“They have flashy interfaces that make you think they’re doing more than they’re actually doing”: St. Vincent isn’t a fan of plugins in the studio

“Plugins get tricky because you start to hear with your eyes,” she says.

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St Vincent

St. Vincent performs onstage at the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on November 03, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

St. Vincent has explained why she has moved away from a computer-based setup in the studio and discussed what she believes are the pitfalls of using plugins.

The artist, whose real name is Annie Clark, has just released her new album All Born Screaming. The album is the first that she has self-produced entirely.

In a new interview with MusicRadarClark mentions that she has a “very tactile” studio set up which was it was very much her intention to create and in doing so, she moved away from a computer-based set-up.

She goes on to explain why she isn’t such a fan of using plugins in the studio. “Plugins get tricky because you start to hear with your eyes,” she says. “Some of them have flashy interfaces and they make you think they’re doing more than they’re actually doing.”

Instead, on All Born Screaming, she employed analogue synths, which she found much more satisfying. “Working with actual electricity and circuitry, you have chaos,” Clark says. “You get a sound and try to get the same sound again, but it’s never going to be exactly what it was. Right? It’s chaos! In a great way. Modular synthesis is a sickness.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Clark discusses what she gains from helming the production on All Born Screaming completely on her own for the first time.

“I think [taking on the producer role] was how I learned how to hear myself,” she says. “It was something that I’d done on all of my records but I hadn’t been the main filter in the room and I know that emotionally there were places you could only find on your own.”

Clark continues: “Being an artist, that’s the main thing you want. If you’re a singer you want people to know it’s you just from one note. I wanted to have that same kind of recognisable voice as a producer. So I went all-in.”

All Born Screaming is out now via Total Pleasure Records.


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