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Noise Creators connects musicians with producers

by Finn McKenty
music & audio

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“Producer” is one of the most misunderstood words in the music business. The word means something to different to just about everyone, which is one of the reasons why finding the right producer is tough for bands. The right producer can unlock a band’s potential in truly magical ways, the wrong one can ruin a recording and derail the band’s career. Connecting producers and musicians has mostly happened via personal referrals and cold calls until now: enter Noise Creators, a new platform that connects musicians and producers– like eHarmony only you make records together instead of babies!

Noise Creators launched last week with an awesome lineup of producers including several CreativeLive instructors like Adam “Nolly” Getgood, Casey Bates and several dozen more. We caught up with co-founder and CL instructor Jesse Cannon to learn more about their mission:

What is Noise Creators, who is it for, and why should they care about it?

Noise Creators is a place where musicians can get to know producers to find a better fit. We have interviews, Spotify playlists, podcasts, discographies and many other resources to help a musician find this crucial fit. Being able to research the intricacies of each producer takes lot of time and most band’s will never have the time and experience to do it right. Musicians constantly get this fit wrong and their records suffer from it. We are here to help so we have better music in the world.

Who is on the Noise Creators team, and how do you guys divide up the work? I’m guessing you don’t have cool titles like “Head of Product” and “SVP, Business Development,” so how do you decide on who does what?

LOL. Johnny Minardi and I are “co-founders” since that seemed like the least douchey tech bro term we could use. We both really do everything (outside of the coding), but there’s some parts of it that fall more in one of our wheelhouse. For written content, I am very fast with busting out some writing and have run a blog and podcast for years so that naturally falls in my domain. Whereas, Johnny as a producer manager (at Self Titled) and A&R guy (at Equal Vision) is very good with wrangling the producers and artists together. I think one of the best things to do when you form a small team is instead of giving someone a title, it’s better to see who gravitates where and what naturally works. When developing any idea, you need so many considerations. Everything needs to be given so much evaluation and anyone having “carte blanche” over a section of the service is bad since so much consideration and re-consideration needs to go into the details.

We have two “tech” guys on the team who really exceeded all my expectations, Bruce Edwards and Evan Couture from We Are Shylight. They’re both musicians (Evan is in the band Avion Roe on Epitaph, check them out, they’re great!) and really get how a musicians mind works and also a design and experience that people will enjoy.

rob freeman

Everything you need to know about a producer, all in one place. Boom!

Producers are often times not the best at marketing themselves. How can Noise Creators help them?

That was very nicely put. Almost every producer has an out of date website and is just horrible with the business side. By doing interviews with these producers and pushing a blog that give them their due for being a part of the great music around today we can get them more known. The best advertisement is of course great music and with album credits being absent from any digital release today. We hope having discographies readily available we will help them get their due exposure.

On the flip side, artists oftentimes don’t know how to pick a producer other than “he did this other album that we like.” How can Noise Creators help them find the right producer, and what are the key ingredients for a good producer/band relationship?

Great question. One of the missing piece of that equation is that what goes into a great record is that the producer filled the band’s blanks properly. A producer who insists on re-writing everything a band does can ruin a record (I have seen this firsthand) when a band wrote a great record to start with. Conversely, if a band comes in with weak parts a producer often has to compensate. Many bands need a producer who can write harmonies or program keyboards, whereas others need someone who can just get great tones and just accomplish their vision. We know the intricacies of each producer’s involvement and communicate with the band to make sure their goals are met and any blanks they have are filled.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.19.56 AMWanna connect with the producer behind your favorite artist? Noise Creators has you covered.

You’ve always had a great head for business and you’re a natural entrepreneur, but Noise Creators is new territory for you in a lot of ways. What have been some of the biggest challenges so far, and what have you learned from them?

You’re too kind. Figuring out how to optimize a service that hasn’t really been done before. Over the course of this year, we’ve “pivoted” (“it” tech word 2015™) on small details of how our service gets contacted by a musician numerous times. Just 3 weeks ago we had a whole different checkout system and we realized it was shutting down the conversation with a musician. I think that’s the single hardest struggle is predicting how our users will behave. Sadly the type of people with the brains to build a service don’t have the same brains as the typical musician, so predicting what they want is a real struggle. Now that we’re launched I am glad we will be able to look at data instead of guess at what people will want.

You are a product of the 90s DIY punk/hardcore scene. What did you learn from those years that helped you in launching Noise Creators?

Where do I start? First off Noise Creators doesn’t exist without punk since Johnny and I met through “punk twitter”. One of my favorite things about punk is it usually draws people with a more evolved thought process who you don’t have to wrestle with in order to do anything outside the box. They welcome that instead of shaking in fear the whole way. The most helpful thought in this endeavor is what I learned being in a real punk community that if everyone bands together and works ethically we can build a better community and make the music we are doing better too.

Last but not least, what’s your vision for where Noise Creators will be in 5 years?

I hope by then we will be a one stop shop for who you hire to collaborate creatively with. We’re not only building a community of the most talented producers around, we’re also assembling designers, videographers, photographers and more. I want musicians to turn to us anytime they want to hire someone so we can find them a great fit to make their creatively life easier and more fully realized.

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Finn McKenty

Finn is the producer of CreativeLive's audio channel. You can email him at finn [dot] mckenty [at] creativelive [dot] com @finn_mckenty