April 6, 2009

Roy Thomas Baker

picture-1I attended the annual Pacific Northwest NARAS Studio Summit yesterday, at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. The really great day included a panel discussion of local studio owners and engineers on the topic of survival in today’s music business, an interview with producer Johnny K and an interview with legendary producer/engineer Roy Thomas Baker

Mr. Baker, who has produced classic albums such as Queen’s ‘A Night at the Opera’ and The Cars self-titled debut, had many interesting things to say, but one thing he said stuck out in particular for me. He observed that back in the earlier days of his career, the bands he was working with (such as Queen and The Cars) would be very concerned about their records/songs sounding too much like their contemporaries’ records. They wanted the music they made to sound unique. He went on to mentioned that many of the bands he is coming across now come into the studio with a stack of already successful CDs and say “we want the snare from this record, the guitar from this record, the vocal sound from this record, etc, etc”. He was obviously promoting the former as the ideal attitude for making lasting records. Innovation over emulation… sounds good to me.

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Posted in: General, Production Technique

5 Comments on “Roy Thomas Baker”

  1. hear, hear!

    but being unique ain’t easy ;)

  2. Yeah, I am certainly not suggesting I know the answer… but it is something to think about.

  3. thank you so much for you videos…the gating videos were something i really needed to see and im so glad you made them.

    i think it is unfair to group all musicians together…however what we are hearing on the radio i often refer to as the ‘myspace vocal effect’… lol, one guy with a bit of myspace sucess spawned into 1 million guys with the exact same vocal treatment… *yawn* i think a lot of the emulation comes from ‘musicians’ being so damn young in our country. they have no life experience…they have very little to draw on. nothing wrong with being young but they havent had time to know themselves let alone know ‘their sound’. i think of how many bands i love where they worked in factories and plants and other tough jobs before making it….

  4. I had forgot roy thomas baker did the cars, thanks for refreshing my memory! but thanks for this the queen production is amazing.

  5. Every little thing that this man does is magic!

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