Digidesign Pro Tools

Year released: 1991

Just Blaze: "Pro Tools changed the way we worked forever. The first couple years of my career everyone was recording to two-inch tapes. I tended to be very intricate with my beats and had a lot going on, a lot of instrumentation and a lot of overdubs. Back then, with two-inch tapes you could only record 24 tracks of audio. Really 23 because you had to reserve the 24th track for timecode. If you went over 23 tracks you had to get two two-inch machines and slave them together which then gave you 48 tracks. What if you need more than 48 tracks? Sony used to make a machine called the 3348 which was a 48-track tape machine and you could string those together. All of that was very expensive, most rap budgets didn't have that kind of money.

"I used to engineer as well. I engineered Amil's first album for Roc-a-Fella. Eventually she ran out of budget, she couldn't afford anymore tapes. I said, 'There's this new thing called Pro Tools you record to the computer, we can try using that.' They said they didn't want to record to the computer. I said, 'Y'all ain't got no choice, y'all ain't got no tapes. Either we erase songs or we got to try this out.' I convinced the owner of studio or had the system to let us use his. By the end of the session everyone was in amazement that we recorded an album on a computer."