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Greg Ladanyi showed up at the right time in rock history to chair sessions for Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Warren Zevon, Toto, Fleetwood Mac and the Jacksons — but while 50 percent of life may be simply showing up, the other half requires a lot of hard work.
Over a 40-year career, Phil Ramone has built up perhaps the most impressive discography of any producer working today — and although he emphasises the importance of traditional engineering and people-management skills, his work is also at the limits of what cutting-edge technology makes possible.
The craze for mashing up wildly different records to create illicit bootleg mixes has moved into the mainstream, and underground producers such as Richard X and Mark Vidler now find their services in hot demand from artists and record labels.
In 1996, the Fugees came like a breath of fresh air into a world of hip-hop that was becoming stale around the edges. Now Wyclef Jean is a star in his own right, and has deployed his production talents for artists ranging from urban legends like Funkmaster Flex and Cypress Hill to Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and even Tom Jones.
Although many of the most famous music mixing engineers have been in the business for decades, we find out how a new generation of up-and-coming stars are combining traditional and cutting-edge recording techniques to make their mark on modern production.
Last year's Love & Life album saw R&B superstar Mary J Blige reunited with Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy, aka P Diddy) and his Bad Boy production stable. Mix specialist Tony Maserati spent two months at Miami's Circle House Studios working on the project, and recorded his experiences in this unique diary.
When Jimmy Page decided to mine a massive archive of decaying Led Zeppelin live footage for a DVD and double CD, the epic task of restoring, editing and mixing the audio went to rock specialist Kevin Shirley — who has gone on to help veteran metallers Iron Maiden return to the upper reaches of the charts.