Martin Birch was born on 27 December 1948 in Woking, Surrey. He began his career in music as an audio engineer with Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple, producing and engineering eleven albums for the latter. In 1980, coming from the "Deep Purple camp", he was called upon by Black Sabbath for Heaven and Hell; their previous albums had been self-produced and they were happy to let Birch, who had worked with Ronnie James Dio before, produce them. His "bright midrange" on the album is especially noted. In 1981 he began a long tenure working exclusively with Iron Maiden, producing and engineering Killers and retiring from working with other bands for a while.
Birch has also produced and engineered albums for numerous artists, such as Deep Purple-related projects (Rainbow, Paice Ashton Lord, Whitesnake, Roger Glover, Jon Lord), but also Wayne County & the Electric Chairs. On Fleetwood Mac's album Mystery to Me (1973) he is also credited playing acoustic guitar.
The song "Hard Lovin' Man" from the Deep Purple album Deep Purple in Rock is dedicated to him : "For Martin Birch - catalyst".
He retired in 1992, after producing Iron Maiden's Fear of the Dark album. Birch appears in Iron Maiden's music video "Holy Smoke".