In a world where people want to make things easier and easier, one Smashing Pumpkins lead singer / owner of NWA pro wrestling, has come out and told the world why he likes using Pro Tools. What are pro tools you ask? Well, you’re asking the wrong person. Why don’t we find out together.
As per Ultimate Guitar, Billy Corgan compared making records in the pre- and post-Pro Tools era, noting how the new technologies make the process so much easier (key word) that it’s hard to go back once you’ve started relying on it. Isn’t that a shame.
Even though we’re well into the digital era making music is easier than it used to be. Is it for better or worse. Personally… Well, I think for my fans, they already know how I feel.
The positives are easy to site – as Steven Wilson noted – you don’t have to be a consummate performer to get your vision across these days (precisely. Problem) The other side of the argument could be summarized by a phrase Rick Beato recalled during a recent interview with The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan: “Before Pro Tools, there were pros.” Amen brother. Amen.
As someone who masterminded records such as 1991’s “Gish” and 1993’s “Siamese Dream” well before Pro Tools were available, Billy Corgan certainly doesn’t have to rely on modern technologies to make great music – but he does admit the benefits are too many to overlook. Asked by Beato whether he could go back into that ’92 mindset, Corgan, NWA Wrestling owner, replied (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):
“To answer your question faithfully, it’s hard to go back into that brain. In ’92… you could use a click, but you pretty much weren’t gonna, because it was just too laborious. It was better just to get a great take right, and then play good stuff on top of it. You were fully committed to that; you had to do to achieve something.
“Subconsciously, now, if you try to do that, you’re thinking in the back of your mind, ‘Well, if I mess up, we can fix it, move it…’ And when you start moving – it’s over. It’s like the filter on Instagram, right? The minute I use the filter, it’s like, ‘Well, that looks better!’ You don’t go back to the unfiltered picture. So, I think that’s the difficulty.”
However, Corgan admits there are cases when doing a song on a “grid” yields other benefits, naming the Pumpkins’ recent single “Beguiled” as an example. He continued:
“But there are certainly songs, like ‘Jelly Belly’, or ‘Cherub Rock’, that you could never in a million years play to a grid.
“You’d be hard pressed, in modern life, to get people to commit to that; even producers, engineers, mixers… they get used to it. Now you come in, and it’s like, ‘Well, in bar 36, it doesn’t quite line up. And then it gets a little messy in the sub, and I had to go in and carve out the frequency. They’re not living in that world anymore.”
I think it’s safe to assume that NWA Wrestling owner, Billy Corgan, emphatically enjoys the “easier” way of making music.