In The Studio with Reel People
Right now the talented London production team (known for their hugely acclaimed albums , & ) have two excellent releases & out now on Traxsource, so we decided to catch up with them for an exclusive studio tour & interview about their gear, production techniques & more in the next instalment of ‘In The Studio’
Reel People Interview
So where are you guys exactly?
Oli Lazarus: Well we are in Toni Economides studio in Wood Green, London. This is where we have recorded and mixed a high percentage of the Reel People albums and remixes over the last decade or so. Toni has been a key member of the Reel People production alongside myself so its really cool to put some of the highlight on him for a change. :)
What equipment do you have in your studio? (full studio kit list).
- PMC IB1S running on a Bryston 4BST
- Yamaha NS10M Studio
- Auratone 5C
- Crane Song Avocet Studio Controller
- Benchmark DAC1 D to A Convertor
- Roland SH-5 Analog Mono Synth
- Wurlitzer EP200A Electric Piano
- 1977 Fender Precision Bass
- Stacks of various percussion
- Roland Juno 106
- Prophet 08
- Novation SLMKII 61SL
- Drum Kit
- BAE 1073 Dual Mic Pre
- RME Fireface 400
- Neumann M147 Valve Mic
- Audio Technica AT400
- Audio Technica S300B
- AKG C1000
- 3 x Shure SM58
- 3 x Shure SM57
- Logic Pro X
- Waves Bundle
- Native Instruments Komplete 10
- Altiverb 7
- Colour changing LEDs and disco vibes
NOTE: Click the images for large versions
What is your favorite piece of equipment to use in the studio & why?
Toni Economides: Might be a little obvious but its my Computer running Logic X. It’s the true centre for everything to be honest. Outboard wise it would have to be my BAE 1073 Mic pre amp as everything you seem to record through it sounds amazing. You will be amazed at what a difference a quality mic pre amp can make!.
Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?
Oli Lazarus: With our remixes, it usually begins with me and our keyboardist Matt Cooper working on some chord & sound ideas. After 2 to 3 hours we usually have the basis of the track and I then move onto working with Toni to develop the drums, overall production and any extra musical elements we might add. After the track is arranged and all music is recorded its over to Toni on the mixdown. Toni has mixed more tracks than I have had hot dinners and really is a sound don.
What piece of studio equipment or production process defines the Reel People sound?
Toni Economides: There isn’t really one piece of equipment that defines our sound it’s always a combination of a lot of elements and often the varied and talented musicians we work with.
What piece of hardware/software elevated your production to a higher level & how?
Toni Economides: My PMC Speakers connected to a Bryston amp, I’ve had them since 1997 and the detail that they reveal is second to none.
What fresh equipment have you recently added to the lab?
Toni Economides: The Crane Song Avocet Studio controller is new and has just replaced the old Presonus Studio Controller. Also the Juno 106 is a new addition and the Prophet 08 rack.
What are your essential studio supplies (food, drink, cigs etc)?
Oli Lazarus: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee! All the people who have had the pleasure of working at Toni’s studio know that he is also a bit of a don coffee maker. He knows his beans :))
What list of artists have influenced your sound?
Oli Lazarus: Reel People’s sound has been influenced mostly by Soul & Jazz artists from the 1970’s/1980’s onwards but in terms of the house side of things, were always the big influence. Great to see their new collection out there with so many classic memories!
What are your 3 favourite productions?
Oli Lazarus: Well that’s a tough one but Id say 3 of our most current things are ones we really enjoyed working on.
- Portia Monique – Grace (Reel People Vocal Mix)
- Heston – Resign 2 U (Reel People Vocal Mix)
- The Company – Superstar (Reel People Vocal Mix)
What handy studio tip would you pass onto producers out there?
Toni Economides: When mixing, ease off the EQ and compression plug ins. The reason many mixes fail is because people often try too hard and over use these processes, they feel there has to be a bunch of plug ins on every channel, it’s fine to leave some channels without plug ins if they don’t really need them. EQ and compression are important tools in the studio, both for creative and practical uses but over zealous use can ruin a mix. Creative processes aside, 90% of mix down is all about levels, pan and reverb.
What new production should your fans be on the lookout for at Traxsource soon?
Oli Lazarus: Reel People – The Remixes has just been released on Traxsource. This is a compilation of all the remixes we have done over the last decade or so. You guys also have the new Portia Monique single which is taken from her debut album dropping at the end of October. The whole album is produced by Reel People and is something we put together over nearly a 2 year period, we are really excited about this release.
Reel People’s latest releases out on Traxsource.