Part 1: Home Studios / Pre-Production
Terry Date, Producer of Limp Bizkit, Deftones, and Soundgarden, gives Musician.com a rare glimpse at his production techniques, from how he uses digital and analog equipment to pre-production to how he records vocals.
Musician.com: Does it help if a band has a home studio?
Terry Date: Most people have some form of home studio already, even if it is a four-track cassette. The more the bands understand what I do in the control room, the easier it's going to be for them to tell me what they need, and that makes my job easier. So, I personally encourage everybody in the band to learn as much as they can about the control room.
Musician.com: How do you approach pre-production?
Date: The pre-production process is more about me observing how a band interacts together: what each one's personality is like, how they sound live, how they want to hear themselves on a record. I don't get too involved with changing the songs around in pre-production. I have to hear them in the studio, but what I want to do in pre-production is get to know them-see how they play live, see if they are tight, if they are talking to each other musically, and then when we get to the studio, we'll make changes if we have to. The pre-production process is usually no more than two weeks for me.
Musician.com: How do you approach engineering, producing and mixing?
Date: To me, production and engineering is one thing, because I am responsible for getting a performance out of somebody as well as getting the sound right. If I have a bad sounding mix going to a singer, he is not going to perform well, so I have to have the engineering part of it together. I've always been uncomfortable with other people turning knobs for me, because I can't tell somebody else what to do. I have to interpret it with my own hands. The production part is tied to the engineering part, and if I don't get both of them right then things don't go well. So when we go to mix, the band is usually there, at least part of the time, to OK stuff, so that it is a collaborative effort. I'm the one who has the ultimate responsibility for anything that happens, but we work together to make it right.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3