Instructions to Visconti - Red Bull Music Academy (2011 interview)

21punksalute

Junior Member
great interview (at least in length). Morrissey only mentioned in a quick breath but what he asks of Visconti is brilliant

Tony Visconti - Red Bull Music Academy
Be sure he knows what he's talking about - Part 1



An anonymous person posted the excerpt:

BMA: You’ve played bass on some very famous records and you’ve done some string arranging. Where is that line between producing, arranging and writing? When do you become a writer on a record?

Tony Visconti: For me, there is no line. It depends who I’m working with. Someone like David Bowie, he really appreciates musicianship in other people. He lets them shine, which is one of his gifts. He’ll control it, if it’s not going in a way that he likes, but he’ll let me do a lot of crazy stuff and he likes me to bring that out in other people as a producer. Whereas some people have very, very firm guidelines. They want to sound exactly one way; you can’t deviate if there’s a sound associated with them and they want you to improve it a little bit but not change it completely. So I’ll do less interference. For instance, I worked with Morrissey, as a singer. He said, when it was time for his vocals: “All I want you to tell me is to sing louder or quieter.” “Fine, we’ll start out from that base.” That was just the vocals, he let me have my way with the band. I got the band to jump through hoops. But after he gained confidence in me, after a few days, I was able to give him a little more coaching than that. But if that’s all he wanted from me I was perfectly happy with that. I’m not going to dictate to a person who doesn’t want to be dictated to.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
When? That's a long clip!

P.


BMA: You’ve played bass on some very famous records and you’ve done some string arranging. Where is that line between producing, arranging and writing? When do you become a writer on a record?

Tony Visconti: For me, there is no line. It depends who I’m working with. Someone like David Bowie, he really appreciates musicianship in other people. He lets them shine, which is one of his gifts. He’ll control it, if it’s not going in a way that he likes, but he’ll let me do a lot of crazy stuff and he likes me to bring that out in other people as a producer. Whereas some people have very, very firm guidelines. They want to sound exactly one way; you can’t deviate if there’s a sound associated with them and they want you to improve it a little bit but not change it completely. So I’ll do less interference. For instance, I worked with Morrissey, as a singer. He said, when it was time for his vocals: “All I want you to tell me is to sing louder or quieter.” “Fine, we’ll start out from that base.” That was just the vocals, he let me have my way with the band. I got the band to jump through hoops. But after he gained confidence in me, after a few days, I was able to give him a little more coaching than that. But if that’s all he wanted from me I was perfectly happy with that. I’m not going to dictate to a person who doesn’t want to be dictated to.
 

billybu69

Junior Member
Subscriber
The video is well worth watching, Visconti is a fascinating character he goes into plenty of insider detail. I've visited Deane st studio that he talks about, and I can tell you when you walk in there it's a very atmospheric place you can feel it's history.

Thanks for posting.
 

marred

Member
BMA: You’ve played bass on some very famous records and you’ve done some string arranging. Where is that line between producing, arranging and writing? When do you become a writer on a record?

Tony Visconti: For me, there is no line. It depends who I’m working with. Someone like David Bowie, he really appreciates musicianship in other people. He lets them shine, which is one of his gifts. He’ll control it, if it’s not going in a way that he likes, but he’ll let me do a lot of crazy stuff and he likes me to bring that out in other people as a producer. Whereas some people have very, very firm guidelines. They want to sound exactly one way; you can’t deviate if there’s a sound associated with them and they want you to improve it a little bit but not change it completely. So I’ll do less interference. For instance, I worked with Morrissey, as a singer. He said, when it was time for his vocals: “All I want you to tell me is to sing louder or quieter.” “Fine, we’ll start out from that base.” That was just the vocals, he let me have my way with the band. I got the band to jump through hoops. But after he gained confidence in me, after a few days, I was able to give him a little more coaching than that. But if that’s all he wanted from me I was perfectly happy with that. I’m not going to dictate to a person who doesn’t want to be dictated to.

