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Engineer Chris Dugan Brings Apogee To Green Day’s New “21st Century Breakdown” Stu

“I was pushing for tape the entire time to take advantage of both tape and the Apogee converters together, but after listening back I had to admit that the digital recording direct into the converters sounded better." - Chris Dugan

By PSW Staff July 22, 2009

Engineer Chris Dugan

Green Day’s recently released 8th studio album, titled “21st Century Breakdown”, involved renowned producer Butch Vig and Green Day’s in-house engineer Chris Dugan, and traveling with Dugan and the band from its Studio 880 in Oakland to Holllywood’s Ocean Way was a rack of Apogee AD and DA-16X’s and Big Ben for connection to Pro Tools HD.

When tracking began, Vig and Dugan set up for a shootout of two tracking possibilities; record to analog tape then dump into Pro Tools via the Apogee converters or record directly into the Apogee converters and Pro Tools.

To their surprise, Vig, Dugan, and the band all chose the direct connection to the Apogee converters. Dugan mentions, “to a lot of people that don’t really notice the differences between analog and digital but know what they like, those people said ‘that’s the one, whichever one that is’…and it was the Apogees.”

Dugan continues, “I was pushing for tape the entire time to take advantage of both tape and the Apogee converters together, but after listening back I had to admit that the digital recording direct into the converters sounded better. We used Apogee AD and DA-16Xs and a Big Ben to record the entire record.”

“The most obvious thing about tape was the lack of transients on instruments like kick and snare and it brings up the noise floor considerably,” he adds. “We recorded a lot of guitars and if we used tape it would have been difficult to get the drums to cut through.

“I had both analog and digital tracks of drums and bass and when I inserted the analog tracks suddenly the drums were lost, the digital tracks through the Apogee converters really brought it to life. Tape is really a great format but for this project, Apogee took the cake.”

When configuring the band’s Studio 880 in Oakland, CA, Dugan created two Pro Tools rigs and chose three AD-16Xs and 3 DA-16Xs with Big Ben for each. One of those rigs made it down to Ocean Way delivering 48 I/O.

“In the past I had upgraded to the old AD and DA-16‘s from 888‘s on my Pro Tools Mix system but also did a lot of work on 192s,” Dugan says. When it came time to build a new system I wanted to go straight to Apogee. The band and I really love the rig and what it has to offer. We use our 16-X’s and Big Ben all the time.”

Apogee X-Series and Rosetta Series converters can be connected to Pro Tools HD via the X-HD option card inserted into each converter.

Apogee Website

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