I'm Eyal Levi, and here's my proof: https://twitter.com/TheRealEyalLevi/status/378146728870154240

I'm the son of a pretty famous classical symphony conductor -- but I got my own break in the business by handing out 28,000 free CDs and maxing out all of my credit cards on buying some entry-level music gear. Now I am a partner at Audiohammer Studios - http://audiohammerstudios.com - where we work with bands like August Burns Red and The Black Dahlia Murder.

I can go into a lot more detail, though and would like to help demystify the music industry. It's a tough business, and I'll share the good, the bad and the ugly to help you get started in music.

I'm here to answer all of your questions, so... go ahead... AMA.


Thanks for the great questions everyone, will keep on answering them.

Also, I'm teaching a one-day course on Toontrack's EZ Drummer software on 9/25, which will stream free via creativeLIVE. They've created a special code for the Reddit community to take 20% off any ONE course in their back catalog of creative courses.

My course: http://www.creativelive.com/courses/digital-drums-ezdrummer-eyal-levi

Website: http://creativelive.com

Code: REDDIT20

(expires: 9/15/2013)

Enter coupon code on the checkout page after adding the course to your shopping cart. This is a single use code.


Wow! I just want to thank everyone who showed up and participated! You guys have been great. This has been going on for almost 3:30 and my hands are falling off haha. I'm going to take a breather. Possibly for the night.

However, when my brain re-activates I will try to answer any new or remaining questions. Feel free to keep them coming.

In the meantime check out my studio porn page - http://instagram.com/unstoppablekillingmachine#

Also, I maintain a daily recording/music Q&A here - http://eyallevi.tumblr.com/


Ok. This time for real. I'm out for the night. Need to get some sleep. But feel free to keep the questions coming. I will be back during the day of Sept 13 and if the questions don't stop I'll go into the evening of Sept 13.

So it's up to you guys. I will go as long as you guys want to!

Anyhow, you've been great! Thanks for tuning in! And will continue this after I get some sleep.


Hello everyone! I'm back for a little bit answering some more questions

Comments: 294 • Responses: 89  • Date: 

TooMuchProtein16 karma

What does the music industry need most right now?

mrjumping25 karma

Committed musicians and songwriters.


How would you describe the current state of mainstream music?

mrjumping44 karma

Mainstream. I don't think it's changed much. Maybe the specifics of what's popular at the time but at the end of the day mainstream music is like the equivalent of sonic fast food. Tastes good going in, is scientifically engineered to give you the exact feeling it gives you, but once that feeling fades leaves you with nothing good. (there's some exceptions of course)


Well put and extremely accurate. Thanks for the response.

mrjumping5 karma

No problem and Thanks for asking a question !

lesusisjord12 karma

Can bands make enough money off of large numbers of record sales to live comfortably, or is the only way to survive (or live large) to tour? How "famous" does a band have to be to get lazy about playing live?

Do you prefer writing songs entirely on your own or do you like/prefer collaboration during the writing process?


mrjumping29 karma

Getting lazy about playing live seems to bite big bands in the ass doesn't it ? I don't think you can ever really get lazy about music. The public moves too quickly. Also, living comfortably is relative so first ask yourself, what figure would you need to pull in to feel comfortable. Then figure out about five different income streams the band can tap into and forget it coming from record sales.


They go hand-in-hand. You think Coldplay moves units like it does off simple marketing and promotion? They move those units in large part because they tour their asses off.

edit i mean the editorial 'you' not actually op :)

mrjumping3 karma

Yes. Correct. A rock band has to tour to bring in revenue. Sure, there's online merch. But touring is what fuels the money machine. And that's true for everyone.

Arescyne10 karma

How awesome is it working with the guys in Reflections?

mrjumping12 karma

Pretty fucking awesome !

buhdumbum10 karma


mrjumping23 karma

Biggest asshole I've ever worked with wasn't famous and probably will never be. DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE

buhdumbum9 karma


mrjumping14 karma

I get that but obviously you know I'm not going to call anyone out by name. Also, and more importantly, my point is that despite a common myth about rockstars being assholes, usually successful people are cool. And there's a reason that's true. Nobody becomes famous without the help of a team. And if you are an asshole your team will abandon you after you show your first sign of weakness. That may not matter in the short term but in the long term that's not the recipe for a good career. And do you really consider 1 hit wonders and "15 minutes of fame" recipients to be famous?

buhdumbum4 karma


mrjumping14 karma

Ok. He had long hair and wore black.

PKM_Trainer_Tye9 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do this! What's the best story you have from the industry and what is your favorite genre to play and/or listen to?

mrjumping3 karma

My pleasure. Happy to do it and thanks for tuning in. I don't really listen to genres because I feel like the strict definitions are something that was more of a marketing / sales tool than an actual descriptor. I like to listen to stuff that I feel is at the high point of achievement and originality regardless of style.

pmbruce8 karma

Do you like pudding?

jjgaybrams9 karma

pls respond

KilledByDeath6 karma

Any tips for creating drum tracks with Superior Drummer, that have a "human" feel to them? Everything I program with superior drummer sounds a bit sterile. Thanks!

