the Music - Get Started
you wanna be a record producer?
Our video clip features a
day in the studio life of top Welsh producer/engineer Greg Havers,
as he recorded material with the poptastic Derrero.
he when he’s at home?
Greg is one of the most famous faces on the Welsh music scene. Over
the past ten years or so he’s worked with nearly every big-name
Welsh act you can think of, including The Manics’ album ‘Know Your
Enemy’, and their famous Cuba gig in February 2001. He’s also a
partner in the record labels Big Noise and Booby Trap.
what exactly does a producer/engineer do?
A producer works with musicians in roughly the same way as a director
works with actors; whilst it’s the musicians who create a song,
it’s the producer who will help shape and maximise its recording
potential in a studio through adding new ideas, forms, and sounds.
mean a producer just shouts at musicians through a megaphone?
Not at all - it’s a really skilled job. Producers need the technical
ability to master studio equipment as well as the musical knowledge
and interpersonal skills to get the most out of the musicians.
A good producer can make the difference between a song being a
hit rather than a flop. This is why big name producers can command
do people become producers?
A fair number of producers are musicians themselves (Greg has
worked as a drummer for a number of top acts, including Mr Tom
Jones) and they’ve learnt the basics of studio production and
studio techniques whilst recording stuff themselves. The other
main route into production is to start as an assistant engineer.
an assistant engineer?
The studio hierarchy is on 3 levels: The Producer (God), The Engineer
(God’s assistant), and The Assistant Engineer (God’s Gofer). The
assistant engineer is unfairly considered something of a glorified
teaboy/girl: however, it’s also the age-old route into learning
to become a studio engineer.
what’s a studio engineer, then?
The Studio Engineer’s job is to make sure that everything is in
full working order - checking equipment, positioning mikes and loading
samplers. It’s a technical job, which also requires knowledge of
how sound works and travels. If, like Greg, you can combine production
and engineering, you tend to be popular with record labels, ‘cos
it saves them money!
I need to be a technical whizz to do this? There are a number
of colleges and universities that offer courses in Studio Engineering.
Check out UCAS under Links for
details. You could also take a look at the Brighton School of Audio
website under Links as they run short summer courses for
would-be producers and sound engineers.
surfing and reading
Visit the American site Links
where you’ll find a number of topics relating to life in a studio
as well as more technical pages. There’s also a book called ‘How
To Become A Record Producer’ by one David Mellor. See Links