The FabFilter synth preset that inspired the name of Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft was used on one of its songs, and we’re pretty sure we know which one

Billie Eilish Finneas Late Show
(Image credit: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)

As Billie Eilish’s new album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, continues to dominate the global streaming charts, the genesis of its title has provided us with a nice little subplot over the past few weeks. 

First, in an interview with Rolling Stone, it was suggested that Eilish named the album after she misheard the name of a Logic Pro synth, but then it transpired that it was more likely inspired by the title of a preset - ‘Hit me soft, Hit me hard’ - in FabFilter’s Twin plugin, which producer Finneas (Eilish’s brother) is known to be a user of.

Now, in what we’re assuming will be the final chapter of this story, we've discovered this very preset does indeed appear to have been prominently used on Hit Me Hard and Soft - specifically, in the track Bittersuite.

If you’re looking for evidence, take a listen to the synth part that kicks in at around 4:30.

And now check out us using the 'Hit me soft, Hit me hard' preset to record a part similar to the one in Bittersuite, with no additional processing or effects.

Pretty similar, we think you’ll agree.

The meaning behind the title of the ‘Hit me soft, Hit me hard’ preset seems pretty obvious - it's a sound with a character that varies depending on the velocity levels you play it at. We’re assuming that the part on the Billie Eilish album was played by Finneas or Eilish herself; either way, they certainly seem to have taken the preset name to heart, as the varying velocity plays a key role in giving the sound its distinctive character.

If you want to give the preset a play, grab yourself a copy of FabFilter Twin 3 on the FabFilter website and you’ll be able to find it in the folder called ‘Best of Twin 2’.

Hit me soft, Hit me hard FabFilter Twin 3

(Image credit: FabFilter)
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine