3 James Guthrie (record producer)

James Guthrie (record producer)

Infobox musical artist
Name = James Guthrie

Img_capt = James Guthrie circa 1981
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = non_performing_personnel
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1953|11|14|df=yes
London, England
Died =
Instrument =
Genre = Rock
Occupation = Audio engineer, record producer
Years_active = 1973–present
Label =
Associated_acts = Pink Floyd
Notable_instruments =

James K.A. Guthrie (b. November 14, 1953 in London) is a British recording engineer and record producer best known for his work with the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, having served as a producer and engineer for the band since 1978. He is also the owner and operator of "das boot recording" in Lake Tahoe, California.

Early Years

Guthrie began his career on October 1st, 1973 at Mayfair Studios [Cunningham, M. “Welcome to the Machine,” "Sound On Stage", May 1997] (in the previous location of 64 South Molton Street) in London, as a trainee tape operator and later assistant engineer. One of his earliest credits is as an assistant engineer on the first two albums by glam rock singer Alvin Stardust. During this time he first worked with Greg Walsh (who would later go on to produce Heaven 17 and Tina Turner among others), whom Guthrie asked to join his FOH production team for the live performances of Pink Floyd’s "The Wall" in 1980 and ‘81. [Fitch, V. and R. Mahon. "Comfortably Numb", page 135] By 1975 Guthrie was employed as one of the house engineers at Utopia Studios. During his tenure he worked as the engineer on The Bay City Rollers’ "Wouldn%27t You Like It%3F " release (produced by studio owner Phil Wainman), and for producer Barry Blue on "Breakout" by The Dead End Kids as well as the first two albums for London-based R&B band Heatwave "(Too Hot To Handle" and "Central Heating"), which would yield the hit singles “Boogie Nights,” “Always and Forever” and “The Groove Line.” Utopia was also where he first worked with Andy Jackson (Jackson apprenticed as an assistant engineer under Guthrie’s supervision), [Bailey, C. “Interview with Andy Jackson,” floydianslip.com, January 2001] whom Guthrie later introduced to Pink Floyd and was hired as the band’s primary engineer (a position Jackson still holds, as the Senior Mastering Engineer for David Gilmour’s studio "Astoria" UK). [White, P. “Andy Jackson: Recording David Gilmour’s "On An Island,"” "Sound On Sound", July 2006] In addition, Guthrie is also credited with suggesting Jon Carin as a keyboard player for Roger Waters’ touring band [Blake, M. "Pigs Might Fly", page 374] (making Carin one of a select group of people to have played with both Waters and Gilmour, and an incarnation of Pink Floyd), and arranged for Kashmir lead vocalist Kasper Eistrup to audition for the same tour (as documented in the film "Rocket Brothers"), as well as introducing vocalist Rachel Brannock (his then-girlfriend, ['Fitch and Mahon, page 35] who used the stage name Rachel Fury) to Pink Floyd, [Mason, N. "Inside Out, " page 287] she joined the touring band from 1987 to 1989.

Guthrie would later work at other London-area studios such as The Manor, Audio International, Advision, and Britannia Row. His initial producer credit in the mid-seventies would be for the band Fury. Guthrie's connection with GTO Records landed him production duties on the second and third albums for The Movies ("Double A" and "Bullets Through The Barrier"); followed by work with Runner (producing their only release, which made the Billboard Top 100). After producing the Judas Priest track “Better By You, Better Than Me” for the album "Stained Class", he was selected to produce their follow-up album "Hell Bent For Leather" (aka "Killing Machine").

By 1980, Guthrie's body of work in regards to engineering, mixing, and production would include a total of six hit singles on both the British and American charts: the first three singles from Heatwave, Marshall Hain's "Dancing In The City," Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall Part II" and The Pointer Sisters' "He's So Shy."

Pink Floyd

In the summer of 1978, Guthrie received a request from Pink Floyd's manager, Steve O'Rourke, to meet with him regarding potential production projects. First was a pitch to produce singer/songwriter Tom Robinson (and the end result was his production of "Our People," the b-side of the "Bully For You" single in 1979). The other was for Pink Floyd, about to embark on their new project, a concept album which would eventually be titled "The Wall". Based on his previous production credits and after meeting with Guthrie, Roger Waters believed he would be a good fit. Guthrie accepted the assignment with the request that he would be allowed to engineer the record himself. [Fitch and Mahon ibid.]

