Producers.

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koneguitaristkoneguitarist Frets: 3617
Not not the Scottish twins, but real music producers and their worth. 
Every one knows about George Martin and how he was often the fifth Beatle.
But who is your fave Producer and what do you think he or she brings to the table. 
I have liked most things that Dave Cobb has produced in Nashville, but what has prompted this is I have just read Glyn Johns book and was surprised how many of my albums he has featured on either as Producer or Engineer. It’s a great book. 
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 5992
    Big fan of Joel Wanasek (one of the founders of NTM/URM), not so much for his audio skills (which are great) but more for his attitude to everything. I always feel totally hyped after watching any of his videos and I can only image how awesome it would be to work in that kind of environment. 

    Although I don't like country at all Billy Decker has been on NTM as well and he seems like a pretty awesome guy. 
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  • koneguitaristkoneguitarist Frets: 3617
    never heard of Billy Decker. 

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11689
    The only producer I follow( ish) is Prince Fatty ( or Mike Pelanconi to his mother). He’s quite interesting in interview and has a lovely understanding of balancing quite modern sounding recordings with classic reggae tropes. For example, he produced the eponymous Hollie Cook which is quite a frothy pop reggae album and then remixed it all as Hollie Cook In Dub. He’s done non reggae stuff as well. 
    Not an obvious producer for guitarists maybe, I’d probably choose Brendan O’Brien for my solo guitar album, but Prince Fatty for that surf blues reggae album that people have been asking me to make...

    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 8050
    Martin Birch would be on the list for MAchine Head alone, but he's been at the controls for so many classic rock albums there's got to be magic in there somewhere.

    Eddie Kramer - if he's good enough for Hendrix he's good enough for anyone.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6595

    The producer is basically the most important person in the studio during recording. He is the guy with the vision who knows what he's aiming for and knows what he has to do to get there.  Sometimes there's a lot of confusion between engineering, producing and mixing but the actual task of producing doesn't really involve any engineering skills or mixing skills .. it's the art of taking a bands music and making it more palatable and successful to the masses. This is why record deals used to insist on bands using certain producers. The guarantee of a sellable product and a chance to recoup the labels investment. 

    Matt Lange is the best example of the art of Producing. He steered a pretty average Sheffield rock band into global USA multi platinum stardom. He took a pretty average country singer from being mediocre to being just about the biggest female country pop singer to date. When AC DC. looked done for he gave them their biggest album ever.  That's just a few examples 

     What he does in terms of attention to detail and perfection is pretty well known but it's a lot more than that. He's basically looking at a rough sketch of a song, rewriting bits of it, coming up with harmonies, counter melodies, layers of extra instrumentation but most importantly he's got the ability to hear it as someone who isn't involved with music at all would hear it. That's the art, that ability to hear it as a punter despite the fact you're closer to the project than the actual band. 

    One thing you notice about successful bands is generally they know the value of a producer and aren't scared of being guided under his direction. When I was running the studio we had a lot of bands who tried to produce themselves ... just didn't see the value in paying for a producer and 9 times out of 10 ended up with a product they kind of liked themselves  but then complained when it did nothing sales wise. 

    Producing is a very difficult job though generally. You need a lot of people skills, the ability to push people beyond what they think they can do without knocking their confidence if it doesn't come off. You need a lot of resolve because  if the band can't see what you're aiming for it they can lose patience and start complaining and the control rooms just filled with tension the whole time. 

    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55199
    Daniel Lanois on several of U2's albums, Peter Gabriel's 'So', and several others.

    Mitchell Froom has done some of my favourite-sounding albums too - including the first three Crowded House albums, although ironically the one I like best is Together Alone, produced by Youth... who apparently (from accounts of the sessions) barely seemed to know what he was doing!

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 2563
    Martin Birch. On so many perfect records. 

    Oddly, Mutt Lange is a big no for me. Took a killer heavy metal band from Sheffield and turned them into a slick but meh pop band. 

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  • AlexCAlexC Frets: 2390
    Brian Eno.
    Don't really have to quantify that, do I?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55199
    Reverend said:

    Oddly, Mutt Lange is a big no for me. Took a killer heavy metal band from Sheffield and turned them into a slick but meh pop band. 
    But also produced two amazing albums for the Boomtown Rats. (And their first one, although I've actually never heard it so can't comment.)

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 29657
    edited May 1
    I'm a fan of Eno but more for his approach with generative music and his use of non-determinism.

    Also hugely rate Steven Wilson, Steve Albini, Teo Macero, Daniel Lanois and David Torn.
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  • jdgmjdgm Frets: 532
    Teo Macero.
    Ted Templeman.
    Nile Rodgers.

    And another vote for Martin Birch.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 10190
    The role, or significance, of the producer seems to have changed in recent years.  I listen to rock/metal bands who release stuff on small, independent labels - and it's relatively easy to find because it's out there in the streaming world. It's great that it's available, but on the other hand it's very unlikely in the modern world that any of those bands will ever get signed by "major" labels. 

    The music's great, but it's often fairly obvious that it's been produced on a very limited budget - in many ways I like that, but in years gone by those bands might have had the chance to work with experienced producers, who'd have helped with the sound and the arrangements (which could also be a negative, if the band was pushed in an overly commercial direction).  Now it seems like they miss out on that kind of outside advice and maybe don't achieve their full potential.

    At the other end of the scale you get the big-name R&B artists who no longer make an album with one producer, they use a whole army of them - sometimes several on a single track.

