nothingface — recorded an intense self-titled debut release in three eight-day writing/recording sessions, ultimately producing 12 songs and a lead single, “You Wouldn’t Know.”
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(click thumbnail)“You Wouldn’t Know” | HELLYEAHSingle: “You Wouldn’t Know”

Album: HELLYEAH (Epic)

Dates Recorded: May 2006 at Chasin Jason Studios, a private studio in Dalworthington Gardens, Texas

Single Producers: Sterling Winfield and Vinnie Paul

Single Engineers: Sterling Winfield and Vinnie Paul

Digital Editing: Sterling Winfield

Single Mixers: Vinnie Paul and Sterling Winfield at Paul’s home studio

Mastering: Sterling Winfield and Vinnie Paul at Paul’s home studio

Other Projects: Winfield has worked with such artists as Pantera, King Diamond, Ricardo Arjona, Damageplan, Mercyful Fate, David Allan Coe, Solitude Aeturnus and the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble.

Single Songwriters: HELLYEAH

Tracking Console: 80-channel Mackie 8-Bus Series analog console (32-channel mixer with two 24-input extensions)

Tracking, Mix and Mastering Recorder: Pro Tools|HD

Monitors: KRK 7000B

Select Microphones: ADK A-48 Vintage Valve Series (lead vocal), AKG D112, Shure KSM 32, Shure SM58 and many Shure SM57s.

Select Pre-amplifiers: Mackie VLZ and Neve 1081ENGINEER’S DIARY

In May 2006, HELLYEAH — a metal supergroup comprised of musicians from Pantera, Damageplan, Mudvayne and Nothingface — recorded an intense self-titled debut release in three eight-day writing/recording sessions, ultimately producing 12 songs and a lead single, “You Wouldn’t Know.”

“It was one of magical studio moments,” explains Producer/Engineer Sterling Winfield, a longtime collaborator with HELLYEAH co-producer and drummer Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Damageplan). “[Paul] is a very accomplished engineer; he grew up in his dad’s studio. When we work together, I generally do the recording, calling shots especially with guitars and vocals. He’s most active in the departments of song arranging and editing.”

Together, Winfield and Paul carried the entire project from start to finish, even handling mastering duties as a team. “These days with Pro Tools, everything is so self-contained that you have that option,” Winfield explains of the choice to self-master. “If you want to be more cost effective, you can do it yourself. I’ve been to top notch mastering sessions and, of course, those guys know what they’re doing; mastering is a total art and those guys are artists. But one of our very good friends in the mastering community would lend us an ear and give us pointers here and there … not afraid of job security or anything goofy like that. We learned by doing, trial by fire, and it turned out very good.”


(click thumbnail)Sterling WinfieldThe recording sessions took place at the home of the late Dimebag Darrell — Paul’s brother, bandmate, and the world-renowned guitarist for Pantera. The studio, which features a massive 80-channel Mackie 8-Bus Series analog console, took almost all the project’s signal directly to Pro Tools|HD. “We did use some outboard preamps, like Neve 1081s on the kicks. We also have a Manley Pultec EQ that we use. But, for the most part, it was all Mackie. That mixer is a workhorse.”

For mixdown, the duo worked exclusively in the box. “When using Pro Tools, I tend to rely completely on it for mixing unless there’s a certain kind of outboard compressor that’s I’d like to throw in the chain,” Winfield explains. “Plug-ins have become so advanced that I rarely do that anymore. And old effects units are so damn noisy; why would I use those when I can use what’s in Pro Tools with no hiss or noise? If it sounds good, it is good. That’s my philosophy.”