The 12 best podcasts for music producers in 2021
Keep on the pulse with music technology with these informative and entertaining shows.
It feels like everyone has a podcast right now. For music producers, it’s fantastic – if you can sift through the noise of food, politics and comedy ‘casts. We’ve done the hard work for you here and plundered into the podcasting platforms to find the best music technology shows out there. Music production professionals have taken it upon themselves to create podcasts that can educate, entertain and inspire you in your quest to become a better producer.
We’ve rounded up 12 of our favourite music production podcasts out there right now. You’ll be able to listen to most of these on your favourite podcasting platform, but if you’re unable to find it, we’ve linked the podcaster’s websites to listen directly. Plug in your headphones and hear the masters break down their tracks, express their love for synths and share their top nuggets of wisdom.
John Kennedy hosts Tape Notes, a podcast that invites artists, producers and bands to reflect on the production of their releases. Some guests are producers in their own right, such as Paul Epworth, Disclosure, Bicep, Caribou and DJ Shadow, but Kennedy often reunites a band or artist with their producer to discuss the highlights of their creative process. Such acts include Lianne La Havas, Glass Animals, Haim, Jacob Collier and Wolf Alice.
Tape Notes pulls apart elements and stems from the original recording, discovering how the song transformed from its original idea into a pristine final product. Expect a few fun stories from the journey, too. This podcast is a fascinating look at the methods of producers, and the creative decisions they make to actualise their visions.
Learn more at tapenotes.co.uk.
With a recent adaptation as a Netflix series, Song Exploder is one of the greats of music production podcasts. The show, similar to Tape Notes, sees musicians and producers dissect their songs and outline the decisions of each part of the recording. Host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway cleverly removes his dialogue to present the bite-sized show as a story told by the artist.
Not only will you learn the secrets behind some stellar productions, but you’ll also hear the human journeys that take place during the creation of their work. You’ll hear artists such as Kelly Lee Owens, Khruangbin, Tokimonsta, Nine Inch Nails and Run The Jewels open up about their craft. You’ll also hear from video game soundtrackers, theme tune creators and film scorers. Deep into its seventh running year, Song Exploder shows no signs of slowing down.
Learn more at songexploder.net.
My Forever Studio
With two seasons down and a third on the way, MusicTech’s My Forever Studio invites guests to imagine a studio they could live in for eternity, but they must adhere to strict rules. Once the essentials are accounted for – computers, DAWs and interfaces – there can be only six studio items. This proves a remarkably difficult challenge for producers including Andrew Huang, Tycho, Butch Vig, Gary Barlow, Dani Bennett-Spragg, Morgan Page, Beardyman and more.
Each podcast reveals the gear that artists rely on to stay inspired, as well as the gear they fantasise about. Some artists even seek out loopholes in the rules to have access to the tools they regularly use in their studio, while hosts Chris Barker and Will Betts graciously offer to upsell the guest’s dreams if a more desirable item is available. But, remember, there will be no bundles. What would you choose for your Forever Studio?
Learn more at musictech.net.
Girls Twiddling Knobs
Isobel Anderson hosts the Girls Twiddling Knobs podcast, with a strong focus on female-identifying musicians and producers. Part of the Female DIY Musician brand, the series invites women onto the show to explain how they use technology to make their music and how they overcome challenges in the industry to achieve their goals.
Although Girls Twiddling Knobs has only been running for four months, a range of intriguing topics has already been touched upon. This includes experimenting with sample packs, composing for film and TV, overcoming doubt, overcoming your music tech gremlins and much more. This podcast is thought-provoking and informative for producers from all walks of life.
Learn more at femalediymusician.com.
Appetite For Production
Appetite For Production is brought to you by music technology journalist veterans Tim Cant and James Russell. This podcast is like listening to two music production nerds discuss new hardware, plug-ins and samples at the pub. And it’s as lighthearted and loopy as you’d expect.
Despite its entertaining nature, the bi-weekly podcast will keep you informed on the latest developments in the music tech world. The duo uses their expert knowledge to analyse the effect of new products on the industry, making trivial updates on DAWs and plug-ins more interesting and, frankly, hilarious.
Learn more at app4ppodcast.com.
Working Class Audio
Working Class Audio does more than teach you about music production techniques. Matt Boudreau invites an eclectic range of industry professionals onto the show who share their career journeys, anecdotes and tips for navigating the music technology industry.
