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Alchemy of Melody: Trent Reznor.
  Touring with Final Cut and QuickTime
NIN is known for its intense and visual live shows, and wanted to share the live experience with its fans around the world. So, Reznor hired a photographer to shoot footage for the NIN website in conjunction with the band’s world tour.

Since the tour launched a few months back, the site has featured regular post-show QuickTime movie clips of fans along the tour circuit, and some live footage from select shows.

We'll probably do a DVD release of this tour later this year. It's an experiment and an excuse to kind of dig into Final Cut and see what happens.

“We have Final Cut Pro, and we have been filming the last several shows with about seven different Canon XL1 digital cameras,” says Reznor, “Then the plan is to edit it and finish it all on a Mac.”

Reznor decided to enlist a single camera person, Rob Sheridan, in lieu of a film crew. “We’ve gone the route of hiring big film crews and fighting with editors and cameramen who think they’re Orson Welles,” he says.

Sheridan manages everything to do with filming for NIN, from setting up the cameras to capture the live energy of NIN, to editing clips of the tour in FCP for the website.

Nine Inch Nails perform “Starsuckers, Inc.” in San Francisco.

“We’ll probably do a DVD release of this tour later this year,” says Reznor, “It’s an experiment and an excuse to kind of dig into Final Cut and see what happens.” Sheridan will work alongside Reznor in editing the footage for the DVD release.

G4/ProTools on the Tour Bus
Meanwhile, the tour bus is stocked with a media lab for both audio and video editing, including a rack-mounted Power Mac G4 with a ProTools rig in it. “We’ve got that with us for less excuses to waste time,” he adds.

Looking to Score
Reznor’s experience in movie making had already extended into working on soundtracks for some major motion pictures, and scoring music for a popular video game.

“I did Natural Born Killers, and Lost Highway for David Lynch,” says Reznor, “but I’ve really no interest in doing any more compilation albums. The only thing I’d want to do these days is actual scoring.”

“I’d love for David Cronenberg to call me on the phone and say, ‘Score a film’,” he adds. Reznor’s spooky, atmospheric sound would blend well with the film making style of the creator of films like Crash, Naked Lunch and The Fly.
Trent and John Carmack. Trent, with the king of Doom, John Carmack.

He’s Game for Games
Then he confides that he’s been talking to John Carmack about scoring the music for a new version of Doom. “I would do something like that mainly because it’s a hobby of mine, I appreciate the technology, and it’s fun to work outside Nine Inch Nails once in a while.”

Everybody in our camp is Mac and that's it. We've adopted a pretty purist attitude.

Quake was fun because they didn’t want hard-rock goofy music going through the game,” explains Reznor, “it was all about atmosphere at the time.”

Nailed to their Macs
“Everybody in our camp is Mac and that’s it,” stresses Reznor, “We’ve adopted a pretty purist attitude. There have been some software companies who develop PC-only software who’ve approached us —the people who make Acid, Sonic Foundry, for one.

“It may be a nice program, but I’m not going to endorse it if it doesn’t run on a Mac, and I told them that,” he adds.

“Even if it does run on Virtual PC, I tell them, ‘Wake up and do the right thing.’” he says “With Web integration stuff, there have been companies that are like ‘use our player’ but it only runs on a Windows machine, and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not going to help the enemy.’”

“I’ve just always had a soft spot in my heart for Macs.” admits Reznor, “Like, I just got the blue-and-white machine and then oh…out came the cooler looking G4!

“Someone bought me an iMacDV for Christmas, and it’s just something as simple as plug-in the DV and the first time ‘Oh wow! it works.’ I mean, here I was expecting to have to hunt down a cable, but ‘Woah, it’s in the box.’ That’s what I think a lot of the PC people don’t understand,” Reznor concludes, “the pleasure of not having to worry about compatibility issues.”

Check out the full-length “Starsuckers, Inc.” video at

QuickTime VR: The bigger room at Nothing Studios.


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