Hands-On Review:My Favorite Thing with Paul Fox


My Favorite Thing

with Paul Fox


Part 1: Best Tool for the Job


Paul Fox got his start as an exceptional studio keyboardist and parlayed his experience into a career as a top producer. In a 13-year period, Fox has produced excellent modern-rock albums for bands such as XTC (Oranges And Lemons) 10,000 Maniacs (Our Time In Eden and MTV Unplugged, which contains the hit single "Because The Night"), Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians (Perspex Island), The Sugarcubes (Stick Around For Joy), Phish (Hoist), Edwin McCain (Honor Among Thieves), They Might Be Giants (John Henry). He recently finished producing the upcoming album for Sixpence None The Richer, as well as tracks for V2/Columbia recording artist Heather Nova and Atlantic recording artist Kacey Crowley.


In this installment of "My Favorite Thing," Fox sings the praises of Pro Tools.


Best Tool for the Job
Pro Tools is the perfect marriage between a recorder and a sampler. It is a platform which gives access to fully automated signal processors, MIDI-controlled synthesizers and sample libraries, high quality modeled vintage and current stompboxes, amplifiers, microphones, and compressors all in one box that travels. What's not to like?


Pro Tools has become the recorder itself. We now record directly into the computer - no tape - until the mix. I find it beneficial to the process, from writing and arranging song ideas in pre-production through the entire recording process, and for rough and demo mixes at home. On records, I still work with mixers in their own environment, which includes more traditional gear; i.e., free-standing consoles and tape machines, both digital and analog. This is combined with the conveniences of Pro Tools, which allows [a producer] to take advantage of all the possibilities.


The most unique thing about Pro Tools is that as a stand-alone system, there is nothing else quite like it! Being first of its kind, it has become the de facto standard digital workstations, much like its cousin, the Avid, has in the film world. Therefore most of the peripherals, software and plug-ins are all designed to work within this system. It offers an all-in-one platform that can be built upon as the software and system itself evolves to further meet the users needs.