You’ll hear from producers, engineers, soundtrackers and mixers who have made their name creating revered records, scoring and producing blockbuster films and designing audio for video games, among other achievements. Their journeys give you insight into the human challenges you may have to overcome as a professional – and you’ll feel inspired after every episode.
Learn more at workinclassaudio.com.
Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick have been presenting the weekly Pensado’s Place show for ten years, inviting the world’s top producers and recording engineer’s to hear about their best practices. As a prolific, Grammy-winning producer himself, Dave Pensado doesn’t hold back on getting technical with his guests, talking all things studio-related, with Herb Trawik using his music business wisdom to discuss industry navigation.
Pensado and Trawik’s recent guests include Kenny Beats, Al Schmitt, Che Pope, HAIM, Keith Urban, and Finneas. Regardless of your genre, style and role in the studio, this acclaimed podcast will have you laughing and learning every single time. If you’ve ever attended The NAMM Show, you may even know the show from their regular live panels at the event.
Learn more at pensadosplace.tv.
Those of you familiar with Nick Batt and Gaz William’s gear reviewing antics on the SonicState YouTube channel will enjoy their company on the weekly live SonicTalk show. Nick teams up with regular guests including Gaz, MATTHS, Yoad Nevo, Dave Spiers, Rich Hilton and more to talk about the latest developments and gear releases in music technology.
As the show is streamed live across Facebook and YouTube, you can hop on the chat and discuss the topics with fellow listeners and with the presenters themselves. With SonicState’s expertise on synths, sequencers, samplers and studio gear in general, you’re sure to get an immediate analysis on how effective a new music production tool really is.
Learn more at sonicstate.com.
Hanging Out With Audiophiles
Warp Records artist Jamie Lidell sits down with some seriously talented musicians and producers in Hanging Out With Audiophiles. Imogen Heap, Four Tet, Richard Devine and Matt Black are among his many guests, who go deep on their production techniques and share the gear that helps them get their sound.
Lidell also explores iconic music tech innovations and discusses their influence with his guests, as well as sharing some of his own studio tips along the way. Music tech gear enthusiasts and audio perfectionists will find this podcast extremely interesting, relatable and packed with information.
Learn more at jamielidellmusic.com.
Why We Bleep
Music technology YouTuber Mylar Melodies brings music-makers and synth-makers onto the Why We Bleep podcast to get geeky about gear. Mylar Melodies speaks to representatives from some of your favourite software developers and hardware manufacturers, such as Valhalla DSP, Moog, System 80 and Signal Sounds.
You’ll also hear from well-loved figures in the synth world, including Gaz Williams and DivKid, along with appearances from revered producers – BT, Sub Focus, Sarah Davachi and more. The only issue is that a new episode only comes once a month, leaving you aching for more.
Learn more at whywebleep.com.
Recording Studio Rockstars
Recording Studio Rockstars shines a light on the talented producers behind the glass on some of the greatest artists and records of all time. Lij Shaw, the host of the podcast, speaks with industry professionals to dig deep into their knowledge and experience to help you become a studio rockstar yourself.
Some of Lij Shaw’s guest so far include Morgan Page, Steve Albini, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg mixer Rafa Sardina, Alicia Keys, Wu-Tang Clan and Luther Vandross engineer Tony Black, Electric Lady Studios designer John Storyk and more. On this weekly podcast, you’ll hear tons of interesting stories and tidbits to help you progress as a producer, mixer and engineer.
Learn more at recordinigstudiorockstars.com.
SoundGirls Resonating Beyond Sound
SoundGirls is an organisation that works to amplify the voices of women in the music industry and inspire them to reach their goals. The Resonating Beyond Sound podcasts interviews professionals from all around the music technology industry, including CEOs, journalists, engineers, stage managers and more.
The hosts, Becky and Susan, learn how the music industry can be more supportive and cultivate a more diverse community. They discover what it’s like to live a day in the life of their guests, how they became successful and the challenges they face today.
Learn more at soundgirls.org.
This podcast is pretty self-explanatory. Mixing Music is about mixing music. Presented by mix engineer Dee Kei and Lu Moreno, the show discusses topics such as analogue vs digital gear and the best vocal mics, explains the different types of reverbs, teaches you about dynamics, and provides essential advice on how to charge for your work, how to get more clients and more.
Mixing Music also invites guests to share their techniques, such as Chris Brown’s engineer, TEEZIO, who talks about how he produced the artist’s latest album. This podcast will prove as a useful resource for all types of producers, from beginners to industry professionals.
Learn more at mixingmusicpodcast.com.
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