Butch Vig on record production

Butch Vig on record productionButch Vig is synonymous with the sound and legacy of alternative rock. His work with Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Smashing Pumpkins rewrote the rulebook for guitar-centric rock production. Vig sat down with iZotope to talk about his creative process, production philosophy, and his affection for iZotope’s Trash plug-in. Read more.

Limit your takes and make better recordings

make better recordingsThe moment I was first introduced to computer-based recording, I saw the potential for recording millions of takes. At first it made sense to me to just record as much as you can and then pick the best takes later. But over the years I have come to realize how much of a hindrance this philosophy was, rather than a help. I believe that having unlimited takes and hard drive space has made us lazy. We’ve lost that sense of urgency to try to perform our best in the studio and capture a great recording in a few takes. Read more.

In the studio with Trevor Horn

Trevor HornTrevor Horn is rather unique among his peers in that he enjoyed a highly successful career as a musician before moving to the other side of the glass. As half of the eighties pop duo the Buggles (he was the one with the nerdy glasses), he co-wrote, co-produced, and sang lead on their smash hit “Video Killed the Radio Star,” perhaps best known today as the first video ever played on MTV. He and co-Buggle Geoff Downes were then briefly integrated into prog-rock kings Yes (an experience he later described as “awful”) before he made the decision to end his touring days and focus full-time on record production. Read more…

Behind the glass with Joe Chiccarelli

Chiccarellicrop As the producer of classics from Frank Zappa, The White Stripes, and Kurt Elling – Joe Chiccarelli draws inspiration from a variety of sources in the studio. It’s hard to believe that the same individual who produced the rough-and-ready White Stripes’ Icky Thump was also responsible for the ephemeral, moody ambience of The Shins’ Wincing the Night Away or the slick jazz of Kurt Elling’s Night Moves. Read more.

Behind the glass with Daniel Lanois

LanoisWhen I listen to my records from the ’70s and ’80s and compare them with newer recordings, I can hear a difference, but it’s not just the tape – it’s where we have traveled in our minds and where our expectations have taken us. It’s a slow creep, and year by year a little bit of the old way of doing things just disappears. It’s an erosion rather than a change of technique. So I don’t really miss the sound of tape, but I miss some of the philosophies that we operated by back in the day. Read more.