CaptainFallDown4 karma

Have you tried randomizing velocities so instead of them all being at 127, they're more somewhere between 105 and 120, subtract 20 for ghost notes. Works for me usually!

Edit: more info

mrjumping2 karma

I just gave you an upvote. Yes yes and more yes. 127 should be your equivalent of a FFF in a classical score. If you use 127 the entire time it ceases to be the loudest. It's just the average. And so that said, if you want good even hard hits, yes have them in a certain loud range. But do randomize them between certain numbers like CaptainFallDown said. Go on Youtube. Look up drum videos of your favorite drummers. If you had to program velocities for how they play what would they be ? Would they get softer on fills ? Would they get louder on blast beats? Would every hit be at 127?

mrjumping3 karma

Yes. First off, check out the grooves. Those are all played by superior drummers, no pun intended. You have just about any beat you would reasonably need in some shape or form right there. At most you just need to customize the midi to fit your song. Alright... so say that you have gone through all the grooves and nothing is working at all. It has to be 100% from scratch. I would examine the following -

1 - What's going on with your velocities ? Are they all at 127 or at a similar number to each other ? If so add some variation

2 - Is everything 100% on the grid ? If so, again, add some variation and randomization. No real drummer, even the best, play 100% to the grid 100% of the time

3 - When you close your eyes can you imagine a drummer actually playing this stuff with ease ? And I mean a 2 armed, 2 legged, human drummer. Not this guy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZGIrNf71Q

MexicanSeaf00d6 karma

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to get signed?

mrjumping7 karma

I would first ask yourself why you want to get signed in the first place and what you hope to get out of it. Do some research on what bands of all levels say about the experience. See if that lines up with your goals. If so, make the best music possible like Lesusisjord said and treat it like you're running for political office.

MexicanSeaf00d3 karma

I was just wondering how a band like nirvana or pearl jam comes along.

mrjumping3 karma

Then rephrase your question to something like "How do I start a band that will become the biggest band in the world?"

Because getting signed and getting big are two completely different things.

Frajer6 karma

Were you encouraged to go into symphonic music at all?

mrjumping9 karma

Yeah of course I was. Both directly and indirectly. It's really hard to not get into that style of music when you're around it 24/7/365 since the womb.

Mirsajedindrums5 karma

Watsup Eyal, were friends on facebook and I'm friends with yer bro up here in Atlanta. I'd like to know if you'd ever help out your brother with his band and what not and also if you'd branch out from just working with metal bands to other genres? Thanks for the AMA!

mrjumping5 karma

I actually work with members of his band in a professional context. One of their guitarists, John Douglass, does a ton of engineering for me. Their other guitarist and mastermind, Eric Guenther does a lot of synth work on records for me like The Contortionist, Daath, etc.

Mirsajedindrums3 karma

Oh sweet I'm seeing the contortionist this sunday!

mrjumping5 karma

Oh cool say hi

GayForChopin5 karma

Dude, I wanna hear a crazy story. What's the most fucked up shit you found yourself involved in over you touring career?

mrjumping9 karma

You know, the problem with sharing the really crazy stories is that you could end up pissing off all your friends. You know the "happens on the road, stays on the road" cliche

GayForChopin3 karma

Oh come on, it's not like you're posting it on the Internet with your identity having been revealed for the entire world to read... Or anything like that...

Naw I get that, yous a good friend.

mrjumping4 karma

Thanks for understanding.

CrackedNuts3 karma

When it comes to producing music for bands, does the label that their signed to choose the producer, or do they have the choice in the matter?

mrjumping4 karma

Ultimately it's up to the label because they have the veto power over everything that they spend money on. But that said, it's really difficult to force a band to work with a producer they don't want to work with. It's typically a group decision based on direction, budget, goals, and scheduling.

Autistic_Samurai3 karma

When mixing, do you try and make every band's mix more or less the same or do you like to dramatically change the mix depending on the band you're producing for?

mrjumping3 karma

Even if I wanted to make every band's mix the same it's pretty much impossible. It would certainly make life easier if you could just throw a preset on there but it just doesn't work that way. Every mix is custom. The similarities you hear between the records that come out of a certain studio come down to that word we all know as "style."

Rob_Saget3 karma


  • When is Daath making a new album??
  • How did you come to work with the Contortionist?
  • I host a podcast that has metal musicians (Bryan Beller of Dethklok, Tim Roth of Into Eternity, etc) come on a nerd out with us. Would you be interested in being a guest to talk audio?

Thanks for this AMA and look forward to your responses!

mrjumping2 karma

1 - No clue. No plans. 2 - Their awesome A&R guy Carl Severson got us in touch 3 - I would be more than into doing a podcast. Hit me up at [email protected] about it

robbiethedarling3 karma

What was it like seeing Patrick and Charles perform their parts in front of you? Did you get a feeling of "Shit, this is going to be brilliant?" I definitely did when I picked up The Fantasy Effect. Cheers!

mrjumping8 karma

Yes, but honestly the whole "holy shit" feeling started when we were tracking drums because their drummer Cam is a human computer. That holds the record for being my fastest drum session ever for a real album. And not because we were cutting corners. It's because he was playing great!

