Nine Inch Nails (NIN) like to put on some visually stunning shows. For their next tour around the world, they will be using some new tech to improve their visual effects. One of those new technologies being employed is a Microsoft Kinect which will track the bands movements and project that video onto mobile screens on stage. In addition, standard video cameras and thermal video cameras will be used to capture additional footage. The mobile screens on stage will display all types of visuals and give the illusion of the band disappearing and re-appearing throughout the show. The show will be the result of a collaboration between the band's group leader Trent Reznor, lighting designer Roy Bennett, and artistic director Rob Sheridan.
Furthermore, NIN is also trying their hand in a different type of recording. One of their latest albums, Hesitation Marks, will be recorded twice, once in the standard “loud” recording and one in an alternate “audiophile” mastering. The band says the differences will be subtle to most people, but the audiophile version will sound slightly different on high end equipment and may be preferred by those with an understanding of the mastering process.
Mastering Engineer Tom Baker adds, “I believe it was Trent's idea to master the album two different ways, and to my knowledge it has never been done before. The standard version is “loud” and more aggressive and has more of a bite or edge to the sound with a tighter low end. The Audiophile Mastered Version highlights the mixes as they are without compromising the dynamics and low end, and not being concerned about how “loud” the album would be. The goal was to simply allow the mixes to retain the spatial relationship between instruments and the robust, grandoise sound.”
One of the more interesting moves the band has made in the past was crowd sourcing 400GB worth of video footage from shows played throughout a tour. The tour, “Lights in the Sky,” took place in 2009 and after their plans for a film had to be canceled, they decided it would be better to just put the video footage online for people to mix up on their own. The HD footage was totally unedited and not anything for recreational viewing at all. However, their motives were that some people with extra time on their hands and some editing skills would put together their own versions of a film for fans to view. As we can see NIN has some clever moves up their sleeves for keeping their fans pleased. It will be interesting to see how their new tour works out with all the visual effects being employed. It is highly likely that more bands will be taking notes and using technology for their own uses and effects.
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