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Favorite producers and why
Old 26th July 2005
Originally Posted by gb-jazz
^ All of the guys made great classic recordings
Hip Hop and R&B production seems to muddy the waters quite a bit. In fact I believe the best of the Urban producers are spending more time on engaging the artists to bring out the best in them when they work together in the studio, you also have many so called producers who are just beat makers and who never actually work face to face with the artists who use their beats as a vehicle. I understand why this occurs, the artists get beat tapes by the dozens and cherry pick beats that they think sound hot. Nowadays it is not uncommon to have beats produced by 12 different people on the same album. 10-15 years ago this was not the case. And many, myself included, will argue that the Albums where more cohesive and timeless. Just have a look at the Beastie Boys first 3 records, Public Enemy, NWA, all of DJ Premier’s early records, De La Soul w/Prince Paul ect.... Now the Single is King so the rappers and singers just want a hot beat to ride on. The engineer now steps into the production role in a sense. These guys make sure the take is good, the vocal chain sounds right ect.. Most of them probably don’t tell Jay-Z, 50 Cent, or Eminem how they can ryhme a certain verse better, they just push record and get out of the way. I personally I like how entire rock records are made by cetain Producers and I look forward to when Rap and R&B records are made in a similar fashion again. Then we will see the re-emergence of Classic Records being made in hip-hop, not just a cool sounding single or two per album.
A few of my favorite producers would be:
Teo Macero - for Miles
Pete Rugolo - for himself and Stan kenton
David Axelrod - for himself, Cannonball Adderley, Electric Prunces, ect..
Marshall Sehorn & Allen Toussaint - for the Meters
Jame Brown & Fred Wesley - no explaination needed
Modern Producers:
Dr. Dre
Ross Robinson deserves a quick mention as well
Nice.. I totally agree and with ya.. Have seen many sessions where the engineer has definitely been the producer... Also like your selection of producers..

Old 26th July 2005
Gear Maniac

i am very pleased to be the first to mention both rudy van gelder and david briggs.
no doubt that i dig very many of the other peeps already mentioned.
rudy van gelder cranked out some of the most signifigant jazz albums of the genre. clean, clear and frickin' intense.
briggs flew in the face of overproduced schlock and made records that were REAL, man!
Old 26th July 2005
Michael Wagener
Terry Date

because they brought the BIG F&^%KIN GUITARS that feuled my youth

where's the devil horns icon?
Old 26th July 2005
Here for the gear
JimmyPills's Avatar

Jack Endino
Phil Spector
Kevin Shields.... Huge sounds!
Old 26th July 2005
Gear Addict
s00p3rm4n's Avatar

two modern greats:

Jon Brion
Phil Ek
Old 26th July 2005
Lives for gear
brianroth's Avatar

Ken Scott (see the other thread on the board here)...

Old 26th July 2005
Gear Addict
recky's Avatar

Amongst many others mentioned here I also admire

Mitchell Froom - (especially those albums on which he used Tchad Blake as an engineer) It's happened to me too many times now that I've listened to an album that I've never heard before and go "whoa, I REALLY love this sound". I check the credits and there you go, it's Mr Froom again! Some of the best things he did, IMHO: Crowded House "Woodface", Elvis Costello "Brutal Youth", Ron Sexsmith "Ron Sexsmith", The Finn Bros. "Everyone Is Here". Great songwriters, and Mitchell Froom just makes a great album out of a collection of songs.

Phil Ramone - he's done a lot of classic stuff, but I particularly admire his work with Billy Joel, apparently Mr Ramone's first major league pop artist.


