recording engineers, your mentors

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by damster, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. damster

    damster Active Member

    Jan 17, 2002
    hey there all you recorder guy's and gal's!

    I am very new here(green)but it already feels like home.My first taste of RO was 'overhead phase'and recorder man's micing method.Now thats what I call a welcome wagon!All your dirty talk really gets me going.

    Anyway....I was just curious to here about some of the people who really motivated you to get into this business.Producers?Engineers?Artists?Family?(forgive my ignorance to any past threads in which are similar)

    One of my #1's is Andy wallace.Most of the bands he has worked with I for one really like.Slayer,Sevendust,Blind Melon,Limp Bizkut,Jeff Buckley,System of a diverse and add the fact that my #2 man is in there(Rick Rubin) on some of those projects makes this fruit taste so much sweeter. ;) He is not only a great producer(Jeff buckley,Blind melon, etc.)....but he is also a world class mixer(Limp,Slayer,SSOAD,etc.).His production are deep, well arranged and cohesive while his mixes are smooth full and articulate.His look is that of a professer.Calm composed....intelligent looking.However if you have seen the 'letters from a porcupine' video (Blind melon) you would also know that he looks equally intelligent in a gimp mask being led around on a leash by his engineer.
    Now that is worth living up to. :cool:

    Of course there are others but I thought this was worth mentioning first.

    "quotes are for quoters"
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    My mentor was an engineer called Bob Potter, he worked on The grease Band, Led Zeplin, the Stones, M Faithfull, The Smiths, Sly Stone - some of those as tape op some as engineer, I learned a lot from him by assisting him 1983 onwards whenever he came into where I worked.. Mainly I learned 'working vibe'.

  3. dave-G

    dave-G Active Member

    Nov 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    For me it was Fred Catero. Fred has recorded so many of my favorite records over the years, from Chicago Transit Authority, Herbie Hancock and Sly and the Family Stone to producing Santana's Abraxas. I've often called him the "first engineer" because over the course of his career, he's seen the birth and [apparent] death ot tape. From direct-to-disc to direct-to disk.

    I had been doing this for several years before I met him, and then became a staff engineer at a studio where he was chief. Fred is a quick-working intuitive engineer who relies more on listening than looking (he doesn't see that well, and this may have something to do with that). He is not one to remember model numbers of equipment--paying more attention to equipment type "let's have a big condensor on that" or "let's use one of those limiters" .. Absolutely NOT a gear-slut. His influence hasn't stopped me from being one, but it has made me more obsessed with trusting my ears in the studio more than my eyes.

    Perhaps most importantly, he's also role-modeled for me the jedi-art of session-flow: making decisions and working quickly to let the session revolve around the musicians and not the engineer. It's amazing how good your work will sound and how great an engineer they'll think you are if you're always ready and don't bog-down the process.

    Other engineers who've benefited from Fred's presence would include Leslie-Ann Jones, Ken Kessie and many others.

    I'm always glad to find an opportunity to give him "props". Thanks for asking the question.

    -dave G.
  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    I never had a long relationship with any one mentor, coming up. But I was/am extremely talented ( I believe) at extracing the essence ( or a least a good trick or two ) that usually draw parallels to or a perpendicular that opens up a new angle on my own synthesis/paradigm. here's a list of some of my fovorites that have taught me the craft:
    Bones Howe, Al Schmitt, Rick Rubin, Flood, Andy Wallace,T-Bone Burnett, David Bianco, Geoff Emerick, Albhy Galuten, Humberto Gatica,Jack Joseph Puig, Garth Richardson, Allen Sides, "Jimbo" Barton, Sylvia Massey, ...etc.

    I will say that Rick Rubin knows what he wants...and takes mixing credit, BUT is NOT a moxer. He uses some of the very best talent out ther to do this for him, but seems to have to take credit for everything....He's already producing, but maybe that's not enough for him. "WildFlowers" and the new RHCP are fav's of mine.
  5. damster

    damster Active Member

    Jan 17, 2002
    Wow! That 'working vibe', 'session flow' is a cool thing.I had almost forgot to give props to one of my teacher's at the recording school I went to.I noticed that more than anything,when he was in the room decisions were made faster,more intuitive and musicians performed better and generally felt more comfortable.As a whole the recordings we did with his guidance were much more focused and coherent.All the elements of performance-comfort-creativity-engineering seemed to balance well.

    His name was Jim Lamarche.Aside from being a great teacher he was pretty much a jerk!LOL.

    Recorder man---I love wildflowers smooth and soulful.BTW thank you so much for that overhead technique.
  6. droog

    droog Active Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    yes, recorder man, thanx

    in fact, i would nominate you as number one of the online "mentors' i've met

    bob ohlsson is another giant from the internet community

    fletcher, massenberg and roger nichols have been helpful

    mike stavrou is someone i've met in real life, and his writings have had most impact on me in regard to engineering

    thank you all,
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by max:

    fletcher, massenberg and roger nichols have been helpful

    Just don't tell Fletcher you used his name and Roger Nichols in the same sentence!
  8. mikemoritz

    mikemoritz Guest

    For me, I'm a big fan of what Brian Wilson did with Pet Sounds. I really love that album. So I'd say he's up there. That's all I can think of right now.

  9. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    The Johns Bros, Eddie Kramer, Jimmy Miller, Jimmy Page, Brian Wilson, Alan Parsons, Nigel Godrich, John Travis, John Leckie, Ric Ocasek, and Tom Dowd to name a few.
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I Michael Jackson has been nagging at me to stop name dropping BUT! I was just chatting to John Leckie a few nights ago, we both had produced the same band, Crackout, he complimented me on my 2 early singles "they were great' (his tracks never saw the light of day for some reason) and then we both bemoaned the production of the album - which neither of us got the gig for. We enjoyed a good bitch about it! :) Fletcher you know, has worked with him in the studio several times...

