People Behind The Ablums

Alright, the band creates the music but who makes them sound the way they sound? Here is a short explanation on which people, besides the band, are behind an album and what they do.

Ultimate Guitar

How many times have we found ourselves thinking What an excellent record...?, how many times have we found ourselves saying What a great song!? The answer to both questions is probably many. We all have our favourite albums, singles, live CD's but do you know exactly how many people made them possible? Alright, the band creates the music but who makes them sound the way they sound?

Here is a short explanation on which people, besides the band, are behind an album and what they do. In no order of importance:

Recording Engineer They are the ones who set the stage for all the musicians to give us their best sound in the Recording Studio. Among their responsibilities, they record the band's work and sonically shape all of the parts for the recording, including the selection and placing of microphones, placing the instruments, and placing the headphones for the musicians in the current session. Although the operation of the recording studios is high tech, the creative side is what sets Recording Engineers apart.

Music Producer A Music Producer is something like a movie's merge of the director and the producer, all in one. They are the ones that carry the biggest responsibility of the recording project.

The producer gets much creative freedom because after all, they are the visionaries, the ones that foresee how an album is going to sound. Among their responsibilities we can find organizing all the musicians and studios as well as other people hired for the project and assisting the talent with song arrangements and content. They work very closely to the musicians in order to create a masterpiece of musical art.

Mixers and Remixers They literally convert songs into records (CD's). Mixing is the most vital part of the recording process. They are involved in the final procces of the recording, arranging all of the recorded material into one final product. The Mixer has a lot of creative influence on the project, sometimes, as much as the Producer. This position can be one of the most lucrative positions on a Recording Studio because they receive royalties from the CD sales. It is the Mixer's knowledge and creativity that will reshape all of the rcorded sounds and performances into a musical experience.

Post Production Engineer These are the guys responsible of joining together and lining up all the sound for many different media applications. This position involves technology but also offers an extremely creative environment in which you work directly with the music.

Guitar Technician The also called Guitar Techs are the musicians best friends. They are responsible for setting up, calibrating and tuning the performer's guitar and amplifiers collection. At live shows, Guitar Techs play a very important role, coordinating and exchanging guitar and amp set-ups as needed.

Mastering Engineer The Mastering Engineer is the final link between the final mix and the actual CD that is released for sale and radio play. They work very closely to the Music Producers, placing all the songs in a proper order and editing or reconstructing the arrangemets at the Producer's request. The Mastering Enginner then adds an overall treatment to the final product, and issues a Master CD for duplication. This treatment process is very creative and allows the Mastering Engineer to build a reputation for excellence. Once this is achieved, the demand and pay scale for a professional Mastering Engineer soar off the map.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    now if only i was smart enough to become a mastering engineer then i would be set for life.....big pay check
    For those who got St.Anger, the rehersal dvd is good but I got very disappointed when they played St.Anger.... Hetfield sings really bad. And the guitars sounds bad too....
    "yeah a lot of bands today get most of their sound from the studio (blink 182, sum 41)" i have seen sum 41 live and they are really good the put on a great show and sound almost the same as their cd's
    Emenius Sleepus
    lol good point about N*Sync, you can add Holly Valance there too... Exactly what John Alexander - and this article - said. Basically, producers etc. are one of the main links. The artists do come first because unless yet again they are N*Sync they write and perform the songs. If a band's good, they'll sound good live. But on the other hand, if you get a shit crew workin on your CD's, then it will probably sound shit no matter how good the musicians are. THe crew is just about as important as the musicians themselves.
    John Alexander
    The people behind the music can be the most important, of the least important depending on what band it is your talking about. There's certain groups out there, who will only trust producer's because they know they WON'T change the way their sound comes out when they write their songs. But then again, there's certain bands who thrive on a producer's ideas to change, and edit their songs. It's the bands who don't need a great production staff that are the best in the end. Because when you see those bands live in concert, they end up being the best because they sound just as good as they do on their albums. Many of the '60's rock groups, Dave Matthews and yes, even 3 Doors Down. I happened to see 3 Doors Down in concert. I liked some of their stuff, but hearing them in concert was pretty amazing. Same thing with DMB. You realize a band's talent not by their ability to record a great record, but their ability to put on a good live show. Because you know that's what the REALLY sound like. Unless of course, it's N'Sync.
    look you guys are a bunch of ****s. i dont like this and i dont like that. if it wasnt for music the world would be so shit that we would be killing each other so be gratefull for gods like metallica ang zep and NIRVANA. MIXERS very important people do you know andy wallace well he mixed some nirvana stuff he mixed puddle of muds latest as well as some limp and some other great albums so go home and read the names in the back of your albums. any way anybody can mixe or produce your own stuff now tis gonna be quality or not we will decide that not you.. if you knew who i am you would be fuc***G screaming. take care F.F.
    Bubonic Chronic
    Yah, so all six people on earth who have this job have a great gig. Great! What about the rest of us slobs?
    Try sitting and engineering shitty music. It sucks.
    ratlug: i didnt live in their time, but im preety sure that led zeppelin and the others were the other 25% of the music or their time their time every generation has its sucky music.
    yeah a lot of bands today get most of their sound from the studio (blink 182, sum 41) but a couple play really good off the cd. QOTSA are really good live. i don't think UG strangers should be allowed on these board thingys no offense to some becasue some of em are smart and don't say stupid crap
    well, i guess since uve brought it up i might as well tell you that 75% of new music sucks. punk is talentless. nu-metal/rap-metal is bullshit. listen to led zeppelin, black sabbath, metallica, the beatles.
    UG Stranger: He's one of the biggest producer's in the world and has produced dozens of influential do you consider that bad? Read the article, he didn't discredit the artists, he just said they're not the only important people...Dumb ass... Thanks for actually READING my article.
    I want to produce me own album! I wrote the songs, i wrote the music its my job to say what it sounds like
    ^we have to settle for playing and writing those tunes, going on tour, partying like hell, and being rich and famous for rocking out...