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In the studio with Rudimental

Published: Mon December 16, 2013  News Feed

In The Studio With Rudimental

2013 was a great year for Rudimental. The electronic act from East London released their debut album 'Home' which not only reached number 1 in the UK album chart, but also went on to win the band a MOBO and Mercury music prize nomination. The debut album from the Hackney quartet saw Rudimental seamlessly combine warped synths with drum and bass loops and soul pop vocals and featured artists such as Emile sande, MNEK and John Newman.

Amir, one of the members of Rudimental, talked about the bands studio and the important role that synthesizers play in the bands studio setup.

The studio setup is based around synths. The Novation Bass Station II links up nicely into Logic, which is what we usually use – we can have it going straight into the computer, which makes life a lot easier. We use our Focusrite ISA 220 and a couple of Saffire Pro 40 audio interfaces for recording everything including drums. Everything’s centred around those in the studio. The vocal chain that we use at the moment is an AKG C414 going into the ISA 220 – it's really cool, it's got a nice EQ.

The video below shows Rudimental performing with John Newman. We can see here that Amir uses the Bass Station II as his main synth to perform the wide selection of bass sounds on this track 'Feel the Love'

Amir compliments the Bass Station II stating,
"It's been the first synth that I've used live that I was actually satisfied with, an analogue synth with digital control that makes life easier. I can have presets saved - before, I used to do everything on the fly with a piece of paper, noting down attack and filter settings, and I would switch these settings in between songs. Now I just press the right arrow. It still has the full analogue sound to it - there's definitely a lot of fun to be had with a Bass Station II live."

Onstage, Amir is joined by 2 of his fellow bandmates who both use Novation Impulse 61 keyboards to perform.
Whilst Piers uses a Novation Impulse 61 to send MIDI messages to his Access Virus controller, Kesi uses his Novation Impulse as a controller with Mainstage on his laptop.

When it comes to choosing an audio interface, Amir talks about how invaluable the Focusrite Forte external sound card has been. This portable usb sound card makes it easy for musicians to record outside the studio or whilst on tour.

"One thing that's helped us is having portable gear with us – I’ve really enjoying the Launchkey Mini and the Forte audio interface. I use the Focusrite Forte external sound card all the time to record guitar in wherever we are - hotels, dressing rooms, straight into my laptop. It sounds beautiful, and it has a really lovely preamp. It's my favourite portable audio interface out there."

The Focusrite Forte USB audio interface was specifically designed be to a compact, rugged and effective audio interface.  Some of its favorable features are listed below.

Focusrite Forte Audio Interface : Features

  • Two Focusrite NetPre remote-controlled microphone preamps
  • Ultra-high quality A-D and D-A conversion at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution
  • +48V phantom power, HPF and polarity reverse
  • Mac and Windows compatible
  • Premium aluminum enclosure
  • Connections split between locking breakout cable and the body
  • Touch-sensitive buttons: large control knob
  • Color OLED (Organic LED) metering/display
  • Control and configuration software included, supports leading DAW system

The Novation Launchkey Mini is another piece of equipment notably mentioned by Rudimental. Amir talks about the Launchkey Mini Midi keyboard with nothing but praise.
"The Novation Launchkey Minis are really cool - the Novation Launchpads are really useful for me as they correspond to NI's Battery, which I use for drum sounds. The pads are 16 pads across which correspond with the full 16 pads in Battery, and syncs in really nicely which is really useful for me as it means I can switch through banks quickly – I know that the first pad is always the kick, the second pad is the snare... It's a little mini midi keyboard I can whack out anywhere, when I'm waiting at an airport for four hours!

Rudimental is currently taking a short break before embarking on a UK tour in February 2014. For more information on the band, visit their official website.
Check out our range of Novation products on the Dolphin Website today.

Stefanie Chew
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