"With Vespertine  I recorded all sorts of noises around the house, very quiet ones, and I then magnified them up in Pro Tools, and created rhythms with them. It took me like three years, very enjoyable, but it was like crocheting a huge blanket with a tiny needle." - Björk interview by Paul Tingenmore
Sometimes it starts with me searching around the banjo for cool stuff and sometimes it’s stuff that pops into my head. There’s usually a spark of inspiration and I just run with it and everything happens really fast. There’s also a craft element to composing in which I try to take those inspired ideas and hone, hone, and hone until everything is perfect. But a big chunk of it—a verse or a chorus—has to be there from the beginning. Although most of what I do is instrumental, I do think of the pieces in those verse/chorus songwriting terms. Also, I find that when I haven’t played the banjo all day or for a couple of days, the first thing that comes out is a new tune when I pick it up. I’ve started recording everything I do when I pick up my banjo on an M-Audio multitrack recorder. It stores audio on a memory stick. When I’m done, I dump everything into Pro Tools and edit the material into a core of ideas that are strong enough to build songs from. Ideas can also happen anywhere, like when I’m driving or running. I’ll start humming a melody or singing an improvisation. The good thing about those ideas is that they aren’t necessarily banjo-istic. If I sing them first, they tend to sound more melodic or like a vocal.more
"'I'll always have the Neumann U67 set up,' says Tsai. 'That's our main microphone. We'll try an 87 or a 251 on occasion, but it almost always goes back to the 67. It just works for everything. The same for the Pro Tools HD rigs we have. They're big — 24 inputs and 64 outputs. We just use a lot of the same gear for most of what we do. Everything is always plugged in, the MPC for percussion, the guitars, and a DAT machine is always running, to make sure we catch every idea as it goes by. The studio is always in 'ready' mode. Like Wyclef says, the vibe will take care of the rest.'"more
"Working always with the album as a whole in mind, the total recallability of the band's Pro Tools HD rig was as important as any instrument. 'The way we put an album together is that if it goes cold at all in the writing or recording process, then we move on to another song,' says Craig Potter. 'We jump around between songs all the time, and then eventually it all comes together.'"more
Admittedly I don't have a copy myself but I've spent many of university years using it. But, from experience the amount of mixing and editing possibilities, and flexibility you get with Pro Tools was very impressive. When I finally upgrade my recording set up I'll definitely look into getting my own copy of Tools as I do miss using it.