-   Q+A with producer/musician Gordon Raphael (
-   -   preproduction? (

terminalfrost 20th November 2020 10:24 AM

hi Gordon, thank u for doing this! found a link to this q&a on reddit, new to gearslutz.

I was wdondering, what is your approach to preproduction with a band like the Strokes? the sound is immediate/in-the-room raw it sounds like it was all invented on the spot but maybe to get there took a lot of planning!

thanks again


Gordotronic 22nd November 2020 08:06 PM

Pre-production was virtually non-existent with any of the 4 records I worked on. (Modern Age EP, Is This It, Room On Fire and First Impressions). When I first met them, they wanted to record a demo, over a 3 day weekend--and as i would always do with a band that walked into my studio, I asked them what they had in mind. These days I ask this question a few months ahead so we can discuss the sound and recording process even before I help the band select a studio. But even that is not really pre-production in the usual sense.

When The Strokes told me they wanted a sound that was as far away from what most bands and producers were doing in the studio, that gave me the idea to avoid doing 64 tracks on Pro Tools to make everything sound "larger than life"-- including samples of kick drums, tons of percussion, electronic drums, backing vocals etc. I suggested having the 4 instrumentalists go out into my medium sized live room and just bash away, and I recorded that sound on the 8 input channels I had at my disposal that year (2000).

The main element that The Strokes had on the first 3 records I produced with them was incredible rehearsal time before they came into studio, and 5 musicians (plus their guru, JP) who were listening to every note with as much laser focus as I was. They weren't going to let one note slide, one tone be "just ok" or any rhythms rush or pull whatsoever. Pretty amazing for musicians as young as they were.