TovH Exclusive – ‘The Producer Series’: Pt.1 – Tech-Death

Want to record that perfect take? Write the riff to crush all genitalia? Get that perfect drum tone? Need album direction ideas? Well today we have something extra special for all you aspiring musicians, the Producer Series. This exclusive to TovH will put you in touch with one of the leading names in metal production today, helping you get the edge over the endless stream of new bands/artists all seeking those sweet yet ever-dwindling record deal dollars. This first installment will cross all your weedlies and dot all your deedlies. You guessed it, up first is Tech-Death!

Now due to contractual obligations and other such legal restrictions imposed by those pesky record labels and other suit-wearing corporate scum, we’re not allowed to officially name the producer we’ve been in contact with. So for the purposes of this series, they’ll be referred to by their initials, B.S. I’m sure some of you more knowledgeable in the music industry have already worked out who it is, but for those who haven’t, let’s just say they’re a pretty big deal, having worked across a couple of decades, covered a plethora of sub-genres and gathered information from all parts of the music industry. What matters here for us though is that we’ve got exclusive access to their insights and tips on how to get noticed and achieve success through music. Without further ado I’ll hand over to the master.


1. Use Guitar-Pro.

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I can’t tell you how many bands I’ve come across entering the studio who have merely practised their shredding to the point of perfection without actually using Guitar Pro. It’s baffling. In the modern-age where electronics are king, it is nigh on complete lunacy to sit in your bedroom learning scales and modes like some kind of prehistoric virtuoso, becoming fluent in all manner of finger exercise regimes just to be able to nail the riff perfectly, when all you really need is Guitar Pro. The only muscle-memory I’ll be expecting from young bands is that which allows them to type-out riffs on a keyboard faster than R.L. Stine on a meth-binge.

2. Know When To Sweep-Pick.

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Learning to accurately rake your pick across the strings to get a nice clean sweep is something that takes a shitload of practice. Once you’ve learned it though, when do you use it? Now most of you will know that sweeping is an integral part of any tech-death guitarist’s lead repertoire. It’s in practically every solo ever recorded in the genre. Hell, even that dinosaur Yngwie Malmsteen can chuck a few diminished arpegggio sweeps into a lead. So what can you do to impress the audience, talent scouts and record company execs? The answer lies in the frequency of sweeps. You’ve spent all those countless hours learning to do this technique, don’t be constrained by what others call “tasteful”. Use them as much as possible. Interludes, fills, drop them in mid-riff, even transpose your licks to keyboard and get your synth player on board to truly sweep your audience off their feet.

3. Choose Your Cover-Art Wisely.

par-olofsson-planetary-duality-replica-1-700x394

Now I know what you might be thinking, “We’re a tech-death band, everyone has done purple space aliens to the death, we need to branch out to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the pack.” While this might seem like the logical step to take for your artwork, it is, sadly, a fallacy. People know what they want. The industry knows what works. If you try and go against these two things, you’re destined for failure. Why spend all the time putting in the hard yards doing all the riff-gymnastics if when your album sits on the shelf, it doesn’t scream TECH-DEATH to the consumer? It makes no sense. Sure, not every album can be adorned with a killer Par Olofsson original, but if you look around online it’s actually quite easy to find what you’re looking for. Using the key words – nebula, spiky, and alien – alone can net some pretty impressive results. After you’ve made your draft arrangement on photoshop, just filter it with various shades of purple and you’re good to go.

4. BPM Bragging.

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This tip is a combination of the Guitar Pro and sweep-picking concepts. By now, your group is almost certainly using a metronome wherever possible, especially the drummer. It’s probably a sure bet that they’ve now realised that not only should you practise with a metronome, but if you actually begin to sound like one, the whole band benefits. Playing at blistering speeds of over 300BPM for any decent period of time is no mean feat. Your audience needs to know this. It’s simply not enough for the fans to say “That track is so fucking quick.” They need numbers. Contrary to what the old-guard will tell you, statistics do matter in music. This is where BPM bragging can be used to your advantage. Every drum playthrough video or studio update you post on social media should be titled with the exact BPM; simply writing 300+ every now and then is not going to cut it. Your fans want to be able to feel superior to the competition, and BPM bragging allows them to accurately burn the opposition on YouTube comments sections, effectively doing your work for you in climbing the ladder to tech-death supremacy.