Old 27th July 2005
Gear Maniac

I must show my roots and mention Scott Burns. He did so much for extreme music, in the late 80's early 90's he helped propel many other genres forward in ways that most of us will never understand. Big respects. King Tubby and Sly + Robbie. Madlib with Quas, and Showbiz of D.I.T.C. are amongst my favorites as well.
Old 27th July 2005
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
John Leventhal-great guitar tones and overall mixes
Old 26th January 2006
Gear Head
Zoe-Ruth's Avatar

he is the absolute ****.
Old 26th January 2006
Gear Maniac
Push845's Avatar

Jimmy Page. He has such an ear for what fits in the pocket. Good, bad or indifferent. I just recently listened to what he did with David Coverdale and he STILL blows me away! 2nd.....Ted Templeman...two words....Van Halen
Old 26th January 2006
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neve1073's Avatar

g martin
mitchell froom
dennis herring

...they spring to mind
Old 26th January 2006
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joaquin's Avatar

Nigel Godrich and his work with Radiohead stike
Old 26th January 2006
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absrec's Avatar

I thought this was supposed to be your number one favorite producer. Anyway, since everyone else is putting down three of four names, here goes.

Roger Nicols (I probably misspelled it) - Steely Dan (Certianly a more "hands off" approach to production)

Brendan O'Brien Circa '91 - '98 - Pearl Jam, STP, Red Hot Chile Peppers, Danzig, etc. (After this era, he stopped being hungry or something, but he made a lot of cool records)

Phil Ramone - Billy Joel (enough said)

Jack Joseph Puig - Jellyfish, Tonic, Black Crowes (Just pulled out "Amorica" yesterday. What the f*@k! That record sounds absolutely silly!)
Old 26th January 2006
Gear Maniac

Chris Goss and Joe Baressi, because they have done many of my favorites and actually worked together on my favorite.
Old 26th January 2006
Gear Addict
Shaft's Avatar

The non-producer himself:

Steve Albini


Truth. Beautiful sonic purity. And the drums... ahh, the drums.

(Nirvana - In Utero; Breeders - Pod; Pixies - Surfer Rosa; P.J. Harvey - Rid of Me)

Not to forget:

Miller - Stones
David Briggs - Neil Young, Tonight's the Night; On the Beach
George Massenburg - Lyle Lovitt, Joshua Judges Ruth
Bowie - Lou Reed, Transformer; Mott the Hoople, All the Young Dudes
John Leckie - Radiohead, The Bends
Nigel Godrich - Radiohead, OK Computer
Todd Rundgren - Something Anything?; A Wizard A True Star

Old 26th January 2006
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timtoonz's Avatar
Bob Ezrin - as influential as his work with Pink Floyd was, I'm more blown away by things like Lou Reed's 'Berlin', Gabriel's first album, Alice Cooper's classic stuff... He makes shameless over-production FUN and exciting. And he's a Canuck. heh

Roy Thomas Baker - the other Patron Saint of excess, thanks to his stuff with Queen. That's the kind of production that made me want to LIVE in a studio.

ENO - Bowie, Devo, U2

Steve Lillywhite - mostly for his work with XTC

My 'new faves': John Leventhal, Nigel Goderich (Radiohead, Beck), and whoever does the 'Super Furry Animals' cd's. I really should read more liner notes...

But if I had to pick one, I guess it'd just be Ezrin. (I'd list Sir G. Martin, but that's a given, isn't it???)
Old 26th January 2006
Lives for gear
indie's Avatar

Nigel Godrich.
He seems to bring out the best in artists..and his engineering and mixing.
Travis, Radiohead and Sir Paul -- his best solo record if you ask me.
Old 26th January 2006
Originally Posted by indie
Nigel Godrich.
He seems to bring out the best in artists..and his engineering and mixing.
Travis, Radiohead and Sir Paul -- his best solo record if you ask me.
You can add Beck to your list as well.
Old 26th January 2006
Lives for gear
syntheticrhyme's Avatar

Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Trevor Horn.

Listen to Seal's records.