Bit-chrusher3 karma

And he's what...like 18 or 19? Fresh out of high school with more talent than most twice his age.

mrjumping9 karma

I thought he was 17 when we tracked. He actually had to leave the studio to go finish high school.

StevieBobby2 karma

Are the drums for Reflection's 100% real or are there any samples with it?

mrjumping6 karma

It's a blend. Of course there are some samples. You can't find a modern metal record without samples.

robbiethedarling2 karma

That's good to hear man! Cam is a damn monster. Also, loved the mix and master of My Cancer. Can't wait for the record!

mrjumping2 karma

Thanks! Glad you liked it!

jordancore3 karma

Hey Eyal. I'm friends with Sean Z and got to meet Emil when we played with Chimaira in Atlanta but I haven't met you yet! Was always a fan of Daath and Avalanche of Worms. You have produced some sick albums by some of my favorite bands and you are great at what you do.

My band Collapse of the Empire just finished recording our 5 song EP. We are playing Atlanta a good bit but the local scene here is nothing like what it used to be. We aren't trying to make this a profession but more of a just a fun hobby and play around the south east while still spreading our name. We have yet to formally release our EP (just have it up streaming for free). We have no merch. We just play about 3 times a month.

What would be your best advice for us moving forward as far as our EP (best way to release it and get it spread), T Shirts, Artwork, New Logo, playing shows, etc?

mrjumping9 karma

Hey thanks. I'm glad you dig the music and say hey to Sean Z. Love that bearded fucker.

Anyways, you basically just answered your own question about the best ways to spread your band around. I would just add one descriptor. KILLER T-shirts, KILLER Artwork, Killer New Logo, play a KILLER Live Set, and make sure you have one guy in the band who refuses to get a job, a car, or a girlfriend because they're too busy working on social media.

EpicSpectre3 karma

As somebody who know Cam Murray from Reflections, what's he like to work with in the studio? Also, where do you see metal and music in general going in the next 10 years?

mrjumping5 karma

He's great. I answered it above already but he is the fastest drummer I've ever worked with in terms of speed of tracking. I don't mean bpm. He's pretty quick there too though. I'm very curious to see where he takes it in the next five years. If he sticks to it I think he could be one of the top of the top drummers in not only brutal metal, but in any style that requires intense and dynamic drumming.

EpicSpectre1 karma

thanks! I've been lucky enough to hear Cam drum in person, and he's really mindbogglingly good

mrjumping2 karma

Yes. Machine like.

Bluecas3 karma

Which artist did you enjoy working with most, and which song did you enjoy writing the most?

mrjumping3 karma

Hard to answer that. I've written hundreds of songs at this point and worked with quite a few artists as well. I'd say it's more about favorite songs and favorite artists.

ericlier3 karma

Do you enjoy classical music?

mrjumping11 karma

Classical era or orchestral ?

ericlier1 karma

Classical era

mrjumping5 karma

Late classical a little. I'm more into Neo-Romantic and early modern.

GamingRedditor3 karma

What inspired you to become a Producer/musician? What tips do you give to people starting out?

mrjumping7 karma

I started as a producer so I could record myself as a musician. I had some seriously bad experiences going to a studio and eventually decided I would put the money into learning how to do it, rather than lining some junkie's pockets. The thing that inspired me to become a musician, without sounding cheesy, is probably my dad. Now the style of music I play is another story.

againstfate3 karma

How important is for a metal band to be located in Los Angeles? does the city where the band is located matter for record labels?

mrjumping2 karma

I don't think it's that important for getting your band noticed. Social media has made it to where you're geography is less important than ever. Focus on your music and your marketing. HOWEVER, I think if you want a job in the music industry as a non musician then it's arguably super important. And at the very least it's important to make a regular presence there. I have gone there almost quarterly since 2008. Sometimes people have criticized me for going out there just to go out there but it always bears fruit. Even years down the road.

Tyler_Haagenson3 karma

I'm coming out with some music really soon and I'm debating how worth it making physical copies of the E.P. would be as in how many if I do. I've heard you were constantly giving out cd's and promoting your music all the time, so I was wondering given the status of downloads ect if you would still do the same physical copy distribution now days or not?

mrjumping5 karma

I was giving out CDs by the gallon in 2003-2006. Things were very different back then. I would not even consider it nowadays.

