Tony Visconti has claimed that he doesn’t admire any modern producers, because they’re making “bullshit records with loops”.
When asked by MOJO if there are any of today’s producers that he holds in high regard, Visconti replied: “No. Absolutely not.” Explaining his disdain, he said: “They’re making bullshit records with loops. Everything’s sampled. I think old-school production with a band is the only way to make great records. Sure, I can make a record on my laptop. No problem. Any 12-year-old with a laptop and GarageBand or Ableton can.”
This is quite the sweeping generalisation, obviously - there are plenty of people out there using GarageBand to record a live band rather than filling their timeline with loops and samples. And, despite arguing that only by sticking to “old-school production” methods can you make great records, Visconti goes on to suggest that aspiring producers should “break the rules” laid out by those that came before them.
Asked which producers he looked up to at the start of his career, he replied: “My generation was very impressed by Phil Spector. We all tried to make records like that when we had a chance. But I only have two idols, George Martin and Beethoven. Beethoven because of what he did in his day - everyone was imitating Mozart, the orchestra was 40 pieces, and this son of a gun gets 150 people on-stage for his Ninth symphony. I like that kind of thinking. He was a rule breaker, and so was George Martin. Those two have inspired me throughout my career. Breaking the rules is the only way you’re gonna get somewhere new.”
Known for his frequent collaborations with David Bowie, Visconti is undoubtedly a production legend. Despite his apparent distaste for modern production techniques, he was involved in the creation of Eventide’s Tverb plugin. Released in 2016, this is compatible with both GarageBand and Ableton Live (among other DAWs).
One producer/musician who recently spoke out in praise of Apple’s entry-level DAW is Blur’s Damon Albarn, who told the Tape Notes podcast: “GarageBand. I swear by it. It's how you use it, you know? it's got it all there. It's amazing. It's got everything."