• Posted: 17/10/22    

The Albums That Made Me Want To Audio Engineer

The Albums That Most Made Me Want To Be An Audio Engineer

By ivan-the-engineer


Just to give a little history, I’ve been studying audio engineering and practicing as an audio engineer predominantly in the recording and mixing area of engineering for a little over 15yrs. That time includes College, interning, mixing albums and working with mixrevu.com. The life of an audio engineer can range from project to project, class to class if you are a professor and tour date to tour date if you are on the road in a live setting. There is so much variance in the field but one thing we all have in common is a history of the music that drove us to love the “science of sound”. We all have an audio catalog of albums that really connected with us in some way to drive us to continue this odd career. I’m a classically trained bassist but albums from all genres have been influential to me in my journey with a career in the love of audio engineering and that’s what I highlight here. Hopefully some of these amazing works have influenced you, or inspire you to delve back into what albums have really been integral in your life. Below I touch on why these albums piqued my audio love, and why you might want to give them a spin yourself. Let us know in the forum which albums inspired you to become and Audio Engineer.


Alan Parsons


1. “Tales Of Mystery And Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe” – The Alan Parsons Project

Released in 1976 by one of the most famous producers in Audio Engineering History, Alan Parsons. I was introduced to this record in College by my Audio Technology Professor. “The Cask Of Amontillado” is my favorite track and the audio engineering gems in this record are endless. Alan Parsons is a living legend if you don’t know him, you are in for a treat. Research him NOW.

Audio Engineer Gems:


Tracy Chapman


2. “Tracy Chapman” – Tracy Chapman

Released in 1988, this album meant so much to me because it was heavily played in my home as a child. Aside from it being a favorite album of my fathers, there were some vivid audio engineering elements I learned from this album growing up even though I may not have known it at the time.

Audio Engineer Gems:


Related: 5 Top Mix Engineers You Should Know In Rock




3. “Confessions On A Dance Floor” – Madonna

Stuart Price the legendary French Producer produced this album from top to bottom in 2005. I was in college studying audio engineering at the time and the audio engineering tips and tricks I got from this album were endless and I even employed some nice filter sweep techniques in my junior audio scene project. This album opened up my mind to what a dance album could be and what “4 on the Floor really meant.” Lol

Audio Engineer Awesomeness:



4. “Lovers Rock” – Sade

Released 17yrs ago in November 2000. This album had a huge impact on me in a few ways. I used this album in an Audio Engineering Project to display the use of spatial techniques as well as depth and reverb. It was also just a great resurgence of the band Sade. On the standout track for me, “King Of Sorrow”, A few of the audio engineer nuggets I will point out are:


Related: 5 Top Mix Engineers You Should Know In Hip Hop


Lady Gaga


5. The Fame” – Lady Gaga

This album was released in 2008 and I have to admit it’s not the whole album that had an impact on me. The lead single was mixed by Robert Orton and the bridge in the song is discussed thoroughly in a classic Sound On Sound Secrets Of The Mix Engineers article. I recommend Sound On Sound as a magazine highly, if only for this article series. Check out this article on Robert and you’ll see what I loved about the single “Just Dance”. A lot of audio gems or ear candy as I sometimes call them.

Particular standouts are:


Related: 5 Top Mix Engineers You Should Know In Pop Music




6. Nevermind” – Nirvana

This album means a lot to a lot of people. Butch Vig produced the shit out of this album in 1994. This album was crucial to me as I was engineering a Punk album at the time this album became a staple and I’d listen to this back and forth for inspiration. This was in college many years after the  1994 debut but this album made an impression on me specifically when it comes to drum sound and mixing of these particular instruments since I was dealing with the same setup at the time.

Audio Engineer Gems:


The Dream


7. “Love Hate” – The Dream

Released in 2007 this album solidified my love of R&B music. This is a favorite album of mine because it combines elements of R&B and hip hop which are my favorite genres to mix. I learned some songwriting elements from this album as well as some mixing techniques that I still try to emulate when appropriate for artists that are looking for that “radio hit” sound.

Audio Gems:




8.“B2K” – B2K

Don’t laugh, lol. There is value in clear unabashed pop groups and hits. I went to music school with the snootiest of music snobs and I know how being a music snob can lead to your detriment. Released in 2002 this album has one of (if not my favorite) r&b songs of all time. This sound is the sound I’ve been chasing for years. Brian Michael Cox is the producer, and this song is the pinnacle of R&B smoothness. “Gots Ta Be”.

Notable Audio Engineering Gems:


Related: Top 10 Skills All Audio Engineer Students Need!


**What’s An Album That Heavily Influenced You To Become An Audio Engineer? Let Us Know In The Forum**


mixrevu.com audio blog