Butch Vig Explains No. 1 Thing Producers Should Do To Make Great Records

There's a lot that goes into creating a timeless recording, but Butch Vig has been through the process enough times to understand that capturing a great performance is not optional.

In that regard, Vig's best advice is to make sure that great performance is recorded in the first place. It's trite, but it's true.

Vig tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke that he and many other producers throughout history have learned to always have the red light on when an artist is near the microphone.

"A lot of times people think they're warming up and if you record it, you might end up with a final take," Vig says. "I know it because sometimes when I'm recording myself, if I don't get something in two or three takes, I get into my head a little bit and usually it goes south for a while and it takes a while to get the performance back up to where it was when I initially started. I have a tendency to try to keep the first or second or third take when someone's recording."

Among many other albums, Vig produced Nirvana's Nevermind, The Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream, Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown and Foo Fighters' Wasting Light and Sonic Highways.

His band 5 Billion in Diamonds recently reemerged with a new single "Divine Accidents" and is preparing its sophomore studio album for release later this year.

Vig is also the drummer, co-founder and longtime co-producer for Garbage, which he says is also almost finished with a new album.

Watch the full Out of the Box conversation in the player above!

Keep up with Vig on Twitter and Instagram.

Watch the official video for 5 Billion in Diamonds' "Divine Accidents" here: