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Studio Selections: Mike Dunn

Chicago’s house hero breaks down his studio must-haves

In our Studio Selections feature, we invite artists and producers to pick their top bits of hardware and software that makes their music what it is. Mike Dunn is one of Chicago’s most-loved house heroes, emerging from Englewood in the early ’90s and crafting much-loved classics like ‘God Made Me Phunky’ and his debut album ‘Free Your Mind’. After a hiatus, he returned to the much-respected Classic Music Co for a series of releases that saw him becomes a staple on the Defected sister label. 

We caught up with him to find out what five bits of kit he can’t live without in the studio. ‘My House From All Angles (Remixes)’ out 28th August on Classic Music Company.

Moog Subsequent37

“This is one of my go-to synths when I need that warm funky Deep or Fuzzy bass or lead sound. I’m a big fan of the 70’s era. George Clinton, Funkadelics, Bootsy Collins, Al Hudson & One Way & of Course The Good Doctor Dr Dre. Bob Moog is The Godfather of synths when it comes to that. A Moog never disappoints in the studio. There are many soft synths out there that are good, but I desire great. No comparison to the real thing.”

Roland TB-03 Bassline

“There’s really not much to be said that hasn’t been said already. ACID BABY! I owned an original TB-303. Back then, me and my forever brother, friend and business partner Armando Gallop – RIP – made so many tracks with this thing I couldn’t begin to tell you. Me and my brother from another mother Hugo H would probably do at least eight to 10 acid tracks a day. We lost a lot of cassettes that they were recorded on either through the process of moving or being careless. I’m glad Roland re-released it again. It feels like home every time I touch it.”

Roland Boutique JU-08

“I own two of these units and when I posted a picture of my Roland Boutique Monster Rack [laughs]. People that don’t know always ask why do I have two. Simple, the original Jupiter-8 is an eight-voice synthesizer, the JU-08 is only four. In order to get eight voices, you need to link two of them together to act as one. I’m usually using it for my strings, pads and power synth sounds. Roland Jupiter series, in my opinion, has the warmest, full-sounding strings and pad sounds. They’ll always be in my production.”

"There are many soft synths out there that are good, but I desire great"

Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MKIII

“I love this little thing. One, I’m running out of space to put more gear in my studio and two, the pads make me like I’m programming on an MPC3000, which I used to love programming my drums with. I only use it for that sole purpose only – as my drum kits controller.”

UAD Apollo X16s

“These things sound amazing right out of the box. The AD/DA converters are superb – mwah! I’ve also added a Dangerous Music 2-Bus+, a Dangerous Music 2 Bus LT and A Dangerous Music Convert-AD+ for analogue summing and a tighter word clock. Mixing records inside the box is something I’m not a big fan of. I come up in the analogue console era, so even though I move with the times like with my DAW, there’s a certain sound that I like, that I need real gear to achieve. UAD and Dangerous Music is my Dynamic Duo.”