Twice Grammy-nominated, Nashville-based Dustin Burnett has written and produced for a slew of artists, and is also the founder of drum sample company That Sound. On top of that, his work has featured in movie trailer, video games and TV productions.
Currently working as ZAYDE WØLF, Burnett is just about to release The Hidden Memoir EP (it’ll be available on 3 March). We asked him to tell us about his studio and favourite gear, details of which can be found if you click through the gallery.
“This is my studio. It’s a converted second floor of an oversized two-car garage. The main room is about 700 square feet. This is where most of the action happens. I wanted it to feel like a big open creative space that has the vibes of a cosy living room. There are three other small spaces not pictured: a vocal booth, an amp closet and a small lounge.
“I call it CoCo’s House; it’s named after my oldest daughter.”
“Another producer was at my space recently, and he said, ‘I love how everything is within reach!’ As music makers, we have to move quickly, and I hate being slowed down by having to make input changes or moving mics too much.
“The desk is set up so that most everything you see has its own input. I use the old KRK V8 speakers with a 12-inch KRK Sub, then I have the classic NS10s with a little home stereo 8-inch sub just to fill out the bottom.
“I use a pile of UAD software. I just can’t live without the 1176s and LA2s, and that AMS Reverb is everything to me.
“My desk is also set up with a moveable keyboard so that I can stand and work and use the TV on the wall as the monitor. I’ve found this crucial to keeping myself moving. AKA, dance while you work!”
Roland TR-8 and Dave Smith Sequential Prophet-6
“I work deep ‘in the box’, and I consider Pro Tools to be the best instrument that I play. However, I use the Roland TR-8 to create beat sequences that make me perform with the sequencer and commit to parts. I love how this drum box enables me to change the pitch and feeling of drum patterns in real time.
“The Dave Smith Sequential Prophet-6 is a vibe machine. I love using it for bass and arpeggiations, and I’ve made a couple of dreamy synth pads that are a combination of using the onboard reverb and overdrive.”
“I don’t really have a favourite single unit specifically in my 500-series box, but I’ve found that I love my vocal on my the Avedis MA5 into the Inward Connections Brute compressor. I don’t think these boxes get the respect they deserve.
“On bass I use the API into the Distressor with the high-pass detector turn on, so it doesn’t smash up my low-end of the bass on the way in.
“The Heritage 73JRs have a couple of purposes. The Prophet goes through this chain, as do a pair of stereo condensers that I keep up in the room.”
“I have the (made in Nashville) Lawson microphone Tube/Fet combo. It gives me several options with the 251- and 47-style capsules that are interchangeable.
“Pictured is my go-to for my vocals: Tube body with the 47-style capsule. I love how it picks up every detail of the vocal and pushes out the midrange! I run this microphone through the MA5 preamp with the 28k air boost switch turned on for added top-end detail.”
“In addition to being a producer/artist I also co-own a drum sample company called That Sound. I’ve sampled and recorded these two beauties so many times in different ways.
“The 32-inch Ludwig is an uncontrolled beast that works amazing when layered with a tighter, punchier kick. I love to clip the preamps while recording this drum for extra nasty vibes. The 28-inch Gretsch is very flexible and sounds like a mammoth! Sometimes I dampen the inside with various pillows or a blanket to shorten the tail of the hit.”
"I’ve had that Ibanez Talman and the Taylor Acoustic since I was about 18 years old. They are almost ‘vintage’ now! I typically keep old dirty strings on the Taylor because new ones are too bright for most of the alternative music that I do. I love recording the Taylor through the Lawson 251 Fet into the API.
“At this point you guys have either fallen in love or written me off after seeing the eight concert toms in this photo. The ZAYDE WØLF songs are stacked with layers of drums; I love the bold statement of a two-bar drum fill. Bringing it back, ya’ll!”
“My amps are pre-wired into a small booth with an SM57 that I can put on the various speakers. I have two Weber speaker boxes in there. The vintage Blue Dog speaker is amazing. You can see the Weber custom amp which is kind of an AC30, Matchless, Marshall hybrid. I also love that Orange AD30 amp - it never lets me down. It feels like rock ‘n’ roll.”