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production question, Nine Inch Nails song...... Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 9th September 2007
  #1
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production question, Nine Inch Nails song......

So Nine Inch Nails has a new album out called "Year Zero." On this album there is a song called, "The Great Destroyer," which has a standard song structure such as, (Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus,.........) and then goes into this electronic drum solo, which sound like a loop, only it goes on for about 1:45 and sounds like it's being dismantled sonically by some kind of plug-in.

So my question is, how the heck did Trent Reznor accomplish the production in this section of this song? What plug-in did this????

Here's the video of the song:
YouTube - Nine Inch Nails - The Great Destroyer

The drum part starts at 1:59
Old 9th September 2007
  #2
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pr0gr4m's Avatar
I can't say for sure but its likely some whacked out distortion/ring modulation...Maybe one (or a couple) of these things: Metasonix.
They do some wild whacky stuff.
Old 9th September 2007
  #3
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robmix's Avatar
The Metasonix pedals would be a good candidate for that kind of mayhem. So would his huge wall of modular synths. . . . .
Old 9th September 2007
  #4
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backplay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chigotgo View Post
So Nine Inch Nails has a new album out called "Year Zero." On this album there is a song called, "The Great Destroyer," which has a standard song structure such as, (Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus,.........) and then goes into this electronic drum solo, which sound like a loop, only it goes on for about 1:45 and sounds like it's being dismantled sonically by some kind of plug-in.

So my question is, how the heck did Trent Reznor accomplish the production in this section of this song? What plug-in did this????

Here's the video of the song:
YouTube - Nine Inch Nails - The Great Destroyer

The drum part starts at 1:59
I heard he used alot of NI stuff, maybe try Reaktor.

Ohmicide is also excelent for that type of mangling!
Old 9th September 2007
  #5
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Kyle S's Avatar
 

i could build a shelter to live in out of his studio gear alone. Theres is no telling unless you hear it from the man himself. The newest album is my least favorite nin album. I love the ending on Gave up. My favorite 'chaos' in a song.
Old 9th September 2007
  #6
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richardswag's Avatar
 

There are so many 'mangler' plug-ins out there - even in just Reaktor alone - it's ridiculous (but I'm not complaining).

Like Kyle S said, unless you heard it from the horse's mouth I doubt you'd ever know...
Old 9th September 2007
  #7
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle S View Post
..... I love the ending on Gave up. My favorite 'chaos' in a song.


True heh

I like your style.
Old 10th September 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle S View Post
The newest album is my least favorite nin album.
As a fellow NIN fan, I agree with you ENTIRELY. I only like about 2 & 1/2 songs on that album. Me, I'm Not and I forget the names of the other 1 & 1/2 songs.

There's way too much fuzz/distortion/static/noise/dirt/grungy munginess on that album.
Old 10th September 2007
  #9
Quote:
What plug-in did this????
i wouldnt attribute that sound to any one plugin or device. sounds like layers of distortion, sonic decimation, ring modulation, filters, & tweaking. i hear from interviews & people who have worked in his studios that he still uses some ancient software like turbosynth, sherman filterbank is a fav, & custom plugins that are not available for sale.

i've been a fan since the down in it single came out. with-a teeth-a was my least favourite. i think this record is a step back in the right direction but still leaves something to be desired.
Old 10th September 2007
  #10
Jsx
Gear Maniac
 

Asking "What plug-in did this????" in such a heavily produced piece is like asking "What pencil did this?????" for a novel. There is no magic self-programmed button or preset in any plug-in which would lead to such dynamic changes and effects. Creating a passage such as this requires more than just iZotope Trash on the crazy setting.

For the record, he has a large collection of every Metasonix effect that they've made in the past ten years, as well as a large modular synthesizer, filter banks, and an assortment of other esoteric synthesizers and modules. He's stated before that a significant portion of his most recent album was done "improvisationally" with his modular setup, and the high filter resonance and grit inherent in the section you're inquiring about is fairly representative of Metasonix effects and filter banks such as the Sherman. Chances are the signal was run through at least one of those at some point, but like everyone else has said, it's all just speculation when so many possibilities are present.
Old 10th September 2007
  #11
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Tibbon's Avatar
I could be totally wrong, but I know that Trent commented that he did a lot more un-reproducable improvosation stuff with his modular synth on this album.

I'd say it's the same drum loop or layers, going through his modular, and metasonix stuff. Just multiple takes of that thrown together. It's a nasty part, but I think it's off to assume that a plugin did that.

I wouldn't have done a Reaktor synth for that as it would have took too long to make imho.

The other thing that I could imagine doing this would be pattern locking on the Machinedrum's filter section for some of it. Not all of it, but some of it could be done that way.
Old 17th July 2009
  #12
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Exquisite Red's Avatar
 

Interesting (albeit, old) thread.

I'd be interested to know if you guys would have an idea about the Beginning of the End solo... It absolutely drives me insane... I WANT to be able to do that, but I just can't figure it out.

Allesandro says in the end of this video that Trent did the solo on a Minimoog by ****ing with the octave switch... And I still have no idea how the hell he did it. There's no way that was done only with a Minimoog, is there? I've been ****ing with synths for a couple years now, and I've NEVER been able to get a sound like that to come out...

BotE Solo

HOW?!
Old 17th July 2009
  #13
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Swami Digital's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chigotgo View Post
So Nine Inch Nails has a new album out called "Year Zero." On this album there is a song called, "The Great Destroyer," which has a standard song structure such as, (Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus,.........) and then goes into this electronic drum solo, which sound like a loop, only it goes on for about 1:45 and sounds like it's being dismantled sonically by some kind of plug-in.

So my question is, how the heck did Trent Reznor accomplish the production in this section of this song? What plug-in did this????

Here's the video of the song:
YouTube - Nine Inch Nails - The Great Destroyer

The drum part starts at 1:59
Definitely sounds like a Sherman Filterbank at work to me! You could do the same with modular gear of course.

-D
Old 17th July 2009
  #14
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lore's Avatar
for me it's reaktor ; check kore soundpaks fx wich use reaktor , you'll be surprised ...
Old 17th July 2009
  #15
I guess there's some kind of Reaktor-ize and Ableton-ize stuff on already recorded material - I read that he recorded a lot of modular synths played through various distortion boxes.

Altho, a lot of going on there reminds me of Vectory ensemble in Reaktor..probably re-amped through some cabinets as well...that's how Trent rolls these days
Old 17th July 2009
  #16
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exquisite Red View Post
I'd be interested to know if you guys would have an idea about the Beginning of the End solo...

HOW?!
It sounds like a noise source is (for lack of a better word) quantized to three states (bottom, center and top) and then used to control the pitch of the oscillator - where top means +12 semitones and bottom means -12. Lowpass filtering the noise source before quantization would result in more/less extreme modulation effects.
Old 26th July 2009
  #17
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Unrealworld82's Avatar
 

Old post but I love this track and YZ in particular...

I have no clue (other than the metasonix previously mentioned) what TR actually used however, I would point out that the freeware vst Glitch http://illformed.org/plugins/glitch/ will do some serious messing with a source - to such an extent that I think of it as a "YZ" generator.
Old 5th November 2009
  #18
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thoughtcriminal's Avatar
 

Beginning of The End

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exquisite Red View Post
Interesting (albeit, old) thread.

I'd be interested to know if you guys would have an idea about the Beginning of the End solo... It absolutely drives me insane... I WANT to be able to do that, but I just can't figure it out.

Allesandro says in the end of this video that Trent did the solo on a Minimoog by ****ing with the octave switch...
That song is so sick.. IMO one of the best from the later albums. the solo is definitely ridiculous, it sounds like he also ran it thru some additional distortion boxes or amps/amp modeling. I've always been curious how he gets his mangled guitar sounds, during that solo you hear a droning guitar in the right ear that slowly goes just barely in and out of tune, one of his trademarks of guitar sounds. He has different layers of guitars/synths in the song doing this same thing, just slightly going out of tune enough to where you hear its tricked out.. is he using a modulation from the keyboard, or a plugin or it seems more like he's doing it live and then looping it..? The sound that comes in at :34 sounds like a loop, or the weird mangle at least loops but how did he get that weird mangled guitar-ish effect on that sound?

