Blog Archives

Michael Beinhorn on Chandler Limited Part 2

Michael Beinhorn, has been a record producer for 30 years and he is the author of Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art, in which he reveals how to deal with the interpersonal issues record producers face when they work with artists one on one or in small groups.  He also is the subject of a three-part interview at chandlerlimited.com. You can read to Part 1 herePart 2 is below.  Enjoy!


00122314

This is part two of our ‘Featured Artist’ conversation with the celebrated music producer Michael Beinhorn, covering production concepts. Part III of our Michael Beinhorn series will break down the Courtney Love Wedding Day EP sessions.

If you’re interested in Michael Beinhorn beyond this article series, you can visit his website, or dive into his recently released book- ‘Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art.’

CL: It seems like you show up to a production, happily waiting to be surprised by what will develop, rather than force-feeding a ‘Producer’s perspective’ onto the project, i.e. there’s not a specific cookie-cutter template when working with you. However, you do have a production methodology, correct?

MB: Yes, there is always a methodology. First and foremost, I like to insinuate myself in a recording project, not only as someone with a lot of experience, but as a collaborator. I feel more at ease with this than the timeworn stereotype of producer-as-supreme-deity on a recording session. On one hand, I see the recording process as a series of creative tasks (as I’ve laid out here- “Reframing the Recording Paradigm“) that, when performed in an appropriate sequence, will yield the very best iteration of an artist’s work. At the same time, I visualize what the project feels (or “looks”) like conceptually. That may sound kind of abstract, but I always get an image in my mind’s eye of a project. I also like to treat the recording process as creative experience and the result of everyone working on the project, collaborating with one another to make something special and unique. These facets are mainly determined by the individuals involved and the music they are making. The varying degrees of those parameters, combined with a different cast of characters on every recording insures that each will be different from one another.

CL: Are you profiling the artist on multiple levels from the get go in order establish their custom production program tailored for them?

MB: From one perspective, you can say that. From another perspective, I’m learning about them so I can help them maximize their abilities in the best interests of the recording project.

CL: Would you say your process, though abstract, is hands-on when it comes to contributing artistically to the production?

MB: Yes, very hands-on. It’s more fun that way.

CL: When contributing to the production on an artistic level there’s a balance you have to find where you’re enhancing and not overshadowing the artist correct?

MB: Yes, that requires sensitivity and paying attention to the immediate landscape. If you’re sensitive to your own work dynamic and simultaneously, what the mission of the project you’re producing is, you can tell right away when you’ve crossed the line and are letting your ego run rampant. It’s imperative to always maintain priorities and let them be a deciding factor in every decision that gets made. A lot of really good ideas get tossed out, but the ones that stay must always be the most appropriate to what the project requires.

You can read the rest of Part to at ChandlerLimited.com!

Advertisements

Michael Beinhorn on Recording Studio Rockstars!

Michael Beinhorn, author of Unlocking Creativity was a guest on the Recording Studio Rockstars Podcast, hosted by Lij Shaw.  They spoke about his book and his career as a music producer, Beinhorn also talked about his experience working with artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Korn. Listen to the full podcast below!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00122314Here, record producer Beinhorn reveals how to deal with interpersonal issues record producers face when they work with artists one on one or in small groups. The situations and solutions are based upon the author’s personal and professional experience working with a variety of different artists, such as Herbie Hancock, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, Hole, Soundgarden, Ozzy Osbourne, Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson, Social Distortion, Korn, and Mew.

Beinhorn’s unique methods and perspective, applied to record producing and music making in the studio, opens the door to successful collaborative efforts. The author shows you how to find what he calls your sensory connection to the creativity process, which ultimately helps you find the intent behind your creative choices. You can read dozens of articles and books that feature a hundred different people talking about what microphones they used when they recorded Record X or how they set their stereo buss compressor, but you will never find out what prompted them to make these choices. Beinhorn’s focus on collaborative effort enables record producers and artists to find solutions while working as a creative team.

This perspective is especially valuable as it is transdisciplinary and can be applied to many occupations and modes of creativity outside of record production.

Michael Beinhorn Featured at ChandlerLimited.com

Record producer Michael Beinhorn, author of the new book from Hal Leonard, Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art, is the subject of a three-part interview at chandlerlimited.com.  Here’s Part One 1!

00122314Shell Rock, IA – JUNE 2015 … It’s been just over three decades since a young keyboard player in Bill Laswell’s group, Material, made the jump to production as co-producer for Herbie Hancock’s Grammy® award-winning album, Future Shock. Many of the tracks on Future Shock including the hit “Rockit” were co-composed by Michael Beinhorn.

