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

My credits include

AllMusic verified credits for David Z.:

  • Prince
  • Little Scream
  • Joe Cocker
  • Royal Southern Brotherhood
  • Royal Southern Brotherhood
  • a-ha
  • a-ha
  • Albert Cummings
  • Albert Cummings
  • Judith Owen
  • Judith Owen
  • Sena Ehrhardt
  • Sena Ehrhardt
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • The Mighty Mojo Prophets
  • Cyril Neville
  • Cyril Neville
  • Cyril Neville
  • Cyril Neville
  • Cyril Neville
  • Smokin' Joe Kubek
  • Bnois King
  • Smokin' Joe Kubek
  • Bnois King
  • Kara Grainger
  • Kara Grainger
  • Kara Grainger
  • Kara Grainger
  • The 44s
  • Smokin' Joe Kubek
  • Bnois King
  • Mannish Boys
  • Tab Benoit
  • Tab Benoit
  • Etta James
  • Beverly McClellan
  • Beverly McClellan
  • Mike Zito
  • Alexander O'Neal
  • Tab Benoit
  • a-ha
  • Los Fabulocos
  • Jonny Lang
  • Felix Cavaliere
  • Steve Cropper
  • Felix Cavaliere
  • Steve Cropper
  • Bernard Allison
  • Bernard Allison
  • Bernard Allison
  • a-ha
  • a-ha
  • Ana Popovic
  • Bobby Jones
  • Bobby Jones
  • Bobby Jones
  • Seth Walker
  • Seth Walker
  • Mike Zito
  • Mike Zito
  • Mike Zito
  • Collective Soul
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Cedric Burnside
  • Lightnin' Malcolm
  • Cedric Burnside
  • Lightnin' Malcolm
  • Cedric Burnside
  • Lightnin' Malcolm
  • Cedric Burnside
  • Lightnin' Malcolm
  • Cedric Burnside
  • Lightnin' Malcolm
  • Garnet Mimms
  • Shawn Jones
  • Los Fabulocos
  • Los Fabulocos
  • Los Fabulocos
  • Los Fabulocos
  • Los Fabulocos
  • Mannish Boys
  • Mannish Boys
  • Mannish Boys
  • Tab Benoit
  • Tab Benoit
  • Tab Benoit
  • Felix Cavaliere
  • Steve Cropper
  • Steve Edmonson
  • Jackie Payne
  • Steve Edmonson
  • Jackie Payne
  • Steve Edmonson
  • Jackie Payne
  • Steve Edmonson
  • Jackie Payne
  • Mike Zito
  • Mike Zito
  • Mike Zito
  • Mike Zito
  • Annabel Fay
  • Annabel Fay
  • Benjy Davis Project
  • Benjy Davis Project
  • Benjy Davis Project
  • Benjy Davis Project
  • Benjy Davis Project
  • Stacy Mitchhart
  • Betty Harris
  • Prince
  • Lightning
  • Lightning
  • Benjy Davis Project
  • Tab Benoit
  • Tab Benoit
  • Tab Benoit
  • Peter Belli
  • Mason Casey
  • Ana Popovic
  • Ana Popovic
  • Buddy Guy
  • Buddy Guy
  • Frank Black
  • Frank Black
  • Stacy Mitchhart
  • Steven Seagal
  • Thunderbox
  • Steven Seagal
  • Thunderbox
  • John Brannen
  • John Brannen
  • John Brannen
  • John Brannen
  • Prince
  • Tab Benoit
  • Tab Benoit
  • Jimmy Thackery
  • Jimmy Thackery
  • Jamie Oldaker
  • Leo Kottke
  • Mike Gordon
  • Leo Kottke
  • Mike Gordon
  • Leo Kottke
  • Mike Gordon
  • Leo Kottke
  • Mike Gordon
  • David Z.
  • a-ha
  • Joe Lynn Turner
  • Kirsten Davies
  • Etta James
  • Shane Henry
  • Shane Henry
  • Chris Caffery
  • Chris Caffery
  • Chris Caffery
  • Seven Wiser
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • Ana Popovic
  • Ana Popovic
  • Etta James
  • Jon Christopher Davis
  • Phoebe Snow
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall
  • BoDeans
  • Leo Kottke
  • Mike Gordon
  • Roland Gift
  • Roland Gift
  • Roland Gift
  • Roland Gift
  • Roland Gift
  • Roland Gift
  • Roland Gift
  • Roland Gift
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  • Bernard Allison
  • Bernard Allison
  • Tresa Street
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall
  • John Mayall
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • David Z.
  • Angélique Kidjo
  • Angélique Kidjo
  • Angélique Kidjo
  • David Z.
  • Maldita Vecindad
  • Gov't Mule
  • Gov't Mule
  • Prince
  • Jody Watley
  • Dr. Dan
  • Dr. Dan
  • Dr. Dan
  • Dr. Dan
  • Dr. Dan
  • Dr. Dan
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Joe Cocker
  • Buddy Guy
  • Buddy Guy
  • Buddy Guy
  • Joe Cocker
  • Tangletown
  • Tangletown
  • Tangletown
  • Syl Johnson
  • Syl Johnson
  • Matt Wilson
  • Prince
  • Eric Jerardi
  • Eric Jerardi
  • Eric Jerardi
  • Buddy Guy
  • Buddy Guy
  • Buddy Guy
  • Buddy Guy
  • G.B. Leighton
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • Jonny Lang
  • The Freddy Jones Band
  • Leo Kottke
  • Leo Kottke
  • Leo Kottke
