IRON MAIDEN producer Kevin Shirley, who is currently working with the band at a London studio on their as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2000's "Brave New World", has posted the following recording update via his official web site:
"Friday [Jan. 17] saw us concentrating on a 9-minute song again, as we had been all day Thursday. I had the band cut 8 takes on Friday and 7 on Thursday, so 15 takes in all, and that is a lot of playing and quite exhausting for everyone (although I hasten to add, as I say to the band if they gripe, it's a damn side easy than digging holes and raising telephone poles!). You may wonder why we cut so many takes — well, I'm a real believer in the collective energy, and very often you can have the same part, played the same tempo, the same notes, but for some intangible reason, there is something about one take, such a confidence and air, that make it majestic and stand out from the rest — and when you listen to the two sections side by side, it's not even close, and really obvious. So, I try and optimize every element of the song to make it stand and have the power comes across to the listener. We do not use 'click tracks', and everyone performs on every take of the song, and I try and use as much as possible from the live take to be the bed of the track. We do edit different bits of different takes together, and we do this in ProTools HD after transferring all the takes from the analog Studer 24 track. It allows it so much more flexibilty editing digitally than splicing tape together, as we can really take a look at a tom fill from one take (for example) and fly it in to another, but we do not use ProTools for digital manipulation of the musicians. The way they interact and push and pull the song is what separates one band from another, and it is especially true for MAIDEN. We are recording the whole album at 96kHz, 24 bit and I will mix the songs from Pro Tools. We do have timecode locking the analog and ProTools together, so I may lock them up when I mix as well. This song from Friday sounds incredible, and I can honestly say I feel this record is going to be one of their strongest, but we'll have to see."