YouTube - Nine Inch Nails - The Beginning Of The End


*** Does anyone else think Gearslutz should have an open interview with TR? I know he's not touring for a long time so...? Lol well who knows if it would happen, but I imagine he would get more questions than anyone they've done Q&A with so far.
Old 5th November 2009
  #19
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thoughtcriminal's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrealworld82 View Post
Old post but I love this track and YZ in particular...

I would point out that the freeware vst Glitch http://illformed.org/plugins/glitch/ will do some serious messing with a source - to such an extent that I think of it as a "YZ" generator.
omg I just watched the video demo for that, holy ****! Dont have a pc though, is there any freeware similar to this for macs? I have Reason but havent been able to trick out the sounds like that video I saw does..
Old 5th November 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal View Post

*** Does anyone else think Gearslutz should have an open interview with TR? I know he's not touring for a long time so...? Lol well who knows if it would happen, but I imagine he would get more questions than anyone they've done Q&A with so far.
Imagine how many lonely goths, obsessed by trent, but no care about 'gear', would sign up to this site and bombard mr reznor with questions. You'd get thousands of people asking if he bedded courtney love, etc etc etc, moderation would be overwhelmed. He gets hundreds of emails a day just from a couple of stalkers. He's a nutcase magnet.
It would suck, and put gearslutz on the map for all the wrong reasons.
Unfortunately.
Old 5th November 2009
  #21
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal View Post
Dont have a pc though, is there any freeware similar to this for macs?
No. Your choices are Sugarbytes Effectrix or NI's The Finger.
Old 5th November 2009
  #22
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thoughtcriminal's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yolkboy View Post
Imagine how many lonely goths, obsessed by trent, but no care about 'gear', would sign up to this site and bombard mr reznor with questions. You'd get thousands of people asking if he bedded courtney love, etc etc etc, moderation would be overwhelmed. He gets hundreds of emails a day just from a couple of stalkers. He's a nutcase magnet.
It would suck, and put gearslutz on the map for all the wrong reasons.
Unfortunately.
I dont think so.. not happening with tommy lee's thread. He gets that some over at his main site but if he didnt tell fans he was coming here it seems like it'd be mostly isolated with this site. Key word is moderation.. and yeah someone would probly have to moderate a bit tougher. But what a worthwhile Q&A it would be. As a modern composer I would get MUCH more out of it than the Q&A's with the dudes who made hit records in the 70s/80s.. Im sure you would too.

But if anything it wouldnt happen just for the fact that he probly doesnt want to take the time to give advice to 100's of up and coming producers.. and maybe gearslutz admin wouldnt want the extra traffic either.
Old 5th November 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
No. Your choices are Sugarbytes Effectrix or NI's The Finger.
live cut can do some cool stuff

haven't used it in forever though

Livecut « Mdsp @ Smartelectronix
Old 6th November 2009
  #24
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Unrealworld82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal View Post


*** Does anyone else think Gearslutz should have an open interview with TR? I know he's not touring for a long time so...? Lol well who knows if it would happen, but I imagine he would get more questions than anyone they've done Q&A with so far.

Well, I think it would be really cool of TR to stop in and share some of his production techniques with us. There was a Guitar World interview from 1994 that gave tremendous incite into how Broken and TDS were produced - a very interesting read if you can get your hands on it.

Justin Meldal-Johnsen (NIN bassist) has shared more techincal data than any other NIN member I think ever, in particular surrounding the live rigging, in his thread on the talkbass.com forums. Definitely worth checking out.
Old 6th November 2009
  #25
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Kerzwhile's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHope View Post
As a fellow NIN fan, I agree with you ENTIRELY. I only like about 2 & 1/2 songs on that album. Me, I'm Not and I forget the names of the other 1 & 1/2 songs.

There's way too much fuzz/distortion/static/noise/dirt/grungy munginess on that album.
Ditto!! Huge Nails Fan also! Trent Himself sold me My D-50 and MMT-8 Back in 87' when he was working at Pi keyboards in Cleveland. He actually played me Ringfinger, or er, Twist as it was called back then in the little recording demo setup they had in the store! Blew my mind. I'll Never forget that!
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