In this Rolling Stone interview, the duo discuss the process behind making their new album, among other things. Here’s an interesting tidbit:
The duo were dissatisfied with early demos that leaned heavily on electronic equipment, feeling like they were operating on “autopilot,” Thomas says. Eventually, a new approach emerged: “We wanted to do what we used to do with machines and samplers,” he explains, “but with people.” Except for a snippet of “an Australian rock record” that opens the final track, “Contact,” Daft Punk foreswore samples entirely, and they limited the role of drum machines to just two of the album’s thirteen tracks. The only electronics come in the form of a massive, custom-built modular synthesizer that Daft Punk played live on the album, they told me, and an arsenal of vintage vocoders on which they manually manipulated factors like pitch, vibrato and legato. “There’s this thing today where the recorded human voice is processed to try to feel robotic,” Thomas says, referring to the undying AutoTune vogue. “Here, we were trying to make robotic voices sound the most human they’ve ever sounded, in terms of expressivity and emotion.”
In other news, I can’t stop listening to that too-brief excerpt of “Get Lucky” that Daft Punk premiered at Coachella. It’s less than two minutes, but it’s already one of my favorite things that I’ve heard so far in 2013.