Sixteen-time Grammy winner Paul Simon’s newest album, Surprise, was released today. The album is the result of Simon’s much-anticipated collaboration with producer Brian Eno (Talking Heads, U2). While the album features some of the most talented musicians of the last 30 years, the technical side of the album received some help from another longtime industry veteran: Eventide. Simon and recording engineer/programmer Andy Smith worked with Eventide’s H8000 and Anthology plug-in bundle during the recording process.
“We used the H8000 a lot while tracking Paul’s guitars, mostly before the amps and sometimes feeding a pair of them for stereo effects,” says Smith. “The VSIG editor was used in conjunction with the H8000 to create unique custom patches specifically for the new album. We also had a lot of fun with the plug-ins, but H3000 Band Delays in particular was great because of the GUI. It was really easy to come up with interesting rhythmic delays in real time without slowing down Paul’s creative process. You can hear these effects all over the album, but specifically, tracks such as ‘Everything About it is a Love Song,’ ‘Another Galaxy,’ ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Wartime Prayers’ really demonstrate the Eventide treatment.”
Recorded in London, New York and Los Angeles, the album was mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios and mixed by renowned record producer, engineer and mixer Tchad Blake at Sony Music Studios in New York City. Guest stars on Surprise include Bill Frisell, Herbie Hancock and Steve Gadd.
“While programming some of the electronic rhythmic elements of the album, Eventide plug-ins, such as Omnipressor and H3000 Factory, as well as the H8000, were used to color the sound,” Smith says. “You can hear the Omnipressor in action in the dark percussion loop in the song ‘Another Galaxy,’ especially in the breakdown verse.”