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Masterclass with George Massenburg on Drums Recording

In The Studio with George Massenburg: Drums Recording

Face to face with George Massenburg on drums recording: ever dreamed about it? AudioFanzine and Jukebox Ltd. have made it real. We are very proud to bring you this video.

George Massenburg is arguably one of the most influential sound engineers of all time. Why? Because he has been involved in more than 200 record productions, either as a mixing or sound engineer or as a producer, with world renowned musicians like Roy Orbison, Randy Newman, Aaron Neville, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, Toto, Earth, Wind & Fire, and almost every country music star (Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton…).

But that’s not the only reason. George Massenburg is also the inventor of a tool that revolutionized the audio world when it was introduced at the '72 AES Convention: the parametric EQ.

Is that all?…

With the help of French pro audio distributor Jukebox Ltd., we had the opportunity of meeting up with George Massenburg in Paris during a recording session with French band “La Glue.” It was a unique chance to discover a great sound engineer at work. George Massenburg is highly skilled when he sits in front of a mixer, while remaining always very humble with the musicians he records. His goal is to always give priority to the spirit and the music of the band above technology. Thus, recording instruments separately wasn’t even a thought. On the contrary, he placed the musicians so that they formed a ring and could see each other. No in-ear monitoring, no headphones. Every musician had to look at the others and listen to them. George stayed in the center of the circle during rehearsals, writing down the details he would have to take into account when standing in front of the mixing console. He also fine tuned the position of the mics and applauded the performance of the musicians like a fan. Thus, it was a real delight to take part in this recording session, especially considering that we had the opportunity to ask several questions to the master at the end of his long working day.

Although exhausted, he didn’t hesitate to share with us the way he works when it comes to drums recording and to comment on the microphone set he used. We are very proud to offer you this video… and additional parts will follow in the coming weeks.

Thanks again to our partner JukeBox Ltd., to the band “Le Glue” and, last but not least, to George Massenburg.

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