Music Tech Magazine

THE PRODIGY MUSIC FOR THE JILTED GENERATION

A quarter of a century ago, The Prodigy released Music For The Jilted Generation, a hard-hitting record that saw Liam Howlett’s band embrace working in a professional studio, albeit reluctantly.

We catch up with the band’s long-time engineer Neil Mclellan to listen back to the album he recorded and mixed – and he offers some fresh insight into the production approach that spawned this seminal LP.

HOME WORK

Like their debut album, Experience, production and programming for Jilted was largely completed in Liam Howlett’s home-recording facility, dubbed Earthbound Studios, in Essex. The nerve centre of the production was a Roland W-30 keyboard sampler and sequencer. Considering the limitations of the hardware, it seems astonishing what was possible.

“All of this was with 1MB of sampling memory. If you wanted to sample something like a kick drum, you’d put the sample rate down to 15kHz, because it would give you more sampling time,” explains Mclellan.

As well as all the samples being triggered by the sequencer, external instruments were also connected, including a Roland TR-909 drum machine. Between Howlett’s production prowess and Mclellan’s mixing abilities, the pair were able to create mixes at Earthbound that were a high enough standard to match up against other acts of the day. Part of that was a dedication to using a lot of compression and using sidechaining to make sure that the mixes could breathe. For the Earthbound sessions, Mclellan chose to rent dbx 160XTs.

“Why did I hire dbx 160XTs for all the programming at Liam’s house? Because it was the cheapest compressor on

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