Shred guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen was recently interviewed by notable producer Rick Beato for the latter's YouTube channel, discussing his creative and recording process. He was asked how making records has changed for him since the '80s, to which he detailed his process:
"I used to hate going to the studio. I used to hate it. Even if you weren't inspired, you had to play. And if you made a mistake, you couldn't fix it. And if you fixed it, the new version could be worse. So it's a horrible psychological thing. It's terrible. But in 1995, I decided to take my recording advance and instead [of going] to Criteria [studios in Miami] — I love Criteria; don't get me wrong — I took that money that would have cost to go in there, and I had John Arthur, Chris Tsangarides and those guys design the studio and decide exactly what gear we were going to [put in there]… And that made a huge difference because I could go in there whenever I felt like it; there was no time running. And it was always ready. It wasn't, like, 'Oh, you've gotta set up the gear and then record.' But the most biggest difference, I think, was when I realized that when I came up with something spontaneously, I can record it right there and it can go on the record. Whereas before you would write something, record it on a little cassette recorder or something, go to a rehearsal room, knock it out, then go in the studio, put the drums down and you put the bass down and the guitars. 'But wait. I want 16 more bars here. Too late.' That is so not conducive to being creative."
Malmsteen also discussed the advantages of recording with Pro Tools and other technology.
"Finally, 15 years ago or something, I changed to Pro Tools," the guitarist explains. "And I don't use Pro Tools as anything but a recorder; it's just a recorder. But when I realized, when my engineer said, I said to him, 'Hey, that chorus, how about if we [take] the chorus there a cappella, and put that in front of the song?' 'Okay.' 'Wow, that's cool. Let's put an end too.' And then, 'I want a different verse here. Let's move it here.' When I realized you could do that, my creativity just exploded. And it's still a real studio — it still has the wood floor and this big console and everything real. It's not like, 'Oh, yeah, let's make an album with a mouse now,' like some people do. I'm not knocking it. I'm just saying I can't do it."