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Greg Kurstin = underrated?
Old 29th January 2013
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Greg Kurstin = underrated?

I don't see many topics about Greg compared Dr Luke, Greg Wells etc.

Been listening to a lot of his work recently. In the pop world, his drums really stand out, punchy without being too loud. He seems to have a signature bass sound that almost like a Fender VI as well. Vocals always sound really good with a lot of character.

Anyone work with him? I've read his interviews on SOS, Apple etc.
Old 29th January 2013
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Schmeckitup's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Toured with him back in his Geggy Tah days. Brilliant musician - keys, guitars, or whatever else you put in his hands he tends to play like it's his only instrument. Also a solidly worthwhile human being.
I've loved his production in recent years, too.
Old 29th January 2013
  #3
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sleepingbag's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Dude's a straight up genius, it seems as though he has risen to the level of super-high-profile-in-demand producer by now and so (thankfully) I don't even know if it's appropriate to call him underrated these days. I love his stuff with Bird and the Bee, Lily Allen, Foster the People, etc.; and though I haven't listened yet I heard the new Tegan and Sara record is pretty amazing.
Old 29th January 2013
  #4
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Silent Sound's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I'm a huge Geggy Tah fan, so I'm really happy to see he's still in the business. Some of his albums I like a lot. One that doesn't do it for me is "At War with the Mystics" by the Flaming Lips. I don't know if his production had anything to do with it, but I just don't care for that album. I think it's really the songs themselves that don't do it for me. Still, he's definitely a very talented man, and I'd like to read/hear and interview with him.
Old 29th January 2013
  #5
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mr jkn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I love his work with The Shins, and Lily Allen of course. There is a lot going on in his productions, effects and so on, not obvious at a first listen.
Old 29th January 2013
  #6
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Dude is a REAL musician.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
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Silent Sound's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr jkn ➑️
There is a lot going on in his productions, effects and so on, not obvious at a first listen.
Definitely! All those little blips and blurbs of electronic noise that's just barely loud enough to be audible. They create a nice texture giving the songs a nice full sound while still allowing the main instruments to forge a clear path through the song.
Old 29th January 2013
  #8
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Arthur Stone's Avatar
 
90 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I had the pleasure of covering 'The Fear' for a project...it was a great lesson in songwriting and arrangement. Enjoyed the SOS interview too.
Old 31st January 2013
  #9
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I second this ... I'd love to hear more insight into Greg's productions aside from the SOS article. His drums always have a very specific tone to them that's immediately recognizable!

There are some great little click/bleeps etc in Kelly Clarkson's Dark Side that really add an awesome texture.

As for his bass sound... I remember seeing somewhere him talking about the bass he uses on every one of his tracks... I saw a pic but couldn't recognize the make. Almost looked like an old Kay bass...

He's incredibly talented and brings back a touch of the classic pop-rock sensibilities and organic touch to these modern top40 smashes.

Btw - the new Tegan and Sara record is amazing!

Would love to see this thread gain some steam
Old 4th February 2013
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Greg produced a song I co-wrote. We recorded it at his old house/studio. He works really quick, and played everything except the guitar which I did, and the vocals which the other co-writer did.

Here is some of his equipment and things he likes

Adam monitors
1176
Telefunken 251 mic
BAE preamp
Did a lot in midi
His bass is a hagstorm bass
Pretty much every song he does is programmed drums, uses Vengenance, sampled hits from his drum kit, hits sampled from vinyl, Goldbaby vintage drum machines.
Loves optigan, mellotron.
Great guy.
Old 4th February 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Greg makes a lot of other pop producers look like the 'tards on Craigslist with MP3 "beats". I love his work with Bird and the Bee, Lily Allen.
Old 25th February 2013 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingojr ➑️
Greg produced a song I co-wrote. We recorded it at his old house/studio. He works really quick, and played everything except the guitar which I did, and the vocals which the other co-writer did.

Here is some of his equipment and things he likes

Adam monitors
1176
Telefunken 251 mic
BAE preamp
Did a lot in midi
His bass is a hagstorm bass
Pretty much every song he does is programmed drums, uses Vengenance, sampled hits from his drum kit, hits sampled from vinyl, Goldbaby vintage drum machines.
Loves optigan, mellotron.
Great guy.
any other plugins? What mellotron does he like? Mtron? Is Vengeneance for drums?
Old 25th February 2013
  #13
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by niner ➑️
any other plugins? What mellotron does he like? Mtron? Is Vengeneance for drums?
I think, from memory everything was Logic plugins.

