For the last two years our friends at Eventide have been working with renowned producer Tony Visconti on an innovative plug-in inspired by some of his most iconic work. The project was conceived after a meeting at Human Studios in NYC with Visconti and Eventide’s Adrienne Humblet, Joe Waltz and Tony Agnello. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Visconti to some of Eventide’s latest products as he was about to embark on the production of David Bowie’s Next Day.
Throughout the meeting Tony Agnello and Tony Visconti discovered the many ways their lives and careers had intersected. Both Tonys were born and raised within blocks of one another in a Brooklyn Italian-American neighbourhood and grew up to have parallel careers respectively building and using Eventide gear. In 1974 Agnello invented the world’s first digital effects box, the H910 Harmonizer®, and Visconti had obtained the first one in the UK. At their meeting, Visconti recounted the ways in which he had used various Eventide effects to create some of his signature sounds. In fact, Visconti was the very first to discover some of the unique possibilities of the groundbreaking Harmonizer effects which had other producers scratching their heads wondering how he was able to do what he did.
The Eventide team listened as Visconti explained how he and Bowie worked together on the album Heroes. He described how powerful an instrument Bowie’s voice was (what he called “Bowie histrionics”) and how he was able to harness that power by employing various microphone techniques. That meeting inspired the Eventide trio to create a plugin that would mimic and build upon the real world effects that Visconti had created. With Waltz heading up the project and Humblet writing the code, the plug in began to take form with Visconti and Agnello guiding it along the way. Now, after two years of collaboration, the plugin is approaching public release.
Stewart Lerman, the Original Music Producer of Martin Scorsese’s HBO series Vinyl, was part of the beta program and quickly found that the plugin was capable of creating new and unique soundscapes. He immediately used it on a track for an upcoming episode of Vinyl - the first commercial use of this still secret effect.
All of us on the team at Pro Tools Expert have huge respect for the work of Tony Visconti. I am a big fan of David Bowie's 80's work so I am delighted to hear that there is a plug-in on the horizon that will provide me with some "Heroes" sonics.