Audio engineer and producer extraordinaire Steve Albini recently sat down with the folks at Rock It Out! Blog for an in-depth and insightful interview about what it takes to produce and engineer a record. The segment was filmed at his Chicago recording studio Electrical Audio.
Steve Albini has worked on hundreds of records, including Nirvana's In Utero and several Pixies projects, and he's known for his no-nonsense take on production.
During the chat, Albini went over his production style, the differences between engineers and producers, and learning to suspend judgement of a band's style so he can "more readily be a conduit for the band's aesthetic." He also offered an innovation on quotation fingers: the "triple finger for extra irony."
After a brief overview of the general tracking and mixing process, he takes viewers on a guided tour of Electrical Audio's facilities. First, Albini shows off the custom made 48-channel, 96-input Neotek Elite console, but moves on without going into technical details. You can check out the full specs at Electrical Audio's website. He briefly covers the some of the other analog gear in the control room -- he refuses to go digital-- before speaking in-depth about the construction of each of the rooms. He describes the acoustics of Electrical Audio in great detail, including the incredibly unique adobe brick walls throughout the studio. It's a remarkable building, and a thoroughly enlightening watch for both engineers and laymen alike.
Towards the end of the video, Albini speaks about the amount of time a band should spend in the studio. In a letter to Nirvana, he once wrote, "If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's fucking up," so it's unsurprising he summarized his advice thusly: "I recommend having your shit together."
Check out the full video above. Albini's segment begins at 4:09 after Rock It Out! Blog's music news recap. For more information on Electrical Audio, check out their official website.