l engineer l producer l drummer
launching his career as an assistant engineer on Guns N' Roses'
1987 classic Appetite For Destruction, four time Grammy Award winning
engineer, mixer, producer and arranger David Reitzas has left his
inimitable stamp on recording history, shaping the sounds of hundreds
of superstar platinum selling artists whose songs and performances
have defined a generation. All told, Reitzas has worked on songs
or projects that have been nominated over the years in 52 Grammy
categories. He earned his first Grammy as an engineer and mixer
on Natalie Cole's historic 1991 album Unforgettable: With Love,
then in 1998 joined Madonna onstage at the awards ceremony as the
first engineer ever to receive an engineering Grammy in the pop
album category for her groundbreaking Ray Of Light. In 2006, closing
in on his 20th year as a recording engineer, Reitzas won his fourth
Grammy for mixing the multi-platinum album "Mexico En La Piel
" for international recording artist Luis Miguel. The year
before, the same album won for Best Ranchero Album, earning Reitzas
his first Latin Grammy.
David Reitzas is renowned for his infectious optimism, attention
to every last detail and commitment to making each session run smoothly.
Reitzas is also known as one of the industry's true pioneers in
taking Pro Tools systems to artists' houses long before Pro Tools
became portable, and was the first engineer to do a session in a
guest room at the Beverly Hills Hotel for singer Michael Bolton.
the art of record making as a very collaborative process between
the engineer, producer and artist. Developing an unspoken understanding
with producers, he learns their little quirks and can intuitively
run two steps ahead of them. "The key to my success has always
been to make the artist and producer comfortable and give them an
environment that allows them to bring out their best. I make sure
everything technical is invisible so they can focus on the best
aspects of the performance. It's crucial so that they can key in
on what's working well rather than dwell on any technical issues.
Growing up in
Fall River, Massachusetts, David Reitzas started his musical life
as a drummer with big rock and roll ambitions. The studio environment
fascinated him and he took an engineering class at Bristol Community
College before studying music for a year at the University of Rhode
Island, and ear training, harmony and percussion at Boston's famed
Berklee School of Music. After moving to L.A. in 1984, when he wasn't
spending his nights experimenting, composing and playing music in
the schools labs at Institute of Audio Video Engineering, he was
hanging around his apartment building filled with other students
from the nearby Musicians Institute; his next-door neighbor and
good friend was none other than future star singer-songwriter Jeff
as a runner at Cherokee Studios and Sound City which eventually
led to assisting at Rumbo Studios with producer Mike Clink on Guns
N' Roses album Appetite for Destruction. Impressed with Reitzas'
talent and ambition, Mike recommended the young engineer to multiple
Grammy winning mega-producer David Foster (Whitney Houston, Natalie
Cole and Celine Dion) who was looking for a young and hungry engineer
ready to learn. Foster gave Reitzas the key to his Chartmaker Studios
in Malibu and asked him to work with an artist that he had promised
studio time to because Foster had to leave right away on a personal
trip. "Wow, here I am, the first day meeting David Foster and
he already has enough faith in me after only meeting with him for
a half hour that he's just giving me the studio to start working!!"
This led to an incredibly fruitful eight year working relationship,
during which time Reitzas met many of the Artists that have added
to his extensive discography including Madonna, Streisand, Whitney,
After becoming a freelance engineer in 1995, Reitzas continued on
projects with Foster when he experienced a chart renaissance working
with some of the current decade's most acclaimed male vocalists,
Michael Bublé, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. Dave also
spent many years working with mega producer Walter Afanasieff (Mariah
Carey, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Kenny G).
Over the years, Reitzas has also collaborated on projects with producers
Tommy LiPuma, Mutt Lange, Phil Ramone, Arif Mardin, William Orbit,
Babyface, Jay Landers, Nick Patrick, and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, as
well as composers Johnny Mandel, Jeremy Lubbock, Bill Ross, Marvin
Hamlisch, Stephen Sondheim, David Campbell (Beck's father) and Warren
Campbell. "I'm very fortunate to be associated with such talented
and musical producers and artists who have had such an influence
in contemporary Pop music." Foster always told me, 'your name
is going on this record, so it has to be your best.
The next phase
of Reitzas' career kicked in with Madonna on the Foster produced
tracks "You'll See" and "One More Chance" from
her Something To Remember collection.
Madonna also asked if Dave would do a remix of "Love Don't
Live Here Anymore." He jumped on that chance and she was so
thrilled with his work, she flew Reitzas to London to record and
mix her Evita soundtrack and later made sure he was at the controls
for her groundbreaking release, Ray of Light.
In between projects
with the known artists, Dave likes to spend his time working with
new and unsigned talent. "Many people think that I'm not available
or affordable to work on anything but major label artists, but nothing
could be further from the truth. I love to be busy and some of my
most fun sessions are with new artists that don't have the pressures
of a record company hovering over them. Because of the variety of
technology and affordable mid-level studios, it's easier nowadays
to make even small budget acts get a lot more for their money and
I'm always willing to adjust my rate when I hear talent."
Most recent live performance work for Hit Man: David
Foster & Friends, a concert honoring David Foster recorded in
May 2008 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas featuring Groban, Bublé,
Bocelli, Streisand, Peter Cetera, Boz Skaggs, Brian McKnight, Kenny
G, Charice, Babyface, Celine, Katharine McPhee, Renee Olstead, and
several new Foster discoveries performing Foster written songs.
Reitzas' work from last year can also be heard on Seal's record
"Soul", Luis Miguel's "Complices, and Russell Watson's
"People Get Ready.
philosophy is, If you can imagine it, I can do it!
copyright 2009 studioexpresso