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Normally studio report videos are polite tours of gear and musicians wearing over-large headphones.

But this one, of Vader recording their 10,000th album Welcome to the Morbid Reich, is a slice of genius. Whoever edited it understood both music and story arcs. One doesn't need to know about Vader to appreciate this video.

The video begins harmlessly enough. Lead guitarist "Spider" explains that while recording this album, two things are important: "to keep a character of Vader but also a bit of my own style".

Cut to producer Wojtek Wieslawski. (Wieslawski's last name has a slash through the first "l". How does one pronounce that?) Two minutes in, Spider re-enters. The situation emerges: Spider keeps screwing up a particular octave passage.

Wieslawski says, "'Spider keeps trying to add some vibratto or 'pinkie 'n' sweetie' kinda shit". Despite the ESL subtitle, it's clear what's going on. Spider wants to keep a bit of his own style, but it's mucking up the music.

What results is classic producer psychology. First Wieslawski convinces Spider not to use finger vibrato on the octaves, but to try whammy bar. (This makes sense, as it's easier to vibrate multiple notes uniformly with whammy bar than with separate fingers.) Then he tells Spider to play twice without adornment, then a third with whammy bar: "Try it and we'll see".

Cut to Spider lying back on the couch, looking defeated. He's listening to the playback. It dawns on him that no vibrato is indeed best. His multi-tracked layers will line up better if he doesn't wiggle his strings. Wieslawski replies, "It's done. Right"? In other words: "Duh!"

Wieslawksi knew the answer all along. He intentionally had Spider screw up so that the latter could hear he was wrong. Brilliant. Don't tell someone that he's wrong - show him. We usually don't notice little battles like this. But in the thousands, they make up what we know as albums.

— Cosmo Lee

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