1. Ableton Live 10
“Ableton is a relatively new platform for me. I’d been on Logic for years, but it got to a point where seeing that Logic window come up on the monitor used to ruin the whole day. It was turning me into a programmer, when I really wanted to be a musician.
“Ableton is a brilliant program, but it doesn’t tie you down with technology. The ideal link between both worlds.”
2. Ableton Simpler
“Yes, this is Ableton again, but Simpler has become one of the most important tools in the whole studio. You can literally take any piece of audio, drag it over and get something happening in seconds.
“A lot of the drum sounds on the new album came from field recordings I made in Iceland - the crack of ice, storms, rocks crashing down a mountain. With Logic and EXS24, that would have been so long-winded. With Simpler… no faffing at all!”
3. Arturia Buchla Easel V
“Let’s be honest: how many of us are going to be able to afford a real Buchla? And even if you could afford it, you’d probably need a couple of science/music-based degrees to work out how to use it!
“It’s a lot of fun to play with and you can get some crazy sounds, but it’s still something of a mystery to me. Maybe that’s why I like it.”
4. Waves L3 Multimaximizer
“My new album was mastered at Abbey Road, so I decided to try and keep my master bus as empty as possible. What’s the point of using a plugin when it’s going to one of the greatest mastering studios in the world?
“When I was almost ready to send the album off, I did one final mix with the L3 and an SSL EQ. That did just enough to give me a reference point - something to take to the studio and say, ‘This is roughly what I’m aiming for’. It’s one of those weird bits of software that seems to know exactly what your music needs.”
5. IK Multimedia Amplitube 4
“I like to stick my synths through real guitar amps and effects if possible, but if I’m travelling, this will do the job for me. By far the best amp simulator out there.”
Cuts’ debut album, A Gradual Decline, is out now on Village Green Recordings.