  11. laggy

    laggy Guest

    I've never met or worked with them, but there two mixers whose work I strive to emulate:
    Mark "Spike" Stent and Tom Lord-Alge.

    Specifically Mark "Spike" Stent's work on the Massive Attack album "Mezzanine," and Tom Lord-Alge's mixes on the Marylin Manson album "Mechanical Animals."

    Amazing stuff.
  12. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    sorry Jules, for "name dropping". These were some of my mentors, back when I was assisting/aditional engineering.
    Another one I forgot ( I only assisted for him a couple of times) who is an excellant engineer and producer is Michael Wagener, a man who has always been a bit ahead of the edge of the technology in this buisness. He's on these boards, and is one of the greatest guys to hang with.
    Mixerman is another....he truelly has tried (not completely in vain) to instill in me the "vibe" part...but I have an alergy to the typical male pastime of spectator sports...
    recently my mentor is a producer I've been doing alot of work with. Learning other aspects of success in this biz...outside of the control room, ect.

    I'm interested in how you made the transition from engineer to producer? That's a front I'm continuing to fight on.
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I will satrt a new topic on that and let this illustrious roll call continue uninterupted.
  14. droog

    droog Active Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    littledog wrote:

    'Just don't tell Fletcher you used his name and Roger Nichols in the same sentence'

    i believe almost i did it out of provocational value, anyhow

    ps i forgot harvey gerst, who is a great gentleman, willing to share his knowledge
  15. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Two of the guys that I got a lot from were Joe Baressi and Jason Corsaro. Both of them liked to push things to the edge but I think I learned more about getting sounds from Jason. For example, he would just throw a mic on a guitar amp in about half a second and then go listen to it before it got moved. Makes sense to me.
  16. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    To me, a mentor is someone I've actually worked with that taught me more than just a few tricks, but how to approach things in a way that helps you make great recordings.

    I'd have to say that Jimmy Miller is probably my biggest "mentor", closely followed by Henry Hirsh and 'Phil Greene. Also in the mix are Michael Beinhorn, Ron Saint-Germain, and Jesse Henderson.

    While I've never worked "in the room" with some of the following guys, I have spent a considerable amount of time hanging and talking with them, which has led me down paths I may not have traveled without their assistance... guys like Michael Brauer, Kooster McAllister, Jason Corssaro, Paul Northfield, Jim Siegel, and our very own Julian Standen.

    There have been a lot of engineers who's work has led me in a direction [Clearmountain, Lillywhite, Albini, Rick Parashar], but I've never spent a significant amount of time talking with them about the craft, nor have I been in their rooms while they worked... but the results they have attained are undeniable in their tone and signature.

    I'm sure I missed a bunch, they'll get over it.
  17. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Here's Bob, I assisted him often during about a 3 or 4 year period. not listed below is the first Smiths album "The Smiths" that he did with yours truly as assistant. he also Tape Op'ed on Get Your Ya Yas Out - Stones, also, Houses of the Holy and other stuff by - Zepplin while he was house engineer at Islands Basing St Studios, London.

    Bob Potter Discography:

    artist title credit on tunes
    The Grease Band The Grease Band Recording Engineer All Feb 1971 Shelter
    Steeleye Span Please To See The King Engineer 1971
    Bell & Arc She Belongs To Me/Dawn(EP) Engineer 1971 Charisma
    Bell & Arc Bell + Arc Engineer 1971 Charisma
    Gerry Lockran Wun Enginner 1972 Polydor
    Tony Kelly Bring Me Back Engineer 1972 Polydor Super
    Uncle Dog Old Hat Producer All 1972
    Joe Cocker Joe Cocker Thanks 1972 A&M US
    London Symphony Orchestra Tommy Assistant Engineer 1972
    Michael Martin Murphey Geronimo's Cadillac Engineer 1972
    Paul Kossoff Back Street Clawler Producer,Engineer 1973 Island
    Leonard Cohen Leonard Cohen:Live Songs Engineer 1973
    Carol Grimes Warm Blood Producer,Engineer All 1974 Virgin/Caroline
    Carol Grimes Carol Grimes Producer with Don Nix
    Mick Jones 1975 Goodear
    The Grease Band Amazing Grease Producer,Engineer All
    Alan White Ramshackled Producer,Engineer 1976
    Paul Kossoff Koss Producer 1977 DJM DJE
    Steeleye Span Original Masters Engineer 1977
    Marianne Faithfull Faithless Producer 4tunes 1977 Nems
    Charlie Ainley Too Much Is Not Enough Engineer 1978
    Charlie Ainley Bang Your Door Engineer 1978
    Marianne Faithfull Broken English Engineer 1979
    Ronnie Lane See Me Recording Engineer Jan 1980
    Marianne Faithfull Dangerous Acquaintances Recording Engineer All Sep 1981 Island ILPS
    Hawkwind Spirit Of The Age Producer 1988
    Couple De Villes Burning Blues Producer,Mixing Assistant 1992
    Free Molton Gold:The Anthology Producer 1993
    John Ellison Welcome Back Engineer 1993
    Eric Clapton Crossroads 2: Live In The 70's Engineer 1996
    Paul Kossoff Blue Blue Soul Producer 1997
    Marianne Faithfull Perfect Stranger:The Island Anthology Engineer 1999
    Bell & Arc Bell + Arc Engineer 1999

    Thanks Bob.

    Fletcher - is an omnipresent angel with a dirty face on my right shoulder wearing engineer boots, a five O'clock shadow and a Telecaster instead of wings, kicking me in the ear when I am about to do something stupid that the lazy 'do it the easy way' devil on my left shoulder said was cool.

    Respect to the mentors.
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