    Anyway, yes, Martin Birch.  Mutt Lange did great work but Def Leppard seemed to become too dependent on him, to the detriment of their later albums, whereas AC/DC were strong enough to keep their own identity.  And back in the '70s, '80s and early '90s I liked a lot of albums produced by Jeff Glixman, Neil Kernon and Max Norman.  I don't really know any modern producers.
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 2295
    edited May 2
    A lot already mentioned but I'll add Joe Boyd, John Leckie, Brendon O'Brien, Hugh Padgham (for XTC not Phil Collins!), Jack Joseph Puig and Chris Thomas. I'm sure I'll remember some more shortly.

    Edit: I'd most probably choose Steve Albini if I could make an album somehow.
    "A city star won’t shine too far"


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  • koneguitaristkoneguitarist Frets: 3617
    Always thought of Martin Birch as an Engineer not producer, good though. 
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 29657
    How could I forget Jack Joseph Puig- he engineered the Jellyfish albums.
    Amazing work.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55199

    Hugh Padgham (for XTC not Phil Collins!)
    I like his Collins and Genesis work. He invented the gated-reverb drum sound - which admittedly later became so overused it’s now considered a cliché of the 1980s - but was revolutionary at the time.

    There are probably only a handful of producers who have defined an era to that extent.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 2563
    Always thought of Martin Birch as an Engineer not producer, good though. 
    Much more of a producer than an engineer.


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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 2563
    Rick Rubin ahd done some incredible records. 
    Beatsirs, LL Cool J, t la rock, danzig, masters of reality, Trouble, raging slab, cult, cash and neil diamond.

    He has also done rhcp. Swings and roundabouts 
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  • LitterickLitterick Frets: 167
    Nick Lowe.
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 22364
    ICBM said:
    Daniel Lanois on several of U2's albums, Peter Gabriel's 'So', and several others.

    Mitchell Froom has done some of my favourite-sounding albums too - including the first three Crowded House albums, although ironically the one I like best is Together Alone, produced by Youth... who apparently (from accounts of the sessions) barely seemed to know what he was doing!
    Lanois also did Gabriel’s ‘Up’ - which was the follow up to ‘So’. I really love that album. He did lots of great work - the Neville Brothers’ ‘Yellow Moon’ was another fantastic sounding record.

    Mitchell Froom produced some Richard Thompson albums - I listened to one the other day - it still sounds really good.
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  • ColsCols Frets: 3136
    Jimmy Page.  Without his brilliance as a producer, Led Zeppelin records wouldn’t have sounded half as good as they did.
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  • BodBod Frets: 536
    edited May 3
    Reverend said:
    Rick Rubin ahd done some incredible records. 
    There's a moment in the making of RHCP's Blood Sugar Sex Magic that perfectly demonstrated the value of a good producer to me.

    Flea was trying to figure out what worked best for the chorus of Give It Away.  Rick Rubin steps in, makes a quick suggestion and it instantly turns into the part we know.

    From 4:23


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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6595
    Reverend said:
    Martin Birch. On so many perfect records. 

    Oddly, Mutt Lange is a big no for me. Took a killer heavy metal band from Sheffield and turned them into a slick but meh pop band. 

    That's kind of my point though I guess, a brilliant producer can take a band like that and make them palatable to teenage girls stacking shelfs in Tescos who normally listen to pop music. The records can then sit on the radio alongside the Jacksons and other mainstream artist. Def Leppard wanted that, the label wanted that, Mutt Lange was a producer who could make that happen with the 2nd album he produced and the third just went mental sales wise and dominated US radio for a while and even Animal and Women got played on radio 1 here at the time. Mike Shipley did a fantastic job mixing too. 

    Oddly enough generally when a band picks a certain producer it's because they want to change direction and evolve, U2 picked Eno for that very reason, Madonna picked Stuart Price for COADF. 

    Other artist pick producers that will add something but stay on the straight and narrow .. Waters picking Ezrin for example for The Wall. 

    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • guitarmanglerguitarmangler Frets: 357
    Terry Date
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  • RedlesterRedlester Frets: 571
    Some good calls here. Birch. Mutt. Padgham. 

    You have to say Quincey Jones. 

    Teo Macero who did so many classic Columbia jazz albums. 

    Rudy van Gelder ditto. Incredible story. Google it. 
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  • RedlesterRedlester Frets: 571
    Joe Boyd, almost as much for his talents as an A+R man 

    Trevor Horn.

    Bob Rock. Bruce Fairbairn- defined the sound of late 80s/ early 90s hard rock between them.  
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  • MagicPigDetectiveMagicPigDetective Frets: 1971
    Alan Moulder. Don’t know much about him but he produced a large amount of the indie albums I was listening to in the early 90’s. Ride’s Going Blank Again for example, a superb sounding record. 
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 10190
    ICBM said:
    Mitchell Froom has done some of my favourite-sounding albums too - including the first three Crowded House albums, although ironically the one I like best is Together Alone, produced by Youth... who apparently (from accounts of the sessions) barely seemed to know what he was doing!
    I've never quite got used to the idea of Mitchell Froom as a producer, to me he'll always be the bloke who joined Ronnie Montrose's band Gamma in 1982 - and drowned Gamma 3 in synthesizers.
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  • RedlesterRedlester Frets: 571
    Alan Tarney
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  • Strat54Strat54 Frets: 1729
    Late 80's/90's I was on a huge cd buying splurge and I would buy from bands I'd not heard of purely by reading the booklet and who'd produced it. I'd follow guys like Froom, George Drakoulias, Don Gehmen, Rick Rubin, Malcolm Burn, T-Bone Burnett, Brendan O'Brien etc. I'd then pickup on some of the session players on these records and follow those too. Like David Grissom, Mike Landau, Kenny Aronoff. I found some great new to me music that way. Discs were so cheap back then and I'd shop at the used record shops in Soho and around there picking up the ex promo and radio discs for a few quid. Happy days. 
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