John Neff Relies on Waves Plug-Ins for Processing Duties

Nov 13, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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Engineer and accomplished musician John Neff (pictured, photo by David Lynch) is the chief engineer and manager of David Lynch’s Asymmetrical Studio. Among the favored tools he turns to for his everyday audio processing needs, in addition to special projects, are Waves' plug-ins.

Neff uses Waves' Gold Bundle for a wide array of audio processing applications, along with the Restoration Bundle for sound effects. Neff recently used Waves products for the recently released Eraserhead, which is available at “It was a year-and-a-half process to clean the master," Neff explained. "David had every single frame done digitally by hand in high-definition. Then I remastered the soundtrack here from the mag and cleaned it up. The mag had been stored less than perfectly and had some static crackle on it, as well as, of course, analog hiss, splice bumps and all that stuff. The challenge was 26-year-old magnetic film that was mixed from eight mono dubbers and had been sitting in a storage closet all this time, not temperature or humidity controlled, so I had some real deteriorated elements. We got a good transfer of the mag into Pro Tools, edited out the spliced bumps and then treated the whole soundtrack with the Waves Restoration package. The soundtrack is stunning. David hasn’t heard it like this since they recorded the elements; he’s never heard a mix like this. We credited Waves in the DVD booklet.”

Neff also continually feeds new content to Lynch's site, including video experiments and animation, all of which has original musical content (sometimes 60 to 70 tracks a piece). Neff said that he uses the Renaissance compressors, equalizers and reverbs, as well as MaxxBass for music production. “You’ve got to make sure you’ve got a spectrally balanced mix before it gets compressed for the Net," Neff said. "In producing theatrical-caliber sound for the Internet, we’ve had to learn many, many things and invent many ways to work. I find the Waves PAZ frequency analyzer very valuable for Net preparation.”

As far as studio work, Neff said that they are currently producing an artist from Austin, Texas, named Chrystal Bell. For this project, Neff is using the whole Renaissance package in every song. "I’ve gotten a very aggressive drum sound using the Renaissance Compressor rather hard on the drum overheads; it has that old British classic squashed drum sound. That’s something that we’re very happy with lately.” Neff is also using Waves audio processing on his new Electric Blues Band album, which is scheduled for release by the end of this year.

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