Guthrie was the only member of the production team to be awarded by NARAS for his contributions, receiving the 1980 Grammy award for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical. [ [http://www.grammy.org/GRAMMY_Awards/Winners/Results.aspx?title=&winner=james%20guthrie&year=0&genreID=0&hp=1 GRAMMY Winners Search ] ]

A case can be made for Guthrie’s involvement as an important element of the timeless sound Pink Floyd was able to achieve with "The Wall". David Gilmour stated in a March 2000 interview with "Record Collector", regarding the contributors, “Another crucial figure is James Guthrie. The album's wonderfully clear and punchy, and very modern-sounding.” [Whitlock. K. “Pink Floyd – Behind "The Wall", "Record Collector", March 2000] Nick Mason also acknowledged Guthrie's contribution specifically in regards to the drum sound in an interview with TapeOp magazine: "James Guthrie was great on "The Wall" - I thought he did a great job."

Guthrie’s initial involvement with Pink Floyd was to last nearly five years; in addition to engineering and co-production duties on "The Wall", he also served as the Sound Mixer (supervising the Front of House engineering team) on most of the performances of "The Wall" live as well as actual recording of some of the performances (he would later provide the mix and production for the release "Is There Anybody Out There%3F The Wall Live 1980-81"), as well as Sound Coordinator on the film adaptation "Pink Floyd The Wall" (he would engineer the music for film as well as produce it in collaboration with Roger Waters and David Gilmour). Guthrie received a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Film Sound in 1982 for his work on the film, (along with sound editor Eddy Joseph, production mixer Clive Winter, and dubbing mixers Graham Hartstone and Nicholas Le Messurier). He was then asked to co-produce (along with Michael Kamen) "The Final Cut", the last release of Waters-era Pink Floyd. According to Andy Jackson, who served as engineer for the recording along with Guthrie, the use of the name “Max” in the songs “The Gunner%27s Dream” and “Paranoid Eyes” is an appropriation of Guthrie’s nickname (the members of the production team - Guthrie, Jackson and Kamen - each had nicknames), which Waters had originally included as a joke, but decided that it suited the overall concept and created an actual character in the narrative with the name. [Bailey ibid.]

Guthrie appears in at least three documentaries about Pink Floyd: in "The Lost Documentary" (filmed in August of 1980 and never officially released but was made available in 2004), he is interviewed and receives an onscreen credit as “Sound Mixer.” In "The Other Side of The Wall" (chronicling the making of "Pink Floyd The Wall") he appears onscreen during a sequence depicting recording of additional music for the film but is neither credited nor interviewed; and in "Retrospective: Looking Back at The Wall" (included on the DVD release of "Pink Floyd The Wall") he is interviewed and receives an onscreen credit as “Music Producer” in the second half of the documentary. Guthrie also appears in the “Editing and Music” featurette for the DVD release of "The Last Mimzy", in a sequence which depicts recording for the Roger Waters song “Hello %28I Love You%29” but is neither interviewed nor credited; as well as the music video produced for the song. A little-known feature of the Roger Waters DVD release " In The Flesh " is when the viewer selects the option for "A/V Setup" the menu screen shows a looping film of Guthrie (as well as his assistant Joel Plante) at the recording console inside Le Mobile Remote Recording Studio, used to record the audio for the CD and DVD releases.

Post-"Wall" era

In the mid-1980s Guthrie emigrated to the United States, first residing in Los Angeles where he and his business manager/partner Larry Belling owned and operated Slippery Studios, a recording facility specifically geared towards sessions for film. Guthrie eventually settled in Lake Tahoe, California where he designed his own home-based studio, "das boot recording" (named by a client in tribute to Guthrie’s love of WWII-era American submarines). [Richardson, K. “Tales from the Dark Side,” "Sound & Vision", May 2003] Guthrie and his assistant engineer, Joel Plante, supervise every remastering of the Pink Floyd back catalog, as well as mixing and mastering of various works (some for 5.1 Surround Sound), including Pink Floyd-related releases.