BPM2  BPM

BPMbrag

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5. Dismiss Other Genres/Bands

Pretty self-explanatory here, simply show disrespect for all other genres of music (even metal) at all times. Standard death metal is for those who can’t keep up with the pace, and OSDM, what a joke! You’ve put in the hard yards to be able to shred, sweep, tap, blast, shred-sweep-tap and blast, so why pretend that any other musician is worthy of any kind of adoration? Every person/band who influenced you in the past did it for you and you only. You’re carrying the torch now. Do you think your fans want to hear about how great some other fucking band is? No-one gives a shit about The Faceless or Spawn Of Possession anymore anyway, and Necrophagist can’t even record another album, so why mention them? Talking about other bands in interviews might make people think you’re insecure or something anyway, and you wouldn’t want to damage that image you’ve spent years cultivating, would you?


(Image via, viavia, via, via, via, via)

  • Salvador Dalí Lama

    This article is 5/7

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Well, that sums it up.

  • Dubs

    Name your first child “Tech.”

    • Lacertilian

      Or your dog in training.

  • hearty chuckles @ archspire BPM wanking

  • Tech death drummers can fuck off with that 300+ BPM shit. Gravity blasts can also fuck off.

    • Dagon

      What’s a gravity blast? Honest question.

        • Dude, I think those gravity blasts are ptrill. No lie.

          • Well, you’re not the only one.

        • Dagon

          In a regular blast you actually hit all the notes on the snare coming from above?

          • On a real blast you don’t cheat.

          • Max

            But they don’t actually use them for cheating. Pretty much every gravity blast I’ve ever heard used in a song (that I was aware of) involved the gravity pattern being double the rate of the regular blasting pattern. So why would they “cheat” on playing a rate that they’ve already proved they can play?

          • It is to cheating and it sounds tacky as all fuck. It’s lazy and lacks any power. If you want to increase your blasting speed, work on your single strokes. There are many other QUALITY techniques out there that are way more tasteful and honest. Take the moeller technique for example. Fuck the gravity roll.

          • Max

            The Moeller technique is great – I’ve made more headway with that than any other, currently – but what I’m saying is: Can the Moeller get up to the same rate as a gravity blast? I’m pretty sure it can’t.

            In most songs I’ve heard where the gravity blast is employed, it seems to be used as a double-stroke roll acceleration of the existing rate. So if a guy does traditional blasts at 190 bpm (with snare, kick and ride all at that 8th-note rate), then he can switch to a gravity blast where the ride stays at 190 bpm, while the snare doubles to 380 (and the kick also doubles to 380 by introducing alternate 190 bpm strokes on the left foot; same as you would if you were playing a 190 bpm bomb-blast pattern).

            Now – if you can find me somebody who doubles that snare rate to 380 using only Moeller or any other technique besides gravity, I’ll be truly impressed. (I know Spencer Prewett is getting there, but he seems to do it by using that “overlapping fives” technique where you have to economize the high hat down to a full beat while the left and right hands are switching back-and-forth between the snare drum. I actually like that technique, but technically isn’t THAT “cheating” too?)

          • Óðinn

            It’s not a real blast if you can do it with 2 fingers on an electronic drum while filming a video and narrating at the same time. That’s some purple tech death shit.

    • This is how you blast. No pussy gravity rolls, wimpy two footed blasts, or triggers here. Powerful hitting and strong one footed annihilation. It don’t get much better than this.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3vGsq8KYjg

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Amen. High BPMs are not the true measure of trveness..

  • Dagon

    Finally something worth reading on this website. The writers here use the word “tasteful” too much as if being mature and writing good songs is what matters.

    Everyone knows it’s all about going fast. Sonic told us. I also really like the color purple.

    • Dubs

      *Sanic

      • Dagon

        *Synic

        • *Pnath

          • Spear

            *Peenath

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            *Peenis

          • Every time, Tapir. You just do not miss a beat.

          • Dubs

            Just like Spencer Prewett, bro.

          • I see what you did there.

  • Spear

    I’d be offended, but all this is true.

    • Lacertilian

      You know I listen to some Tech Spear. B.S did give us some good tips for the other genres too.

  • Dubs

    Dear B. S., how many strings should my bass guitar have? That guy from Veil of Maya has like 7 on his.

    • That motherfucker can really play, though. Shame he’s in VoM.

