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Favorite producers and why
Old 24th July 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Favorite producers and why

I thought it might be fun to list your #1 favorite producer and why? What kind of producer-songwriter-engineer ect.. was he or she? What kind of gear where they limited to and/or utilizing at the time? How has this person impacted the way you work?
Old 24th July 2005
  #2
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Drumsound's Avatar
Jimmy Miller--he pulled great things out of the Stones. He set-up and altered the vibe untill those records just ooooze with vibe

Mitchell Froom (esp with Tchad Blake) he gets the vibe in a more brain-y way. Then he lets the engineer distroy it to make it even cooler.

I like records that feel like records. Not just a bunch of songs make to 'play nice.'

Old 24th July 2005
  #3
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doorknocker's Avatar
Jimmy Miller because of 'Beggar's Banquet' 'Let it Bleed' 'Dear Mr. Fantasy' and 'Spooky Two', among many others.

George Martin because of........America (just kidding).....no, you know who.
He's the perfect example of bringing out the best in great talent while making sure it's sellable, and without lowering the artistic standards in any way.

John Hammond because his thing was to stay out of the way but making sure nobody else fukks with the artist's vision, especially on their debuts. (Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan)

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 24th July 2005
  #4
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bunnerabb's Avatar
Probably Brian Holland of the Holland Dozier Holland Motown team fame.

He made eveything a new game.

And he did it back when it was still a matter of delivering the goods in a market where the music mattered more than the esoterica.

Brilliant.
Old 24th July 2005
  #5
off the top of my head

charles stepney
quincy jones
mizell brothers
norman connors
jay dilla
arif mardin
neptunes
norman whitfield
heatmakerz


theres many more but i gotta go..
Old 24th July 2005
  #6
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Jim Dickinson 'vibe'

Ken Scott

Harry Vanda & George Young
Old 24th July 2005
  #7
Han
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Bill Putnam Sr

Because he made the best sounding orchestral recordings and designed gear that's still hi end after 40 years.

The father of modern recording and a great producer he was.
Old 24th July 2005
  #8
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David Foster

Hits, Arrangements, pop orchestration, produced many of the songs of one of the most successful songwriters in history (Diane Warren) and more hits....in that order.

Santo
Old 24th July 2005
  #9
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I'd love to say George Martin, but I'm not sure how hard he had to work when you have a lennon/mccartney combination. Not to discredit him, but really can you go wrong with a beatle song ?

now.. Mutt Lange, that guy is my hero. Such a wide range of different artists of lower level than the beatles, and yet turned them into classics. That is a definition of a great producer in my dictionary.
Old 24th July 2005
  #10
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i'm a fan of Rick Rubin, Dr Dre, DJ Premier, just to name a few. #1 would have to go to Premier though. Probably not the definition of "producer" in most of your minds, but in the hip hop world...
Old 24th July 2005
  #11
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adam_w's Avatar
Norman Whitfield, a timeless genius who's work is a masterclass in itself in how to write & record music.

Quincy Jones for infallibly sheer classy records

Mutt Lange for being so obsessive you could never be accused of being obsessive

Danny Saber as the quintessential modern remixer as producer, and to some degree Steve Lironi as another proponent of the loop in modern production

..and hopefully withouty sounding like an ass kisser..Michael Wagener for the soundtrack of my mis-spent rock & roll dirtbag youth

Timbaland..

The Neptunes for being able to charge 150k+ for 2 tracks !
Old 24th July 2005
  #12
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jaredell's Avatar
 

off the top of my head for producers who are known as producers:

Phil Spector

King tubby/Lee perry

Jim O'rourke

Some of Nigel Godrich's stuff

Kevin Shields
Old 24th July 2005
  #13
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DeeDrive's Avatar
 

David Botrill:

Why? Tool - Lateralus & Silverchair - Diorama
Old 25th July 2005
  #14
Trevor Horn.

Listen to Seal's records.

Enough said.
Old 25th July 2005
  #15
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Alexi's Avatar
 

DAVE SARDY

because he makes drums sound great
Old 25th July 2005
  #16
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john caldwell's Avatar
T-Bone Burnett:

David Poe 1st album
Daniel Tashian
Sam Phillips


Daniel Lanois:

Daniel Lanois self-titled works
Old 25th July 2005
  #17
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Hard to argue with previous suggestions of George Martin, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Miller, Mutt Lange...and I'll definitely toss in an extra vote for Daniel Lanois, he's one of the last producers to come along with such an identifiable "sound" ...that I could tolerate. Love what he did for Peter Gabriel's, Robbie Robertson's, & Emmy Lou Harris' albums.

(BTW, one of my favorite George Martin productions is Mahavishnu Orchestra's _Apocalypse_. How he was able to go into a potential Spinal Tap disaster & come out not just with usable tracks, but with white-hot magical in-the-moment inspired performances is a clear indication of genius...or a deal with Satan.)

