Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
Friday, May 17 • 10:00 - 10:30
How to turn a lacklustre performance into one that sparkles. The varied and manifold engagements of recording producers

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In fall 2018 a choral director, with whom the author has collaborated as a producer and balance engineer on a number of music recordings, was asked to describe the nature of the producer’s contributions to the successful results of their recordings. The musician’s extensive and thorough reply included such sentences as: “As a producer, her attitude and strategy can contribute to turning a lacklustre performance into one that sparkles. She encourages the artists to shine”, and “A performer can be helped to reach a higher level of inspiration or interpretive brilliance by being encouraged to linger on a phrase, be more indulgent, make a more generous sound or exaggerate a musical idea”.

Other recording artists have also comment that the producer “is extremely sensitive to the needs of the musical performance”, and also that she “is that rare producer who aims at listening with the ears of the artist she is recording.”

What is the nature of the contributions of recording producers who can lead musicians to express such well-defined opinions about their collaboration? In press music reviews it is easy to find evaluations of the beauty or the suitability of the recorded sound, but the producer’s contributions to the artistic results of the recording remain an elusive mystery.

A record producer with over three decades of experience in the recording of Classical music reflects on her actions to help musicians realize their vision, on her production style and on the secret to long-lasting creative working relationships with prominent artists. She describes the psychological tactfulness desired when leading musicians in recording, and she reflects on the challenges, excitement, anxiety and expectations producers experience in the evolving recording industry of the 21st century.

avatar for Martha de Francisco

Martha de Francisco

Associate Professor, McGill University
Martha De Francisco is Associate Professor of Sound Recording at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. A native of Colombia, she has established a prominent international career for over thirty years as a record producer/engineer for classical music, frequently invited to produce... Read More →

Friday May 17, 2019 10:00 - 10:30 EDT
Classroom 411 (4th floor)

Attendees (8)