Working with Ryan West

Posted by The Audio Hunt

From Jay-Z and Eminem to Alicia Keys and Maroon 5, Ryan West has worked with some of the biggest names in music and he's taken some time out to talk to Studio Assistant about his work.

Working with Ryan West

Thanks for joining us, we know you're insanely busy so we appreciate the time you've taken. We've just finished drooling over your Selected Discography, that's quite the proverbial trophy cabinet! What are you working on now? 

RW: I'm always mixing like crazy and still do a bit of recording here and there, but lately I've been expanding my horizons. I just recently finished a project in which I ran a multi-track and sample replay setup for Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz and Lion Babe for a few large scale live performances. It was really different from what I normally do but I learned a great deal about that side of the "big talent" business that I'm sure will inform what I'm doing in the studio.

What’s your favourite stage in the music production process?

RW: Mixing is my passion, but I also love producing a great deal. I love choosing a sound palate and helping an artist find the best way to bring their project together.

Favourite piece of gear you have used recently?

RW: This is a rather bland answer, but I just adore my Focal SM9s. After all, if I can't hear what I'm doing in a way that pleases me it's much harder to hit my mark.

Lets talk influencers. Any producers / songwriters / artists that you’re inspired by?

RW: I really like Sia quite a lot. Both as an artist and songwriter.

How did you first start producing music?

RW: I started as a musician at a young age and after moving to NYC in the late 90's, realized that I had cultivated some skills as an engineer just by the desire to work on my own music. Producing seemed a natural progression for me.

Name your bucket-list piece of production equipment.

RW: That's a dangerous question. Great musicians have to be most important thing. I can have the best mic or preamp in the world, but if what I'm pointing it at sucks, I can't do much about that.

Is there a piece of gear you no longer have access to that you miss when it comes to making music?

RW: Sure. My own ignorance. There was a time when I didn't know much so I'd try anything. There were lots of happy accidents along the way. Now I'm under time and budget constraints so often that I don;t have enough time for experimentation. I have to use what I know works but I still muck around with things when I can.

Finish this sentence: If I wasn’t producing music, I’d be…..

RW: A chef, perhaps. I love to cook and find it to be a great creative outlet.

Thanks for joining us Ryan! For anyone looking for more information, check out


Interview Producer New York