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Old 16th March 2003
Gear Nut

Re: Engineer / Musician - Better to be both?

Originally posted by CaptainHook
Hey slippy and everyone else,

Just a question out of curiousity:

Is it important/necessary for an engineer to have a background in performing music?

It can certainly come in handy when the producer says, "let's take that section again at the ritard in the interlude after the 2nd ending, just before the coda...ok people, on the pickup note to the Db..." and you have to translate that into tape position.

Slippy ~~ do you yourself play an instrument?
Slipperman isn't a musician, he's a drummer.

I only ask, because it makes sense to me that a musician would approach mixing/engineering differently than a purely technically trained AE.
Whether this makes for a better engineer is obviously subjective and completely independant for each individual's scenario.

I'm just wondering how many engineers are also musicians, and if they believe that it gives them some kind of advantage.

For instance: someone who plays drums/bass/guitar etc. would have a clear
idea in their head as to how they would want the instruments to sound if they were playing

- CaptainHook -
the advantage is that you 'speak the native's language' if you're a musician as well. The disadvantage is that it becomes even harder to pull your own self back and let the 'real' musicians on the session do their thing. You tend to want to imprint your own concept onto things, which can be good/neutral/bad, mileage varies from situation to situation.