In memoriam: Patrice Cramer (1955-2016)

The leading French recording engineer and musician remembered
Publish date:

French recording engineer and musician, Patrice Cramer, has died at the age of 61, writes Guillaume Schouker.

“Patrice was a drummer, Patrice was a musician, Patrice was an engineer, but above all Patrice was a formidable human being, a tender father, a wonderful fellow, he was our friend for 24 years,” said Nagui Fam, television presenter, producer and president of the Air Productions television company.

“The sound of the [long-running , live music showcase] Taratata TV show, it was him,” added Fam, “it is him and it will be him forever, his know-how, his unique style! We think of his children, his family, Patrice will keep resounding for us in each musical note.”

Born on 18 April 1955, Patrice Cramer was not only one of the leading recording and mixing engineers in France, but also a cutting-edge producer.

A trained drummer, he released an eponymous album with his band So & Co in 1974 (it was mixed by British recording engineer Andy Scott). At Studio Aquarium in the South of Paris he met with producer/engineer Dominique Blanc-Francard in 1975 and this period marked the beginning of his interest in engineering. Through the years, Patrice Cramer has worked with a great number of French artists, including Louis Bertignac, Jacques Higelin for twelve years, Véronique Sanson, Michel Jonasz, Liane Foly, Eddy Mitchell, Lara Fabian, Laurent Voulzy, Diane Tell to name but a few, and officiated as the sound and mixing engineer for French show Taratata from 1994 onwards.

Patrice Cramer was one of the founders, with Yves Jaget, of the company CJA (Cramer, Jaget and Associates) which bought out the very first Le Voyageur mobile studio from Laurent Thibault, who was working at the famous Château d’Hérouville.

More than fifty recording sessions of Taratata and other major television shows such as Les Victoires de la Musique awards ceremonies in 2009 and 2010, and the Johnny Hallyday 70th anniversary live at POP Bercy concert venue on 15 June 2013, were produced and engineered within Le Voyageur 1.

“During all these years, he had become a model, a shining light, and a friend to us, he leaves us the legacy of his talent and of his professionalism,” wrote the current Le Voyageur team (Laurent Israël-Alexandre, Jérôme Blondel and René Weiss).

Patrice Cramer was awarded a Victoire de la Musique [French version of the BRIT Award] in 1993 as Best Recording Engineer for his contribution to Michel Jonasz’s album, Où est la source? and also two Sept d'Or [French television award] in 1994 and 1997 for Best Sound.

Based in Miami, Florida, Patrice Cramer “passed behind the speakers” on 12 May 2016.



In memoriam - Walter Sear

Walter E. Sear (1930-2010) was a celebrated inventor and synth pioneer who also bequeathed one of the world's most enduring recording studios in the form of NYC facility Sear Studios, which has paid host to artists as diverse as Bob Dylan and Philip Glass.


In memoriam: Roger Nichols

The acclaimed producer, engineer and sonic innovator – who was closely identified with the work of Steely Dan and John Denver – has passed away, aged 66.


In memoriam - Dr Fritz Sennheiser

At the heart of the company he founded for nearly 40 years, Sennheiser contributed to a host of landmark technological innovations, including the world's first open headphones.

In memoriam: Martin Rushent

Best-known for producing The Human League’s iconic electro-pop classic Dare, Martin Rushent – who has died aged 63 – also worked with acts as diverse as The Stranglers and Osibisa.

In memoriam: Jerry Wexler

US: Jerry Wexler, one of the most celebrated record producers of all time, has died aged 91, writes David Davies. A tireless advocate of soul and R&B, and an influential figure across more than five decades of popular music history, Wexler is perhaps most closely identified with his production of several classic Aretha Franklin long-players and his co-production of Dusty Springfield's Dusty In Memphis, but he also helped to shape enduring works by artists as disparate as Canned Heat, Professor Longhair, Bob Dylan and Dire Straits.


In memoriam: Owsley Stanley

The Grateful Dead’s legendary touring engineer and sound system innovator has died in a car accident at the age of 76. Otherwise known as Bear, Stanley was a key figure in the burgeoning US underground scene of the late '60s.