Enough said.
Great Guy. I had an opportunity to work Trevor on a Seal project. Super Classy and meticulous gentleman. This is one man that will go to the ends of the earth to get what he wants. Here is a man that will hire a 50 piece orchestra for a few bars in a track, and then just scrap it if it doesn't feel right. (i thought I was obsessive) But the results are always fabulous. Great setup too. At his LA studio, he's got a Pro Tools HD3 and his mixes are done on the sony DMX console (with plenty of tube outboard gear.
Old 26th January 2006
Nigel Godrich...OK Computer is pretty well perfect

Jim O'Rourke...Talk about engineering, in an age when it seems like everything has been done, he finds new things to do

Ken Andrews...Incredibly musical, great asthetic, does what's right for the song

Ethan Johns...Big suprise that Glynn Johns' son and Andy Johns' nephew knows exactly how a rock record is supposed to sound (and a country one too...)

R. Walt Vincent...Underrated, gets incredible sounds without loads of gear

Good call on Kevin Shields JimmyPills.
Old 26th January 2006
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AlanTide's Avatar

Absolutely David Foster

Everything he touches turns to gold. He realizes that his style is moving out of the mainstream pop and is now concentrating on the Josh Grobans of the world and making him an international star.
Old 26th January 2006
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Einstein's Avatar
Another vote for David Bottrill, but I'm gonna tie him with Brendon O'Brien. Both of these guys seem to find a certain magic and exploit it. As for David, listen to Undertow and then listen to Aenima and Lateralus. He just brought out a whole new magic in that band.
Old 26th January 2006
Lives for gear

Glen Ballard is one of my faves. Jagged Little Pill is just amazing!
Old 26th January 2006
2 x Jimmy's

Jimmy Miller - for his Rollings Stones work - a raggedy bar band - fleshed out with session Keys / Brass /B Vox / Percussion / Strings. Amazingly stitched together...

Jimmy Iovene - v cool discography (An engineer in the mid-1970's for John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen (Born To Run, Darkness On The Edge Of Town), he then produced hit albums for U2 (Rattle And Hum, Under A Blood Red Sky), Dire Straits, the Eurythmics, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, the Pretenders, Bob Seger, and Patti Smith) and went on to run Interscope.. way to go!

And 1 x Michael

Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, Soul Asylum, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Hole, Strokes)

I think of all producers, it is somehow these three that seem to make recordings sound the way I would like to make them sound...

I ADMIRE a LOT of producers work.. but these three have the edge for me..

Old 26th January 2006
Lives for gear
BB Bill's Avatar

Rick Rubin.

From Johnny Cash to the Beastie Boys via Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Petty. And now Justin Timberlake.

A true genius.
Old 26th January 2006
Gear Head

Bruce Dickinson for having the insight to beef up the cow-bell on the Blue Oyster Cult classic Don't Fear The Reaper back in 1976!
Old 26th January 2006
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by everybody's x
Michael Wagener
Terry Date
because they brought the BIG F&^%KIN GUITARS that fueled my youth

where's the devil horns icon?
Man, you forgot the other one, Scott Burns.

Favorite producer? Hard to tell. I would most like to work with Devin Townsend (Steve Vai, Strapping Young Lad) because he is the most pop-savvy metal singer around, IMO. I love metal but loathe all the screaming going on. Devvy writes FANTASTIC songs and melodies.

Favorite Engineer? Andy Sneap and Fredrik Nordstrom are doing things to metal recordings as important as the guys above did a decade ago. It's pretty telling when like 90% of top acts in a genre list you in the credits... err 90/2 = 45%.

Actually, I'm most grateful to all these guys not just for their recordings but for hanging out on the web, spreading the love instead of locking it up in their studio dungeons. Christ, I can have MW out to my house (with sufficient foresight) for a ridiculous, almost unfair (to him), price. It's great that even with all the little project studios potentially changing these guy's cashflow for the worse, they still spread the art instead of being bitter or secretive.
Old 26th January 2006
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
Jimmy Miller... but not for the work you're talking about... for the work he did with a bunch of local Boston Bands in the late 80's early 90's... I learned more about the flow of a session from him than anyone with whom I've ever worked.

