24-26 March 2022
At the "Innovation in Music" Conference at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm we present:
"Contemporary Approaches to Producing Heaviness: Exploring the Structure/Performance/Production Relationship through Practice-Led Research"

Project Outputs

  • Herbst, Jan & Mynett, Mark (2023). ‘Producing Heaviness. Towards a Conceptual Model of Heaviness’. In Jan Herbst (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Metal Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).

  • Herbst, Jan & Mynett, Mark (2021). Nail the Mix: Standardization in Mixing Metal Music? Popular Music and Society. (open access)

  • Herbst, Jan & Mynett, Mark (2021). (No?) Adventures in Recording Land: Engineering Conventions in Metal Music. Rock Music Studies. (open access)

Investigators' Outputs



  • Herbst, J. (2016). Die Gitarrenverzerrung in der Rockmusik. Studien zu Spielweise und Ästhetik [The Guitar Distortion in Rock Music. Studies on Playability and Aesthetics]. Münster: LIT (Populäre Kultur und Medien, vol. 12). link
  • Academic Articles

  • Herbst, Jan (2021). ‘The Politics of Rammstein’s Sound: Decoding a Production Aesthetic’. Journal of Popular Music Studies (forthcoming).

  • Herbst, Jan (2021). ‘Culture-Specific Production and Performance Characteristics. An Interview Study with “Teutonic” Metal Producers’. Metal Music Studies, 7(3) (forthcoming).

  • Herbst, Jan (2020). ‘Sonic Signatures in Metal Music Production. Teutonic vs British vs American Sound’. ASPM Samples, 18, pp. 1–26. (open access)

  • Herbst, Jan (2020). ‘From Bach to Helloween. “Teutonic” Stereotypes in the History of Popular Music’. Metal Music Studies, 6(1), pp. 87–108. abstract
    (accepted manuscript open access)

  • Herbst, Jan (2019). ‘Distortion and Rock Guitar Harmony. The Influence of Distortion Level and Structural Complexity on Acoustic Features and Perceived Pleasantness of Guitar Chords’. Music Perception, 36(4), pp. 335-352. (open access)

  • Herbst, Jan (2019). ‘The Formation of the West German Power Metal Scene and the Question of a “Teutonic” Sound’. Metal Music Studies, 5(2), pp. 201–223. abstract
    (accepted manuscript open access)

  • Herbst, Jan (2019). ‘Old Sounds with New Technologies? Examining the Creative Potential of Guitar “Profiling” Technology and the Future of Metal Music from Producers’ Perspectives’. Metal Music Studies, 5(1), pp. 53–69. abstract
    (accepted manuscript open access)

  • Herbst, Jan; Czedik-Eysenberg, Isabella & Reuter, Christoph (2018). ‘Guitar Profiling Technology in Metal Music Production: Public Reception, Capability, Consequences and Perspectives’. Metal Music Studies, 4(3), pp. 481-506. abstract
    (accepted manuscript open access)

  • Herbst, Jan (2018). ‘Heaviness and the Electric Guitar: Considering the Interaction Between Distortion and Harmonic Structures’. Metal Music Studies, 4(1), pp. 95–113. abstract
    (accepted manuscript open access)

  • Herbst, Jan (2017). ‘Historical Development, Sound Aesthetics and Production Techniques of the Distorted Electric Guitar in Metal Music’. Metal Music Studies, 3(1), pp. 24–46. abstract
    (accepted manuscript open access)

Book Chapters

  • Herbst, Jan (2020). ‘Views of German Producers on “Teutonic” metal: Production Approaches and Generational Effects’. In Ralf von Appen & Thorsten Hindrichs (eds). One Nation Under a Groove. Nation als Kategorie populärer Musik?. Bielefeld: transcript (forthcoming).

  • Herbst, Jan (2017). ‘Influence of Distortion on Guitar Chord Structures: Acoustic Effects and Perceptual Correlates’. In Wolfgang Auhagen, Claudia Bullerjahn & Christoph Louven (eds). Musikpsychologie, vol. 27: Akustik und musikalische Hörwahrnehmung. Göttingen: Hogrefe, pp. 26–47. (open access)




  • Mynett, Mark (2013). Contemporary Metal Music Production. PhD thesis, University of Huddersfield. (open access)


  • Mynett, Mark (2017). Metal Music Manual: Producing, Engineering, Mixing, and Mastering Contemporary Heavy Music. link

Academic Articles

  • Mynett, Mark (2019). ‘Defining Contemporary Metal Music: Performance, Sounds and Practices’. Metal Music Studies, 5(3), pp. 297–313. abstract

  • Mynett, Mark (2012). ‘Achieving Intelligibility whilst Maintaining Heaviness when Producing Contemporary Metal Music’. Journal on the Art of Record Production, 6. (open access)

  • Mynett, Mark (2011). ‘Sound at Source: The Creative Practice of Re-Heading, Dampening and Drum Tuning for the Contemporary Metal Genre’. Journal on the Art of Record Production, 5. (open access)

Book Chapters

  • Mynett, Mark (2020). ‘Maximum Sonic Impact: (Authenticity/Commerciality) Fidelity-Dualism in Contemporary Metal Music Production’. In Simon Zagorski-Thomas & Andrew Bourbon (eds). The Bloomsbury Handbook of Music Production. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 293–302. link

  • Mynett, Mark (2019). ‘Heaviness in Three Dimensions: The Use of Sonic Space in Contemporary Metal Music Production”. In Simon Zagorski-Thomas, Katia Isakoff, Sophie Stévance & Serge Lacasse (eds). The Art of Record Production: Creative Practice in the Studio. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 66–79. link

