Here’s a small sampling of the many albums that producer/engineer Ken Scott has
worked on. His output covers an amazing range of musical styles and genres.
There and Back
Birds of Fire,
Emerald Visions of
the Pure Beyond
Duty Now for
Magical Mystery Tour,
David Bowie (Mick
Hunky Dory, The Rise and
Fall of Ziggy Stardust and
the Spiders from Mars,
(Harrison and Eric
All Things Must Pass
Crime of the Century,
Crisis, What Crisis?
Spring Session M
(Jeff Beck, guitar
on two cuts)
Journey to Love,
Dixie Dregs (Steve
What If, Night of
the Living Dregs
better to learn the final product before you
worked on the “easy” side of it. So you
could never become an engineer without
knowing the problems that may ensue if
you don’t give the cutter a good tape. After
doing that for a few years, I got the phone
call to move downstairs as an engineer.
After sitting next to one of the other engineers for two weeks—just watching what
was going on—I got to push up the faders
on my very own first session, which happened to be Magical Mystery Tour.
Working with The Beatles had to be
Are you kidding? They were the biggest
band in the world at that moment in time.
Nothing bigger … it was terrifying! To put
it bluntly, I was shitting myself the entire
Obviously it worked out okay.
Well, they’d been to an outside studio and
recorded a version of “Your Mother Should
Know,” and Paul wanted to try a new
arrangement on it. So we were re-recording
“Your Mother Should Know.” The arrangement didn’t work, so luckily anything I did
mess up, it didn’t matter anyway.
Working with them as a training engineer was incredible because you couldn’t
really do too much wrong with The Beatles.
You had the perfect set up for experimenting to find mics you liked. It wasn’t a typical three-hour session where you had an
orchestra and you had to do two songs in
a three-hour session—where you had the
pressure, so you had to get it right from
the get-go. With The Beatles, they were
spending ages. They loved experimentation, so that gave you the freedom to try
things. And also, if I wanted to try mic X
on piano, which no one ever used, and I
wanted to try it in a totally different place
from anywhere other people mic the piano,
and I pulled up the fader and it sounded
like crap—nothing like a piano—The
Beatles would turn around and say, “Wow,
that doesn’t sound anything like a piano, we
love it, keep it!” They didn’t want things to
sound normal, so it was a perfect learning
experience for me.
Why did you become a producer?
It was a combination of two things:
Engineering was becoming too easy. I’d
almost reached the point where I’d seen