Discussing professional vs DIY approaches for a band
When I am not designing your band's artwork I am reaching out to industry professionals to learn and share their thoughts on the current state of the 'Scene' in an attempt to discover any tips they might have for younger professionals. This week I collaborated with Drew Bender from Bender Recording to learn about his journey and what tips he might have for younger bands.
Bender Recording is a recording, mixing and mastering studio based in Macomb, Michigan. I have had the pleasure of working with Drew and Chris (his assistant) myself and their relaxed personality and versatile nature of work had me wonder how do these guys do it. Simply put, some bands can be really annoying no matter what professional service they are after - there have been a few experiences in my life with Vohrart that have left a bad taste in my mouth. Regardless, Having everything professionally done should be the only option for bands, be it artworks or your bands mixes. Unless obviously you can't afford it. Let's get into it.
1) How long have you been working with bands and what’s the best part about the work you do?
Drew : I have been working with bands for roughly 4 years. The best part about it is watching songs and art come to life from where they started and making visions become reality.
2) How does a professional mix/master impact a band’s release?
Drew : In my opinion, a professional mix/master can impact a band’s release a great deal. It can lead to more opportunities like acquiring management or a label due to the music sounding professional. Also, it can broaden your audience simply because it sounds really good.
3) How easy/difficult is to find the engineer a band would want to work with?
Drew : I believe it’s really easy to find an engineer to work with but, it can be very difficult to find an engineer that is suitable for your band / genre.
4) Who are some of your favourite engineers and producers?
Drew : Beau Burchell, Will Putney, Joey Strugis, Brian Hood, Machine and Andrew Wade.
5) What are some pros and cons of bedroom productions?
Drew : Pros of bedroom productions would be convenience, comfortability and no intimidation.
Cons of bedroom productions would be most bedroom “studios” cannot record live drums or use loud amps and the listening environment is not as acoustically appropriate compared to a real studio.
6) What kind of options are there for bands that can’t afford a professional studio?
Drew : If you want to learn how to self produce there are plenty of online resources to figure out the basics of the trade or you could potentially find an up and coming bedroom producer in your area.
7) Along with professional sounding records, what are your thoughts on professional Artwork for bands?
Drew : Artwork for a new album is the first thing you see before you even listen to it. Sometimes, (especially with younger audiences) visuals are everything. I am always preaching to my clients to properly invest in quality artwork. Most importantly, the artwork should look how the music sounds.
8) How has Bender Recording’s Identity pieces impacted your business?
Drew : It makes my business and body of work look more professional in the eye of clients. Whether it shows up in a music video or if I am handing out a business card, I truly try to assign and attach the logo and emblem to everything I do so people don’t forgot who recorded their new favorite song.
I am a strong advocate for researching well before you actually get professional services from a studio or a freelancer but I can highly recommend exploring opportunities to work with Drew Bender. Together with my company Vohrart we have worked out a great opportunity for bands to get a professional sound and a solid looking visual for your band's next release all for a a very reasonable fixed price. You can read more about the offer here.
Lastly - Check out some of Drew's work above and make sure you say hi if you see his post pop up in your feed. Here is Bender Recording's website - https://www.benderrecording.com/