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Speaking of digital, as a band that recorded its first album to tape but then came to prominence in the Pro Tools era, Jim and Mick have plenty to say about the pros and cons of both.
Mick: “Time wasn’t tight [on the first Slipknot album] but we had about two months. I banged everything out in two or three days - all of my basic tracks and overdubs. The second album took a little bit longer - we were still using two-inch tape on those albums. It was, ‘Hold on, missed the punch'.
"Things definitely changed once we started using Pro Tools. We still use sweet ass analogue stuff now, though. As long as you’ve got a great engineer, and we always did, it doesn’t want to make you blow your brains out or anything - it just takes a little longer.
“You’d have to do side-by-side comparison. You couldn’t just say 'here is what we recorded way back', because mastering has advanced so much. You’d have to do a track on tape and then do the same on digital and see if you can tell the difference.
"I’d be really interested to do that, actually, a completely blind test. It would be a band decision, but I wouldn’t be against using tape again. But then things now are so much easier and we don’t ever just copy and paste. Some bands will record one riff and then just go, ‘print, print, print’.
"But you can hear that. We don’t even play to a click. We’re together, amped up. Joey will slow it down, speed it up. We would never just, ‘tick, tick, tick’, because then you sound like that. Even though we’ve been using digital we’re still using analogue up front - there’s that human element to it.
"Digital gives great control, and when I’m tracking I can physically see where the crack of the snare is. It’s almost like you’ve got a metronome without having one. It was 2007 or 2008 when we were last in the studio, so I’m sure that shit has changed and come on leaps and bounds since then.”