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