In the 1980s Guthrie would produce a number of other releases, including Heatwave’s fourth album "Candles" (co-produced with lead singer Johnnie Wilder, Jr.), Queensryche’s major-label debut "The Warning", Ambrosia’s concept album "Road Island" (the final release of the David Pack era), and three tracks on The Boomtown Rats’ "In The Long Grass". He would also work as an engineer on various releases, such as Kate Bush’s "Hounds Of Love" and The Dream Academy’s "Remembrance Days"; as well as contributing miscellaneous music and sound design for films such as "Lethal Weapon", "The Dead Zone" and "Lifeforce". Guthrie has also produced tracks for Toto and Danish rock band Kashmir, among other artists. Guthrie would also become the engineer who has mixed the most releases utilizing QSound technology, nine in all. [ [http://www.qsound.com/spotlight/users/recording-artists.htm Who's Using QSound Audio Technology: Recording Artists A - D ] ]

However, Guthrie’s primary responsibility would be (as it is to this day) to serve as the one of the final authorities on the audio quality of Pink Floyd and Floyd-related releases. He has mixed and/or mastered nearly every Pink Floyd and Floyd-related release since 1978, and could be considered to be Pink Floyd’s archival engineer. Others have referred to him similarly, such as mastering engineer Doug Sax (“He has also been the Floyd’s quality control man ever since "The Wall".”) [”Doug Sax takes us to the Dark Side,” news.acousticsounds.com, March 2003] and musician/Pink Floyd associate Jon Carin (“He is the keeper of the audio flame.”) [Danesh, A. “Interview with Jon Carin,” brain-damage.co.uk, August 2007] In 2002, Guthrie was selected by the band to engineer the 30th Anniversary reissue of "The Dark Side of the Moon" in the SACD format, providing the mix and mastering for 5.1 Surround Sound. The final product was the biggest-selling Surround Sound release of 2003, the winner of three 2003 Surround Music awards, and received overwhelming praise from the technical press, including Jerry Del Colliano of "audio video Revolution" (“If you were to own only one SACD, "Dark Side of the Moon" is it.”) [Del Colliano, J. “Pink Floyd: "Dark Side of the Moon" SACD,” avrev.com, March 2003] and this summation from Matt Rowe of "The Digital Bits": “The way I see it, James Guthrie should be asked to do every 5.1 SACD project from here on out. For every band.” [Rowe, M. “Pink Floyd: "Dark Side of the Moon" SACD,” thedigitalbits.com, April 2003]

In recent years Guthrie has worked on a number of projects, including an eponymous-named remix of the blink-182 song “I Miss You,” mastered releases for Kate Bush and David Gilmour, as well as co-produced the track “Hello (I Love You)” for Roger Waters (which appears on the soundtrack for the film "The Last Mimzy") and performed the remastering of the 1984 David Gilmour release "About Face" and the 40th Anniversary reissue of Pink Floyd’s debut release "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn". Guthrie was also part of the Pink Floyd crew for the band’s reunion performance at Live 8, assisting with the live video feed mix for television broadcast; and subsequently provided the live mix for Roger Waters’ appearance at Live Earth.

elected Discography and Credits (Pink Floyd and Floyd-related releases)

