I am a keyboard player and arranger based in Los Angeles and am currently the keyboard player for Tears For Fears. I specialize in vintage keyboards such as Hammond organ, piano and Wurlitzer as well as all kinds of synths. As a producer and arranger I like to come up with keyboard parts that make a song unique.
I am a keyboard player from New York but have been living in Los Angeles for the last 18 years. I have worked with a variety of artists over the years in all styles of music and have also been featured on many major motion picture releases.
In my studio I specialize in recording Hammond organ - I have a 1957 Hammond C3 through a Leslie 147, piano - a beautiful, warm sounding Kawai upright piano and Wurlitzer 200 electric piano, as well as various vintage and modern synths. I also arrange and write and record for real instruments or samples.
I really enjoy adding organic sounding, whether it is analog or digital, parts to a song and helping a song come alive.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
11 ReviewsEndorse Doug Petty
Doug is a super talented writer and player. He provided an amazing sounding and cohesive high energy Hammond Organ track for a tricky fusion power trio instrumental.
The sounds and recording quality were top notch.
Doug’s racks really brought the tune to life.
Prompt and very easy to work with.
I've worked with Doug on more than a few recording sessions in NYC, his years of experience, professionalism and creativity never cease to amaze. Just when you thought someone was done surprising you, he delivers another head shaking gem. Consider yourself lucky if you manage to book him.
Doug petty is a one of a kind talent. Does it all. Writes, produces, plays unreal keys. His projects are among my very favorites I’ve ever done, including Shawn Colvin, Jesse Palter and many others. I just hired him to play B3 and Wurli on a track which lifted it up in such a cool way. Get him while he’s here.
I had the pleasure of working with Doug for many years while we played in band Tears For Fears together. Doug is a fantastic musician. Some much vibe, feel, groove, chops, and tasteful playing. It was always super cool to look over and see him groovin to the music. He is also a super nice person and great to hang out with. We had a lot of fun together. I whole heartily recommend/endorse Doug!!!
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Doug for many years now. I have shared the stage with him and have worked on studio projects together. If there is one overriding feeling I have when working with Doug it is confidence. The confidence that what ever Doug brings to the project it is going to be rock solid, musically masterful and artfully executed! This is why I reach out to Doug time after time, project after project. What ever it is, Doug is going to take it to another level! On top of it all, Doug could not be a kinder, more patient and generous person!
If you're looking for expertly crafted parts, sounds or arrangements, Doug is your guy. A soulful player, superbly adept at all variety of vintage keyboards. Also a master programmer & sound designer for any hard, soft or modular synth.
Doug is a true professional and complete all-rounder. He has significantly improved every song we’ve worked on (over 20), and whether it’s his world-class piano and keys playing or his overall arrangements, he always bring fresh and exciting ideas to the table. It’s always a pleasure and a privilege to work with him.
I have complete confidence in Doug's ability to shape sound and emotion with his playing and producing skills. Every project we've worked on together was elevated by his ideas and his taste. He's also super chill and very receptive to collaboration.
I've been fortunate to work with Doug for a long time, on countless songs and projects, and he always makes everything I send to him just, better. His playing, arranging and programming are all the best of the best... always beautiful, highly musical, modern, soulful, and perfectly executed.
What can I say about Doug? I personally would not produce any project without him. His playing, his professionalism, his skills, his knowledge are impeccable but the musicality he brings into any project is something truly valuable! And I gotta say, he's a pretty chilled guy to work with
Doug is an absolute MONSTER musician-the best of the best.
Interview with Doug Petty
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I cowrote and worked on a song for the new Tears For Fears record that I am very proud of.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Finishing up a new Tears For Fears record. Composing original music for a feature for the LA Times, just finished producing a new record for an artist out of Austria
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Depends on the project/situation. They both have their strengths
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will always deliver the best possible product at the highest level
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working on new things all the time. working with new people, it never gets boring
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How can you do a session for a song/ artist you had never heard or worked with before? My answer is that you are not paying for the time it takes me to do the session but for the years of experience that I bring to it
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That anyone who plays an instrument can be a session musician.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What songs/ artists do you love? What is your vision for your song? How do you envision me being a part of that?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Try and get a clear picture of what you hope to achieve
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: piano, hammond, keyboard, laptop, microphone
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I went to a conservatory and studied classical piano and arranging. I then moved to New York City where I worked with many artists and toured as well. After more than 10 years there I moved to Los Angeles and continued to work with more artists and branched out into more film and tv work as well. I have been working professionally for more than 30 years. I compose and arrange as well but my favorite thing to do, and what I think I am best at, it doing session work.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Really anyone who wants to create good much
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: all kinds - I really enjoy doing all types of music in many different styles. Literally from classical to hard rock. The variety makes it fun for me.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening to the client and delivering what they are looking for
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to think that I bring a a players technique with an arrangers sensibility
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to discuss with the client their vision for the song and if they have references that I can hear that is always a plus. I will track my parts based on what they have expressed to me and once they have had a chance to live with my parts we can discuss if any changes or alterations need to happen
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I mainly work in Logic but use Pro Tools as well. I use Apogee and UA interfaces. I use stereo SM51s on piano, Sm57s and a Cascade stereo Ribbon on Hammond and Leslie setup, Wurlitzer I typically track direct but will also run through a Princeton reverb depending on the track. I also like to add strange lo fi mics or run a small mic through a cassette deck as on option. I like to use a lot of analog synths - both newer and older - and I have a huge range of software sampled synths, strings, most of the current instruments out there.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: People in all genres working at a high level
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Adding keyboard tracks and arrangements that fit their songs style and the artists vision