In our video series The Breakdown, we visit artists and producers in the studio as they break down how they make their music, getting a deeper insight into the gear, techniques and creative process that's behind their best tracks.
This month, we visited rising producer Joe Turner, whose latest release, Borders, sees him exploring the kind of propulsive and melodic dance music territory mined by greats like Bonobo and Four Tet.
Step 1: The arpeggio acts as a finishing touch after Borders’ second chorus. “For melodic arps I usually use my Moog Grandmother,” he explains. “I start by trying to play in some sort of basic melody.”
Step 2: Joe creates a basic arp-like riff by playing the Grandmother then records the MIDI into Ableton Live. “I’ve gone in and muted a few different notes that I didn’t think worked. It’s all a bit trial and error,” he tells us.
Step 3: Next Joe sends the MIDI back out to Behringer’s TD-3, a clone of Roland’s classic TB-303. “As much as the Grandmother sounds great, the distortion and the proper squelchiness of this TD-3 really works.”
Step 4: The audio is then recorded back into the DAW, where Joe treats it with a touch of reverb from Valhalla Vintage set up as a send. He also sends the audio to a dotted delay provided by Soundtoys Echoboy.
Step 5: The final touch is some chorus, provided by free Juno-style plugin OSL, again set up on a send channel. “It just makes it so much wider and gives it a bit of character. I send all my synths to that.”
Joe Turner on why he loves his Prophet 08
“I’ve had this for about three years or so. I always knew I wanted a Prophet, because I loved the sound of them. I picked this one up and brought it home and was instantly inspired by just how great it sounds.
“Every single track that I’ve ever released is full of this Prophet synth. I love the sounds that you can get from it – the pads are amazing, there’s some really good bass sounds as well. It’s just super rich. You can get some great arpeggios too.
“It just sounds great right out the box, which means less work for me to do and more time playing. Coming from a musical background, that’s way more inspiring than having to spend 20 minutes EQing or clicking a button on the computer. This is by far my favourite and most used piece of kit in my studio.”