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Talkback: Yang Tan

Producer & Studio Engineer By William Stokes
Published January 2022

Talkback

Having cut her teeth as a studio engineer with a litany of global names, classically trained producer Yang Tan is moving into a new phase of her career. “I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of ‘top dawgs’ as an engineer,” she says, “but I don’t yet have the big names behind me as a producer. Having mega artists on my credit list is huge, but I want people to associate my name with a specific sound and style that is unique.”

Yang moved to Los Angeles after studying in Beijing. “I’m Chinese, born and raised. My initial plan was to come here and learn what I needed to learn, because I think that London, New York and Los Angeles are the three cities where you can learn the most in the music industry. There are actually great facilities in Beijing and Shanghai, but I think the whole music production process is not very well developed, so a lot of major artists will still come here to make their records, or to Korea or to New York. I was planning to study and work in the industry and then go back home. But I actually liked it here!”

It was Yang’s work at LA’s Paramount Recording Studios, assisting and engineering sessions and servicing consoles, that opened the door to bigger things. “From there I got a lot of opportunities and started working with a lot of big rap artists,” she says. “An interview with Sound On Sound is on my bucket list!”

At the moment I can’t stop listening to

Man, that’s a hard one. I can’t stop listening to Doja Cat. It’s mesmerising. I actually started listening to her years ago, before she blew up with ‘Say So’. The new album is really cool: sonically, the concept, everything. The character she pulls out is really cool. Oh, also The Kid LAROI, his latest record. He’s this Australian kid. He’s something special. He brings pop punk and rap into the same space and combines them really well. You hear it once and instantly remember it.

The project I’m most proud of

The next one! I always hope my next project is way better than what I’m working on right now. I’m always moving forward, always upgrading. That’s my hope. The next one will be what I’m most proud of, and I’ll keep going.

The first thing I look for in a studio

I always check the acoustic of the room. I go in and clap....

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