He uses mtron and sampletron, but also acesses the samples in the Logic EXS sampler a lot.

Vengeance for drums, I don't know if he uses them on other stuff.
Old 25th February 2013
  #14
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carlheinz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's funny this thread popped up.I was listening to MY FM just out of wanting to hear what the typical LA hit station was playing to the masses and I was awe struck by a song called "Try" by Pink.It stood out from the pack and it sounded great....the vocals /drums/bass// and these little atmospheric keyboards....everything was perfect and well crafted and well mixed.It's the least grainy sounding of all the heavy pop tracks and it's the only mid tempo one within the playlist.Did a little digging only to find it was Greg.

I would say he's not underrated...Just humble,hard working and low key!

I recently was lucky to meet him at his newer studio.

A really nice and humble person who is super talented.

I asked him what his favorite synth was out of his many options of old and new and he said his main workhorse as of late was an Access Virus which was sitting on his desk with logic running on a big monitor.

Some of the gear I saw was already mentioned.

251...is it a vintage one or a newer l one or a Bock?
Fairchild 660
UBK fatso...how he uses this Id like to know
Some altec mixer...he likes to sub mix stuff through that..keys etc
1176's
Apogee symphony i/o

In a smaller room ,a small drum kit was miced up with coles 4038's as the overs
Piano
whirly 200
vox ac-30 ..57/coles
B3/122
Every cool organ and synthesizer you could hope for including a CS-80 and a real mellotron.Didn't see any modulars.

Prior to our informal meeting,I had little to no idea of his roster of hit records.
Old 25th February 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
One of my favorite producers for sure. Love his work on the new Tegan & Sara album, and of course Lily Allen. Seems like a really down to Earth guy as well.
Old 26th February 2013
  #16
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littledoodler's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Yeah, he is a kindsoul. I saw him playing many years ago with Pamelia on theremin. He was playing a fender rhodes.
Old 4th March 2013
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Jehf Slaps's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Love the drum work he did on Tegan and Saras new record.

Specifically the track "Now I'm All Messed Up".

His production is really cutting edge.
Old 20th March 2013
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Been following him since the second Lily Allen album, one of my favorite. His arrangements are sophisticated.



Old 20th March 2013
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
no.
Old 20th March 2013
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
He posted some gearslutty pictures last night on twitter for your enjoyment.. haha




Old 21st March 2013
  #21
Deleted User
Guest
An excellent individual. Years ago he played B3 on a demo EP I was producing. We were at university together and I remember sitting outside his practice room listening to him play through the door (same with jazz badass Otmaro Ruiz). He's a absolute mother****er on piano with a most musical mind. So glad to see him doing well.
Old 13th April 2013
  #22
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years


Man, I love his drums. And the way he matches synths with acoustic instruments.
Old 14th April 2013
  #23
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Nu-tra's Avatar
He produced a bit of the last Devo album as well.
Old 10th December 2013
  #24
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cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Old 12th March 2014
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Late to the (Action Figure) Party

Was just watching the Today Show on NBC, and Ellie Goulding mentioned Greg Kurstin, which prompted me to Google him and subsequently land here, admittedly long past this thread's prime. I had no idea Kurstin had become as successful as he apparently is, but I'm not surprised. He's one mega-talented dude.

I'm surprised that no one here mentioned his WAY under-the-radar project, "Action Figure Party" (from 2001), which is literally one of my favorite albums of all time.
Action Figure Party | Verve Music Group

I'm a total Rhodes junkie, and Kurstin plays some amazing Rhodes throughout; a strong Herbie Hancock influence is clearly present, and for me, a big plus. Action Figure Party is a fun, funky, jazzy and sometimes (pleasantly) quirky album with a plethora of guest musicians, including Flea from the Chili Peppers, who rips it up on the track "Gettem". It's a great album to play at a (you guessed it) party, and sets a great mood.

Ironically, I was just playing AFP at rehearsal the other night, as an example of the direction I want my jazz-funk band to take, writing wise. They commented on the outstanding Rhodes playing of Greg Kurstin, catchy riffs, and funky grooves. Funny that his name came up on national TV this morning...

Check it out!

Best,
Chris
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