*Pink Floyd " The Wall " (1979) — Co-producer. Engineer. Sound mixer. Drums on “The Happiest Days of Our Lives,” string synth and backwards message on “Empty Spaces,” drill on “Hey You,” sequencer on “In the Flesh”, backwards cymbal & running and panting on “Run Like Hell.”
*Pink Floyd “Money” (1981) — Co-production and mixing of re-recording for " A Collection of Great Dance Songs ".
*Pink Floyd " A Collection of Great Dance Songs " (1981) — Co-producer. Sound mixer.
*" Nick Mason%27s Fictitious Sports " (1981) — Sound mixer.
*" Pink Floyd The Wall " (1982) — Sound coordinator and engineer. Music co-producer.
*Pink Floyd " The Final Cut " (1983) — Co-produced with Roger Waters and Michael Kamen. Engineer. Sound mixer.
*David Gilmour " About Face " (1984) — Sound mixer.
*Pink Floyd " A Momentary Lapse of Reason " (1987) — Additional remixing.
*Pink Floyd “Run Like Hell” (live version) single (1987) — Mixing with David Gilmour.
*Roger Waters " Amused to Death " (1992) — Sound mixer.
*Pink Floyd CD remasters (1992-1994) — Supervised the remastering of the Pink Floyd back catalog for CD with Doug Sax. (See also: " Shine On " boxset.)
*Pink Floyd MiniDisc remasters (1994) — Supervised remastering with Doug Sax.
*Pink Floyd " The Division Bell " (1994) — Mastering with Doug Sax.
*Pink Floyd " P%E2%80%A2U%E2%80%A2L%E2%80%A2S%E2%80%A2E " (1995) — Co-produced with David Gilmour. Recorded and mixed.
*Pink Floyd " P%E2%80%A2U%E2%80%A2L%E2%80%A2S%E2%80%A2E" VHS (1995) — Music production. Recorded sound engineer.
*Pink Floyd " P%E2%80%A2U%E2%80%A2L%E2%80%A2S%E2%80%A2E " television commercial (1995) — Audio mix.
*Richard Wright "Broken China " (1996) — Sound mixer.
*" Pink Floyd The Wall " DVD (1999) — Producer. Audio formats.
*Pink Floyd "Is There Anybody Out There%3F The Wall Live 1980-81" (1999) — Producer. Recording. Sound mixer.
*Roger Waters " In The Flesh " (2000) — Producer. Engineer. Sound mixer.
*Pink Floyd " Wish You Were Here " 25th Anniversary video (2001) — Audio mix.
*Pink Floyd " " (2001) — Co-production and mastering.
*Roger Waters " In The Flesh " DVD (2001) — Music producer and mixer.
*Roger Waters " " (2002) — Compiled with Roger Waters.
*David Gilmour " In Concert " DVD (2002) — Audio mastering.
*Pink Floyd " The Dark Side of the Moon " 30th Anniversary Edition (2003) — SACD 5.1 mixing and mastering. Stereo remaster.
*Pink Floyd " The Final Cut " 2004 remaster — Stereo remaster.
*Pink Floyd "Is There Anybody Out There%3F The Wall Live 1980-81" 2004 remaster — Stereo remaster.
*Pink Floyd " A Momentary Lapse of Reason " 2005 remaster — Stereo remaster.
*Pink Floyd Live 8 performance (2005) — Assisted in mixing live video feed.
*"Comfortably Numb: A History of “The Wall,” Pink Floyd 1978-1981" — Research, editing, photos (2005-2006).
*Pink Floyd " P%E2%80%A2U%E2%80%A2L%E2%80%A2S%E2%80%A2E " DVD — Music producer. Video restoration. (2005-2006).
*David Gilmour " On an Island " (2006) — Mastering with Doug Sax.
*David Gilmour " About Face " 2006 remaster — Stereo remaster.
*Roger Waters “Hello %28I Love You%29” (2007) — Co-producer with Roger Waters and Howard Shore. Recording and mixing.
*" The Last Mimzy " — Remix of Roger Waters’ “Hello (I Love You)” for the movie soundtrack (end credits) (2007).
*"The Last Mimzy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (2007) — Remix of Roger Waters’ “Hello (I Love You)" for the soundtrack album (different than the movie version).
*Pink Floyd " The Piper at the Gates of Dawn " 40th Anniversary Edition (2007) — Compiled and remastered.
*Roger Waters Live Earth performance (2007) — Sound mixer.
*" Live Earth" DVD and CD (2007) — Mixing and mastering of Roger Waters songs.


*"New Musical Express " award for Best British Engineered Record ("Dancing In The City" from Marshall Hain's "Free Ride"), 1979.
*Grammy award for Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical, Pink Floyd’s "The Wall", 1980.
*BAFTA award for Best Film Sound, "Pink Floyd The Wall", 1982.
*Surround Music Awards, 2003 :(all for the 30th Anniversary Edition of Pink Floyd’s "The Dark Side of the Moon " in SACD/5.1 Surround Sound):::Best Multichannel Reissue:: "High Fidelity Review" Listener’s Choice::Best of Show.
*Guthrie would also be nominated for the Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album in 2004, for his work on the DVD-A/5.1 reissue of Bonnie Raitt’s "Nick Of Time ".

