Richie Hawtin
Recording Records with Pro Tools

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Richie Hawtin Bumping It Up
Even though most of the masters were 16-bit, and 44.1 or 48khz, Hawtin felt it was very important to upgrade those to 96khz. “I did that just to give the tracks a little bit more head room and a bit more depth,” he says. “That way all of the frequencies and effects that I was working with would have more possibilities for warmth and keeping those characteristics of vinyl and that kind of classic sound that everybody likes.”

Hawtin uses Ableton Live strictly as a BPM-warping tool and leaves the effects processing to Pro Tools. “For me, Pro Tools is the best platform — I’ve been using it for 8 years,” explains Hawtin. “I have what I call an HD4 system — which is an HD3 with an additional farm card — and I max the fucker out! I need the power and instant access to the power because, when I have the inspiration, I need to be able to go for it. I can not wait. If I have to wait, I’ll go and have a coffee and I’ll lose the inspiration.”

Keeping a Healthy Effects Arsenal
Beyond the DSP power inherent in an HD rig, Hawtin attests that — for him — it comes down to just three secret effects weapons. “The SoundToys, and Waves and the Eventide stuff is amazing,” he says. He also uses Eventide hardware like the H8000 and the H7500, which he uses with the Digi system for “some extra brute force power.”

“I have Eventide’s Anthology bundle and I was such a fan of Eventide that when they announced Pro Tools support I was freaking out!” says Hawtin. “The Clockworks in the Anthology is really amazing. And the Band Delays are also really amazing.”

Hawtin consistently uses Eventide and Sound Toys, and he used its predecessor — UltraToys — before that. “I’ve also recently been using ReVibe quite a lot — it’s a really nice Digidesign effect,” he says.

Just Say “No” to Compressors & Knowing “No Limiters”
Hawtin recommends leaving the compression and limiting to the mastering house. “I do not use compressors or limiters on anything,” he attests. “It’s partly because I don’t totally understand how they’re supposed to work — and in the early days, I couldn’t afford them! I leave that stage to the mastering because I do not want to limit the dynamic range or the dynamics, period. There should be parts that are too loud or too soft.”

Hawtin recommends working within the mind frame of how you play and perform as a deejay. “I try to use those dynamics to create tension or emotion,” he says. “And if they go a little too far, then we fix that in the mastering stage.”

Previous page: Adding Ableton to the Mix

Richie Hawtin

1. Adding Ableton to the Mix
2. Recording Records with Pro Tools

Best-Kept Secret: Martion Monitors

“In the early days, I did everything on Tannoys,” explains Hawtin. “I used their System 8s and then System 15 MK2s — these big dual concentric monitors. Then I moved to Genelecs. For two and a half years after doing that, I was really uninspired and I have to lend a lot of credit for that non-inspiration to the monitors. They were just too flat for me!”

Finally he started looking at getting new Tannoys, because he really liked the dual-concentric sound. “Then I found out about this guy in Berlin from Martion Audio,” says Hawtin. “This guy has been around for 30 years doing a lot of hand-built things. His main system costs like $50K. But over the last year or so, some of my friends like Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano and Thomas Brinkman all kind of met this guy and he makes this small new speaker called the Bullfrog. So I got some Bullfrog monitors — hand-made, dual concentrics and they are the bomb. Just beautiful.” Hawtin has the first installation of a 5.1 Bullfrog system.

“After working in so many different studios, I just find the Martion Bullfrog monitors to be very clear and precise and enjoyable to work on,” he says. “The enclosure is just big enough to fit a 15-inch driver, so they’re very compact for the power that they punch. And he created a special version of his sub that’s a folded horn. So it’s much closer to pushing a lot of air — which is much more like a club system. They’re really quite amazing.”

Useful Links

Web sites and Music
Richie Hawtin Official Site
Richie Hawtin Music
Plastikman Music

Digidesign’s Pro Tools
Ableton Live
Eventide Anthology

Power Mac
Cinema Display
Allen & Heath V6 Mixer
Eventide hardware
Martion monitors
Shure needles
Technics 1200 turntable

Audio Interfaces
Pro Tools HD

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