Sandy Pearlman... but not for BOC or The Clash... for the "Space Team Electra" record he did a couple of years ago... un-fukking-believable work!!! [ cowbell!!]; the audio, the arrangements, the concepts/textures/layers/depth... just staggering work.

Anthony Resta... groove monster with pop sensibilities like nobody's business

Maurice Starr... to create two sucessful "pop" sensations while not being revealed as "the man behind the curtain" [to anyone except the accountants!!!!!]... a man too talented for words alone.

There are others who have given me an idea or seven... and are probalby worth an honorable mention... but I doubt they'd give me props so fukk 'um.
Old 26th January 2006
Lives for gear
M2E's Avatar

I like producers that just totally change the game. Producers that make people go WOW WHAT A SONG, WHAT A TRACK OR WHAT A LYRIC. Producers that take there time and get the best vocal out of an artist. Producers that see music going one way and just totally do something that makes everyone change and do what they are doing.

1. Quincey Jones- R&B was just funky jazz until he came. He changed R&B for all R&B Producers of his day and even now. He is the ultimate at knowing who to get to play what part on the song he's working on. He knows what people to have around him that will change history-(Bruce Sweiden) of course in his later years. He's done everything from Big Band, Orchrestra, Jazz, Swing, R&B, Pop and so on. He's the one that most of the producers that you guys named, look up to. Well at least for any producer that does Pop, R&B, Jazz, Hip Hop and so on that comes with a funky beat or a beautiful soulful sound.

2. Then came James Brown- Who took what QJ's was doing with artist like Ray Charles etc and started something that would change the sound of R&B for a long time.
Funky Drums with Funky Gtr's. Though he was better at producing himself more than others he did have huge success with other artist.

3. After JB then came the ultimate in FUNK!!!! Mr. George Clinton. Thank GOD for weed then. Because I don't think he would have been able to create songs like that without it. He's one that changed the game in R&B forever.

4. After George came a little guy by the name of Teddy Riley. He took what Quincey Jones, James Brown, George Clinton and a barely known Grandmaster Flash and started something that would change R&B forever. He is the first to do Hip Hop/R&B. Before he was doing straight R&B he did a few unknown artist's named Kool Moe Dee, and Heavy D. He started their careers off. Then he would take what he did with rap artist's and mix in Gospel chords hence what R&B is based on, and created R&B/Hip Hop for Heavy D, Redhead Kingpen, Wrecks and Effects, all rap acts. Then added what he was doing with them to R&B artist like Guy, Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure and so on.
He also was first to come up with the term Remix that know one gives him credit for. He took records that where out and totally re-did them and made them out sell the original. Plus he was the first to add hard heavy beats to slow songs when he did Keith Sweat's first album. Before then all slow songs were mushy and soft and pretty.
He was the first to put heavy Hip Hop Beats to Gospel/R&B chords and make hits.
Without Teddy there would be no Timbaland, Neptunes, P-Ditty, Rodney Jerkins and so get the point. R&B would not be where it is today. He changed the game.

5. Last but not least Dr. Dre. He took what was beginning to be an art that was repeating itself over and over with happy smilely rappers and danceing rappers and producers sampleing the same ole thing over and over and changed the game. There were only about two hardcore rappers before Easy E and NWA. That was Just Ice and Schooly D. But none of them had national hits but had east coast/midwest success. So he took that idea and put it with music that was huge on the west coast which was Funkadelic and created a new sound and style of rap that would forever change the face of Hip Hop.

Before I go I have to acknowledge a producer that I had a chance to work with and be his first signed writer. I didn't know who he was before I meet him and didn't know what he had done before either until, I was about to sign with him.
I had no idea that he too changed the face of POP music forever. That guy is David Foster. Much respect to him. He helped me realize another part of music.

That's my fav's.


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