Trent Reznor:
Technology on Tour

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G4/Pro Tools on the Tour Bus
While on the road, the NIN tour bus is regularly stocked with a media lab for both audio and video editing, including a rack-mounted Power Mac G4 with a Pro Tools rig in it.
Trent Reznor in action “We take that with us for less excuses to waste time,” says Reznor.

NIN is known for its intense and visual live shows, and wanted to share the live experience with its fans around the world. Reznor enlisted a single camera person, Rob Sheridan, in lieu of a film crew for the tour to shoot footage for the NIN website in conjunction with the band’s world tour. “We’ve gone the route of hiring big film crews and fighting with editors and cameramen who think they’re Orson Welles,” he says.

On the Fragility tour, Sheridan managed everything to do with filming for the DVD, from setting up the cameras to capturing the live energy of the band, to editing clips of the tour in Final Cut Pro for the website. “We filmed the last several shows with about seven different Canon XL1 digital cameras,” says Reznor.

“Everybody in our camp is Mac and that’s it. We’ve adopted a pretty purist attitude,” says Reznor.

Reznor and Sheridan then went on to spend another year following the Fragility tour learning Final Cut Pro and cutting and editing a live DVD from the NIN tour footage. The DVD, entitled “And All That Could Have Been” was released in December 2002. “It’s was an experiment and an excuse to kind of dig into Final Cut and see what happened,” says Reznor.

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Looking to Score
Reznor’s experience in movie making had already extended into working on soundtracks for some major motion pictures, plus scoring music for a popular video game. ’I did ‘Natural Born Killers,’ and ‘Lost Highway’ for David Lynch,” says Reznor, “but I’ve really no interest in doing any more compilation albums. The only thing I’d want to do these days is actual scoring.”

“I’d love for David Cronenberg to call me on the phone and say, ‘Score a film’,” he adds. Reznor’s spooky, atmospheric sound would blend well with the film making style of the creator of films like “Crash,” “Naked Lunch” and “The Fly.”

“Quake was fun because they didn’t want hard-rock goofy music going through the game,” explains Reznor, “it was all about atmosphere at the time.”

Previous page: From MIDI to HD

Trent Reznor

1. Alchemist of Melody
2. Dedication and Vindication
3. From MIDI to HD
4. Technology on Tour

Nailed to their Macs
“Everybody in our camp is Mac and that’s it,” stresses Reznor, “We’ve adopted a pretty purist attitude. There have been some software companies who develop PC-only software who’ve approached us — the people who make Acid, Sonic Foundry, for one.

“It may be a nice program, but I’m not going to endorse it if it doesn’t run on a Mac, and I told them that,” he adds.

“Even if it does run on Virtual PC, I tell them, ‘Wake up and do the right thing.’” he says “With Web integration stuff, there have been companies that are like ‘use our player’ but it only runs on a Windows machine, and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not going to help the enemy.’”

“I’ve just always had a soft spot in my heart for Macs.” admits Reznor.

“Someone bought me an iMac for Christmas, and it’s just something as simple as plug-in the DV and the first time ‘Oh wow! it works.’ I mean, here I was expecting to have to hunt down a cable, but ‘Woah, it’s in the box.’ That’s what I think a lot of the PC people don’t understand,” Reznor concludes, “the pleasure of not having to worry about compatibility issues.”

Useful Links

More NIN Interviews
Recording “With Teeth”
Sound Design for NIN
Producer Alan Moulder
Remixer Chris Vrenna

Nine Inch Nails
Pretty Hate Machine
The Downward Spiral
The Fragile
With Teeth
Year Zero
Ghosts I—IV
The Slip

Power Mac

Pro Tools
GRM Tools
Native Instruments

Audio Interfaces
Pro Tools HD

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