Producer or Engineer...? Dave's thoughts:
people have different ideas when it comes to this Producer/Engineer thing. I
personally believe the way I work turns the whole issue into a big grey area.
One thing I know I'm good at is this somewhat esoteric concept of 'making it
sound like a record', and whether as engineer or as producer/engineer, that's
a big part of what I offer when you record with me.
tend not to get involved with song arrangement unless asked. So implicit in
this - I'm not the sort of producer who sets out to daub his/her mark indellibly
over everything he/she is party to. So really, I'm quite benign in that respect.
That said, I might say 'This track is just crying out for a such-and-such -
whaddaya think ??'
told that stuff I've worked on does tend to have a signature, soundwise. Natural,
organic, intimate, warm...these are descriptions regularly applied to stuff
I've done. 'Sounds like it could have been done at Abbey Road!' is
another especially flattering one. How a song is arranged and performed obviously
dictates a huge amount of how it sounds, but how it is recorded inevitably has
a major influence too. Whether that is a production thing or an engineering
thing often ends up being a political thing. So when I've had production credits
on stuff, I've often insisted that it's co-production, alongside the artist
or writer(s). I expect my clients to be control freaks !!
"I guess I have a number of particular fortes (It's blow own trumpet time - apologies !) One is as an editor, with an exceptionally fine ear for timing and pitching, where I'm close to being as good as anyone on the planet. I've been told I have the ears of a deer...(is that a compliment...?) I'm a pretty decent musician too. I believe that's an absolute pre-requisite for anyone doing this kind of stuff. I'm imaginative and inventive, particularly good at creating practical production solutions to the most ambitious visions of the artist, and achieving them while still keeping it all within budget! And I know how to communicate! You'd be shocked at how many studio engineers don't!
"And on that very issue of budget, as a producer I'll charge a pre-agreed fixed fee, usually on a per track or a per album basis. But then having agreed that, I don't charge extra for studio time. So in effect, as far as working here at FMP goes, the studio clock goes out of the window - as much time as is needed to complete each track, or indeed the whole album. How many other studios are able to offer recording time in this way? None that I know of...!!!"
For the record...
a single, EP or an album? Don't just book a studio - talk to an experienced
Because not all studios are equal, and it's often the case that different stages of a project are more suited to different studios or locations. Making a record is a major project, and as such requires careful project management. With album credits which include a Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2000, to a Best Producer award nomination in 2014, Dave has more than 30 years experience in making great world class records. Not only can he help you achieve the most superb results, he can also help save you a small fortune doing so.
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