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Interview to Susan Rogers (Pensado’s Place)

I watched this amazing video interview, arguably the best one in a while.

Who is Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers holds a doctoral degree in experimental psychology from McGill University (2010). Prior to her science career, Susan was a multiplatinum-earning record producer, mixer, engineer, and audio technician.

She is best known for her work with Prince during his peak creative period (1983-1987) but production, engineering, mix credits also include David Byrne, Barenaked Ladies, Geggy Tah, Nil Lara, Robben Ford, Tricky, Michael Penn, Jeff Black, and many more.

She is currently a Professor in the departments of Music Production & Engineering and Liberal Arts at Berklee College of Music, Boston, where she teaches psychoacoustics, record production and analog recording techniques.

Susan Rogers during Prince’s “Sign ’O The Times” tour
Susan Rogers during Prince’s “Sign ’O The Times” tour

I’ve listened to her in awe. In particular, regarding two points:

  • The importance of using panning to make the most of our perception of music, by exploiting the different way our brain processes sounds. I love how both Pensado and Trawick reacted to it.
  • The crucial role that non-musicians producers can have on the global vision of a song.

I strongly advise you to watch the entire interview — it’s slightly 45 minutes, while the ‘core’ of the discussion is probably around half an hour. Skip to around 3'08" for the proper content to start.