Grammy winner Butch Vig (primary producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for alt-rock hitmakers Garbage and also noted for his production work with such acts as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Foo Fighters), along with engineer Billy Bush (Jake Bugg, The Naked and Famous, Neon Trees), recently put the Waves Abbey Road Collection to use in recording the new Garbage single “Girls Talk.”
The single was released as a 10-inch record for Record Store Day 2014, followed by a worldwide digital release, and the project is the most recent example of Vig’s use of Waves plug-ins.
“Waves plug-ins have been an important part of the Garbage recording process since they first came out, and we are very pleased that they have become an integral part of our live performances as well,” Vig says.
The plug-ins included in Waves’ Abbey Road Collection provided Vig and Bush a number of solutions in the creation of the single. Vig reports: “We recorded an acoustic piano, an upright, at my house, and it’s not the greatest-sounding piano, but I put the Waves/Abbey Road REDD plug-in, the REDD 51, on it, along with a little bit of Waves Renaissance Compressor just to bring down the initial attack and bring up some sustain, and it really opened it up. All of a sudden it sounded like a real baby grand.
“I also recorded a couple of soft synth cello parts that interact with each other, and they sounded okay, but as soon as I put the REDD 51 on, it really put this delicious air on top of the mix. You can almost hear the bow going across the instruments. It made them sound real.”
Bush adds: “The original REDD desk is like a mythical beast. So to have the ability [with the Waves/Abbey Road REDD plug-in] to try not one, not two, but three versions is really fun: to hear how each one distorts differently, what the headrooms sounds like, how the EQ sounds and how it colors the sound of what you put it on is great. I like how it makes things recorded in the box sound real.”
Regarding the Waves/Abbey Road J37 Tape, Bush states: “The J37 is another mythical beast which only a handful of people ever used. [The Waves plug-in] is really unique and does something different than all the other tape plugins out there. You can create sounds that you haven’t heard before. Not only is it an accurate representation of a great machine, it’s also a very cool, creative and useful tool.”
Vig adds: “There is something inherent about the sound of tape that really helps glue performances together. The J37 is so good because it emulates that sound from the ’60s. I’ve never been inside Abbey Road Studios, so to be able to use that now on mixes and individual tracks is really cool, since it really does sound amazing.”