Electronic music duo Disclosure appeared seemingly out of nowhere in 2012, offering up a poppier, more colourful take on the post-dubstep sound, spearheaded by acts like Joy Orbison and James Blake, that was capturing the attention of the global dance music community.
Disclosure’s breakout hit was Latch, a bright, catchy slice of dance-pop that featured the then-unknown vocalist Sam Smith. Though it didn’t quite crack the UK Top 10, the track set them on a path to chart domination, with the album that followed hitting No 1 in both the UK and US charts, earning them nominations for Grammy and BRIT Awards in the process.
In a Twitch stream recorded and posted on YouTube, Disclosure’s Guy Lawrence opened up the Logic project for Latch and gave fans a surprising insight into how the track was made. “We weren’t trying to make a hit, but it became one,” he said. “I almost felt like I had impostor syndrome - people would be telling me how great the mix is, and how analogue it was, and in my mind I’m thinking… it’s definitely just Logic plugins.”
Lawrence runs through the many stock Logic plugins that went into the making of the track, highlighting their native delay and compressor, which were used on Sam Smith's vocal parts, alongside the EFM1 and ESP synths, which produced the 'beep' sounds in the intro and the rich pad sounds in the chorus. “I hope that people can take from this, that you don’t need fancy gear to make a hit”, Lawrence said of the track.
Latch isn’t a typical dance-pop hit: written in 6/8 time, it’s based around an unconventional chord sequence that Lawrence said divided fans, who couldn’t figure out the key signature. “There’s a bunch of videos on YouTube of people trying to work the chords out, and no-one’s got it right, literally no-one. We asked Jacob Collier what key it’s in, and he said it’s in the key of banger.”
Check out the full video above or follow Disclosure on YouTube for more music production tutorials.