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Producers - do they matter?
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AngeldeathGreg



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 376
Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:45 am    Post subject: Producers - do they matter? Reply with quote

Okay, so I thought that this might be an interesting discussion: the role and importance of a producer for an album.

This is primarily inspired by the Diabolic album, "Infinity Through Purification". I am more familiar with their first 3 albums, and hadn't really ever given this one much of a chance. So the other day, I decided to spin it a few times, and I was VERY impressed with it. The arrangements and the effectiveness of the song writing was very impressive... it actually sucked me in, and was evoking feelings in me. It was taking me places, rather than just a straight-ahead blasting brutality. Sure, there first few albums also had really cool musical moments and hooks, but this was totally different.

Then I found out that the album was produced by Neil Kernon. So I thought "no shit.... there must be a connection".


And then I began thinking about other bands who had put out a few really good records but then had one produced by a big-name person which ended up really standing out above the rest of their catalog.... and the main one that came to mind was Krisiun, with "Conquerors of Armageddon" having been produced by Erik Rutan.

Say what you will about his current production and engineering choices, but that album was 'the change' for Krisiun's popularity and development. It was their big break, having signed to Century Media, but also musically... its so much more mature and effective than their previous 2 albums, as good as "Black Force Domain" and "Apocalyptic Revelation" obviously are.


So... what do you think? Is this just a coincidence, or can having a big-time outside producer actually help elevate a band?
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Nocturnal Deathstrike



Joined: 05 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never really understood how a producer for a metal band is anything more than just a sound engineer who maybe gives his 2 cents to this and that...
Producers in mainstream genre´s are basically those who do the music...
But in metal ? I really can´t imagine they really have any influence on the songwriting...
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ADB



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Producers can completely change a record, or they can have hardly any impact, it really depends. Generally (and this is a huge generalization) metal bands will get producers in when they want to reach a broader audience
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nonwave



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the point of having a producer is to have an outside party, or a more impartial one give their two cents, certainly. a lot of times the band members can be so myopic they cannot see their actual strengths and weaknesses. i don't think it's mandatory to have a producer, but if they're good they can impart a lot which wouldn't be there otherwise.

speaking as a person who has had the role of a "producer" several times, i have heard many people say those records were better than the self-produced ones and i tend to agree. i was able to create a situation where we could get the best possible results and they could relax and just do their jobs for once.
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iron tyrant



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nonwave wrote:
the point of having a producer is to have an outside party, or a more impartial one give their two cents, certainly. a lot of times the band members can be so myopic they cannot see their actual strengths and weaknesses. i don't think it's mandatory to have a producer, but if they're good they can impart a lot which wouldn't be there otherwise.

speaking as a person who has had the role of a "producer" several times, i have heard many people say those records were better than the self-produced ones and i tend to agree. i was able to create a situation where we could get the best possible results and they could relax and just do their jobs for once.


True. A producer with balls can turn the result on a record. Sometimes none of the 5 people in the band realize they've written some nice garbage, it takes someone to open their eyes.
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xxx



Joined: 12 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

totally true!
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Atommächt



Joined: 12 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nocturnal Deathstrike wrote:
Producers in mainstream genre´s are basically those who do the music...
But in metal ? I really can´t imagine they really have any influence on the songwriting...


In mainstream metal, at least Rick Rubin (Danzig, Slayer) and Bob Rock (Metallica) had an impact on the songwriting.

I can imagine that people like Peter Tägtgren, Dan Swanö etc. also managed to push bands in a certain direction.
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Nocturnal Deathstrike



Joined: 05 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see how Rick Rubin had impact when producing Johnny Cash...

What I want to say... in a mainstream production there are many people working on the "product" and the artists themselves don´t do much beside playing their "role" and the producer gives the direction...
In metal most bands have a clear vision of what they want to do and what they want to sound like, therefore a producer is not necessary in my opinion...
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Caina



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless the producer is a good engineer or has one working with them, they're just a 'band wrangler' and a good band should be able to work their shit out and live without one.
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crypticus



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's Producing & there's engineering. Engineers record & mix things the way the band wants it, or as close as possible. A Producer will actually suggest musical changes as well as having a hand in the engineering choices. For example, Dan Swano played a Producer role for early KATATONIA, early OPETH, DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE, & DEMIURG, & with all three you can clearly hear his influence. On the other hand, Tomas Skogsberg mostly sticks to mixing. As far as I know the only influence he has on the bands he works with is that awesome guitar sound.
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jameswolfe



Joined: 28 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atommächt wrote:
Nocturnal Deathstrike wrote:
Producers in mainstream genre´s are basically those who do the music...
But in metal ? I really can´t imagine they really have any influence on the songwriting...


In mainstream metal, at least Rick Rubin (Danzig, Slayer) and Bob Rock (Metallica) had an impact on the songwriting.

I can imagine that people like Peter Tägtgren, Dan Swanö etc. also managed to push bands in a certain direction.



Absolutely. Look at the difference between Blizzard Beasts and At The Heart of Winter.....both songwriting and sound completely different and there are a few Hypocrisy riffs in there.
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profanation



Joined: 17 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A producers job is to make the band sound as good as possible according to his standards...

Bob Rock is the perfect example



Regardless, sound has a lot to say ...sound is an instrument.
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asmael LeBouc



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine a producer working with Abruptum back in the days...

"hmmm can you play the riff again cos I'm not sure I..."
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PFL



Joined: 29 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

asmael LeBouc wrote:
I imagine a producer working with Abruptum back in the days...

"hmmm can you play the riff again cos I'm not sure I..."


Peter Tagtgren recorded that last (real) Abruptum album and he once told me it was the most bizarre recording experience of his life.
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blewcheer



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Producers - do they matter?


Yes.
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