10 Famous Audio Engineers Behind Your Favourite Tracks

In the music industry, it’s easy to forget the talents behind the scenes. 

Anyone who has been around song production knows that putting out a hit track is more than a one-man job.

Audio engineers bring harmony to all the parts of the song. Without them, it’d be really hard to get a professional track done.

To honor their effort, here’s a list of 10 famous audio engineers that continue to give us amazing music.

Famous Audio Engineers Worth Recognizing

Through the past few decades, we came to see a lot of innovation in the audio engineering field. From reverse reverbing to multitrack recording, many brilliant minds have helped the music industry bloom.

Let’s take a look at some of the most famous audio engineers out there, who they worked with, and some of their top hits.

  1. Alan Parsons

Born into a creative family, Alan Parsons had an early start with music. Parsons’ father, Alexander Denys Herber, was the mastermind behind the Parsons Code for representing motion in melody.

As an audio engineer, Parsons associated with renowned names like:

  • The Beatles
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Hollies
  • Al Stewart

Alan Parsons also produced music both as a solo artist and as a part of his own band, The Alan Parsons Project. The band’s hit album, Eye in the Sky, scored Parson a Grammy award in 2019.

  1. DJ Swivel

Under the stage name DJ Swivel, Jordan Young has probably made at least one of your favorite songs. He collaborated with many A-listers like:

  • Britney Spears
  • Jay Z
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Coldplay
  • Rihanna
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Beyoncé
  • BTS

DJ Swivel started his musical career under Duro’s mentorship in 2005. After only five years, he was already working on Beyoncé’s fourth album.

By 2017, he won a Grammy for The Chanismokers and Daya’s Don’t Let Me Down.

  1. Eddie Kramer

Eddie Kramer is a legend in the rock genre and has been for over five decades!

If we’re talking about a rock top-list artist, Kramer has most likely worked with them. His collaboration list includes:

  • The Rolling Stones
  • David Bowie
  • Bad Company
  • The Beatles
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Kiss
  • Jimi Hendrix

Kramer’s golden career started with the Led Zeppelin II album. The album received a lot of positive critiques that helped propel Kramer’s career forward. This was even better for Kramer since it was his start as an independent audio engineer.

  1. Evil Joe

Joe Barresi, known mostly by his stage name, Evil Joe, started his musical journey when he was only seven. In the beginning, he mostly focused on being a guitarist. Later on, he studied audio engineering at the University of Miami.

Joe Barresi has worked with over 20 artists in genres like alt-rock, metal, and punk. His most notable work is with:

  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Matchbook Romance
  • Wolfmother
  1. Michael Brauer

Micheal Brauer is always innovating in the field of audio engineering. Some of his techniques are now standard practice, like Brauerizing (a multi-bus compression technique.)

Brauer’s collaboration list has some prominent names like:

  • The Rolling Stones
  • Coldplay
  • John Mayer
  • The Koos
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Prefab Sprout
  • Bob Dylan
  • Aretha Franklin

He earned a Grammy for his work on John Mayer’s album Continuum. He also received two more Grammys in collaboration with Coldplay.

  1. Phil Tan

Phil Tan is probably one of the most well-known audio engineers of all time. His first hits in the music industry were with Jermain Dupri in the early 1990s.

Tan has pretty much worked with all a-list contemporary R&B artists. You’ll find his touch in hit songs like Rihanna’s Only Girl In the World and Ludacris’ Release Therapy.

Other notable artists that collaborated with Phil Tan are:

  • Wiz Khalifa
  • Snoop Dog
  • Usher
  • Ne-Yo
  • Fifth Harmony
  • Little Mix
  • Liam Payne
  • Mariah Carey

Phil Tan studied music at Full Sail University. Today, he’s a Hall of Famer there.

  1. Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers is known for her two Ps: her work with Prince and her Ph.D. You’ve probably heard her innovation on famous hits like Purple Rain. That was her big break in the music industry.

Throughout her academic career, Rogers received a Grammy Research Grant and a Newbury Comics Fellowship. She’s also been nominated for Grammy awards six times!

Today, Susan Rogers is a director at the Music Production and Engineering Department in Berklee.

  1. Karrie Keyes

Karrie Keyes started her career as a system tech for tours. Looking back on her early days as a monitor mixer, Keyes often says that it was one of the hardest jobs in the industry.

A lot of Karrie Keyes’ work is in the Punk Rock genre. Some of the artists that Keyes has worked with are:

  • Sonic Youth
  • Fugazi
  • Neil Young
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Pearl Jam

Kerrie Keyes is the executive director of SoundGirls, an organization dedicated to helping women make their way in the music industry.

  1. Tom Dowd

Tom Dowd’s name is associated with Atlantic Records. His discography covers a wide range of genres from jazz, pop, and blues to rock.

His collaboration list is just one legendary act after the other. Some of the big-name artists that he worked with are:

  • Ray Charles
  • The Allman Brothers Band
  • Otis Redding
  • Rod Stewart
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd

Tom Dowd is the genius behind the multitracking recording method. He was also behind the first Ampex eight-track installation at Atlantic Records.

  1. Young Guru

Gimel Keaton is an icon in the industry. He’s very well-known to anyone who’s into music production. Although they’ll probably know him as Young Guru.

Young Guru’s work is more in the hip-hop genre. Some of his artistic collaborations are with:

  • Fat Joe
  • Beanie Sigel
  • Amel Larrieux
  • Dave Hollister
  • Da Brat

However, his top hits are mainly associated with Jay-Z. He has also won a Grammy for The Carters’ Everything Is Love.

Final Thoughts

Behind every successful track is a full team of people whose efforts often go unrecognized. Techs, audio engineers, songwriters; all can make or break a song.

Besides the most famous audio engineers, there are a lot of hidden talents out there waiting for their big break.

Next time your favorite song comes up, take a moment to enjoy all the talent that went into making it.