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1994 interview Guitar World - REZNOR: Almost everything was direct--there was almost no miking of cabinets. I just don't like that sound very much. It sounds boring to me. So we ran through a variety of preamps and speaker simulators. Our main preamp was the new Marshall JMP-1. But I didn't use the speaker simulator in it. I took the direct out of the Marshall into the Zoom 9030, employing just the speaker simulator on that. I really like the sound of the speaker simulator on the Zoom, but I don't like the preamp section. It sounds like what it is: a little box. I also have a Demeter tube preamp that I used sometimes. That one was totally direct, no simulator. It's the ultimate terrible sound. But it works in the context of some of the songs. I also used some of the little Zoom 9002, the old one--the one that clips on your belt. I just used it straight. I like its sound sometimes. GW: Don't you also use that for vocals a lot? REZNOR: Actually, the 9030 is the one I use a lot for the vocals. That and the mic preamp from an old Neve board. that's the best distortion. It's not the way the manufacturer thought it would be used. But all the vocals are from that and the Zoom. We also went and got an old Mutron envelope filter. The one that gives you the Bootsy [Collins] sound. Awesome. The one we had would eat four nine-volt batteries in half an hour. It's awful. But it sounds amazing when the batteries are dying. We did a lot through that. in fact all the drums on "I Do Not Want This" was just one two-bar loop that Steve Perkins played. We just ran it through every effect we had in the studio--the Mutron, [Eventide] H3000 Harmonizers, a Digitech Whammy Pedal... Flood and I just went crazy.more
What seems to set the 9030 apart from the many other DSPs in this class that is the friendly user interface. Granted, if you don't intend to do much editing of effects programs, most DSPs are pretty simple to use; but you won't find a DSP that's any easier to play with than the 9030. Most of this ease is the result of bringing a visual version of the effects chain to the front panel (with the nine module LEDs) and adding the four "editing" knobs to the panel. Our hats are off to Zoom for bringing clarity and directness to an area of audio technology that too often assumes the user has all day to read a manual and all night to push buttons.