A couple other favorites:

Jimmy Page - I have a love/hate relationship with Led Zeppelin, and more often than not it leans towards hate. The only way I can listen to their records is if I conciously & forcibly divorce myself from the whole iconography of their legacy, listen as if it's the first time I ever heard any of those tracks. And when I do the first thing that comes to mind is that Jimmy Page was a brilliant producer; the combination of arrangements & sounds he gets is strikingly un-obvious. Eg., how did he know that layering these three weezy thin ****ty sounding guitars would yeild such a huge in-your-face jackhammer effect? Sublime.

Ron St. Germaine - I don't know how he does it; I'm not even sure *what* he does. All I know is that every now & then I hear a record that makes me go "Holy ****, this music sounds awesome!" and then I read the credits & sure enough, Ron St. Germaine produced (and/or engineered) it. LIving Color's _Stain_, Miniature's _I Can't Put My Finger On It_, whichever SoundGarden album he did...
Old 25th July 2005
  #18
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clunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredell

Phil Spector

King tubby/Lee perry

Jim O'rourke

Kevin Shields

indeed! what plug in does kevin shields use to slow down time? lee perry has one as well but its not quite as effective!

jim o'rourke solo records are just brilliant.


don't want to add my favourites, they'll be different by the time you read this.
Old 25th July 2005
  #19
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Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

putnam, tubby, martin, quincy
Old 25th July 2005
  #20
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David R.'s Avatar
 

The Great Sam Phillips.

Here is the reason.

Sam Phillips on NPR

I met him, very nice man. The stories he told...
Old 25th July 2005
  #21
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doorknocker's Avatar
I'll have to chime in again and put in my vote for Daniel Lanois too.

He was able to coax back Bob Dylan into serious artistic mode not once but twice.
Both 'Oh mercy' in the 80ies and 'Time out of mind' in the 90ies were major achievements. Beautiful sounding, too. I guess that's not an easy task for a notorious first-taker and key-changer like Dylan!

I also love 'Yellow Moon' by the Neville Brothers. The Nevilles are a great band that never really 'came thru' on record, Lanois did it though.

Lanois combined with really strong artists gave us some killer records, 'Joshua Tree', 'Achtung Baby' 'Wrecking Ball', the list goes on.

I really dig his collaborations with Eno, the 'Apollo' soundtrack was a recent discovery.

His protégé Malcolm Burn's work also stands out. I just bought Chris Whitley's debut 'Living with the law', what a great record!


Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 25th July 2005
  #22
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Henchman's Avatar
Trevor Horne
Brian Eno

Why?

Eno has worked on some relaly great records.

Trevor can take a band, no matter how ****ty, and make them sound amazing.
Old 25th July 2005
  #23
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Quincy Jones

Stevie Wonder

Prince

David Foster

Chuckie Booker

Trevor Horn

These guys made records. In the R&B, Hip hop world any beat maker is considered the producer... I'm not in favor of that. In favor of someone who can actually tell me what he wants to hear from the singer/musician and not the typical.. Give me something like.. Uh.. I can hear but can't tell you, just play something/just sing something and I'll hear it when I know it..
I'll pass
Old 25th July 2005
  #24
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

dave fridmann
bill laswell
brian eno
andrew weiss
paul leary
Old 25th July 2005
  #25
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDrive
David Botrill:

Why? Tool - Lateralus & Silverchair - Diorama

I find this interesting because of the mention of Diorama. I had an intern who loved Silverchair and gave me a copy of Diorama and I think it is musically wonderful. I think most of the credit should got to Daniel Johns, as well as Van Dyke Parks (and the other ohrchestrator...) for that.

Sonically I think the record is terrible. It's very hard to listen to. The upper mids hurt and annoy me. It's not as bad as the Audioslave record, which I can't even make it to the end of, but its rough.
Old 25th July 2005
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phunkyt
Quincy Jones

Stevie Wonder

Prince

David Foster

Chuckie Booker

Trevor Horn

These guys made records. In the R&B, Hip hop world any beat maker is considered the producer... I'm not in favor of that. In favor of someone who can actually tell me what he wants to hear from the singer/musician and not the typical.. Give me something like.. Uh.. I can hear but can't tell you, just play something/just sing something and I'll hear it when I know it..
I'll pass
^ 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:
Eno
Dr. Dre
Ross Robinson deserves a quick mention as well
Old 25th July 2005
  #27
Jimmy Miller - the counterpoint melody overdubs he oversaw & the percussion he added to the raggedy assed bare bones of the Stones - "made" my favorite ever band & records.

Unsung "band member" production hero's: Jimmy Page & Pete Towndsend
Old 25th July 2005
  #28
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

Eno on Bowie
Bowie on Reed
Spector on mescaline

ruudman
Old 26th July 2005
  #29
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5down1up's Avatar
 

brendan o´brien ... imho
Old 26th July 2005
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

trevor horn - first time i heard crazy (by seal) on radio it really stroke me.
flood - u2's achtung baby and depeche mode's songs of faith and devotion
trent raznor - nin/ closer and head like a hole. can a rock band sound like that. the question was answered with that.
andy johns - when you are doing somthing in rock, you need to have listen to that guy, otherwise you missed a lot out of history
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