Neil Young @ Third Man's Voice-o-Graph Booth

Neil Young is down in Austin right now to hype up his forthcoming Pono service, at events that included a keynote address that went awkward. But in an interview with SPIN’s Garrett Kamps, Young also shared a few details about A Letter Home, the new album that he recorded at Jack White’s Third Man studio. The album has White on a few songs, and now Young says that he recorded all of it in the vinyl recording “Voice-o-Graph” booth at Third Man — a 1940s-style straight-to-vinyl recording setup that seems guaranteed to leave plenty of warm crackles on the actual record.

Talking to Kamps, Young called the album “retro-tech” and then clarified: “Retro-tech means recorded in a 1940s recording booth. A phone booth. It’s all acoustic with a harmonica inside a closed space, with one mic to vinyl.” He also says that the record sounds “like Jimmy Rogers or something.” And at a different point in the interview, he mentions that he regrets the digital mastering he used for some of his older records, most notably Harvest Moon and Freedom.

And Young mentioned another project he’s got in the works: A science fiction novel that he’s about 100 pages into writing. When Kamps asked what the sci-fi book was about, Young demurred, offering only this: “It’s crazy to talk about. Too fucking weird.” Intriguing!

Read the whole interview here.

Comments (3)
  1. I agree, I always felt harvest moon should have just been him and a guitar. The drums are shit and it’s all digitally compressed in an odd way.

  2. On Pono, you’ll hear ever scratchy muffled detail of this crude gimmicky recording with shocking clarity.

  3. that recording booth looks awfully claustrophobic for a man and his axe. i guess it’s tried and true, though.

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