So what's Visconti's excuse for the record sounding like it was recorded in my grandmother's attic? Still to this day I struggle to listen to that album because of the poor sound quality. The vinyl sounds even worse than the CD, and that's a first!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
i share marreds opinion that the sound of it is horrible and i cant imagine why unless they had some sort of butting heads
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The bad sound isn't due to the producer, that's due to the awful mastering by Emily Lazar. It came out at the height of the 'loudness wars', so the mastering has compressed all the dynamics to f*** in order to make it sound as loud as possible. Only 'Dear God Please Help Me', sounds OK, as they have resisted the temptation to crank the volume into the red for that track. Eventually, this will get a remastered edition, and sound amazing - please!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The bad sound isn't due to the producer, that's due to the awful mastering by Emily Lazar. It came out at the height of the 'loudness wars', so the mastering has compressed all the dynamics to f*** in order to make it sound as loud as possible. Only 'Dear God Please Help Me', sounds OK, as they have resisted the temptation to crank the volume into the red for that track. Eventually, this will get a remastered edition, and sound amazing - please!

i really hope it does because it prevents me from even listening sometimes at all. wonder if that was label pressure
 

marred

Member
The bad sound isn't due to the producer, that's due to the awful mastering by Emily Lazar. It came out at the height of the 'loudness wars', so the mastering has compressed all the dynamics to f*** in order to make it sound as loud as possible. Only 'Dear God Please Help Me', sounds OK, as they have resisted the temptation to crank the volume into the red for that track. Eventually, this will get a remastered edition, and sound amazing - please!

I do hope a remastering solves the problem but I can't help but think that the main issue with the sound lies in the the mix as well which remastering wouldn't change. I love ROTT and YOR. Yes YOR is loud but it it still sounds clear and not muddy like ROTT.
 

MozAngeles818

Creative Adult
ITT:
Old people who struggle with loud music.



Sometimes loud Morrissey is all you need.
YOR and ROTT are both great.
A lot of people dismiss these two albums because of the mixing, production, etc.
Hardly hear people talk about the actual music, lyrics, and so on.


As time passes, I've come to realize a lot of you f***s are old and haven't moved on to anything past the 80's.
Well, maybe not the 80's, but the 90's most def.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
i think this is very true of some here, "haven't moved on to anything past the 80's.", but what can ya do. i do think that the muddyness thsat marr mentions is also part of it. it doesnt have the clarity that quarry and years of refusal both have. sometimes i can barely make out what morrissey is saying on rott. i also have many many records that finn has done production for, im a huge jawbreaker fan, so i dont think its him or his style. finn was great imo all around
 

marred

Member
ITT:
Old people who struggle with loud music.



Sometimes loud Morrissey is all you need.
YOR and ROTT are both great.
A lot of people dismiss these two albums because of the mixing, production, etc.
Hardly hear people talk about the actual music, lyrics, and so on.


As time passes, I've come to realize a lot of you f***s are old and haven't moved on to anything past the 80's.
Well, maybe not the 80's, but the 90's most def.

I have been critical of the production and mix, not the actual songs. People's ages have nothing to do with it. It's a great album with terrible sound!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Let's not forget that during this period, Morrissey's live consideration was always 'loud, loud, loud' - so it wouldn't really surprise me if ultimately he was the one in charge of the final mix/master, and pushed the engineers to make it as 'hot' as possible.

Ultimately, Morrissey is in charge of everything. There's no way ROTT went out without him fully approving the final mix, along with the cover artwork, font, etc etc.
If he took it home, and thought it sounded muddy, I'm sure he would have done something to alter it before it came out. That's obviously the way he wanted it - though anyone with decent ears that haven't been blown to shit by touring can tell it's not a good final result.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Let's not forget that during this period, Morrissey's live consideration was always 'loud, loud, loud' - so it wouldn't really surprise me if ultimately he was the one in charge of the final mix/master, and pushed the engineers to make it as 'hot' as possible.

Ultimately, Morrissey is in charge of everything. There's no way ROTT went out without him fully approving the final mix, along with the cover artwork, font, etc etc.
If he took it home, and thought it sounded muddy, I'm sure he would have done something to alter it before it came out. That's obviously the way he wanted it - though anyone with decent ears that haven't been blown to shit by touring can tell it's not a good final result.


This. Also with the Warsaw incident, and him leaning forward when an interviewer is asking a questions leads me to believe his hearing sucks.

Many rock stars his age are going dead. Pete Townshend went dead in his 30s and Eric Clapton can barely hear.
 

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