Trent Reznor & Alessandro Cortini Extended Interview

This video, from the producers of the I Dream Of Wires documentary, captures extended interviews with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor & Alessandro Cortini.

I Dream Of Wires is an independent documentary exploring the history, demise and resurgence of the ultimate electronic music machine, the modular synthesizer. A 4-hour extended cut is available to order now on DVD and BluRay. The feature-length, theatrical cut is set to premiere spring 2014.

IDOW Extended Interview #10:
Trent Reznor & Alessandro Cortini, Nine Inch Nails

In January 2012, the I Dream of Wires team visited the Hollywood studio of Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, for a joint interview with fellow NIN member, Alessandro Cortini.

Through his continued interest and adoption of cutting-edge electronic instrumentation, Reznor’s been witness to the evolution of the synthesizer, from the giant unobtainium of ’70s modulars, to the digital “how’s the piano sound?” ROMplers of the ’80s, right through to the current dominance of computer-based plug-in synthesizers. In the interview, Reznor expresses his enthusiasm for the recent wave of boutique modular synthesizer manufacturers, for having “brought a lot of that magic back into the synth world, that got lost in the Korgs and the Yamahas and the Rolands….”

Additionally, Reznor and Cortini offer insight into the influence of an instrument’s physical presence, and how for both of them, the process of interacting with hardware plays a crucial role in the resulting sound.

25 thoughts on “Trent Reznor & Alessandro Cortini Extended Interview

  1. My partner had pre-ordered “I Dream of Wires” extended monster edition for me as a Christmas present, I am a bit sad that it has been delayed now – the clips floating around the web have been awesome so far!

    1. Hi — not sure what you mean about it being delayed? If you mean the reference to “forthcoming” – that’s the 90 minute theatrical cut. The 4-hour Hardcore Edition has been out since August and is in stock / available to order from us direct.

      1. Oh ok, yes I was going on about the Hardcore edition- I think she went through Amazon and they have pushed it back to December 30th boo – I think she couldn’t see the region 2 version on your site – sorry to spread misinformation!

        1. Oh right… yes Amazon in the UK ordered some, but they sold out very quickly… re-order is on the way but won’t be there until January likely. This is a region-free disc so you can order it direct or from anywhere else you find it – it’s the same disc and it plays just fine on UK players.

          1. We cancelled our Amazon order and went with Thonk instead in the end, would of gone with Thonk in the first place if I had known they were going to stock it, looks like it might come for Xmas 😀

    1. I saw him do a solo show a while back and it was completely mindblowing. He sat cross-legged on the floor surround by a couple of Buchlas, a Macbeth M5, and a massive arsenal of drum machines and pedals. He had an 808, 909, AND 303. It was insane. A bunch of us were just standing in front of the stage drooling the entire time. Oh, and the sound was quadrophonic!

  2. Delayed? I’ve had my hardcore edition IDOW for a month or so at least Aidan. Is there actually an “extended monster edition” I am missing out on? haha.

  3. Hehe. Overpaid musicans with super expensive equipment. The world will be deceived. This modular gear was state of the art 40++ years ago. The world have come much further since then, and luckily, advanced musical equipment has become cheaper and the music industry has become more democratic. In a blind test would not these guys heard the difference between a Buchla System 100 and U-he Ace.

      1. Well you have better physical interfaces by to days standar. Launchpads, touchpads, the Keith McMillen insytruments and many many more to a fraction of the price this old school interfaces will cost you.

          1. I like the sound of Lush Vst by D16 as much as my Juno 106. Didn’t Trent use a bunch of Akai samplers? He seems so down on modern gear. I like it all. Give me a little of everything and its just perfect.

          2. Yes in deed I have. In the mid 60s Don Buchla and Robert Moog kind of invented the modular sythesizers. And by that time it was a revolution that you could make a fairly accurate voltage controlled instrument, that just could be used in a musical way. Its like the first successful air planes compared with todays planes. They could fly, but not so very far. The modular synths have sound but are very Difficult to use compared to todays VSTs. Development has fortunately passed forward and current synths are much more advanced, sounds better and is also much easier to use.I’m sure if a soft synth had cost, say $ 3,000, so would these rich musicians proclaimed that soft synths are the best. These guys are out to show money and status through the expensive equipment.

    1. I would argue that making disposable homogenized controllers is a testament to advanced technology.
      40 years from now we’ll see who’s still wanting for Launchpads vs a Buchla.
      And yes I can hear the difference in a blind test.

      1. The Buchlas and the early Moogs got historical vallue because they was among the first synthesizers. The same thing goes for the early fenders and gibsons. Collecters want them. But for the main musicans they are unreliable and cumbersome pieces of gear.

        1. Working with a big modular is way more fun than software and generic controllers, though, because you feel your motions directly controlling sound.

  4. Certain machines have that touch of ‘Voodoo’. There’s a spiritual side to, for instance,
    the VCS3/AKS, or the TB303, which were both involved in psychedelic revolutions.

    1. I don’t disagree, but I still get an odd sensation when mentioning “spiritual” and technology in the same breath. With that said, I think I get what you mean.

  5. Cheap synthesizers where made as it the only way it would be accessable to most people. You can only market for the money people can afford. For most people including myself the choice is a cheap synthesizer or it’s nothing. Not saying that analoge synthesizers are not better, but for most not accessable. $1000 for a module might be affordable for Trent Reznor, but still a lot of money for most.

    1. $1000 per module? Maybe for Cwejman, but the Eurorack behind Reznor there contains some Doepfer modules that would be more like $100 each. For US$1000 you could have a Microbrute, a starter rack and 3 or 4 weird fun modules from Doepfer, Pittsburgh or Flight of Harmony, and be ready for mad analogue knob-tweaking fun.

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