Blablabigfoot3 karma

Digital recording or analog ?

mrjumping5 karma


Did-you-reboot2 karma

How do you feel about bands doing self-produced stuff? My friends band did a complete DI to their PC and they mixed all their own stuff and it sounds pretty great. Does this help much when recording and a commercial setting or do you inevitably pickup some bad traits?

mrjumping3 karma

Kudos to your friend's band. I guess it's the same as individual musicians. Some are going to be better than others. Most will be mediocre. Only the top end will be exceptional. So with that in mind, I would recommend that bands go to producers. Most of them are not developed enough with their studio game to put out pro level recordings. I really think bands should focus on their music first and foremost. Maybe once they master the art of songwriting, and instrumentation, then move on into production. And this is coming from someone who does both. As a band member I've almost always gone to other producers. Maybe not at first but as soon as I felt like my music was ready.

Did-you-reboot1 karma

Definitely not pro-level, but it's the equivalent to some of the bands quality such as Reflections. Definitely when the music (and budget) is ready they will migrate to a more professional level. What do you believe got you interested into the recording and preforming aspect?

mrjumping2 karma

I guess that brings up the "chicken or the egg" debate. Does the band have to go pro in order to sound pro, or does the band have to sound pro in order to go pro ? And honestly I don't really think there's a set formula or answer to that. Personally, I think you should always do your best to put out the highest quality songs and productions possible.

What got me interested in performing was at first watching my dad perform. It seemed pretty awesome to be in charge of such a huge sound in such an adrenaline filled situation. I started recording so that I could capture my own songs because I had some really bad experiences in some local Atlanta studios.

immorta12 karma

Who is the favorite famous person that you have worked with?

mrjumping2 karma

Most of the people I work with are super cool.

rocker872 karma

I love your genre. I've worked with Brian Virtue (Chevelle, 30 Seconds to Mars) and Mark Holman (Shinedown, Halestorm)

I produce a lot within your genre.

Any chance I could get a mix critique?


I have trouble really getting that punch you guys get. Any advice would be appreciated!

mrjumping3 karma

Ok. Well it sounds better than you may think. It wasn't bad. The things that struck me as needing some improvement would make the song feel better, which would in turn make the mix better. Tempo it was lagging a little. To me it's hard to really feel a song if the tempo is wrong. Second, the arrangement was a little cluttered. Too busy when it needed to be sparse and too sparse when it needed to be busy. So I would revamp the song. You may not like my answer because I'm not giving any mix specifics but trust me on this. Try it.

buhzie22 karma

Not saying the song is garbage, but garbage in, garbage out. The material has to be good for the mix to even sound good.

mrjumping2 karma

I just upvoted your comment. I would just tweak one detail about it. I think the arrangement has to be good for the mix to be good. A great arrangement can hide a bad song within a good mix.

stabystabstab2 karma

I would like your conjecture on the new Necrophagist album: do you think it will happen? If so, when?

thepathtoawe2 karma

Hey, Eyal. This is Josh from Tampa. I recently contacted you about renting some time at Audiohammer to help make a set of Kemper profiles in an ideal environment (if you remember).

First, I'd just like to say, along with Andy Sneap and Colin Richardson, you, Mark, and Jason are among my favorite and most respected producers. Thank you for consistently putting out quality! In particular, I am a huge fan of the latest albums by The Contortionist and Last Chance to Reason. I really dig the ethereal atmosphere, the overall high level of musicianship, and the more thoughtful, intelligent lyrics (as compared to most other bands in this genre). I would be interested in hearing anything at all you'd like to share about working on these albums. How was it working with those guys? How much did you contribute to songwriting? Do you think you would enjoy working on more heady, ambient prog metal like this? What would it take to get you to contribute a guest solo on a similar project?

mrjumping2 karma

Hey Josh.I do remember, and thanks for tuning in!

And thanks for the kind words. I definitely feel completely humbled to even be mentioned with Andy, Colin, Mark, or Jason but thank you. I've actually worked with all of them and each one of them is just a monster.

TC and LCTR - How do I feel about working with bands like that ? It's a great mental workout and also very cool on a musical level. I like it when bands push themselves to be better and don't stick to pre-conceived rules. They also have two of the best drummers in metal so that rules.

Songwriting Contributions - With bands like that it's more about capturing them properly and helping focus them than writing their music for them

Would I enjoy more heady prog - If the band has the traits I mentioned above and were likeable people then yes

What would it take for me to play a guest solo - The music would have to "ask" me for a solo if that makes sense

The intern issue - write to [email protected] if interested. We don't take interns in person though due to the private nature of our clientele. We definitely have had interns that do a lot of work via the internet. I always need more hands and ears so don't be shy.

SoulFire64642 karma

Do you enjoy the music of the bands you work with?

mrjumping11 karma

I try to. And usually I do. And when I don't, I lie to myself until I do. Typically works.

Tyler_Haagenson2 karma

Hey man, when you are recording tracks is there a number of guitar tracks you usually like to start out with? How much does it affect the mix in contrast to the drums/ bass vocals? Cheers.

mrjumping9 karma

It depends on the tempo of the music / tightness of the guitarists. I'll give you an example of two famous and SUPER TIGHT bands who do 2 and 4 respectively. Devildriver - 4 guitars. The Black Dahlia Murder - 2 guitars. The more medium tempo it is the more tracks you can get away with. Don't be fooled though... 2 tracks played great sounds better and way bigger than 4 played horribly

buhzie22 karma

Eyal! Thanks for doing this and sharing your knowledge with us. It's great that you're so willing to spread your wealth of information with others. Thank you.

