— Legendary artist dusts off his tape machine, and with CLASP®, brings analog warmth and tone into his digital workstation —
— Award-winning producer/engineer Bryan Lenox works closely with Smith to achieve the very best tone —
NASHVILLE, TN, May 6, 2010 — Over the course of his career, legendary contemporary Christian recording artist Michael W. Smith has sold more than 13 million albums and has been the recipient of 40 Dove Awards and three GRAMMY®s, in addition to countless other accolades and achievements. Smith has a reputation for being particularly tuned-in to the details and textures of his records, leaving no stone unturned sonically. Working on material for his next album, Smith was introduced to the revolutionary CLASP® (Closed Loop Analog Signal Processor) system, the critically acclaimed product that finally brings the worlds of analog and digital audio together. CLASP was developed, manufactured, and is exclusively distributed by Nashville-based Endless Analog, and Smith has become an ardent fan of the system. GRAMMY-winning producer/engineer Bryan Lenox has also been floored by the system, and together Smith and Lenox are integrating CLASP into the way they track and mix, aiming to make Smith’s next album a landmark album sonically.
“If there’s a downside to the digital revolution, it’s that we lost the warmness of what tape did. It makes a huge difference on some of the old records,” notes Smith. “But CLASP bridges both worlds, getting that big warmness of tape and being able to operate that in Pro Tools or another DAW. You have the brightness and fatness of two-inch tape, which you can run at 30, 15 or 7.5 ips – and the streamlined workflow of digital. I’m in the middle of making a new record, and we are using this piece of technology, and it’s pretty much blowing my mind. I’m so glad I didn’t sell my tape machine 20 years ago – it’s back in my studio and operating along with the CLASP, and it’s rocking.”
Smith notes that the CLASP has been particularly successful for him as he tracks vocals. He adds, “Every time we use CLASP, I am impressed, because it brings out the right sounds and colors. I’ve got a love song on the new record for my incredible wife called ‘Forever Yours,’ and obviously I’m recording all the vocals with CLASP. The tone is wonderfully warm, and it perfectly complements the song’s melody and lyrics in a special way. The vocal is so present that there’s no denying what you’re hearing, because you feel like you can almost touch it, it’s that present.”
Producer/engineer Bryan Lennox is similarly vocal in his admiration for CLASP: “When we set up CLASP and first demoed it, it made a massive difference – a difference that I hadn’t heard in probably over ten years. I came back to the mix room to review the tracks, and it was definitely a groundbreaking, ‘ooh-ah’ experience. To me it’s like we’re actually making music again. It’s not a mathematical, calculated sound, either – the tone really has a life of its own. It’s opened up some doors for us too. We tried recording bass with just the tape’s natural EQ and compression – no other comp or EQ effects – and it was outstanding. Also, there’s zero latency for the vocal, which has really opened up Michael’s ears in a new way as a singer. I want to tell the entire world that CLASP is the bomb. It’s been huge to have CLASP in our life, and I never, ever want to go back to strictly digital. It could definitely revolutionize the history of music and the history of recording for our kids and their kids. It’s much more than musical.”