David Sitek

Guitarist, Producer

TV on the Radio, Jane's Addiction, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Do what you love and get fame, acclaim and cash? Not an easy task, but it seems Mr. Sitek has the formula. As guitarist/ producer for TV on the Radio (or TVotR) he’s making cutting edge music melding mixed styles and influences and getting acclaim from Rolling Stone, Spin, and MTV. Not to mention having NME vote TVotR’s recent Dear Science the second best album of 2008. He’s produced for Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Telepathe, Liars and done remixes with, amoung others, Beck and Nine Inch Nails. NME also put Dave on their list of the 50 Most Forward-Thinking People in Music Today. Oh yeah, he’s also a painter and photographer. Sheesh!

We met up with David in Louisville before TVotR went on stage and he took a moment to chat with us. He’s an old school gear nut preferring pre-midi analog synths and hardware, but the analog sound of Soundtoys hooked him in and made him a true fanatic. His favorite plug-in is Tremolator. He likes to use it on those analog synth tracks to add tight sync’d rhythmic elements that you just don’t get with those old synths. He says he uses it on almost everything. He’s also a big fan of EchoBoy (what’s not to love?), and has been using our plug-ins since the early days.

In speaking about how much he enjoyed working on the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs CD he said, “They’ve made huge leaps since their first album (which he also produced) …and Soundtoys has made huge leaps since then, too.” That was back in the Wave Mechanics days when we only had 4 plug-ins. David also candidly answered a few of our other questions:

Soundtoys (ST): What are some of your main influences?
David Sitek (DS): Without question I am influenced by Brian Eno, Spike Stent, Alan Moulder and lately I’m kinda influenced by those weirdo new age recordings of birds and crystals. I should say that Alan Lomax made a huge impact on me, though I haven’t ripped him off as i have the others.

ST: What’s your favorite gear? Within reason…
DS: I would still be making pizzas/ diggin’ graves without my Yamaha CS5. The Akai MPC 2000xl is trailing right behind.

ST: Do you have any production secrets you care to share? Like on the last Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs album you had the drummer drum with out cymbals to find something new.
DS: I have no secrets I would say that the most important thing is to think outside “your own” box its very tempting to continue to do what got your foot in the door but be warned : everything has its season. unless you are Monsanto.

ST: Do you work mainly in the box, out or combination?
DS: I work inside , outside and on top of the box. and YES , i would record with a fox.

ST: What’s your music path? Where did you start and when?
DS: The D.C. punk scene in the early 80′s was the strongest and most lasting influence on me. I grew up around that scene and I was fascinated by the sheer power of the “will”. Dischord, Ian MacKaye, Void all of that! It was the first time I was shown that you can do what you WILL to do. I am eternally grateful to those years for showing me the path .

ST: What’s the story on the new sound for the YeahYeahYeah’s? Was it you? You and Nick? Or You, Nick and the band all working it out?
DS: It was gumbo, baby. We mixed it all up during that record. Do not underestimate Spike’s (Spike Stent, mixed the album) influence on that record either. He is my Obi-Wan Kenobi.

ST: What’s your favorite Soundtoys plug-in?
DS: TREMOLATOR!!! No doubt.

 

Check out Tv on the Radio

Check out his photography

Artists

Autolux
Autolux
Band

"Soundtoys plug-ins generate all kinds of unexpected melodic disasters at the extremes." – Greg Edwards

Tom Elmhirst
Tom Elmhirst
Mixing Engineer

Adele, Amy Winehouse, Cee Lo Green, Florence & The Machine

"Once you start using all of these plug-ins you find it hard to stop."

Son Lux
Son Lux
Band

Lorde, Woodkid, Sufjan Stevens, Busdriver, Nico Muhly

"In creating Son Lux's music, we make regular use of every Soundtoys plug-in." - Ryan Lott (Son Lux)

Ariel Borujow
Ariel Borujow
Mixing Engineer

Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West, Lucius, Chromeo, Justin Martin, Prinze George

"Soundtoys has helped me to achieve "In-The-Box" what I was used to when mixing on analog desks."

Marc Urselli
Marc Urselli
Engineer, Producer, Mixer, Sound Designer

Lou Reed, Nick Cave, John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Joss Stone

"Soundtoys plug-ins help me come up with tons of alternate ideas and sonic palettes that I might have not otherwise thought of."

Clean Bandit
Clean Bandit
Band

Sean Paul, Anne-Marie, Marina and the Diamonds, Jess Glynne, Zara Larsson

"I've used Crystallizer, Little AlterBoy and EchoBoy on more or less every track that I've produced in the last three years." – Jack Patterson

Moderat
Moderat
Band

Apparat / Modeselektor

"EchoBoy is not just a delay plug-in - it adds life to your sound."

Scott Hansen
Scott Hansen
Composer, Songwriter, Producer

Tycho

"It's really inspiring as an artist to see developers who are as passionate about true hardware sound as I am."

Fab Dupont
Fab Dupont
Writer, Mixer, Producer

David Crosby, Isaac Hayes, Shakira, The Dø

"Soundtoys plugins bring the vibe to every single one of my mixes. No Soundtoys, no mixing."