  • Mynett, Mark (2016). ‘The Distortion Paradox: Analysing Contemporary Metal Production’. In Andy R. Brown, Karl Spracklen, Keith Kahn-Harris & Niall Scott (eds). Global Metal Music and Culture: Current Directions in Metal Studies. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 68–87. link

  • Mynett, Mark; Wakefield, Jonathan & Till, Rupert (2010). ‘Intelligent Equalisation Principles and Techniques for Minimising Masking when Mixing the Extreme Modern Metal Genre’. In Rosemary Hill & Karl Spracklen (eds). Heavy Fundamentalisms: Music, Metal and Politics. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, pp. 141–146. (open access)

Magazine Articles

  • Mynett, Mark (2018). ‘Session Notes Pt. 3; Making Modern Metal, Mixing and Mastering’. Sound on Sound, 3/2018. (open access)

  • Mynett, Mark (2018). ‘Session Notes Pt. 2; Making Modern Metal, Engineering’. Sound on Sound, 2/2018. (open access)

  • Mynett, Mark (2018). ‘Session Notes Pt. 1; Making Modern Metal, Pre-Production’. Sound on Sound, 1/2018. (open access)

  • Mynett, Mark (2010). ‘Get the Perfect Bass’. Computer Music, 12/2010, pp. 63–70.

  • Mynett, Mark (2010). ‘The Sound and the Fury: Part 2’. Guitar World, 5/2010, pp. 72–86. (open access)

  • Mynett, Mark (2010). ‘The Sound and the Fury: Part 1’. Guitar World, 4/2010, pp. 71–80. (open access)

  • Mynett, Mark (2009). ‘Mixing Metal: The SOS Guide to Extreme Metal Production: Part 2’. Sound on Sound, 12/2009, pp. 118–126. (open access)

  • Mynett, Mark (2009). ‘Extreme Metal: The SOS Guide to Recording & Producing Modern Metal’. Sound on Sound, 11/2009, pp. 120–133. (open access)



Academic Texts

  • Berger, Harris M. & Fales, Cornelia (2005). ‘Heaviness in the Perception of Heavy Metal Guitar Timbres: The Match of Perceptual and Acoustic Features over Time’. In Paul D. Greene & Thomas Porcello (eds). Wired for Sound. Engineering and Technology in Sonic Cultures. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, pp. 181–197. link

  • Czedik-Eysenberg, Isabella; Knauf, Denis & Reuter, Christoph (2017). ‘Was macht Musik “hart”? Klangliche Merkmale zur genreübergreifenden Identifikation musikalischer Härte’ (‘What makes music “heavy”?’). Fortschritte der Akustik. DAGA 2017, 43th German Annual Conference for Acoustics, Kiel, 3–5 March, pp. 186–89 (open access)

  • Czedik-Eysenberg, Isabella; Knauf, Denis & Reuter, Christoph (2017). ‘”Hardness” as a Semantic Audio Descriptor for Music Using Automatic Feature Extraction’. Informatik 2017, Chemnitz. (open access)

  • Gil, Victor (2014). Extended Range Guitars: Cultural Impact, Specifications, and the Context of a Mix. MA thesis, California State University. (open access)

  • Hagen, Ross (2011). ‘Musical Style, Ideology, and Mythology in Norwegian Black Metal’. In Jeremy Wallach, Harris M. Berger & Paul D. Greene (eds). Metal Rules the Globe. Heavy Metal Music Around the World. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 180–199. link

  • Hannan, Calder (2018). ‘Difficulty as Heaviness: Links Between Rhythmic Difficulty and Perceived Heaviness in the Music of Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan’. Metal Music Studies, 3(1), pp. 433–458. link

  • Hannan, Calder (2017). Discordant Systems: Uses and Meanings of Rhythmic Difficulty in the Music of Meshuggah and Related Extreme and Progressive Metal Bands. Major thesis, University of Virginia. (open access)

  • Lilja, Esa (2015). ‘Dealing with the 3rd: Anatomy of distorted chords and subsequent compositional features of classic heavy metal’. In Toni-Matti Karjalainen & Kimi Kärki (eds). Modern Heavy Metal. Markets, Practices and Cultures. Helsinki, Finland: Aalto University, pp. 393–403. (open access)

  • Reyes, Ian (2013). ‘Blacker than Death: Recollecting the “Black Turn” in Metal Aesthetics’. Journal of Popular Music Studies, 25, pp. 240–257. (open access)

  • Reyes, Ian (2008). Sound, Technology, and the interpretation in Subcultures of Heavy Music Production. PhD thesis, Pittsburgh University. (open access)

  • Smialek, Eric (2015). Genre and Expression in Extreme Metal Music, ca. 1990–2015. PhD thesis, McGill University. link

  • Thomas, Niall (2019). ‘Production Perspectives of Heavy Metal Record Producers’. Popular Music, 38(3), pp. 498–517. (open access)

  • Thomas, Niall (2015). The Development of Technology and its Influence on Recorded Heavy Metal Music 1969-2015. PhD thesis, University of Hull. (open access)

  • Turner, Dan (2009). ‘Outlining the Fundamental Production Aesthetics of Commercial Heavy Metal Music Utilising Systematic Empirical Analysis’. The Art of Record Production Conference, Cardiff. (open access)

  • Williams, Duncan (2015). ‘Tracking Timbral Changes in Metal Productions from 1990 to 2013’. Metal Music Studies, 1(1), pp. 39–68. link

  • Zagorski-Thomas, Simon (2010). ‘Real and Unreal Performances: The Interaction of Recording Technology and Rock Drum Kit Performance’. In Anne Danielsen (ed). Musical Rhythm in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 195–212. (open access)


Professional Resources