Recording - January 2017 - 18

When I recorded Tool in the 1990s, we were
recording to analog tape. Their songs ebb and flow
and have several tempo changes within the same
song, so it became kind of a performance to set
up a drum machine as a click... I would have
to learn the song, and stop the click and
change to a new tempo and then play the
click for the drummer to follow along. That
way, they could lock into a certain
tempo for a section and then turn off
the clicks so that they could float and
freewheel into the next tempo, and then I'd
drop the click back in again. And then we did
editing on analog tape, and that was a lot of fun,
because you'd have to actually measure 2" tape between
the kicks and the snares and then slice out little pieces of tape
to bring it into tempo.
Wow.
You can only imagine what that was like. Danny Carey is
astounding, but even the best drummers can sound a little better with some editing.
Along these lines, what are your thoughts on editing a performer who does not want to be edited or tuned, or the
more common scenario of being asked to edit or tune a performance that you think is great but that the artist wants
"fixed"?
Yeah, that's a tough one. I think that I generally trust the
artist, even if I think in my heart, "oh my God they are so
wrong." Often if I just trust them and follow their instinct, I
might just be swayed into believing that maybe they're right.
[laughs].

A case in point is an artist whom I recently
worked with who's a pretty good singer. She
gave some really good performances in a
song called "Acoustic Guitar". It's basically an acoustic guitar played with some
crazy beats, and I thought, "You know, this is
just a great performance, there's no reason to
do a dang thing to this." And she said, "No, I
want this tuned and I want it tuned hard, and I
want it tuned so it sounds like a robot." I thought,
"This is insane, I don't like this at all." So I showed
her how to use Melodyne and in two nights she had
learned it... and I'm absolutely astounded at how it
worked in this song!
Generally I don't fight the artist on their vision. I will
make suggestions and I'll really try to convince them to a
point if I feel strongly about going one way or the other, but
ultimately it's their music, so I will honor their vision.

More Unhinged Recordings
Coming back to your book, one of the cool things is that it's
not just your techniques and ideas. The book is filled with a
lot of great examples of strange and wonderful techniques
from other engineers. Do you have a favorite of somebody
else's? Or moments putting the book together, or even in
your career, where you thought, "Wow, that's so cool!"?
There's so many of those wow moments. For instance, Matt
Wallace was the one that told me about reamping a snare by
taping another snare to a PA speaker, running the original
snare through it, and miking the new snare. There is a legendary story from Ron Saint Germain which I got him to share
for the book, with the singer from Bad Brains being in jail for



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - January 2017

Contents
Recording - January 2017 - Intro
Recording - January 2017 - Cover1
Recording - January 2017 - Cover2
Recording - January 2017 - 1
Recording - January 2017 - 2
Recording - January 2017 - 3
Recording - January 2017 - 4
Recording - January 2017 - 5
Recording - January 2017 - Contents
Recording - January 2017 - 7
Recording - January 2017 - 8
Recording - January 2017 - 9
Recording - January 2017 - 10
Recording - January 2017 - 11
Recording - January 2017 - 12
Recording - January 2017 - 13
Recording - January 2017 - 14
Recording - January 2017 - 15
Recording - January 2017 - 16
Recording - January 2017 - 17
Recording - January 2017 - 18
Recording - January 2017 - 19
Recording - January 2017 - 20
Recording - January 2017 - 21
Recording - January 2017 - 22
Recording - January 2017 - 23
Recording - January 2017 - 24
Recording - January 2017 - 25
Recording - January 2017 - 26
Recording - January 2017 - 27
Recording - January 2017 - 28
Recording - January 2017 - 29
Recording - January 2017 - 30
Recording - January 2017 - 31
Recording - January 2017 - 32
Recording - January 2017 - 33
Recording - January 2017 - 34
Recording - January 2017 - 35
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Recording - January 2017 - 37
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Recording - January 2017 - 40
Recording - January 2017 - 41
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Recording - January 2017 - 70
Recording - January 2017 - 71
Recording - January 2017 - 72
Recording - January 2017 - Cover3
Recording - January 2017 - Cover4
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