Future Shock was hailed as groundbreaking, and it’s only fitting that Michael Beinhorn’s production aesthetic and career have continued on an exciting arc of energetic, boundary-pushing records.

Michael’s artistic journey has seen him play many roles: producer, engineer, composer, arranger, performer, technical innovator, and shepherd to some incredibly rocking recordings of the modern era. A review of Beinhron’s discography is eye-popping, including, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, Sound Garden, Aerosmith, Hole, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, and a host of other artists. With Michael’s place in music production lore firmly in place, he can now add Author to his resume with the release of his book Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art.

Beinhorn’s seasoned audio palate, and strong desire to bring to fruition the sounds only he hears, has led him to not only stretch the limits of pro-audio gear, but literally create a new audio format along the way.

Michael has been a longtime Chandler Limited user, and we were fortunate to catch up with the ever-busy producer when we provided additional gear for his Courtney Love session (Wedding Day EP) at Tommy Lee’s studio, The Atrium, in early 2014.

In this three-part interview, we’ll cover Michael’s thoughts on today’s music industry, his production methods and gear, and a dissection of the Courtney Love ‘Wedding Day EP’ sessions, which used a lot of Chandler Limited gear.

CL: Okay, we’re convinced you’re not only a music producer, but a time traveler too. When we were coordinating with you seemingly across multiple time zones and airports for the Courtney Love session, you were in the middle of another production in Europe, and jetting back and forth. So many records in now, what keeps the creative flame burning for you?

MB: I’ve always believed it was an unquenchable lake of fire located near the Islets of Langerhans. Seriously, the one thing that gets me going is this crazy idea that a recording project can still be an exposition of creative ideas. That all of us together, the artist, engineers, producers, etc can become a team of artists working toward a unified common goal which is potentially so much greater than what would be accomplished by just one artist alone. That fusion, when it’s present, is the most addictive substance and the most potent source of energy I have ever encountered. I suspect it also might be the fountain of youth.

CL: You were stationed in Europe for a lengthy session, and relocated most of your gear there too, including your Chandler Limited Mini Rack Mixer. Can you tell us more about that project?

MB: I was working in Copenhagen with Mew, who I also worked with in 2004. We cut tracks in a recording studio (STC), but all the overdubbing was done at the band’s rehearsal space (which had been an auto repair shop in a previous incarnation) and the singer’s apartment. It was a real undertaking just to get these places acoustically sound for recording and playback. The band’s rehearsal space had plaster walls, a front and back room and, having been a car repair shop, there were two holes cut in the wall which separated the rooms, presumably to accommodate cars being fixed. The band were initially skeptical about improving separation between the two rooms until the guitarist set up an amplifier in one room, ran a cable to the other and began playing, whereupon, he realized that the amplified guitar was nearly as loud in the room he was in as it was in the room where the amplifier sat. Needless to say, a lot of similar adventures took place. Since I knew the singer’s apartment and the band’s rehearsal space were immutable parts of the recording equation, I brought along some gear I knew we’d need. All I can say is, thank goodness for the Chandler Mini Rack Mixer.

Read the rest of Part 1 here!

 

 

Hal Leonard Books Presents Unlocking Creativity

Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art is now available! Below, Michael Beinhorn provides an introduction to what his new book contains!

00122314I am utterly and thoroughly chuffed, thrilled and delighted to officially announce the release of my book “Unlocking Creativity” this month by the very lovely people at Hal Leonard.

Since it is subtitled “A Record Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art” (and was written by someone who has been known to produce records—me), you might well suspect this is a book about record production (and, in many respects, you’d be right). However, instead of framing record production in the context of recording equipment and recording technique (as other books have done), this book attempts to define it relative to the principles, consciousness and intent behind the process.

It also addresses interpersonal interactions in creative situations, some of the psychology and methodology associated with those interactions and a bit of philosophy regarding the creative process in general.

One goal of this book is to conceptually reframe record production as a vehicle for creative expression and not merely as a technical function or as an occupational choice. Viewed in this context, record production (and music creation or any art form) can be seen as mere exterior shells- vessels that the creative process manifests itself through (and mediums that a creative person can- and must- use to the fullest).
My greatest aspiration is that someone who reads this book will be inspired- not merely to make record production (or any artistic endeavor) their job, but to make it their life- to embrace it, excel at it and to find the absolute joy in it. in that case, the book will have done its job and the title will then be self-explanatory.