Nashville producer Buddy Cannon and his longtime audio engineer Tony Castle have worked with renowned artists like Kenny Chesney, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson, Willie Nelson, and many more. One essential tool in their workflow is RX 4, which allows them to neutralize a range of audio issues so they can utilize the artist’s best take.
Since 2007, Cannon and Castle have recorded six of Willie Nelson’s albums. Cannon says that when Nelson records a song, each of Willie’s vocal and guitar takes has its own magical moments. He and Castle needed to find a creative tool that would allow them to salvage great performances that are marred by pops, squeaks, or inconsistent proximity range. They discovered that iZotope RX allows them to save a lot of performances that would otherwise have been unusable for technical reasons.
“Last year we were doing a recording session, and the track had a popping sound on it,” says Cannon. “The engineer brought up RX and suddenly the pop was gone and the notes were still there—it was just like magic. Willie’s guitar, ‘Trigger,’ has traveled a lot of miles and at times he can be a little noisy. RX lets us make previously impossible edits so that we can use a great take.”
Another RX tool they use frequently is EQ Match, which enables them to match the sonic differences between takes and ensure a consistent-sounding mix. “Willie isn’t the type of singer to stand perfectly still at the mic at a consistent distance—he moves around a lot, which creates proximity changes,” explains Castle. “If we need to comp vocal tracks, we use EQ Match to get a consistent sound.”
Castle recently mixed a live performance by Kenny Chesney and used RX 4 to remove much of the ambient noise, unwanted transients, and the screams and whistles of excited fans.
“Since I got RX, there hasn’t been one Pro Tools session I haven’t used it on,” Castle says. “It makes editing so much faster and more efficient. It’s such a timesaver.”
Please access the full story and more information about Tony Castle and Buddy Cannon at https://www.izotope.com/en/community/artists/engineers/buddy-cannon-and-tony-castle/ and for more information on RX, go to www.izotope.com/rx