David Frank

music production

From Mozart to Skrillex, From Harpsichord to Massive


My head is filled with Music and my writing has often been a reflection of the music I’ve listened to. When I hear something I like that’s in the realm of what I do I become obsessed with wanting to be able to duplicate it. When I was 7-8 years old I listened mostly to Bach,Mozart and Beethoven. My 1st written composition sounded like it. My Mom entered it in a composing competition for kids in the area where I grew up (Boston) and I got some kind of small prize which my parents said was a big prize and I’ve never looked back. In years since my influences as a keyboard player,synthesist and producer have been many. Here is a very disorganized list, in no particular order, of some of my favorites. In many cases I’ve either learned to play their solos, parts or arrangements note for note: sometimes in every key.

Vanilla Fudge , Ramsey Lewis, Booker T and the MGs, Young Rascals, Earth Wind and Fire (the bass part in Shining Star and That’s The Way of The World), Deep Purple.The Zombies,Stevie Wonder. Keith Emerson, Arif Mardin(Producer) Rufus and Chaka Khan, Average White Band, Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, Nat King Cole as pianist (he was a pianist 1st!) Thomas Dolby (PPG Wave synth!! yeah!) James Browns Band, Parliament Funkadelic (Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins). The Band (some of the best music ever!), Kashif (various productions), Omar, Grandmaster Flash,D Train, ConFunk Shun, The Gap Band, Dr Dre (and the musicians he’s worked with), Timberland (various Productions),L.A and Babyface, Jam and Lewis, Prince,The Time….uh oh this is getting kinda long. I’ll skip up to some of my current favorites. Stargate (various productions) Datsik, Excision, Skrillex (Check out the supermusical breaks in Weekends!!! (Zedd remix) also Breaking a Sweat, Kid Cudi,Bassnectar….

When I was a kid I wanted to build a Harpsichord.At the time there was a company that made a Harpsichord kit but I couldn’t convince my parents to get it for me. Now I just want to master Massive and U-he Diva (try it !). Presets are great but its also good to know how to build the sounds you hear in your head from scratch.



  1. Hi Dave… I’m sure u meant Timbaland – ha. Wow, that list is massive. I’m also sure that Mic would add Teddy Riley to that list. In my opinion, when it comes to Synth Bass, there are 3 Platinum standards: You, Kashif & Jimmy Jam… Anxiously awaiting System Overload.
    P.S.: Please no more remix. re-tooling, re-tweaking of You’re in my System. the original version is perfect – ha.

    • Can’t wait to have it done. Thanks for the corrections!! We aren’t doing YIMS but some people have done some really great mixes of BaptiZe The Beat which should be out soon.

  2. Thank you, David. Baptize The Beat!!!! I love the lead string line in that song, as well as the kick drum rolls. what a killer track, that 1. can’t wait to hear the remixes, especially given your fervent endorsement of them.
    All the best

  3. Everything you mentioned, and I might add, firstly, yourself, Hubert Eaves III (of D-Train), Charlie Wilson, Herbie Hancock, Chic Corea, Mauro Malavasi (of Change), The Sylvers, The Whispers – well, basically the whole SOLAR catalogue, and Debussy just for kicks.

    Modern producers who you might like are Jimmy Edgar (Switch Switch is a big tune), Ifan Dafydd (Treehouse is an eerie masterpiece), AD Bourke, Flying Lotus (LA-based, master of the absolutely unhinged; look up Do The Astral Plane), Arp 101 (Dr. Funkenstein is the jam), and last but definitely not least, Opolopo (easily one of the most versatile producers around – and a proponent of in-the-box production). I highly recommend Boomkat.com as a great distributor of quality underground electronica. Resident Advisor and XLR8R are blogs that keep a pretty good pulse.

    It’s fascinating to see your influences : )

    -Navar, SD

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