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John Neff Relies on Waves Plug-Ins for Processing Duties

Engineer and accomplished musician John Neff is the chief engineer and manager of David Lynch’s Asymmetrical Studio.

Engineer and accomplished musician John Neff (pictured, photo byDavid Lynch) is the chief engineer and manager of David Lynch’sAsymmetrical Studio. Among the favored tools he turns to for hiseveryday audio processing needs, in addition to special projects, areWaves’ plug-ins.

Neff uses Waves’ Gold Bundle for a wide array of audio processingapplications, along with the Restoration Bundle for sound effects. Neffrecently used Waves products for the recently releasedEraserhead, which is available at “It was a year-and-a-halfprocess to clean the master,” Neff explained. “David had every singleframe done digitally by hand in high-definition. Then I remastered thesoundtrack here from the mag and cleaned it up. The mag had been storedless than perfectly and had some static crackle on it, as well as, ofcourse, analog hiss, splice bumps and all that stuff. The challenge was26-year-old magnetic film that was mixed from eight mono dubbers andhad been sitting in a storage closet all this time, not temperature orhumidity controlled, so I had some real deteriorated elements. We got agood transfer of the mag into Pro Tools, edited out the spliced bumpsand then treated the whole soundtrack with the Waves Restorationpackage. The soundtrack is stunning. David hasn’t heard it likethis since they recorded the elements; he’s never heard a mixlike this. We credited Waves in the DVD booklet.”

Neff also continually feeds new content to Lynch’s site, includingvideo experiments and animation, all of which has original musicalcontent (sometimes 60 to 70 tracks a piece). Neff said that he uses theRenaissance compressors, equalizers and reverbs, as well as MaxxBassfor music production. “You’ve got to make sure you’vegot 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 towork. I find the Waves PAZ frequency analyzer very valuable for Netpreparation.”

As far as studio work, Neff said that they are currently producingan artist from Austin, Texas, named Chrystal Bell. For this project,Neff is using the whole Renaissance package in every song. “I’vegotten a very aggressive drum sound using the Renaissance Compressorrather hard on the drum overheads; it has that old British classicsquashed drum sound. That’s something that we’re very happywith lately.” Neff is also using Waves audio processing on hisnew Electric Blues Band album, which is scheduled for release bythe end of this year.

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