      • I relistened to their last release the other day. It was not as terrible as I remember. Still not good. But not terrible.

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          *It was not as terrible as I remember. It was even worse!
          FTFY

          • Mayk Benynton

            DOWNVOTED!

          • huurrrrrrdedurrrrrrrrrr *fart sounds*

      • Mayk Benynton

        Wouldn’t be great if every guitarist in the world played tech death?

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          That’s one of my many recurring nightmares.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Ouch.

    • Óðinn

      4

      -Óðinn

  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

    I feel like i have been focusing too much on death metal bands instead of the greats like A7X, Disturbed, and Three Days Grace.

    -Ryan Scheffert, 1 month ago

    • Mayk Benynton

      You seem to have run out of reposts and now is reposting what you have reposted before.

      • Good, maybe it will just end.

      • RJA

        RepostedRepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2 ?

        • Mayk Benynton

          I feel like i have been focusing too much on death metal bands instead of the greats like A7X, Disturbed, and Three Days Grace.

          -Ryan Scheffert, 1 month ago

          -RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2, an hour ago.

  • Good job, Lacertilian!

    Sweep-picking: the preferred technique of Mr. Molenaar. Use it at caution!

    https://49.media.tumblr.com/abfa284f500c38cc93a5e000b22f1e45/tumblr_msytauqfMy1sezo35o1_500.gif

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Need a dust pan?

      • Lacertilian

        You’re cleaning up here man

    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      Where has he been? By the by…

      • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

        Space, obviously

      • by making his appearances few and far between, he has become a legend (moreso)

        • The guy’s 2 years old and is still a legend. A true wonder boy.

        • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

          rule #1: Make the people want more

    • This gave me AIDS.

    • Óðinn

      is he playing in a windstorm?

      • CyberneticOrganism

        It’s a green screen storm. Watch out for lens flares.

        • Óðinn

          Duck!

      • I just love how stupidly dramatic is that gif, and he’s just there sweeping his guitar.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Speaking of production tips I need some for my new album Kohoutek. I’m about 1/3 of the way through recording the 9 songs. How should I produce it? It’s going to be a combo of spoken word and metal and I want it to sound extremely raw and lo fi due to it being the single darkest album I ever wrote.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Here’s the world premier of the first single off my new album Kohoutek, out soon. It’s a cover/reimagining of Pink Moon.

    https://blimpcrashinginmidair.bandcamp.com/track/pink-moon-2

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      Revolutionary music making!

    • It’s like Demilich.
      Slowed down to 5 BPM and pitch-shifted down to -3294734khz. (<——Not a made-up measurement.)

  • Upvote. Cuz this song is fugginawesome. m/m/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS5osAdTnm0

    • Dubs

      I downvoted. You can’t tell me how to live my life.

      • Mayk Benynton

        DOWNVOTED. YOU MUST OBEY!

      • Sir Tapir The Based

        You goddamn anarchists!

      • SOMETIMES IN MARRIAGE, ONE MUST DO THINGS THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO. THIS IS A SIMILAR SCENARIO.

        • Dubs

          I don’t think we’re in a covenant relationship, GL.

          • Just make sure to back up after you run all over my heart, W.

    • Mayk Benynton

      It’s great.
      I don’t really get bothered by the production, which was said to be horrible.

      • This was the only song I could get into off the LP. I wanted more though….

  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    The difference between 290 and 300 BPM is vast, its a chasm, its human vs robot, is soul no soul, its the black n white cookie, its egg whites or yoke.

  • Waynecro

    This article makes me laugh. Not being good enough to play tech death makes me sad.

    • Lacertilian

      On the upside, you’re probably good at being humble.

      • Waynecro

        You just earned 5 optimism points.

        • Lacertilian

          Cool, I’ll add them to the tally. I now have a total of 5 all up.

          • Waynecro

            You’re ahead of me by 4 optimism points. Man, I’ll never catch up now. Shit. That statement just cost me my only optimism point.

  • Eliza

    Do one for DOOooOOM.

    • Lacertilian

      You’ll be pleased to know that B.S recorded one of those for us.

      • Eliza

        Yes!

  • tertius_decimus

    > filter it with various shades of purple and you’re good to go

    Purple stuff is real, I told you so!

  • I almost skipped this. I’m so glad I didn’t. <3 you beautiful lizard