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What is your definition of a "producer"?


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Albini couldn't have said it better...

 

 

yeah but his {censored} sucks...

 

 

great replies above aside from that one quoted....

 

producer is one who get the artist/band to realize what they are capable of... even if they dont realize it themselves. they raise the bar of status quo and bring the band to the next level of their career. they are able to push teh artist to the best of their ability and create something the artist didnt realize they were capable of. they are the voice of reason, the voice of truth. they are able to get inside the artists head and help them along their path.

 

i engineer AND produce... so the choices i make engineering play a role in how i produce getting sounds from teh band i think they should be persuing. something that didnt dawn on them previously.

 

its really getting the band not only to perform but to present their work in the best light possible. something that THEY believe in, and something they admire and want to strive towards.

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two words... in utero [sUCKED], all his pixies stuff [sucked]... shall i just run down his discography? if he realizes it or not, he is a hyprocrite and most certainly "produces" abnds forcing them into his single minded viewpoint of a recording.

on his engineering side... i should mention his BFD stuff. horrible.

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Over the decades, the scope and role of what production involves has changed and broadened. Lets face it. Every musician and producer has their own opinions and an ego, whether large or small. Some artists insist on supervising the outcome, while others sit back and let the producer hand them their album.

Some producers, just sit back and let the band to their own thing, recording them and helping when asked or needed. The question is: when is it needed? Other egotistical OCD producers want to dominate and dictate every little aspect of the whole process, whether needed or not. Some producers base their involvment on how well the group is doing initially. Groups who have their stuff together, he or she helps minimally. With less experienced, talented, creative, or professional groups he or she may feel the need to step in a lot.

Lets consider some big examples: Evanescence v. Linkin Park. If you have heard Evanescence 1st album, we may find the song writing, production and mix were not nearly as good as their sophmore album, "Fallen." They had been virtually a nobody band. They were good, but not very exeptional compared to many other unsigned bands. They got with a new producer who basically stepped in and made them. Boom, their 2nd album puts them on the charts, selling millions of copies. Did they suddenly decide to change everything about the way they wrote and arrange their material? I don't think so. For the latest album, "The Open Door," they decided to work with a different producer (who also insisted on mixing it) and low and behold, this album's writing, production and mix are not as good. Result: this album is not doing so well.

On the other hand, lets consider LP, who had their stuff together. If you have ever seen them live, you will soon realize that the material and sound is them. It's real and they pull it off live. They recorded their debut album and boom, over 20 million copies. Follow up album with the same producer = another hit. On the 2nd album, they had to at least make the bar they have set for themselves. The producer even made them, rewrite some songs all over again, to their dismay.


My take on the whole production thing: every situation is unique. Every group should find the producer who understands them, compliments their style and will help their specific weaknesses. Great band + wrong producer = limited success. Decent group + right producer = limited success. Good group + right producer = hit. The general role I see for producers is to simply guide the group through the process of recording a compilation of songs. I feel that a producer should help every group find a distinctive style and sound, but in a format that is relevant appealing to a broad audience and radio worthy/friendly. I do not think that a producer should be a dictator or babysitter. I do not think that they should sit back and let a talented, creative group go to waste by making a recording with no hope for success either. Producers: LET THEM FIND THEIR OWN VOICE

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if he realizes it or not, he is a hypocrite and most certainly "produces" bands forcing them into his single minded viewpoint of a recording.

 

 

I'll agree with this part. Even if he thinks he isn't producing he most certainly is. And its not like his work doesn't have a sound of it's own. It's ridiculous to think we wont colour music with our own personalities when we work with it.

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... shall i just run down his discography? if he realizes it or not, he is a hyprocrite and most certainly "produces" abnds forcing them into his single minded viewpoint of a recording.


on his engineering side... i should mention his BFD stuff. horrible.

 

 

what's the point of saying anyone sucks? on one hand I think steely dan's production sucked. but then I have to admire the technical merit in what they did and how deliberate they were---which required alot of skill. it's not for my ears but my hat's off to them. I always respect those more experienced (and not to mention successful) then myself.

 

btw- I think in utero sounds raucous.

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depends on your definition of success i guess.... somehow Jr was successfully elected president yet i have absolutely no respect for him. and seriously, whats the difference between outing a hypocrite "anti-producer" and him calling producers phoneys [basically saying they suck] and outright saying someone sucks because they are hypocrite "non"-producers? for someone who rails against the record insudstry, he sure has done a good job marketing himself as the majors market their own brand of crass commercialism.... they are both one and the same IMO. i guess i should just of called him phoney instead of saying he sucked [although i really do mean what i said]

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and outright saying someone sucks because they are hypocrite "non"-producers?

