Today we have the wonderful Clay Blair with us, sharing his top 5 favourite plug ins!
Clay is the owner and head engineer of Boulevard Recording in L.A., formerly know as the Producer’s Workshop. This studio is considered to feature one of the best sounding live rooms in L.A and has written plenty of music history over the past decades:
From John Lennon and Ringo Starr recording multiple solo projects there, to Neil Diamond and Barbara Steisand, the recording of Steely Dan`S classic Aja & Gaucho, all the way to Bob Ezrin mixing Pink Floyd‘s masterpiece The Wall in these rooms.
To this day, Boulevard is a go-to for countless chart topping artists: Clay’s most recent projects include Cheap Trick, 30 Seconds to Mars, Keith Urban and Good Charlotte.
Apart from being an outstanding engineer, Clay is also one of the biggest Beatles fans on the planet! In fact, he first got into recording as a teenager, retracking Beatles songs in his parent’s basement to a cassette player and playing all of the parts himself.
Since then, Clay has continued to study the recording process of Geoff Emerick and the band, and figured out how to recreate the Beatles unique tone as faithfully as humanly possible. In the Re-Recording The Beatles Vol. 2 – Let It Be course, he will share his insights with YOU!
Here are some of his favourite plug ins:
Throughout the vinyl era, the original Fairchild 660 and 670 compressors were ubiquitous: From the recording studio to the record lathe, the Fairchild was renowned for its advanced compression techniques and incomparable sound. UAD collaborated with GRAMMY®-winning producer/engineer Jack Joseph Puig (U2, Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga) to capture every distinctive nuance and harmonic detail of the vintage Fairchild 670 device housed in Jack’s own studio.
Waves and Abbey Road Studios present the J37 tape saturation plugin, a precision model of the very machine used to record many of the greatest masterpieces in modern music. With a variety of user-adjustable controls including Tape Speed, Bias, Noise, Saturation, Wow and Flutter, the Waves: Abbey Road J37 faithfully recreates the inimitable sonic signature of the original machine. In addition to the J37 itself, three exclusive oxide tape formulas have been modeled. Specially developed by EMI during the ‘60s and ‘70s, each formula has its own unique frequency response and harmonic distortion behavior. In order to push the envelope even further, a comprehensive Tape Delay unit has been added to complement those warm tones.
The Waves: Abbey Road J37 tape emulation plugin will bring stunning analog warmth to your digital recordings, delivering a level of hardware realism never before experienced “in the box.”
Few pieces of gear define music history as the RS124 does. The custom-built RS124 compressors were the secret weapon of Abbey Road engineers during the ‘60s – favored by Geoff Emerick for punchy bass sounds; by Ken Scott for lush guitar treatment; by Norman Smith for lightly gluing the entire rhythm bus. RS124 was also a popular choice for mastering in Abbey Road’s cutting rooms.
The RS124 sound is especially famous for the thick, creamy bass tones it produced on Beatles classics such as “Rain” and “Come Together.” Abbey Road engineers would typically push the input of the RS124 deep into 15-20 dB of gain reduction, producing wonderfully lush results on numerous sources.
soothe2 is a dynamic resonance suppressor. It identifies problematic resonances on the fly and applies matching reduction automatically. This results in a smoother, more balanced sound and saves you from having to notch out the frequencies by hand. The reduction kicks in only when and where needed without affecting the nearby frequency areas. This preserves the timbre of the original sound source and results in transparent treatment with minimal artefacts.
The Abbey Road Chambers plugin recreates a defining part of the studios’ legendary sonic signature – the echo chamber used by Abbey Road’s pop engineers to create exciting reverbs, delays and other unique spatial effects on countless classic recordings by the Beatles and beyond.
Developed together with Abbey Road Studios, Waves’ Abbey Road Chambers puts you at the controls of the Studio Two echo chamber, complete with the original valve Neumann KM53 microphones and Altec 605 speaker, as used on almost every pop recording done at Abbey Road during the 60’s.
Watch the video below to learn more about Clay Blair and his Top 5 Favourite Plug Ins!