On Blunderbuss, his solo debut, the analog purist makes spur-of-the-moment
choices and proves that you don’t have to buy into the loudness wars to
make a Number One record
by Kylee Swenson Gordon
In the August 2012 issue of Electronic Musician, we go behind the scenes on the Blunderbuss studio sessions. Here, read our extended interview with Jack White, in which he elaborates on his recording and mastering process, and shaking up performance scenarios.
Let’s start with your overall recording approach.
If somebody asked me, “Okay, we’re going to record a guitar part in a hotel room. What do you want to be in the room?” I’d say, “I want a small 15-watt amp with a reverb, and bring me that Supro guitar.” You want anything else? “No, not really.” That’s what I would say. It’s not me preaching to anybody. It’s just that’s what I would want. And a ribbon microphone and a reel-to-reel. Somebody else would say, “You know what? I don’t know what guitar I want. Why don’t you bring down ten of my Les Pauls, three Stratocasters, a Tele, four of the Silvertones, and we’ll figure something out. And you know what? Bring the Marshall, the Twin Reverb, six other amps, and then let’s record all of those guitars because I don’t which one’s going to be the one I want. And we’ll put it down on Pro Tools and record 45 guitars tracks, and then, you know what? I’m going to go on vacation and you engineers pick the best one.” That’s how somebody else might do it, and that’s how a lot of guitar players do it. And that’s just not how I work. I make my decisions early on and eliminate right from the get-go, so I don’t have to make those choices down the road because it just makes it harder on you. [read]