  • Leo Kottke
  • Leo Kottke
  • Chris Duarte
  • Chris Duarte
  • Chris Duarte
  • Maldita Vecindad
  • Maldita Vecindad
  • Prince
  • Prince
  • Jody Watley
  • Paul Black & The Flip Kings
  • Storyville
  • Storyville
  • Storyville
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  • The Gales Brothers
  • Angélique Kidjo
  • Angélique Kidjo
  • Angélique Kidjo
  • Angélique Kidjo
  • Michael Been
  • a-ha
  • Peter Blakeley
  • Peter Blakeley
  • Peter Blakeley
  • The Steeles
  • The Steeles
  • The Steeles
  • The Steeles
  • a-ha
  • a-ha
  • Big Head Todd & the Monsters
  • Big Head Todd & the Monsters
  • Big Head Todd & the Monsters
  • Big Head Todd & the Monsters
  • Big Head Todd & the Monsters
  • Ruby
  • Prince
  • Boneclub
  • Rise Robots Rise
  • Rise Robots Rise
  • Terri Nunn
  • Terri Nunn
  • BoDeans
  • BoDeans
  • BoDeans
  • BoDeans
  • Bananarama
  • Bananarama
  • T.C. Ellis
  • Denise Lopez
  • The Go-Go's
  • Kid Creole & the Coconuts
  • The Jets
  • The Jets
  • The Jets
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Jody Watley
  • Aswad
  • Jermaine Jackson
  • Elisa Fiorillo
  • Elisa Fiorillo
  • Hugh Harris
  • Hugh Harris
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Jill Jones
  • Jill Jones
  • Jill Jones
  • Jody Watley
  • Jody Watley
  • Jill Jones
  • Sheila E.
  • Sheila E.
  • St. Paul
  • Prince
  • Prince & the Revolution
  • Prince
  • Prince & the Revolution
  • The Family
  • Mark Collie & His Reckless Companions
  • Mark Collie & His Reckless Companions
  • Sugaray Rayford
  • Sugaray Rayford
  • Dave Fields
  • Dave Fields
  • Dave Fields
  • Jim Quick
  • Jim Quick
  • Royal Southern Brotherhood
  • Royal Southern Brotherhood
  • G.B. Leighton
  • Stacy Mitchhart
  • Stacy Mitchhart
  • Susan Toney
  • Susan Toney
  • Susan Toney
  • Moonrise Nation
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • David Z.
  • The Alastair Greene Band

Gear highlights

  • Waves Platinum bundle
  • Krk e8 monitors.Dolby A 331.Melodyne editor
  • Protools 10

Genres I specialize in

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Interview with David Z Rivkin

What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will make it work on multiple formats on the radio,computer,car and headphones
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
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
What are you working on at the moment?
Albert Cummings for Blind Pig records
Analog or digital and why?
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.
What do you like most about your job?
Playing the mix back and feeling like I helped create something
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
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
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What do you listen to ,how do you imagine these songs to sound?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Keep an open mind
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
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.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
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.
How would you describe your style?
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
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Anyone who's saying something new
Can you share one music production tip?
Route the vocal through an old Dolby A unit .When you play it back with the Dolby off, it brightens and compresses.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Blues based ,whether it leans more toward R&B,Americana,or Rock
What's your strongest skill?
My spacial relationships and guitar sounds and making the vocals right ,whatever that takes
What do you bring to a song?
Space and depth. I like to make a 3d mix so you can get inside of it
What's your typical work process?
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
Tell us about your studio setup.
In the box protools 10 with a lot of plugins
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
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
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
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