David Z Rivkin


David Z Rivkin on SoundBetter

David Z Rivkin is an American music producer, engineer, mixer, and writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota who currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He is most well known for his long-standing work with Prince, but has also contributed to award winning albums by Etta James,, Buddy Guy Collective Soul and Fine Young Cannibals.

I am known for great separation of instruments in my mixes. Every instrument has it's own space.
I have recorded and mixed in commercial recording studios all over the world,but I also have my own mix room

Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.

Interview with David Z Rivkin

  1. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  2. A: I will make it work on multiple formats on the radio,computer,car and headphones

  3. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  4. A: Big Head Todd and the Monsters Sister Sweetly---for the depth of the mix Fine Young Cannibals--She Drives Me Crazy----the snare sound Purple Rain---Because it's a live recording of a single performance,no overdubs except for strings

  5. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  6. A: Albert Cummings for Blind Pig records

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: I was brought up on analog but a lot of clients can't afford it. ,now I try to introduce an analog sound into protools.

  9. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  10. A: Playing the mix back and feeling like I helped create something

  11. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  12. A: I either expensive or too busy, I always like working with new artists. My whole career has been working with new artists. Every big artist i've done ,I started when they were a new artist

  13. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  14. A: What do you listen to ,how do you imagine these songs to sound?

  15. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  16. A: Keep an open mind

  17. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  18. A: A Fender Stratocaster,a guitar cord, a 100 watt Marshall amp. A generator and a huge gas tank. Maybe I could play loud enough to get help.

  19. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  20. A: I was a songwriter for A&M records in the late 60's ,early 70's. I became an engineer because there was no one else in Minneapolis to do it.

  21. Q: How would you describe your style?

  22. A: My style certainly has been R&B Blues. Although I don't think I have a certain sound like other Producers. I'm dedicated to the song and the artist ,not imposing my style

  23. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  24. A: Anyone who's saying something new

  25. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  26. A: Route the vocal through an old Dolby A unit .When you play it back with the Dolby off, it brightens and compresses.

  27. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  28. A: Blues based ,whether it leans more toward R&B,Americana,or Rock

  29. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  30. A: My spacial relationships and guitar sounds and making the vocals right ,whatever that takes

  31. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  32. A: Space and depth. I like to make a 3d mix so you can get inside of it

  33. Q: What's your typical work process?

  34. A: I set the mix up to resemble a good analog board.I assign the same eq to each channel. If I want an API board,I use all API eq, If i want an SSL board,i will use all SSL Channel strips. Things always change but I start out that way

  35. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  36. A: In the box protools 10 with a lot of plugins

  37. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  38. A: I am inspired by a lot of various kinds of music and production techniques. I currently like the dirty mixes of Tchad Blake and the sculpted sound of Mike Elizando

  39. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  40. A: I usually try to spot the singles for an artist. Then try to shape it into the most it can be. It usually is just a mix thing to make it shine

Cyril Neville,Somethings Got a Hold On me

I was the Producer,engineer,mixer in this production

Gear Highlights
  • Waves Platinum bundle
  • Krk e8 monitors.Dolby A 331.Melodyne editor
  • Protools 10
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  • Albert CummingsJul 14, 2015

    For his newest recording, Albert chose to record in Southern California with Grammy-winning producer David Z. (Buddy Guy, Prince, Jonny Lang, Gov't Mule) at the helm. Said Z, ''Albert Cummings writes, plays, and sings the blues like nobody else. What a blast to watch him jell in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles.