A friend of mine recently recommended an interview with producer/engineer Tchad Blake on Pensado’s Place. Tchad’s resume is long and diverse, but I know it best from the recent Black Keys records, which sound incredible. I found the interview interesting, and thought the following points to be especially noteworthy:
- There is a fair amount of discussion in the interview about Tchad’s transition to mixing primarily in the box, and using plug-ins extensively. I was glad to hear this, because I’m a big fan of working in the box, and think it gets far too bad of a reputation from audio engineering purists. It turns out that even world-class engineers use digital recording, plug-ins, and the in-the-box workflow to make world-class records!
- Tchad claims that he hasn’t used a bass amp in 20 years, preferring to record basses direct and tweak the sounds afterwards (usually in the box). As a bassist, I appreciate nice bass amps, but as an audio engineer, I definitely prefer to record bass direct.
- It’s interesting to hear all the different uses Tchad has for the SansAmp plugin. It goes far beyond coloring guitar sounds. To me, this reinforces the importance of experimenting and of not being afraid to use a tool for something other than its intended purpose.