Robbie Bronnimann: Recording Howard Jones
Stefan Hedengren, November 2009

Can you please give us a short introduction to yourself?
I have been working as a producer/remix & artists for about 15 years. I have produced artists such as Howard Jones, Sugababes, Andy Hunter & remixed Chicane, Ferry Corsten, Howard Jones, Love Inc, Kate Bush etc. As an artist I have recorded 3 albums under the names dba & numerous releases under the name tektonik.

So tell us about your recent work.
I have been working on & off for the last 18 months producing Howard Jones new album Ordinary Heroes. The album is a break from the classic 'electronic synth' sound that Howard is synonymous for. The songs were very personal to Howard & required a classic singer songwriter approach to the production.

Vintage Amp Room & Metal Amp Room will be the mainstays on the project above the competition!

We had it very firmly established from the start that the album would be based on live performances & not programmed. The lineup for each track was Howard's Steinway D, drums, bass, 1 guitar (electric or acoustic), string quartet, 3 piece background vocals & Howard's lead vocals. There was no other overdubs but only what that group of people could recreate live.

Although 'classic' in its lineup we used technology to the max recording at 96kHz & mixing totally within the box.

Did you take any other actions to give it a more 'classic' feel as you say?
I used a template within Logic to recreate a classic console kind of vibe with 1 eq, compressor on each channel & 2 reverbs & 1 delay for each mix.

How did you use the Softube plug-ins in this production?
Softube plugs played a large role in creating the sonic landscape.

I love the no nonsense approach to the plugin with no extra 'crap' and it sounds fantastic.

Vintage Amp Room was used for the electric guitars on the VOX style amp model. I love the no nonsense approach to the plugin with no extra 'crap' and it sounds fantastic.

FET Compressor was used on various drum channels. It's got that great smack to it.

Tube Delay was used on vocals. You get a great warm character & it works fantastic for doubling.

Spring Reverb was used on the occasional guitar. For subtle lofi ambience.

Bass Amp Room was used for the last couple of mixes on bass as it arrived later in the project.

Anything else you'd like to add?
There's no doubt in my mind that there are currently some fantastic companies producing some lovely plugins. Softube are undoubtably high up in that list & are carving out a real identity with their brilliant range of plugs.

I have just started work producing a new act for Sony Japan & within a week working with a session guitarist we have established that Vintage Amp Room & Metal Amp Room will be the mainstays on the project above the competition!

More info on Howard Jones:
www.howardjones.com

More info on Robbie Bronnimann:
www.myspace.com​/robbiebronnimann

Freelance Writer