 

 

it's all to taste I suppose. some might find the heavy handed and busy production of nellie furtado and lauryn hill's debuts to be nifty. I think both records are good because of the songs but dreadfully cluttered on the production side. a good producer gets good results (whatever that means to you). and when it comes to the song a good producer gets out of the way whenever possible. my main beef with pop producers is the tacky bustle and preset sounding attitude of many of the tracks. but let's face it---most rock/pop/top40 music is recorded to be heavily compressed and turned into auto commercials. but I respect anyone making a living at this. juggling the business with the art. it seems like a pretty tough racket to me.

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... shall i just run down his discography? if he realizes it or not, he is a hyprocrite and most certainly "produces" abnds forcing them into his single minded viewpoint of a recording.


on his engineering side... i should mention his BFD stuff. horrible.

 

 

We all have different perspectives, I suppose. I've only heard some of his stuff, but I like the way "In Utero" sounds. And Zeni Geva was pummeling. I didn't like the way Big Black sounded. So I don't know where that leaves Albini in my mind, but I definitely respect some of what he's done.

 

As far as his viewpoints on "production" or whatever, I think he's largely arguing semantics. By having very specific approaches/philosophies, as he does, he is in fact coloring the subsequent recording.

 

I frequently try and be as "transparent" as possible when recording certain bands (largely in terms of not altering who they fundamentally are), but I totally realize that by the acoustic treatment, equipment choices, way of micing things up, mixing tendencies, personal preferences, and probably some other things that I can't think of now, any recording I do has been altered. We just hope that it's an alteration that the artist prefers.

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Ever work with Steve Albini? Or even watch him work? Have you ever actually listened to any other record he's done? 'Cos the dude's been a part of some of the best sounding recordings ever made. And I'll tell you this, he's got no signature "sound" at all as far as I'm concerned. He's got a collection of rooms at Electrical that will always give their stamp on the sonics of any recording, but all he tries to do is accurately capture a sound that the band already has.

I can make my own list for you. And it'll be longer and more detailed than your list.

Oh. And he had nothing to do with those drum samples. Some other guy used his studio and they stuck his name on it. Do your homework.

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I've sorta hedged my opinions here, largely because I've heard that the guy is a Class A prick. But regardless, "In Utero" and Zeni Geva (and I'm probably forgetting one or two more) sound really good to me. Oh, I remember another one - he did that Page/Plant thing ("Clarksville") which is sonically good but otherwise forgettable (and this is coming from a huge Zep fan). So anyway, yeah, I definitely have respect for Albini's recording ability.

 

And he may approach bands somewhat like I do philosophically, which is not to try and impart a sound. But what I was trying to say is that even if you are not *trying* to impart a sound, your very decisions on mic, mic preamps, mic placement, placement within a room, acoustic treatment, mixing tendencies, personal preferences, etc. will undoubtedly affect the sound anyway.

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but whatever... you seem to worship him. good on ya.

 

 

worship? nope. appreciate "american don" a whole lot? you bet. can't stand it when someone (who can't hold half a candle to what he does or what he's accomplished) decides it's time to talk {censored} about him? absolutely.

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Gentlemen, PLEASE. Let's cut out the negative comments towards other forum members! :(

 

Albini isn't one of my favorite producers or engineers. However, his article about how the industry "works" should be required reading. Cynical? Harsh? Yup - but in many ways, it's right on the money. I also appreciated one article I read about what "engineers" should know about and what they should know how to do. I thought there was a lot of truth to that one too.

 

As far as having a "style", I think nearly everyone does... even if it's an "anti-style". As a producer, I've tried to not impose myself on records too much; I like to try to remember that it's the artist's / band's record, with their picture on the cover, and that I'm just a name in small type listed in the credits. :o OTOH, I don't see how I can completely avoid having an influence on the record when I'm working on it.

 

Bruce Swedien likes to talk about the importance of "sonic personality" and how an engineer should have their own distinct sonic style and voice. I think there's something to that in this world of "me too" production and engineering, but OTOH, I think that needs to be subservient to the artist's vision for the record, and not something that "steps on" it.

 

I try to be a bit of a chameleon - adjusting my approach to what makes the client most comfortable and to what IMO the job calls for / requires from me. If I have to help with arrangements or song selection, then that's what I do. If I have to help decide what was a good take vs a bad take, I do that. If all I need to do is capture what's going on in the room, I'm fine with that.

 

IMO, each record is different, and each requires different things from the engineer and the producer. I think a well rounded skill set and broad experience are important for a good producer. While I generally prefer to take a facilitator approach as a member of the project's team, I try to do whatever I have to to make things as good as I can, given the artist's vision and the available resources.

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thats dave grohl..... a monkey could make him sound like he is slammin. the part rocks, the recording is {censored}e... i really doubt bob ludwig {censored}ed up teh sound of the album. oddly, the ONLY album i have seen with notes of how to adjust your stereo to listen to it in respect to bass/treble settings [where they got those settings i have no idea] but again.


:bor:

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