Professional audio equipment manufacturers endorsed by James Guthrie

* [http://www.atc.gb.net Acoustic Transducer Co.]
* [http://www.lavryengineering.com Lavry Engineering] (formerly dB Technologies)
* [http://www.dcsltd.co.uk dCS Ltd.]
* [http://www.ear-yoshino.com Esoteric Audio Research]
* [http://www.emmlabs.com EMM Labs]
*Mana Acoustics (no longer in production)
* [http://www.shakti-innovations.com/index.html SHAKTI Innovations]
* [http://www.shunyata.com Shunyata Research]
*SADiE by [http://www.sadie.com Studio Audio & Video Ltd.]
*Sonoma DSD Pure by [http://www.superaudiocenter.com Super Audio Center]

Other professional audio equipment manufacturers/services utilized by James Guthrie

* [http://ap.com Audio Precision]
* [http://www.euphonix.com Euphonix]
* [http://www.genexaudio.com/about/index.htm Genex Audio Inc.]
* [http://www.lemobile.com/ Le Mobile Remote Recording Studio]
* [http://www.littlelabs.com Little Labs]
* [http://www.qsound.com QSound Labs]
* [http://test.netyoda.co.uk/bolois/default.htm Vertigo Recording Services]



*Blake, Mark. "Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd", 2007. ISBN 978-1845132613
*Fitch, Vernon. "The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia" (3rd Edition), 2005. ISBN 978-1894959247
*Fitch, Vernon and Richard Mahon. "Comfortably Numb A History of “The Wall,” Pink Floyd 1978-81", 2006. ISBN 978-0977736607
*Mason, Nick. "Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd" (revised edition), 2005. ISBN 978-0811848244
*Thorgerson, Storm and Peter Curzon. "Mind Over Matter 4: The Images of Pink Floyd" (40th Anniversary Edition), 2007. ISBN 978-1846097638Articles
*Bailey, Craig [http://www.floydianslip.com/andyjackson.htm “Interview with Andy Jackson,”] floydianslip.com, January 2001
*Cunningham, Mark [http://www.pinkfloyd-co.com/band/interviews/art-rev/art-sos3.html “Welcome to the Machine: The Story of Pink Floyd’s Live Sound, Part 3,”] "Sound On Stage", May 1997
*Danesh, Arash [http://www.brain-damage.co.uk/other-related-interviews “Interview with Jon Carin,”] brain-damage.co.uk, August 2007
*Del Colliano, Jerry [http://www.avrev.com/music-disc-reviews/sacd/pink-floyd-dark-side-of-the-moon-2.html “Pink Floyd: "Dark Side of the Moon" SACD,”] avrev.com, March 2003.
* [http://news.acousticsounds.com/index.cfm?sector=news&page=read&newsid=21 “Doug Sax takes us to the Dark Side,”] news.acousticsounds.com, March 2003
*Richardson, Ken [http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/interviews/445 “Tales from the Dark Side,”] "Sound & Vision", May 2003
*Rowe, Matt. [http://www.thedigitalbits.com/reviewsdvdasacd/pinkfloyddarksidesacd.html “Pink Floyd: "Dark Side of the Moon" SACD,”] thedigitalbits.com, April 2003
*Tsilderikis, Thanasis. [http://sparebricks.fika.org/sbzine21/features1.html#1 “With Friends Surrounded: 'Credit Veterans' in Pink Floyd-related projects,”] sparebricks.fika.org, Fall 2004
*White, Paul [http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul06/articles/andyjackson.htm “Andy Jackson: Recording David Gilmour’s "On An Island",”] "Sound On Sound", July 2006
*Whitlock, Kevin [http://www.pinkfloyd-co.com/band/interviews/grp/grpbehindthewall.html “Pink Floyd – Behind "The Wall",”] "Record Collector", March 2000

External links

* [http://wm04.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fnfqxqw5ld6e~T4 James Guthrie entry at All Media Guide]
* [http://www.discogs.com/artist/James+Guthrie James Guthrie entry at discogs.com]
*imdb name | id=0349271| name=James Guthrie

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