Comparative Analysis of Two Producers

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BAP210.1 Report
Comparative Analysis of Two Producers

Rochelle Heffernan

The following report introduces two producers I draw inspiration from, and am influenced by; Rick Rubin and Ken Scott. Firstly to critically analyze their bodies of work we must first understand the role of a producer and what classifies an individual as a producer or engineer. A producer must be able to oversee and effectively manage the recording, they must be able to understand the bands vision, they must have an overall goal as to what they wish to produce with the band, they must be creatively innovative and true to the bands and their own style, they must effectively portray the story the band is telling through their song, they must be able to shape and mold a piece of music and make it sound cohesively perfect. The producer is relied on to take a sound and make it happen, they are expected to work within a certain timeframe and have to be able to follow the direction of the band, the overall mood and tonality of the song must be effectively conveyed in the piece and therefore an appropriate use of mixing must be analyzed by the producer in order to achieve the most relevant sound that the band is associated with. The producer must have a competent understanding of processing a sound, and the recording path that is used to do this. The role of a producer, however, has greatly changed over the past decade with the forever expanding world of technology - we mere a need a laptop and a simple recording device to be classified as a producer in today’s music society, furthermore as future producers ourselves we must have a sound knowledge of our industry that lays before us and the greats that are within it, for these are the people we will most learn by and draw inspiration from. To produce a reliable report the validity of resources must be considered, and the relevance of sources to the topic presented should be evaluated. In critically analyzing primary sources of written works this report will accurately explore the similarities and differences between Rick Rubin and Ken Scott, their production traits and styles and will argue how their professional work has contributed to developments within the music industry today.

Rick Rubin, the founder of Def Jam records and co-founder of Columbia Records is often dubbed ‘The music man.’ His successful recording career can be cited in the works of some of the most influential bands in the world which include; The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Mars Volta, The Beastie Boys, ACDC, Aerosmith, Rage Against The Machine and more recently Adele (2005, contemporary musicians encyclopedia). Lacking musical performance ability, having a self identified lack of knowledge of the technical side of being an engineer and often referring to himself as a ‘musical dumbass’ Rubin sounds like an unlikely candidate for the musical guru his is so profoundly referred to as by others. The Rick Rubin approach to recording can be boiled down to just one, fundamental aspect, being a fan of the music you are producing (Drury, 2008)

Rick Rubin (2008) states, “I know what I like when it comes to music. It's easy to tell. When a song is amazing, my body starts to act funny. Goosebumps pop out of my skin. The back of my neck begins to tingle. I forget about my bills and the song consumes me. When this stuff isn't happening, I clearly don't like the music. I can't explain it with math equations and I have no idea what scales and all that junk were used. I wouldn't know where to start. All I know is that I'm a “music fan” and when I hear something I like, I like it.” (2008)

 This approach to music means that you don’t need to know everything there is to know about music theory, you don’t need to have a technical understanding of the process of engineering, you just need to know what sounds good and what you like....
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