One of the biggest names in pop music, Clean Bandit have scored four UK No. 1s, won a Grammy and collaborated with a star-studded list of artists that includes Lizzo, Sean Paul, Ellie Goulding, Mabel and Demi Lovato.
Not your average world-beating pop trio, the group depart from dance-pop convention in their affinity for classical instrumentation and orchestral music, laying down Grace Chatto's cello lines alongside vibrant electronic production from Jack Patterson.
This month, they're back with a new single that sees the bandits bringing in German DJ/producer Topic and vocalist Wes Nelson for Drive (opens in new tab), a radio-ready slice of pop-house that has its sights set on becoming the song of the summer.
Jack from Clean Bandit was kind enough to give us a tour of his London basement studio...
ATC SCM110ASL Monitors
"I use Ableton Live for sequencing and Pro Tools for recording and mixing. My main speakers are a pair of ATC 110ASLs, and I also use Dynaudio BM15a and Yamaha NS10s."
SSL G384 Bus Compressor
"I work a lot with Mark Ralph and I’ve emulated his mix setup so we can share projects more easily. He has a large SSL G series desk and uses the built-in bus compressor on most of the mixes we do together and recommended this specific version of that (G384) so I can recall his projects accurately.
"For AD/DA I use Apollo x8 and x8p and a Ferrofish A32 for ADAT expansion. I love the UAD ecosystem so much.
"We use it in our live show, too, it just sounds great. For most vocals I use a Neve 1073 paired with an 1176 or sometimes a Distressor. I set up a separate monitoring chain in the UAD Console to give artists something more extreme for vibes when writing or tracking."
Neve 8816 Summing Mixer
"To recreate the analogue summing I use a Neve 8816 summing mixer, which just makes things sound better. My 1980s analog Akai EWI sits proudly here too!"
Nord Wave 2
"In terms of keyboards I love the Nord Wave 2, it feels so visceral when manipulating sounds.
"The Juno-106 I use all the time, especially since I have all my hardware setup as presets in the external instrument folder in Ableton. Doing this means grabbing a real Juno or Polysix is just as quick as grabbing the VST equivalent.
"This Polysix I brought back from Tokyo a few years ago when we were touring there. I recently asked my friend Reuben who runs Providence Guitars to install the Polysex mod which is incredible."
"The B-Rig in the live room is where all the modular and desktop stuff is..."
Tiptop Audio Z-DSP
"I love euro-crack and the Z-DSP module is amazing. Having a hardware version of the Valhalla reverb is mad. You can modulate the size of the reverb with CV and effectively play the reverb tail like an oscillator."
"One of my favourite synths is the Roland SE-02, it’s so fun and is just pure filth."
"This is my Mk II Fender Rhodes. It doesn’t make it onto many Clean Bandit recordings but as a writing tool it’s fantastic. It sounds amazing through this Roland jazz chorus especially when I add a touch of hardware Valhalla reverb."
Yamaha U3 Piano
"My Yamaha U3 is one of my most beloved pieces of gear. It’s so inspiring to play, especially with the felt ‘curtain’ which makes it sound so dreamy."
Wurlitzer Butterfly Piano
"This is a Wurlitzer Butterfly piano that I got from an old lady in Edinburgh. Again it doesn’t get used much on Clean Bandit stuff but these old electric pianos make the simplest chord progressions sound so soulful and joyous that they are invaluable pieces of gear for songwriting."