WHY TAPE ?...
I predominantly use technology from 1976 - 1986 because this provides the best tool box for making exciting records. The right balance of options and limitations. Limitations force innovation. Limitation, focus and pressure are vital ingredients in creative growth.
Analogue recording requires session planning and 100% focus, but it's an exhilarating process which comes together at lightning speed. After 30 years in professional studios I know how to really manipulate the gear creatively. I'm still in constant passionate pursuit of beautiful sonic art, always in service to the song. Always a free thinking sonic artist pushing the musicians to be bigger, brighter versions of themselves, wanting them to dazzle and surprise their listeners.
Everything about the analogue environment is inspirational and conducive to creativity; even a mistake or problem can become an opportunity to think well and truly outside of the box. The screen-less environment allows everyone to fully focus on the music and achieve their potential. I choose to work to an Otari MTR-90 tape machine because it has the best transport system. That means that I can correct little mistakes seamlessly - I'm able to drop in a note or a word without anyone ever knowing it wasn't a one take wonder.
Music is a very connective art-form, yet the art of making records has been hijacked by corrective technology that removes the human aspects, and too often leaves the listener with an over produced-sounding, predictable listening experience. Stuff that's too controlled just washes over me, it's more like Muzak than music. We're in an age when Spotify are accused of making their own faux artists, so making records that stand out as being full of emotional energy and bursting with real creative excitement is truly important.
As a producer most of my work is done before the mix stage. I discuss the feel and the end mix in pre-production and make sure that I get it right to tape. My recordings don't need any mix miracles - in fact they are very easy to mix.
I know over the last decade or more analogue recording has become a misunderstood beast, but I'm always happy to answer questions, and I'm not a grumpy curmudgeon.
julie [at] analoguecat [dot] com