Just a few questions...

How do you feel that the recording industry has been affected with the advent of home recording setups becoming cheaper and easier to use? What has the impact of such an over-saturated market been like on a working professional as yourself?

What advice would you give for someone like myself who has proven themselves to many local bands as a formidable recording engineer/producer? How can I transform what I'm doing now, working with smaller acts, into something that I can carry into the future more successfully? What can I do to stand out to someone higher up in the industry than I am?

mrjumping2 karma

Rather than worrying about standing out to someone, worry about how you can help someone. Bring some value into the life of someone who is higher than you on the food chain. I guarantee you that you will get more of the recognition you feel you deserve.

And I think it's pretty obvious that home setups have done a few things. Pre pro sounds better than ever. So yay for that. Because musicians can now edit their pre-pro, they spend more time doing that than actually working on music. Overall it's hurt the standard of musicianship because the editing has gotten so good, and the players lazy as a result. And how has it affected me ? Not too much. Other than having a few more backseat drivers more of these bands still realize that it's in their best interest to have a pro work on their actual tracks.

nick-is-a2 karma

Thanks so much for doing this! Any good marketing tips for a band trying to get their feet off the ground?

mrjumping3 karma

Every band is different and so what works for one wont work for the other. BUT I would keep the attitude of experimentation alive and well in your marketing efforts. Test run everything and keep trying different approaches. If one thing you did, like your own band memes seems to work, then keep at that. If that gets zero response or negative response ditch it. Also, read some marketing books like "Trust Me I'm Lying" by Ryan Holiday

stabystabstab1 karma

This may seem like a really basic and dumb question, but how do I place a mic correctly? I've been using an impulse loader as of late, because I just can't seem to get a good sounding tone out of my microphones. It's not even a lack of trying: everything I do with a mic'd cab just sounds like ass.

Also, how do you get 2 guitars to sound as huge as they do on something like Everblack? Is there a certain way you treat them differently versus something with 4? Also, when doing 4, do you "shelve" the extra guitar tracks to thicken the sound, or do you mix them the same as the "parent" tracks?

mrjumping1 karma

Its not a basic and dumb question it's just that i'ts impossible to answer over an AMA. I will tell you that on the Daath album the concealers we spent 10 days getting a rhythm tone. Placing a mic is a game of centimeters and it's excruciating. But try this. Record a DI of a simple riff that's chuggy and run it through all four speakers in the cab (not at the same time). Take note of which sounds the best, or least bad, and then tweak the position on that one from there.

Everblack is all about Brian and Ryan being the best guitar duo in that genre. There's no tricks to that tone.

And I feel you may be overthinking things. Try to get 1 guitar to sound great with no eq.

beefsupreme1231 karma


IrresistibleMittens1 karma

Hey! I'm an aspiring engineer who is a huge fan of Audiohammer. First off

  1. What is with Jason and nipples?
  2. Do you have any go to positions for micing? I imagine you guys do a lot of 5150 -> Mesa OS setups. I've been single micing with an SM57 and I want to dual mic fredman style, I just feel like I'm trying to fix a problem with an alternative solution.
  3. Do you guys ever outsource your mastering or do you do it in house? Any resources you can recommend for mastering metal? There really isn't much out there on the internet for it. I know the importance of monitoring and your room itself, but I would like to get more involved with mastering that's not just throw on a multi band and limiter.

Thanks for your time!

mrjumping1 karma

Hey! Thanks for the support and thank you for YOUR time!

1 - Your guess is as good as mine 2 - Yes there's goto mic placements but that's just a starting point. Micing cabs is a game of centimeters. I would recommend mastering one mic before adding the headache of two. 3 - Mastering is so important that we don't really do it. We get amazing mastering engineers like Alan Douches http://www.westwestsidemusic.com/14alan.html

jew_road1 karma

What is your opinion on programmed drums in Metal? Why is it that every metal band these days needs to use the same programmed electronic drum sound when 20 years ago drums sounded far better and we weren't as technologically advanced? If anything I would've thought technological advances would have made recording live drums easier.

mrjumping2 karma

You would think so right ? My theory is that audio editing technology got so good that drummers overall have gotten lazier. There's some standouts like Shannon Lucas but by and large drummers are dropping the ball. And you know who isn't dropping the ball? Toontrack. So if you have the option of a really crappy real drummer that will take forever to fix and who will always sound mediocre -OR- a really good sounding drum machine what will you pick ? Obviously a great drummer in a great room on a great kit is the be all end all but unfortunately there's just not that many great drummers anymore.

iamleggacy1 karma

how awesome is it having daniel levi as your younger brother?

mrjumping1 karma

HA. Pretty awesome

candysmash1 karma

With the advancement in technology over the past 50 years where do you see music evolving in the next 50?

deadmemories11 karma

Hey eyal, first off thanks for the constant tips on Tumblr and thanks for the follow on there too haha. I live about 40 mins from your studio and want to visit it, but I know you're not open to the public really :(

ANYWAYS, how did you get started with recording and how did you work your way up to recording these amazing bands? I want to be a producer in the future and don't really know where to start and how to work my way up.

