Show 82 – Paul Ward Interview and Multitrack Madness

This week Ryan Ryan Interviews Paul Ward.  We cover so many great recording techniques that there are just to many to even try to mention here.  Jesse rants about the tendency to use to many tracks to make a recording.

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Beatles Multitrack Analysis- Jesse’s Segment

Toys Breaking

Paul Ward

22 thoughts on “Show 82 – Paul Ward Interview and Multitrack Madness

  1. Jesse – never been a fan of the Beatles either and I’m a Brit. Some good tunes but a lot of filler. I find the backing vocals frequently overdone. I hate the silly voices and brass bands. Instrumentally a bit average and as for the drumming…..mind you, we’re in a minority here. Maybe you had to be there. Oh! I was there! I was 10 in ’68.

    • Everyone is fired. The Beatles rule! It is very easy to pick apart the recordings and technical merits of the material as an audio engineer, but that is not the point. The vibe, feeling, emotion, and impact of the music is far greater then the sum of its parts. I think as engineers we can get tunnel vision and focus on the sound a kick drum so much that we may neglect something far more important in a mix. When a band is as good as the Beatles, two mics up in a rehearsal hall can get you a hit record!

  2. Stylophone – the most famous example of a Stylophone I know of is the intro to Space Oddity be David Bowie. Yep, I had one! You can still get them quite easily.

  3. Hi guys, I have a show feature suggestion. I know that some people might be interested in examples of some microphone techniques, like distance and popfilter, but especially the pros/cons of cupping the handheld microphone, and maybe a short clip in context of a song?

    – ahj

    • We have talked about all of those things in shows, but not all in one place. It may be worth if to go back and do them all at once with some examples.

  4. Ryan —

    Loved the interview with Paul. Easily one of my favorite segments. Loved all the examples — really interesting.

    I’m definitely getting one of those Marshall belt amps…

  5. Loved the interview with Paul Ward. Easily the best episode I’ve listened to, and I’ve caught most of ’em. So there was an extra 20 mins that didn’t make the podcast? Would it be worth releasing an uneditted version? “Toys Breaking” sounds cool too. Great work guys. Winter Cheers from Australia.

    • The 20 minutes that got cut out were me telling stories that our audience already knows or if we repeated something. All of the “meat” was in there!

  6. Shucks! It’s good to hear people are getting something out of hearing about my crazy world! Many thanks to the HRS guys for having sufficient interest in my work to spend so long letting me ramble.

    I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I simply do these things all the time without an ear for the music. The examples I gave were, of course, highlighted to emphasise the techniques, but I use a lot of less extreme tricks in my productions too, to create mood, space, clarity and, well, to serve the song. If anyone is interested you can find my last album project for the UK band Tastebuds on Facebook. There I’ve used saturation techniques to create softness and subtelty too – try ‘When I Think of You’ as an example.

    My inbox is chock full of emails at the moment, but I’ll get around to answering as many as I can. Thanks to everyone for showing an interest and maybe we’ll end up in the same studio some day, so I can unleash my toys on you too!

    BTW, I actually prefer my little Tandy amp to the Marshall but I don’t have it back from repair yet – well worth seeking one of those out.

    By for now and keep on making music.

    • Thanks again for doing the show Paul! I had a great time and it really went over well with our audience. We will have to do a part 2 sometime.

  7. Ryan.. Keep finding cool guy’s like Paul for the show.. And yes a Paul Ward part 2 would be excellent..

    Hm Shame we don’t have a radio shack or Tandy here in New Zealand.. Will just have to live with the Marshall I guess 😉

    BTW.. shame you don’t have pictures of the gear (toys) on the HRS site so we an drool or take a peek so we know what we are looking for!!!

    And Paul… yes Using the right trick for the right occasion is the answer and sometimes the trick is not to do anything clever or to use toys but just to do it right!!


  8. BTW Paul… Look at Jon’s photo and you will see why he loves breaking toys LOL…
    Just kidding Jon… Hmm or am I 😛

  9. Ha Ha Ha “Lucky Charm”?? or Voodoo and Black magic…
    Hmmm Just like recording activities when you think about it.

    All Eye of Newt,puff of whacky backy … stuff.. LOL

  10. Great interview. I’d really recommend Paul’s two albums to anyone interested in synth-based music (if they’re still available anywhere!) Any more albums planned Paul?

    For similar tips and techniques there’s a great channel on YouTube by Jem Godfrey of Frost*. The “Geek Reports” are more focussed on Pro-Tools trickery

    There’s a great example of using a circuit bent kids toy for re-amping guitar at 2min 30sec of this one:

  11. Thank you for the kind words about my solo albums. That was some time ago, huh?!

    For a long time I decided to concentrate on production, but I am now recording tracks for an album of my own. I’m working this around the production/engineering I’m doing for other artists, so it’s taking a while.

    In fact I’m doing a little re-amping of the guitars for a new track next week, then planning sessions with my tame vocalist. I’m very pleased with how it’s going.

    There will still be a prog-rock synth-bias to my new music, but it will be different to the electronic-fest of my past! These days I really enjoy hearing some real drums and guitar in there, which brings my music to life.

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