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Music production

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Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings (2004) - David N. Howard
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Rock producers: Steve Albini - Bill Laswell

Disco producers: Patrick Adams - Larry Levan - Walter Gibbons - Tom Moulton - Shep Pettibone

House producers: Glenn Underground - Kerri Chandler - RoyDavisJr - Masters At Work - Ron Trent

Reggae producers: Lloyd 'Bullwackie' Barnes - Jackie Mittoo - Lee Scratch Perry - King Tubby - Adrian Sherwood - Scientist

Jazz producers: Rudy Van Gelder - Norman Connors


In the music industry, "record producer" designates a person responsible for completing a master recording so that it is fit for release. In earlier days, record producers bore the title of A&R men, for Artists and Repertory, which gives a clearer picture of their function: controlling the artists and choosing the material.

In the first part of the 20th century, the record producer's role resembled that of a film producer, in that the record producer supervised recording sessions, paid technicians, musicians and arrangers, and sometimes chose material for the artist. By the 1960s, record producers took a more direct role in the musical process, including arranging, engineering the recording, and even writing the material. Through it all, record producers have had a strong influence, not only on individual careers, but on the course of popular music. --http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Record_producer

Disco and house: a producer's genre

Disco and house are primarily a producer's medium. Dance music records do not tend to depend on the cult of personality of the performer. That is why there are very few disco acts and even less house acts. Most of the time, a producer will decide to bring a team of musicians [or make the music himself] and vocalists together and cut a track. This track would be sent to a record pool, or tried out at a local club. If the crowd responded to it, people would buy the twelve inch single and the producer could eventually decide to release a full album. The full album is hardly ever as good as the single. This is a big difference with rock music. Since the mid sixties, the concept album would be invented. First the album is released, then a single is taken from it for radio play.

Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings (2004) - David N. Howard

I read the chapter on Lee Perry and King Tubby and liked it. Howard compares Bunny Lee's 'flying cymbal' sound with the 'Philly Bump' American soul beat.

From the publisher

You may not have heard of them, but you have certainly heard their songs! From the lo-fidelity origins of early pioneers to today's dazzling technocrats, the role of the music producer is as murkily undefined as it is wholly essential. Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings is an exploration of the influence of the often colorful, idiosyncratic and visionary music producers through popular music and the fascinatingly crucial role they have played in shaping the way we hear pop music today. Sonic Alchemy is nothing short of the secret history of the music producer.

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