Greg Wells
Greg Wells
Musician, Producer, Songwriter

Katy Perry, Adele, Keith Urban, Twenty One Pilots, Pharrell Williams, Rufus Wainwright

"Soundtoys has the most unique and useful color palette out there, and all the plug-ins are suited to my needs as a record maker."

Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred
Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred
Musician, Producer, Engineer

I Grade Dub, Midnite, Pressure, Lutan Fyah, Dezarie

"[Soundtoys] are an integral part of how I create space and manipulate time in my mixes and give me the tweakability that I need as a dub mixer."

Will Clarke
Will Clarke
Producer, DJ, Radio Host

Shiba San, Riva Starr, Dirtybird Records

"MicroShift is a secret tool I use for my vocals - it adds an amazing wideness but doesn't lose the vocals in the mix."

Jad Abumrad
Jad Abumrad
Radio Host, Composer, Producer

Radiolab

"FilterFreak's lowpass sort of defines the Radiolab sound."

Qmillion
Qmillion
Producer, Mixer, Composer, Songwriter

Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge, Chris Dave, Billy Preston, Seun Kuti

“Soundtoys put a wide palette of colors in my hand to paint with!”

Wye Oak
Wye Oak
Band

"Without these tools, we would be a much different sounding band."

ESKMO
ESKMO
Producer, Composer

Brendan Angelides

"Soundtoys have made a wonderful collection of plug-ins that are downright musical."

Scott Jacoby
Scott Jacoby
Writer, Producer, Engineer, Mixer, Multi-Instrumentalist

John Legend, Vampire Weekend, Sia, Cory Henry

"Soundtoys found a way to put soul, feel, grit and warmth into the digital world."

Tim Kelley
Tim Kelley
Producer, Songwriter

Michael Jackson, Madonna, Beyonce, TLC, Boyz II Men, Sia

Zedd
Zedd
Musician, Producer, DJ

Ke$ha, Hayley Williams, Skrillex, Selena Gomez

“The Soundtoys 5 bundle is a must have in my plugin arsenal."

Jack Garratt
Jack Garratt
Songwriter, Producer, Performer

"The Soundtoys Plug-ins were absolutely necessary in the completion of my album, Phase."

Lido
Lido
Producer, Songwriter, Artist

Cashmere Cat, Chance The Rapper, Banks, Halsey

"Soundtoys plug-ins sound absolutely incredible and I use them all the time."

Glass Animals
Glass Animals
Band

"I’m constantly using them in the studio and on stage."

Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor
Producer, Remixer, Artist

Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie

"Calling EchoBoy a delay plug-in is doing it a disservice. It has become the first thing I turn to for treating a wide variety of sources."

Ken Andrews
Ken Andrews
Producer / Engineer / Mixer / Composer / Multi-Instrumentalist

Failure, Paramore, M83, A Perfect Circle, Beck, Nine Inch Nails

"EchoBoy is definitely my echo of choice."

Peter Katis
Peter Katis
Producer, Engineer, Mixer

The National, Interpol, Jonsi, Trey Anastasio

"I love Soundtoys plug-ins. They’re practical, creative, fun and effective. I use them all, and a few…I couldn’t live without."

John Hill
John Hill
Producer, Songwriter, Mixer

Aluna George, BØRNS, Wavves, Rihanna, Santigold, P!nk

"These plug-ins are amazing. They get used on every song I work on."

MNDR
MNDR
Artist, Remixer, DJ

"My favorite plug-ins, hands down, are Soundtoys EchoBoy, FilterFreak (1 and 2), and Decapitator."

Dave Tozer
Dave Tozer
Producer, Songwriter, Musician

John Legend, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake

"Soundtoys plugins are a part of every record that I make.”

Yeasayer
Yeasayer
Elite Middle Eastern-Psych-Snap-Gospel Band

"The Crystallizer and EchoBoy are in constant use, I’m literally obsessed!"

Ade Fenton
Ade Fenton
Producer, Engineer, Remixer

Gary Numan, IAMX, Parralox, Motor

"I’m very, very impressed."

Dave Clarke
Dave Clarke
Remixer, DJ, Producer, Radio Presenter

The Chemical Brothers, Chicks on Speed, Fischerspooner, Moby, Depeche Mode

"Soundtoys are absolutely essential to my production work."

Jamey Scott
Jamey Scott
Sound Designer

Gears of War 1, 2 & 3, Unreal Tournament, Daxter

“I’ve become increasingly dependent on Soundtoys."

John Paterno
John Paterno
Producer, Engineer

Lustra, Soraya, Robben Ford, Eros Ramazzotti, Bonnie Raitt, Badly Drawn Boy

"Soundtoys plug-ins have proven that analog effects can be attained in the digital domain."

Gerald O’Brien
Gerald O’Brien
Songwriter, Composer, Producer

Martina McBride, Hall & Oates, Trace Adkins, Dr Phil, NFL SuperBowl

"They have become my ‘go-to’ plug-ins."