An overview of producing popular Latin Music within North America
On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the Audio Engineering Society, Los Angeles Section heard from three producers and recording engineers:Panel organizer Juan de Dios Martín, from Spain, and Sebastian Krys and Gustavo Borner, both Grammy award-winners, and both originally from Argentina.Over an hour and a half, they discussed their career paths, the state of music production in Los Angeles, the difference between Latin-oriented projects and English-language genres, what’s hot in music right now, reaching across the language barrier in pop culture, the role of tradition in creating great new music, and the role of technology in music recording and production.
Sebastian Krys began the evening: “I’m a record producer, engineer, and co-owner of Rebeleon Entertainment. This is my twenty-fifth year doing Latin American music, a lot longer than I thought I could do anything, sometimes making an honest living doing what I love. I came to the US when I was nine years old, and cut my teeth in Miami first, then moved to LA later.”
Gustavo Borner continued: “I grew up in Argentina. After I finished high school, I went to the Berklee College of Music, and after college I moved to LA because it was nice and sunny. In 1989, there were four-hundred recording studios around town, and there is no other place in the world like it. I never decided on Latin music, Latin music decided on me. One of my first projects was working on Luis Miguel’s Romance, which sold eight million copies. That’s an easy way to get your name around. I speak Spanish, but I work on other things, music for any part of the world – last week I was in Japan. Los Angeles is an international magnet, has the best quality musicians, engineers, and support. I’m here at AES because I think it’s good to share our ideas.”
Seb, Gus and Juan discussed the role of culture in working internationally. “Coming from the Latin side,” said Seb, “culturally speaking, every country has different codes. Between Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and here, there’s a common language, but vastly different codes.” Discussing the kinds of projects they’ve been involved in, Gus explained, “Latin music is not as narrow for engineers, you’re not just a rock engineer. I did Luis Miguel in 1990. I’ve worked with Plácido Domingo, Juanes, and MTV Unplugged Latino since 2004. Recently I’ve done a number of live records, five DVD’s. I did a live concert with Vicente Fernández, the biggest crooner in Mexico, at Azteca stadium with 80,000 people, and recorded Marilyn Manson’s latest album. My clients don’t know that I’ve worked on all these different genres."