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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Feb 18 > CATHERINE THE GREAT


Catherine J Marks is among the studio world’s rising stars and has been nominated as Best Producer in the prestigious MPG Awards. Here, she details her transition from an unlikely background to the forefront of studio production…

Over the years, we’ve written a huge number of features here at MusicTech offering advice on how to become a top record producer or engineer. You should now know that the big tickboxes include the technical know-how, the ear for detail and the willingness to grab lunch when required as you work your way up from the bottom in a recording studio. We hope you know those bits, and then we always throw in the ‘network, network, network’ line, which is probably the key point. Then there’s ‘get to know people and get on with people’ – or more simply put: people like working with people who they like. You might be the most highly qualified engineer on the planet, with an inside knowledge of Pro Tools that’s second-tonone, but if you don’t gel with the person above you, you’ll never get to learn from them – and learning, gaining experience and gaining trust are the keys.

Australian-born, London-based Catherine J Marks is one of this year’s go-to producers. Shortlisted for Best Producer at the MPG Awards in a couple of months’ time, she has production, mixing and engineering credits for a huge number of varied artists, including Wolf Alice, Foals, PJ Harvey, Kanye West, Ian Brown, MIA, Placebo, Ride, The Killers and Mr Hudson. She’s the producer who took the ‘network, network, network’ advice to another level – a lesson to us all – even though at school, despite wanting to work in music, she was led towards another career. “No one told you how and ended up pushing you to more conventional ideas,” she explains of how, post-school, she started studying Architecture. Fortunately, she was dragged back to the dream with one chance, destiny-shaking meeting and she grabbed that opportunity to change careers and change her life with both hands…

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About MusicTech

In this issue, we’ve amassed the ultimate collection of professional advice on all things music; whether that's creating, recording, mixing, mastering or everything in between. Compiled from our interviews with such luminaries as John Leckie, Tony Visconti and Gary Numan, we’ve also got tips and alternative approaches from our (both pro and amateur) music-making audience. We hope this feature provides some inspiration for your creative studio endeavours. Also this issue, we chat to Catherine J Marks, a producer with some seriously impressive credits to her name and a nominee for this year’s MPG Producer Of The Year. We also spend some time with The Flashbulb, whose beautiful studio in the natural tranquility of Georgia is a thing to behold. We wrap up our A-Z series with Gear4Music, which is chock full of all the key terms and techniques that you need to know. We’ve also got our usual vast array of reviews and hands-on tutorial content, as well as an extensive guide to creating music on the move with an iPhone or iPad. We hope you enjoy the issue…