Doing it their way
Plant Plants are an East London duo comprising Stuart Francis and Howard Whatley. Their second EP - cunningly titled EP2 - was produced by Jas Shaw (Simian Mobile Disco) and will be available on 18 June on This Is Music.
The band have quickly become famed for their intimate live shows (see video below) which see Stu and Howie reworking their studio material using a variety of hardware samplers and effects… but no laptop. Read on to see and hear how it all works.
NEXT: Sampler overview
“For a generation of musicians making electronic music on laptops, it might not make sense to disassemble a finished track piece by piece, and then re-record each piece back onto a ten-year-old, discontinued hardware sampler. But for our live show this is exactly what we do."
Stu: “Raised on a pedalboard at chest height, I run Boss SP-505 samplers - four of them in fact.
“I use this sampler because it sounds good, and it's designed like a toy, making it fun and easy to use. Every sound is recorded into the sampler manually (line-in, press record, press stop - no software) and triggered back through the corresponding trigger pad.
“The sampler has 16 triggers and just as many banks so running four SP-505s at once (talking to each other though MIDI) I have 64 triggers at my fingertips and manually build the track up from a series of loops and stabs I have recorded into it using our studio stems.”
Boss PS-5 Super Shifter
Stu: “I run each sampler through an effects pedal, my favourite being the Boss PS-5 Super Shifter.
“I use two of them (left and right) which I run all of my drum loops through. I have them set up so that when I squeeze each Super Shifter, the pitch of the drums slowly bends upwards (the longer I squeeze it, the higher the octave) giving the sensation that the whole track is being lifted off the ground.”
Guitar FX overview
Howie: “This is the front view of my live setup. I play a 1968 Fender Telecaster through a 1984 Fender Twin Reverb amplifier.
“Both the pedalboards are raised so I can control all the effects by hand to manipulate guitar sounds. These boards house pedals of all types and ages (vintage fuzz boxes, analogue delays, Moogerfooger and many more).”
Howie: “Despite the number of pedals I own, the one pedal I couldn't live without is my Electro-Harmonix Hog. In real-time, it allows me to lower the pitch of my guitar enough to create a deep eerie sub bass, or raise it up so high you can barely hear it."
Korg Kaoss Pad
Howie: “Kaoss Pads are an absolute must-have for me. I own a few but the one I use the most is the Kaossilator Pro. Every other pedal on the board is being sent through it so I can warp what would otherwise be very normal guitar sounds dramatically by running my fingers across the touchscreen.
“Hearing it through the Fender Twin gives the Kaoss Pad a completely different feel than running it straight into a desk/PA.”
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