New PSN blogger Eyal Levi is a heavyweight when it comes to producing and engineering modern metal, having worked on 50-plus albums in the last decade with some of the most respected names in the genre. He can't be pigeonholed as "a metal guy" though, as you'll see here in his first post, where he explains why he's coming to our pages, what to expect and how you can get involved.
Who am I, and why should you care?
Hi, I’m Eyal Levi and this is my first column for PSN. You’re probably wondering who I am and what I’ll be writing about in this thing, so let me shed a little light on that.
I’m a producer at Audiohammer Studios in Orlando, Florida (with my partners Jason Suecof and Mark Lewis). We might not be the biggest studio, but I’d like to think that we’re among the best in the world at what we do. If it’s a metal band and they’ve done a record in the last 10 years, we’ve probably worked with them: August Burns Red, DevilDriver, Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Deicide, All That Remains…you get the idea.
I’ve seen things from the artist side too: I played in a band called Daath that played over 1,000 shows with bands like Slayer, Hatebreed, Ozzy Osbourne, and Lamb of God, and released albums on Century Media and Roadrunner.
With that said, the idea is pretty simple: I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned in the past 10+ years and 50+ albums I’ve worked on, from both technical and professional/personal perspective. And I know I’m one of the only “metal guys” on here, so hopefully my perspective can offer something new and fresh to PSN.
Why I’m excited to be here
As anyone in the industry will tell you, the key to being an engineer/producer is to never stop learning. You’ve always got to be hungry for that next little piece of knowledge that will help you step up your game, stay ahead of the curve, and make your next mix better than the one before. Whether that’s on forums, via email with my peers across the planet, or talking shop with friends over a beer, I’ve always been passionate about sharing knowledge.
Which is why I’m so excited to be a part of PSN: I love all my peers in the metal world, but I’m always looking to meet new people from totally different backgrounds so we can compare notes, learn from each other, and step outside the boundaries of our genres to do cool new stuff and break new ground.
PSN is top of the food chain in the recording world, and I’m a huge fan, so I’m thrilled to be aboard!
What I’ll be writing about
While I’ve never thought of myself as a “metal guy” (my father is a well-known symphony conductor and I wasn’t allowed to listen to rock music until I was 13), I have been fortunate to work with some of the world’s best metal bands. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of techniques that always seem to surprise my friends who do rock, pop, and hip-hop, and this column is where I’ll share those techniques with you. For better or for worse, this will be your chance to look behind the scenes at a high-end metal studio and see how things are REALLY done in our world.
We do some pretty crazy stuff to get the modern metal sound--for example, think about what it means to sample-replace every drum hit on an album that averages 1,800 snare hits per track. Or how to get 4 tracks of 8-string guitars tuned to G# with massive amounts of gain on them to sound tighter than a hipster’s jeans. I’ll share those techniques and more here, but with an eye for how they might apply to those of you who don’t do metal (which I’m guessing is the majority). And I’m sure you guys will share some equally awesome ideas with me, which is why we’re all here, right?
If you have any questions, ideas or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on instagram, Twitter and get detailed info on my Q&A Tumblr at eyallevi.tumblr. [There's also the comments section below—Ed.]