In The Studio w/ Lovebirds

Lovebirds is the solo project of Hamburg resident Sebastian ‘Basti’ Doering and although the Lovebirds name is relatively recently, Basti is no beginner in the production game. Basti formed Knee Deep, together with old friend Toddie Freese in 1998. Knee Deep became a household name in the dance scene, leading to international DJ gigs and mountains of remix work. A few years on, Basti had achieved all he wanted to with Knee Deep, and was ready to move into more deeper, melancholy musical avenues. And so Lovebirds was born, which is now his main project. The Lovebirds sound is like a blast from the past with house steroids packing serious production muscle. Listening to Lovebirds is like taking trip back to the 70s and 80s – but riding in a gleaming futuristic spaceship. Respected labels likes Defected, Z Records, Buzzin Fly, OM, Toolroom, Freerange, Large Music, NeedWant & many others have released Lovebirds projects & remixes.

Sebastian’s latest offering Give Me a Sign ft Holly Backler is out on Traxsource right now & we caught up with him to get an EXCLUSIVE tour around his studio along with a featured interview about his approach to music production. This is In The Studio w/ Lovebirds

“Give Me a Sign” ft Holly Backler available now on Traxsource.


1) Give us a full kit list of everything in your studio.

Studio Equipment

Monitors

  • Focal Sm9.
  • Yamaha Ns10 / Rotel Amp.

Headphones

  • Lehmann Audio Studio Cube.
  • Behringer Powerplay Pro Xl.
  • Akg K701.
  • Shure Srh840.

Comp

  • Mac 8 Core / 2 Uad Quad.
  • Pc For Analyzer Program.

Desk
Harrison 32 A Console (Only 25 Channels).
Ashly Mx 508 (Fx Return Sub Mixer).

Recording

  • Telefunken M15A.

Converter

  • Mytek 192/8 Adda.
    Motu 24 I/O.

Compressors

  • Api 2500.
  • Ubk Fatso.
  • Adl 1500.
  • Jlm La 500.
  • Lindell 7X 500 (2X).
  • Jlam Fc 500.
  • Bss Dpr 402.
  • Dbx 1066.
  • Alesis 3630.
  • Rnc.

EQs

  • Jlm Peq500 (2X).
  • Ubk Elektra 500 (2X).

Special Processing

  • Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15.

FX

  • Lexicon 480L.
  • Ams Rmx 16.
  • Tc 2290.
  • Tc M5000.
  • Lexicon Model 200.
  • Emt 140 Plate.
  • Eventide H3000 (H3500 Upgrade).
  • Yamaha D5000.
  • Yamaha Spx990.
  • Lexicon Pcm 70 + Lexicon Mrc.
  • Lexicon Lxp5.
  • Kurzweil Rumour.
  • Behringer V-Verb.
  • Yamaha D1500.
  • Alesis Midiverb 2.
  • Roland Space Echo Re 201.
  • Mutron Phaser 1 & 2.
  • Tc Electronic Tc Xii Phaser.
  • Electro Harmonics Flanger.
  • Mxr Distortion.
  • Digitech Talker.
  • Talkbox.

MIC

  • Neumann Tlm 193
  • Akg Solitube
  • Shure Sm57

Instruments

  • Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73 Mk2.
  • Upright Piano.
  • Oberheim Ob8.
  • Micromoog.
  • Roland Juno 6.
  • Solina String Ensemble.
  • Oberheim Matrix 1000.
  • Korg M1.
  • Roland D50.
  • Roland Jv1080.
  • Novation Basstation 1.

Drums

  • Akai Mpc3000.
  • Oberheim Dx.
  • Sequential Circuits Drumtraks.
  • Jomox Mbase11.

  • Technics Sl1210 Mk2.
  • Studiologic Masterkeyboard.
  • Oxygen 8 (Console Keyboard).

Pictures

NOTE: Click the images for large versions


Lovebirds Studio Interview

2) What is your favourite piece of equipment to use in the studio & why?

Instrument wise it’s my Rhodes because I just love the sound and the fact that its a suitcase model means I can turn it on and play right away which I do a lot. Gear wise at the moment its defiantly my newest toy – the lexicon 480L! It breathes life into every sound!


3) Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?

I usually have something to start with. This can be anything, a conga loop, chords, bass, vocal – then I just put down what my brain is telling me which is usually within 1 or 2 hours. Then I start to arrange quickly, almost on the fly while letting it play. I want to get a rough arrangement while I am still crazy about everything in the track. If I do other work (processing, eq, comp) before that, I will lose a great part of that initial vibe which is essential for arranging. Once I got the instrumental almost there, I might see if I can find a singer or not.

4) What piece of studio equipment or production process defines the Lovebirds sound?

Hmm, hard to say because it’s all of them in a way, but all of it is going through my Harrison console so maybe that defines my sound. My sound is actually defined by my brain and all the music I listened to and loved.


5) What piece of hardware/software elevated your production to a higher level & how?

This is a great question because there is a whole industry based on the idea that there is this one piece of gear that will make everything easy and great sounding! I recently brought a lot of outboard equipment because I simply can handle things better that have knobs, I can give them more attention than looking on a screen and playing with a mouse. One thing that opened up a new world for me was getting a hi end reverb like the Bricasti – things became real after that!

6) What fresh equipment have you recently added to the lab?

Tons I would say! I went through a phase of testing and then brought a lot of stuff around the same time, pretty much 85% of the outboard gear. It’s really an addiction no doubt. But the way I see it is its an investment and most of the stuff doesn’t lose value so I could sell it if I don’t want it anymore, reverbs especially. I think I have already about 10 hardware reverbs from 20 euro to 3500 euro. Thing is you can’t really get vintage gear for testing so I am just buying it and reselling it if I don’t like it. But usually I like it ;)


7) Your essential studio supplies are?

Hmm, it depends. I am working mostly in the daytime these days otherwise I wouldn’t see my wife at all, but I am afraid that it just isn’t the way for me. Evening and night have such a different vibe which is so much better for producing that I have to find a way to get more of that. I don’t need much, maybe a tea but everything changes when I have a little drink and maybe some homegrown!

8) What list of artists have influenced your sound?

Patrick Adams, Masters At Work, (The Old Mk), Phoenix, Kashif, Toro Y Moi, Supertramp, The Police, Moodyman, The Clash Tbc.

9) Give us 3 of your favourite productions? (tunes that you created)

  • In The Shadows
  • Want You In My Soul
  • This Feeling

10) Any handy studio tips you would like to pass onto producers out there?

Don’t get too many tools/plug-ins. Learn to use a few but very well. It’s much more effective than collecting plug-ins and if you can afford it, get some hardware! A Juno is a great and versatile synth or even a Oberheim Matrix 1000 which has AMAZING sounds – same for outboard. A hardware compressor is much more fun than software – even the cheap Lindell comps which I use all the time, and hardware reverb doesn’t have to cost a lot, I think my 20 euro Alesis Verb sounds more 3d than most or even all of my plug-ins.

11) What new production should your fans be on the lookout for at Traxsource soon?

Right now we are putting out a new lovebirds releases on our Teardrop label. It features the incredibly talented Holly Backler which already sang In The Shadows and Love On My Hand for me. This track is called “Give Me A Sign” and its a very boogie early 80’s prelude style record. I did a remix myself and the great Glenn Astro gave it his magic touch too. There’s a bonus track which is awesome too called “Soul Conversation” – by myself and my studio neighbour Syncopix. There will be some more singles by myself this year on Teardrop – some tracky and a follow up with Stee Downes!


Lovebirds artist/label pages & releases on Traxsource.


Lovebirds


Teardrop Music