Technical interview with the sound engineer on two classic U2 albums and how the band recorded them:
The band subsequently spent almost half a year in a rented house by the sea near Dublin, using equipment rented from Audio Engineering, Ireland’s largest pro-audio hire company, before moving on to the legendary Windmill Lane studios in Dublin for the final mixes. Similarily, Zooropa was also largely recorded in improvised surroundings. These unusual recording surroundings must have awoken the muses, because the stories of the recording sessions for Achtung Baby and Zooropa recount chaotic and almost manic outpourings of creativity. They feature such unusual tales as: the band simultaneously using three rooms to record and mix and the various bandmembers overdubbing in the different studios with people running around with tapes from room to room; last minute overdubs during or even after the final mix; nightly flights home straight after European gigs to complete Zooropa; the filling of 180 2-hour DAT tapes with a procedure called ‘fatting’, complete disregard for standard recording objectives such as separation and low noise levels, and last but not least the interesting dichotomy between the intense 11 months that it took to complete Achtung Baby, endlessly sculpting the songs into perfect shape, and the attitude of ‘recklessness’ and ‘performance first’ encouraged by Daniel Lanois.
“Robbie Adams: Recording U2’s Achtung Baby & Zooropa (1994).” — Editors, Sound on Sound