Growing up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama during the 1960s gave drummer Land Richards the opportunity to witness the birth of the soul music movement. He was born into a musical family—his father being co-writer of the famous hit “When A Man Loves A Woman”—and started performing on drums at age seven, moving on to the local club circuit by age twelve.
Over his long career in the music industry, Richards has performed with some of the best-known acts in the world—including George Benson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks and Earth, Wind and Fire. In his own words, “Everyday I strive to grow more in both music and technology, because they have become one in today’s music industry.”
Describe your song-writing process:
I usually start on the keyboard with melody, harmony, and a theme or story I’d like to include. From there, the technology I use brings the song up to date by animating it.
What gear do you use for mobile music production?
Because I travel so much on the road, I became an instant M-Audio fan with my first Midiman mixer. I then moved on to using Reason software and M-Audio interfaces. Since then, my M-Audio gear and I have become inseparable! Since I continue to write and produce during tours, I always carry my FireWire 410, BX5a monitors, and Ozonic in a compact case. The BX5a monitors make it possible for all the music I produce to be heard on the radio the way I hear it in the studio. Once I’ve mastered the songs using iZotope Ozone 3, the tracks are ready for manufacture.
How has using software like Pro Tools M-Powered changed the way you make music?
Pro Tools M-Powered allows me to load a client’s session from their hard drive and work using the user interface they are accustomed to. M-Audio has what you need to make it happen because they present applicable options for anyone interested in making music.
What projects will you be working on down the road?
I will continue to tour with Michael Bolton and Bobby Caldwell along with a number of other artists. I am also remastering and producing a gospel project by the name of “Live in the Spirit of Joy” featuring the Gospel All-Stars.