Oh and Battlecross's new album, holy hell good work.

EDIT: And I also hear Whitechapel has been over at Audio Hammer. Can't wait to see what comes of that!

EDIT again: Oh and any jobs available? :) Even studio cleaner? lol

mrjumping1 karma

My pleasure about the Tumblr. Sorry about the no visitors thing. It's as much a privacy of our clients as it is a security issue. We don't take chances with strangers.

I started on recording like I said in my intro paragraph - I maxed out a bunch of credit cards on gear because I was really not into having another horrible studio experience at the hands of a junkie producer. I worked my way up over the course of 12 years dude! Just doing a bunch of free work and trying to please bigger producers and the bands I was working with.

Thanks on Battlecross! That was a great team effort between myself, Mark Lewis, Shannon Lucas, the bands awesome manager velda, and of course OF COURSE the band who are the hardest working most dedicated band ever

New Whitechapel - Be ready to shit your pants

Jobs - you can hit us up at [email protected] if you think you have what it takes to intern

Avoltdoeswhat1 karma

Hey Eyal, first of all I'm a big fan of your work. I've seen you play with Daath a few times and the instrumental album with Emil was great. We are even facebook friends (wooo) although I've never messaged you or written on your wall. So now for a few questions - 1) What's your opinion on 7,8+ string guitars? I may be in the minority but I think at some point it's overkill. 2) Have you ever had a local band open for you that really surprised you? 3) How often do bands ask you to over produce something like cleaning up sloppy kick that the drummer shouldn't even be trying to play? 4) Is the Masquerade the best rundown venue ever?

mrjumping1 karma

Thanks for all the support over the years man! And thanks for tuning in!

1) I think if the music calls for them then cool. I personally play six strings. Yeah... I know

2) Every great band started as a local band and surprised/impressed somebody right ?

3) Way too often

4) I'm amazed that place is even standing. Seriously.

brainstew5401 karma

hey man , ive seen your brother play around town and i must say the kid brings it. are we ever going to see a brother collaboration? and youve worked with a lot of drummers over the years, how do you like his drumming?

mrjumping1 karma

No bias but he rules. He's come a long way in the past few years as well. I've already collaborated with him on a few sessions and he's one of the easiest and hard hitting session drummers I've worked with. And I'm sure we'll collaborate again. And try to believe that's a non biased answer. He's a legitimately awesome drummer.

SkittleSkitzo1 karma

I've been friends with the vocalist of Reflections since preschool. No question here, just wanted to say thanks for helping my friends dreams come true!

mrjumping1 karma

My pleasure. Happy to do it!

meatgazer1 karma

Do you still have a blow up penis in your backyard pool?

mrjumping1 karma

One was stolen and the other was thrown in a tree where it survived for a few days and then was destroyed by a super aggressive tree branch

DohRayMe1 karma

Elvis Or Beatles ?

mrjumping3 karma

THE Beatles

FromACosmicWorld1 karma

Hey Eyal. Could you give any advice to composers that want to get into writing music for popular artists please?

mrjumping3 karma

Write about 500-1000 songs to begin with Move to LA or Nashville Offer to intern or be the coffee bitch at a studio Begin networking around town Keep writing Look for opportunities to help people that are above you Good luck!

Skreaming1 karma

Do you get as annoyed as I do when (sometimes even acclaimed) producers/musicians discount electronic music as lacking any musical merit?

I know there's some real trash out there, but there's some really shitty songs with real instruments too! haha

mrjumping2 karma

I get annoyed by people with excessively strong negative opinions about things as subjective as musical preference.

AThilgers1 karma

As a student studying business with an emphasis in music, what is in your opinion and expirience a few good tips of getting my foot in the door with a good start in the music industry?

Also what do you think is the fastest progressing part of the industry?

mrjumping2 karma

Figure out how you can bring some value to the industry. Then figure out where you will bring that value. Put yourself there. Repeat.

