Keith Hillebrandt is a sound-designer, remixer and programmer from San Francisco who has worked within the music software business and with/for various artists such as Stevie Wonder, Consolidated and David Bowie. He has also manipulated sound in many musical outfits including Nine Inch Nails, Blast Conservatory, Cleopatra System and Full Court Press (a band he was in), as well as working in Naut Humon's Sound Traffic Control. Keith Hillebrandt has also released numerous solo recordings. He is known for his Diffusion of Useful Noise sample library, and he also collaborated on the ArhythmiA sample library with former NIN drummer Jerome Dillon.
Work with NIN
On David Bowie's I'm Afraid Of Americans, Hillebrandt is listed as a full member of NIN along with Dave Ogilvie, Danny Lohner and Charlie Clouser. He was evidently planned to be part of a multiple-keyboardist setup for the live band that Trent Reznor originally put together for the Fragility tour, but The Fragile took a different route sonically and this idea was scrapped, although he did replace Charlie Clouser during the CRC Sessions.
He ended up becoming an in-house programmer for Reznor from 1997-2002, and created an entire library of sounds towards use on The Fragile. This was detailed in an article from Apple:
"I sent a copy of my first Useful Noise CD down to Nothing Studios, and Trent (Reznor) eventually heard the sounds, liked what he heard and said he wanted to buy the whole library. But he couldn't because Rarefaction had started up and they were going to release the CD," explains Hillebrandt.
Reznor trusted Hillebrandt's talent and hired him to design a gigabyte worth of sounds to be used for Reznor's next album, which would become The Fragile. "I spent about six months or so doing that. Eventually, I got to meet with Trent, and we hit it off, so he asked me to move to New Orleans and work with him," he says.
"So, I ended up being one of Trent's main programmers for the five years I was there, doing sound design as well, but usually programming bits of music here and there," says Hillebrandt. "But when you're working with Trent, he's a musical genius, so it's rare that you're going to think of something better than he will, when it comes to adding a little fairy dust to the music."
Body Of Work
- Killing Floor
- I'm Afraid of Americans
- Best of Bowie
- Sinister Nostalgia
- Serpentine Gallery (Deluxe Edition)
Nine Inch Nails
- The Perfect Drug
- The Fragile
- We're In This Together
- Things Falling Apart
- And All That Could Have Been (Deluxe Edition)
- Pleasant Smell
- Victory (Remixes)
- Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
- Straight to Nowhere
- Guilt Box
- Welcome To Suburban Bangkok
- Calendar - 1|19 through Calendar 12|19 (series of 12 albums)
- Tomb Raider ("Deep")