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Hugh Padgham

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Years active  1978-present
Children  Jessica Padgham
Partner  Cath Kidston
Role  Record producer
Name  Hugh Padgham

Hugh Padgham Classic Tracks The Police39s 39Every Breath You Take39
Born  15 February 1955 (age 60) Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England (1955-02-15)
Genres  Rock, Electronic, Pop rock, Synthpop, Soft rock, Hard rock
Occupation(s)  Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Remixing
Labels  Universal, Islands, London, London UK, Major Records, A&M
Awards  Grammy Award for Record of the Year
Nominations  Brit Award for Best Producer
Similar People  Phil Collins, Daryl Stuermer, Cath Kidston, Steve Lillywhite, Colin Moulding

Hugh padgham drums for sampletank 3

Hugh Charles Padgham (born 15 February 1955) is an English record producer and audio engineer. He has won four Grammy Awards, for Producer of the Year and Album of the Year for 1985, Record of the Year for 1990, and Engineer of the Year for 1993. A 1992 poll in Mix magazine voted him one of the world's Top Ten Most Influential Producers. Padgham co-productions include hits by Phil Collins, Genesis, The Human League, Sting, and The Police. He pioneered (with musician Peter Gabriel and producer Steve Lillywhite) the gated reverb drum sound used most famously on the Phil Collins hit "In the Air Tonight".


Music produced by Hugh Padgham

Early life

Hugh Padgham Hugh Padgham recordproduction

Padgham was born on 15 February 1955 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. He was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford.


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Padgham became interested in record production after listening to Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection. He started out as a tape operator at Advision Studios, working on many recording sessions including Mott The Hoople and Gentle Giant. From there he went to Lansdowne Studios and moved from tape-operator/assistant engineer to engineer. In 1978, Padgham got a job at The Townhouse, where he engineered and/or produced acts including XTC, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins.

Padgham's previous work with Gabriel and Collins led to a collaboration with Genesis and Phil Collins in the 1980s, which produced the albums: Face Value, Abacab, Hello, I Must Be Going!, Genesis, No Jacket Required, Invisible Touch and ...But Seriously. In addition to his work with Genesis and XTC, Padgham co-produced two albums with The Police: Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity, as well as some of Police frontman Sting's solo work. He also worked on Paul McCartney's Press to Play and The Human League's Hysteria.

In the 2000s, Padgham worked with Sting as well as McFly. He had four UK number one hits in 2005 and 2006 with McFly, as well as a number of other Top Ten Singles. In 2002, Padgham produced The Tragically Hip album In Violet Light.

Personal life

Padgham lives in Chiswick, West London, with his partner, the designer Cath Kidston and his daughter Jessica (born 1992/93). They met when she worked as his interior designer.

Padgham is represented by Joe D'Ambrosio Management.

The "gated drum" sound

Padgham is credited with creating the 'gated' drum sound used so prominently on Phil Collins' single "In the Air Tonight", and which became the template for much of the recorded pop drum sound of the 1980s. The effect is believed to have first been used on the 1980 third self-titled solo album by Peter Gabriel, which Padgham engineered and on which Collins played. At this time, Padgham was working regularly as the recording engineer for noted UK producer Steve Lillywhite, and they collaborated on many well-known albums and singles in the early 1980s.

Padgham's 'gated drum' effect is created by adding a large amount of heavily compressed room ambience to the original drum sound, and then feeding that reverb signal through an electronic device known as a noise gate. This unit can be programmed to cut off any signal fed through it, either after a specified time interval (in this case, some tens of milliseconds), or when the incoming signal falls below a preset gain threshold. The result is the arresting 'gated reverb' effect, in which the reverberation cuts off abruptly, rather than fading away.

In a 2006 interview, Padgham revealed how the effect was first engineered:

The whole thing came through the famous "listen mic" on the SSL console. The SSL had put this massive compressor on it because the whole idea was to hang one mic in the middle of the studio and hear somebody talking on the other side. And it just so happened that we turned it on one day when Phil [Collins] was playing his drums. And then I had the idea of feeding that back into the console and putting the noise gate on, so when he stopped playing it sucked the big sound of the room into nothing.


Artists for whom Padgham has produced or engineered include:

  • 311
  • Bee Gees
  • David Bowie (Tonight) (1984)
  • Kate Bush
  • Toni Childs
  • Clannad
  • Paula Cole
  • Phil Collins (Face Value, Hello, I Must Be Going!, No Jacket Required, ...But Seriously, Dance into the Light)
  • Suzanne Vega
  • Julian Cope
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Melissa Etheridge
  • Mick Farren
  • Julia Fordham
  • The Fixx
  • Peter Gabriel (engineer, Peter Gabriel (1980 album))
  • Genesis (Abacab, Genesis, Invisible Touch)
  • Hall & Oates
  • The Human League
  • I Was a Cub Scout
  • Elton John
  • The Lightyears
  • Anni-Frid Lyngstad (engineer)
  • Madness (mixing, 1988)
  • Mansun
  • Paul McCartney
  • McFly
  • Mike + The Mechanics
  • Northern Pikes (Snow in June, 1990)
  • Youssou N'Dour
  • The Police (Ghost in the Machine, Synchronicity)
  • The Psychedelic Furs
  • Kim Richey (1999 album Glimmer)
  • L. Shankar
  • Split Enz (Time and Tide, Conflicting Emotions)
  • Sting (Ten Summoner's Tales)
  • Sweet
  • The Tragically Hip
  • Van der Graaf Generator (mixing, 2010)
  • The Waitresses
  • Brian Wilson
  • XTC (engineer, 1979, 1980, 1982)
  • Yes (Drama)
  • Frank Zappa
  • Grammy Awards

    Padgham has won four Grammy Awards and has been nominated nine other times.

    Brit Awards

    Padgham has been nominated for Brit Awards twice.


    Hugh Padgham Wikipedia