The fastest progressing part seems to be the part where people make money off of the internet.

againstfate1 karma

is better to write first vocal melody/lyrics and build the guitar parts based on the melody or guitar riffs first? Jason Suecof once said that drum is the most important instrument in a metal record, more than guitar. whats your thought?

mrjumping2 karma

I think the songs are the most important part on any record

StevieBobby1 karma

Anything you could share about your signal processing chains: What do you use on vocals? Do you compress or limit guitars and are there any typical attenuation or boost when EQing? What frequency range does the bass live in? Do you use any parallel compression on drums? Ever experiment with a multiband compressor for mastering?

mrjumping3 karma

These answers are by no means 100% strict. More of a general "go-to" that gets altered somehow every time

1 - Vocals - Sm7b - Vintech X73 - Distressor - Eq - More comp - De-Ess 2 - Guitars - No compression on distorted guitars. The distortion provides more than enough. Try to get the tone as eq free as possible. That's the goal at least. You definitely want to filter the extreme highs and lows but try to make your raw tone as workable as possible. 3 - Bass - 40-90, 250-350, 800-1000 - and then the high end just depends on the genre 4 - Parrallel comp on drums - yes absolutely. Love it 5 - Multi Band Comp for Mastering - I don't master, but the guys I know who do seem to like it

StevieBobby1 karma

Thank you for the tips! Would you mind elaborating more on the process of obtaining good guitar tone. When micing cabs do you use one or more equidistant and close, or do you use a room mic, any condensers or just dynamic? Do you use just the kemper or a blend of digital and real cabs, or do you use multiple heads with the same signal? What parts of the mid and highs in a guitar mix do you want to cut through or get rid of? Cool if it is too much to reveal, I understand, but as much as you are will would be appreciated! I have a degree in audio engineering and a couple classes from getting one in visual media/sound design, but none of the instructors had a metal background. Also to go off tangent any tips about putting sub drops into a mix, is it added after a mix of everything else? Thanks again!

mrjumping2 karma

Pretend you don't have a degree. Please. It sounds to me like that degree is clouding your ability to get a balls out metal tone. Forget with a capital F that you have a degree.

Now... Take an SM57 or an i5 and mic the cab up close and personal. Use 1 head you think is cool. Tweak it until it rules. You may want to try an overdrive pedal. Fine. Try an overdrive. If you can't make that work your skills aren't there yet and you are definitely putting the cart waaaaay before the horse. All the blends and multiple mics can create a phase nightmare for even the best engineers. Master it with 1 mic and no eq. Walk before you run.

buhzie21 karma

What's key to keeping non-sample enhanced drums? With exception for the kick, it seems like most of the stuff to come out of Audiohammer has been with natural snares/toms. I know step 1 is to tell the drummer to play louder on the skins, quieter on the cymbals, and to play more consistently, but other than that, what helps with keeping a natural drum sound?

I'm so sick of hearing the same Slate samples on every metal mix nowadays.

mrjumping2 karma

Your step 1 is actually a lot easier said than done. You are correct but only a handful of super killer drummers can actually play like that. And knowing that, I think that the #1 key to keeping real drums is to record an awesome drummer on an awesome kit that's tuned awesomely in an awesome room. Notice how many different streams of awesome are involved? Basically slacking on any of those comes back to bite you in the end. And unfortunately it becomes very time consuming and/or expensive to realize. Either you have to spend forever in the studio and that costs a lot or you have to hire a top level pro which also costs a lot. End of the day, you have to raise your standards every step of the way.

StevieBobby1 karma

Ever looking for an intern or apprentice? Someone fast at editing via hand, elastic, and/or beat detective? As I Would love to earn some knowledge from you!

mrjumping2 karma

I always need help in the studio. I'm maxed out as is and so is my engineer. The best way to go about it is to write me at [email protected] and we can talk about it. You'll have to do some tester work for us to determine if it's a good fit and internships here are strictly online due to the extremely private nature of our clientele.

ConsiderateGuy1 karma

I am currently in college, and after two years I plan on going to an all music school to get a degree in producing/engineering. Also, I am interning at a studio so I'm getting tons of experience, and he (my mentor) is going to hire me in the next few months. Eventually I would like to build a business and work as an independent music producer. Anyways, what advice do you have for a future music producer?

mrjumping3 karma

Dude - it sounds to me like you've got it figured out. Nothing beats real world experience and I would always pick that over school. However, nothing beats the combo of street and book smarts. So if you've already got paying gigs with a mentor lined up, and you're going to get formally educated then my best advice to you would be to not do drugs or get anyone pregnant. Keep your ego in check and remember that we are in the service industry. You will rarely get breaks so get used to working for insane stretches with a smile. Embrace uncredited/unpaid work especially when it's going to lead you to your next milestone.

ConsiderateGuy1 karma

Thank you for the response! So should get a degree in producing? I will be working that job for awhile, but it would be cool to move to Nashville or somewhere and work for a big company. Would they hire me without a degree, even with all the experience I will have?

mrjumping2 karma

I have no idea if they'll hire you. You have to ask the individual companies you would be seeking employment with.

againstfate1 karma

do you give music composition/guitar lessons? i wish i could be your student

mrjumping2 karma

I don't give guitar lessons. If you want to learn from the best hit up Emil Werstler. He's my guitar teacher too - https://www.facebook.com/emil.werstler?fref=ts

I give composition lessons / consultations every now and then. If you're seriously interested then hit me up at [email protected]

MrSnuggles71 karma

Who are some of your favorite up and coming bands you have worked with?

mrjumping2 karma

Reflections, Tetrarch, Assassins, Dark Sermon.

RDPShred1 karma

Im a artist and going to school for Audio Engineering and Sound Design, whats the best way to get into the industry as and Engineer and what do you use as gear for recording (DAW, Interface, ect.) Analog vs Digital? Love all of the TBDM !..!

mrjumping2 karma

DAW - Pro Tools Interface/converters - JCF Audio JD-8, Aurora 16s, Apogee Quartet Go to http://www.audiohammerstudios.com/gear/ for a semi accurate list

Analog Vs Digital - Both have their place

TBDM - I agree! They rule

Ok so now about how to get into the industry... Do a lot of work for free and always be upping your game. The name of the game is getting your name out in a positive light. Nobody will advertise for you like happy bands. And no budget you can possibly score when you're starting out is worth more than positive word of mouth. So make that your priority and then the money will come.

YesteryearsSnowdens1 karma

Hey so I know you're friends with the blogger Sergeant D. How did you two happen to meet? And you probably know about his joke slam band. What do you think of its production??

mrjumping2 karma

I think Sergeant D is one of the most amazing people I've met and become friends with. It's funny how we met the first time. I was having dinner with Axl and Vince from Metalsucks.net as well as Rob and Frank from Metalinjection right before the Revolver Golden God Awards one year and he was there. We sat at the same table for like 2 hours and said maybe five words to each other. Fast forward and he's one of my best friends. His production is getting pretty damn good. And the most impressive part is how good he's gotten in such a short period of time.

Tyler_Haagenson1 karma

What do you feel is some of the best promo a band or artist could do? I see lyric videos, play throughs ect. Any and all? Suggestions?

mrjumping2 karma

All the above are just a tools to get great music out. I would focus on writing music so undeniable that people want to spread it for you. Then all the above will just be icing.

chrmcd1 karma

I'm curious about your approach to mixing the Contortionist record. Their previous album had a somewhat modern drum sound and a very distinct mid range focused guitar tone. Intrinsic seems to have more natural sounding drums and more of a synth and bass focus rather than upfront drums and guitar like the last record. Their approach to writing songs seems to have changed a lot too. Did the band intentionally look to do something very different from the last record?

Also, how do you balance trying to please the band while also having to deliver a product that the label is happy with? How often does a band want something while a label asks for something totally different?

mrjumping3 karma

The Contortionist record had some criteria I wanted to follow - natural drums and a mix that actually highlighted the musical choices behind the arrangements. The reason the rhythm guitar isn't at 10 the whole time is because there's parts where other instruments were written to get the foreground. And as a matter of fact, this is why I enjoyed working on it. It bores me to have rhythm guitars blaring the entire time. I think musical background, foreground, and middleground elements should be in steady flux.

Pleasing the band or pleasing the label ? I go for both. And as long as nobody is being nuts or an asshole then it's easy because at the end of the day we all want the same thing. A great sounding record that will sell units.

chrmcd1 karma

Thanks for the response. I'm a fan of the ambient vibe, I'm sure it was a fun project.

mrjumping2 karma

It was definitely pretty fun. And then after four weeks I had a four day break and went on a cruise with my girlfriend. Rode dolphins and waverunners and just listened to the sound of NOTHING for a few days. Then came back and finished the record. Have I ever talked about the importance of proper R&R ?

brainstew5401 karma

what bands do you think are carrying the torch for modern day rock n roll?

mrjumping2 karma

Muse, Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Silverchair until they broke up

AddictiveSoup1 karma

How did you get to where you are in your career, and specifically, what type of college path did you take?

mrjumping2 karma

How do I explain 20 years in one short answer ? Plan Plan PLan. Take calculated risks. And help people. Help them to the point where their lives improve because of you. Always be improving at your game also. Get the word out. People will do that for you if you're great and you improve their lives. College path ? The dropout one.

Bill_Mountain1 karma

Any idea when we'll get the next Crotchduster album?

mrjumping2 karma

Your guess is as good as mine. Trust me, there's no shortage of people asking him about it.

queenfan7781 karma

As someone who is planning on going to school for Music Production with dreams of being a record producer. Do you have an advice or words of wisdom on making it into the field? Thanks for the AMA! :)

mrjumping2 karma

Yes. Bust your ass to have your skills be as up to date as possible. Work for free a lot in order to get your name out. Bring value to your clients and people above you. And spread the word about yourself. Mainly via positive refferals. And NEVER EVER think you're above free work.

wheelwalker1 karma

Hey Eyal. Big fan of your work as a producer. Here's a quick question. I know you didn't produce The Contortionist's "Exoplanet" but I have spent the last week or so tone and mix matching the album as best as I can from my bedroom studio (Steven Slate Drums, Axe-FX, Zombass, etc.). It'd be really great to hear what you think about my mix. How does this sound to you?

mrjumping1 karma

Sounds good man. Sick guitar tone!

wheelwalker1 karma

Awesome, thanks so much for taking the time to listen and respond. I appreciate it!

mrjumping1 karma

No sweat