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CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: ACKROYD

Top producer's must have kit

"I can't live without my Blackberry Voice Notes Recorder. I don't need to use it, I've got good microphones, and a little handheld digital recorder that I could record things on. And, actually, even the built-in mic on my laptop is probably better quality than my phone, but more and more, I find myself putting a few loops that I've recorded on the shitty, built-in voice recorder into a track, and realising that they make the track, bring it together somehow.

“Obviously it's my phone, so the main reason I use it is because I have it all the time. But that doesn't explain why I end up using the samples or loops I record in finished tracks. I guess it has such a particular sound quality: over-compressed, loads of digital artefacts, noisy, whistly and rustly, kind of phasey. I have heard it used a few times in tracks. It's all over How to Dress Well's debut album — even the main guitar line on one of the tracks is off a voice recorder or a dictaphone!

“Drums are particularly good — crashing and distorted and with weird frequencies being highlighted. But electric guitar through an amp sounds mad, and any percussive sounds in big spaces are picked up in a really strange way.

It might seem a bit of a weird thing to choose, but I guess I make all my music on Ableton and it feels like software would be a boring thing to write about (however amazing it is to work with). I figure this is a nice way to remind yourself that every bit of technology has its own particular qualities and capacities, whether it's an amazing mic or a shitty phone."

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