Executive producer Noah “40” Shebib has worked with Drake since the artist’s debut. Photo: Future the Prince
Everyone has heard of Drake’s latest album Take Care by now – it rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 when it debuted and took front stage at the MTV Awards. Not many people, however, have heard how producer Noah “40” Shebib made it all happen. Lucky for us, Mix Magazine got a chance to sit down with 40 and they just published an incredible interview in their January issue detailing just how far Pro Tools HD Native has enabled him to push the limits of professional HD recording.
Relying on a custom Pro Tools HD Native rig, 40 moved seamlessly from hotel room to recording studio while on tour with Drake, recording tracks in the moment and turning them into chart-topping hits in between shows and appearances. "When I’m on the road with Drake, I have a little rackmount on wheels
that has an Omni HD interface in it and a Neve 1073 strip and a one-unit
Magma chassis with a Native card," said 40. "'I plug this into my laptop wherever I
go. This rig is pretty serious business when you’re in a hotel
The article also points to the importance of portability for today’s producer. “We have a plethora of interfaces, including a family of every Mbox five
times over, tons of laptops – it’s grab a computer, grab an interface,
plug in a mic and get going." Shebib explained that with his set of tools he can to walk into sessions with guest artists and record straight to his mobile rig, head back to his hotel room, and easily create and mix the recordings on his laptop. And of course if the guest artist can make it to cut the track in person, they can just e-mail 40 their take and he can fly it right into his Pro Tools HD session.
What’s the key to producing a crowd pleasing hip-hop album? As far as Shebib is concerned, it’s don’t waste any time. Inspiration happens, and you've got to be ready to capture it and move at the speed of the artist's creativity. “One thing that you need to be is extremely fast on Pro Tools because the caliber of artist that Drake is, he doesn’t have the patience for wasting time. If he wants you to fly eight bars and put a chorus after that, he expects it done near-instantaneously.”
40 is one of a hand full of producers pushing the boudries of professional music production with Pro Tools, and just for the record, I think I seriously covet his mobile rig. Just saying. Check out the whole article here and find out more about how Pro Tools HD Native is revolutionizing HD recording here.