When it comes to creating high-quality metal recordings, choosing the right producer can make all the difference. A skilled and experienced metal producer can bring out the power and intensity in your music, helping you achieve the professional sound you desire. At Modern Metal Songwriter, we understand the importance of finding the perfect producer for your metal projects. Here are some methods we believe will help you find the producer you need!
Researching Metal Producers
Before diving into the search for a metal producer, it's crucial to conduct thorough research. Metal production requires a specific skill set and understanding of the genre's unique characteristics. Look for producers who have a track record of working with metal bands and artists, as they will have the expertise needed to capture the raw energy and intricate details of your music. The most common way producers are hired is through word of mouth: they work on a band that people like, then people research who did the work a nd then hire that producer.
Note: Some bands opt to go to non-metal producers for an outside perspective and that is absolutely okay! This can force artists to step out of their comfort zone and we are not saying that is a bad thing. This article is simply focused on how to find a metal producer.
Recommendations from Musicians in the Modern Metal Songwriter Facebook Group
One valuable resource for finding recommendations is the Modern Metal Songwriter Facebook Group. By joining our community of rock and metal musicians, you can connect with like-minded individuals who can share their experiences and suggest reputable metal producers.
The group serves as a platform for networking, collaboration, and sharing knowledge. Visit the Modern Metal Songwriter Facebook Group to become a member and gain access to a supportive community of musicians. There are a lot of active producers in the group that could become your next collaborator.
Online Directories and Platforms
In today's digital age, online directories and platforms have become another great resource for connecting musicians with producers on a budget. Websites such as SoundBetter, BandLab, fiverr, and AirGigs offer comprehensive listings of potential producers. These platforms allow you to browse through producer profiles, listen to samples of their work, read reviews from previous clients, and even directly communicate with potential producers.
Industry Publications and Websites
Explore industry publications and websites that feature articles, reviews, and interviews with metal producers. These sources can provide valuable insights into a producer's style, approach, and reputation within the metal music community. Consider the following platforms:
- Metal Hammer: A renowned publication that covers all things metal. Metal Hammer often features interviews with producers, giving you a chance to learn about their techniques and philosophies.
- Blabbermouth: A popular metal news website that occasionally highlights notable producers in the industry. Keep an eye out for interviews and articles that shed light on the work of talented metal producers.
- Mixing with Metal: An online resource dedicated to metal music production. It offers a wealth of articles, tutorials, and interviews with experienced metal producers, allowing you to delve deeper into their expertise.
- Metal Injection: A very popular outlet for metal news and information. They often feature interviews with modern metal bands and producers.
By exploring these publications and websites, you can gain valuable knowledge about the producers you're considering. Learn about their previous projects, read reviews from artists they've worked with, and get a sense of their overall reputation within the metal community.
Attending Metal Music Events and Conferences
Attending metal music events and conferences presents an excellent opportunity to network with industry professionals, including metal producers. These events bring together musicians, producers, engineers, and enthusiasts who share a passion for metal music. By attending such gatherings, you can establish connections and engage in face-to-face conversations with potential producers.
Some notable metal music events and conferences to keep an eye out for include:
- NAMM Show: An annual event in the music industry where manufacturers, musicians, and professionals gather to showcase new products and discuss industry trends. NAMM often features metal-focused workshops and performances, providing opportunities to meet producers and industry experts.
- Audio Engineering Society (AES): Every year they have a meetup that includes many of the top engineers and producers in the game right now. Consider attending one of their events to network with potential collaborators!
- Metal Music Conferences: Several conferences focus specifically on metal music, offering panels, workshops, and networking opportunities. Examples include the Metal Music Conference and the International Society for Metal Music Studies conference.
When attending these events, be prepared with a brief introduction of yourself, your musical projects, and your goals as a musician. Engage in meaningful conversations, express your interest in finding the right metal producer, and exchange contact information with potential leads. Don't be a punisher!
Evaluating the Producer's Portfolio
When choosing a metal producer, evaluating their portfolio is a crucial step to ensure their expertise aligns with your artistic vision and goals. A producer's portfolio acts as a window into their previous work, showcasing their production style, sound quality, and ability to capture the essence of metal music. Here are some key points to consider when evaluating a producer's portfolio:
- Genre Compatibility: Pay close attention to the genres and subgenres of metal that the producer has worked with in the past. Look for producers who have experience in the specific style of metal you're aiming for, whether it's black metal, death metal, thrash metal, or any other subgenre. Their familiarity with the intricacies of your chosen genre will greatly contribute to the success of your recording.
- Production Quality: Listen to the samples provided in the producer's portfolio. Consider the overall production quality, clarity, and balance of instruments and vocals. Look for well-defined and impactful drum sounds, powerful guitar tones, and a mix that allows each instrument to shine while maintaining the raw energy and aggression of metal music.
- Attention to Detail: Take note of the producer's attention to detail in their previous work. Metal music often incorporates intricate guitar riffs, fast-paced drumming, and complex arrangements. A skilled metal producer will be able to capture and enhance these details, resulting in a polished and dynamic final product.
- Artistic Vision: Consider whether the producer's previous work aligns with your artistic vision. Every musician has a unique style and vision for their music. Look for producers who have a track record of understanding and respecting the artistic direction of the artists they work with. A producer who shares your passion and enthusiasm for metal music will likely be more invested in bringing out the best in your recordings.
By carefully evaluating a producer's portfolio, you can gain valuable insights into their skills, experience, and compatibility with your musical goals. Don't hesitate to reach out to the producer and discuss your specific project requirements.
Communication and Compatibility
Effective communication and compatibility with your chosen metal producer are vital for a smooth and successful recording process. Here are some key points to consider:
- Open and Transparent Communication: Establish a clear line of communication with the producer from the beginning. Clearly communicate your musical vision, goals, and expectations for the project. Share reference tracks or songs that capture the sound and atmosphere you're aiming for. The more specific you are in your communication, the better the producer can understand and fulfill your vision.
- Collaborative Approach: A good producer will work collaboratively with you to bring out the best in your music. They will provide valuable insights and suggestions while respecting your creative input. Look for a producer who values your ideas and actively involves you in the decision-making process.
- Flexibility and Adaptability: Metal music is diverse, and each band or artist has unique preferences and requirements. A producer should be adaptable to different styles and open to experimentation. Discuss your specific needs with the producer and ensure they are willing to accommodate your creative choices.
- Personality and Chemistry: Building a rapport with your producer is essential for a productive and enjoyable recording experience. Compatibility on a personal level can contribute to a more comfortable and collaborative atmosphere in the studio. Trust your instincts and consider whether you feel comfortable working with the producer you are considering.
Isaiah Prather of MMS (2017 in the old Audio Kitchen Studio in Akron, OH)
Remember, a successful collaboration with a metal producer goes beyond technical skills. It involves effective communication, mutual respect, and shared enthusiasm for your music. Take the time to discuss your project in-depth with potential producers and gauge their level of commitment to your artistic vision. It’s a common trope that bands will often prefer a producer who is fun to hang out with but may not know everything vs a producer who is technically skilled but not fun to be around. This is because music is art at the end of the day, and making great art takes getting everyone in a spot where they can feel creative.
Choosing the right metal producer is paramount to achieving high-quality and captivating recordings for your metal music. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process effectively and find a producer who understands your artistic vision and has the necessary expertise in metal music production.
Remember to join our thriving Facebook Community and let us know if you need any help finding a producer in your area (or remotely)!