Exclusive: Watch MICHAEL AVERY’s Guitar Playthrough for “Fantastic!”

Michael Avery

Boston-based guitarist, composer and producer Michael Avery is set to release his new, self-titled album on June 23. Avery teamed up with us at Prog Sphere for an exclusive premiere of a new single titled “Fantastic!,” in a form of a playthrough video. Watch it below.

Asked about the creative process of the album, Avery went on to say: “I wrote this record during my last semester at Berklee, so around February 2016-May 2016. I had just learned a lot about jazz harmony in particular, so most of the songs use lots of different colors and jazz-influenced voicings, as I felt this was something I needed to get out of my system.

Creating the demos for this album involved a different process than my previous albums. In the past I would use programmed drums and record any riff or melody ideas I had over that drum track, so I would essentially record the demos using real instruments. This time however, I mapped out my demos (with the exception of a few songs) in guitar pro. This allowed me to edit my tracks on the fly without having to learn a new part or get a clean take. I left the phrasing and dynamics up to the recording process, so that was a bit more ‘on the fly.’ 

I definitely wanted this record to have a more ‘live’ feel, as I feel that many bands/artists in this genre go for a very processed, polished sound, and that simply doesn’t suit my personal style. To accomplish this, most of the guitar and bass sections were tracked with as few punch-ins as possible. Also, instead of quantizing the drums I edited them all to the grid as closely as possible in order to preserve James‘ feel. I did not use any drum samples during the mixing of this record.

I began recording the record in May 2016, immediately after school ended. I used drum tracks that I programmed using superior drummer and recorded all the guitars and bass and programmed the synths. I then sent the final drumless tracks to my friend James (Knoerl) and he wrote and laid down the final drum tracks in his practice space. So the drums you hear on the record were actually tracked to the final guitars and bass, not the other way around. Lastly, my friend Richard (Blumen) recorded piano for most of the tracks in the LSU auditorium. There is also a guest bass solo (Dylan Byrd) and a guest guitar solo (Sam Harchik) on the track ‘Mandala.’ I mixed the album and sent it to my friend Adam Bentley (Arch Echo) and he took care of the mastering.

Avery says that people can expect an album that is interesting, genuine, familiar yet unique, and most of all—fun.

Speaking about the gear he used to record the album, he says: “For guitar, I used my Agile Interceptor 828 loaded with BKP Juggernauts through a Line 6 Pod HD500x. I did not use DI tracks on this record, so all the tones were committed to beforehand. For bass, I used my Squier Jazz Bass, also through the Pod. No DI tracks here either.

Michael Avery is out on June 23; pre-order it here. Watch a playthrough for “Fantastic!” below.

Michael Avery album art

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