Following the recent release of their album ‘SOULACOASTA II’, we asked Close Counters to show us their studio.
Australian duo Finn Rees and Allan McConnell create a fusion of jazz, disco, and house under the name Close Counters. Their productions have been supported by some of the most well-respected names in the industry including Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 6), Jaguar (BBC Radio 1), and Folamour.
Speaking on their songwriting process the duo said, “Our approach to songwriting is constantly changing, sometimes one person will have an idea or demo and bring it to the other, and sometimes we will start with a blank canvas and make something from scratch, especially if there are extra collaborators involved – such as our live band members Matthew Hayes on bass and Lucky Pereira on drums, or the vocalists we featured, Allysha Joy and JAYDEAN.”
As part of Attack’s My Studio series, we asked Close Counters to show us their studio and favourite pieces of gear.
Fender Rhodes Mark IYou know what it is. A truly beautiful restored Rhodes Mark I. This sits right next to the desk so basically the first place we go for chords or harmonic ideas in every song. We run it through a JHS colour box for tone and warmth. This beauty features on SOULACOASTA II heavily, particularly in PURSUIT and sprinkles throughout. Note: this Rhodes actually belongs to Allysha Joy who we share the studio with!
BOSS KM60 Mixer
We run a lot of drums and synths through this classic old 6-channel mixer, particularly the TR-8s to warm up the digital tones. This was brought out in the early 80s.
The old-school crunch is a really nice factor although it sometimes tunes into AM radio frequencies if the power is not well-conditioned! Boss RE-20 space echo through the effects send.
One of the best lead synths out there IMO! The sawtooth is just super juicy, especially with a touch of spring reverb.
This one is all over our new record on tracks like ‘Break From It’, ‘Cosmic Evolution’, and ‘Pursuit’. Things like disco lasers and dub siren FX are also super fun to make on this.
On top of the Rhodes is our Prophet 6.
The stereo warmth is like no other. Most of the synth chords on ‘Soulacoasta II’ come from this guy. The modulation FX, stereo panning and after-touch control make it one of the most expressive electronic instruments, which is what we like.
So much filter goodness from this beast, we usually use an expression pedal on the filter to free up both hands on the board.
We love to layer up drums with acoustic and electronic takes and have been getting more into live takes.
This quick and smart drum machine is good for punching in rhythmic ideas and playing live as you go through rather than twiddling things inside the computer for hours.
This second edition enables you to load your own samples which is fresh. It may not have the vintage aesthetics but it’s definitely got the tools we need. It’s also mad fun for jams – lots of our ideas come from there.
View of Brunswick
We can’t post a studio insight without this sky-filled view that we’re lucky enough to see from the room.
Even though windows aren’t great for acoustics, the view and inspiration from the changing outdoor scenery is worth it. Some spikey plants go alright too.
Want to learn how to produce a disco track? Check out the Attacks tutorial using Toontrack plugins.
Want to support us?
The Secrets of Dance Music Production
The world-leading book on dance music production. Comes with samples too.
Make Your Music Make Money
The ultimate guide to making the music industry work for you.
Replicants – Elektron Analog Rytm Sample Pack
Electro sounds for the Elektron Analog Rytm. Free your spirit.
The Producer’s Manual
Everything you need to take a mix, from initial recording to final master.
Prism – Digitone Sample Pack
Electronic sounds for the Elektron Digitone.