In The Studio w/ the Audiowhores
Audiowhores is the acclaimed and world renowned UK house music duo of Graham Lord and Adam Unsworth. Their high-quality original production and remix work for labels including Defected, Toolroom, Noir and Lapsus has positioned them at the forefront of the UK’s house scene. Similarly, their versatile DJ sets which incorporate everything from deep and soulful sounds to tougher and techier beats, have won the pair fans worldwide.
Their new project is out on Traxsource (with an exclusive “Warehouse Mix” on the site) via along w/ a re-issue of Graham & Adam’s popular producer pack, on Traxsource. With all that being said, the guys gave us a tour around their studio; we talk gear, production methods and more in our next instalment of ‘In The Studio’
Sittin’ out now on Traxsource via Toolroom.
Get 25% Off “Analog Deep House” sample pack on Traxsource.
1) What equipment do you have in your studio? (full studio kit list).
- Apple 27” iMac, 3.4ghz quad-core Intel i7, 16gb RAM, 1tb Fusion Drive,
- Apple 15” Retina Macbook Pro, 2.5ghz quad-core Intel i7, 16gb RAM, 1tb SSD
- DSI Prophet ’08,
- Moog Slim Phatty,
- Waldorf Pulse 2,
- Yamaha TX81Z,
- Emagic AMT8,
- Mackie HR824’s,
- Sontronics STC-2,
- Focusrite Saffire Pro 40,
- Traktor S2.
- Logic Pro X,
- Ableton Live 9,
- Native Instruments Massive,
- Native Instruments Reaktor 5,
- Native Instruments Battery 5,
- Native Instruments Razor,
- Native Instruments Guitar Rig,
- Waves API & SSL,
- Rob Papen SubBoomBass,
- Rob Papen Predator,
- Spectrsonics Trillian,
- Spectrasonics Stylus RMX,
- TAL Bassline 101,
- Xfer Ctlhulu,
- Ohmforce Ohmboyz,
- QuikQuack Pitchwheel,
- Valhaller DSP,
- Elysia Mpressor,
- Sugarbytes Turnado,
- PSP Vintage Warmer.
NOTE: Click the images for large versions
Audiowhores Studio Interview
2) What is your favourite piece of equipment to use in the studio & why?
We have recently acquired a Prophet ’08 which has to be our favourite at the moment, the quality of the sound it produces is top notch. It features quite heavily on our forthcoming album on Toolroom.
3) Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?
It depends on the style of the track we’re producing, however 90% of the time we start with the kick drum, add a solid snare / clap and some hi-hats. We occasionally reach for percussion / loops to give it that groove or alternatively we lay down additional shakers / closed hats / percussion to give it swing. Simon Dunmore from Defected once told us that if you strip all the other sounds away, the drums should sound amazing on their own, so we spend a lot of time making sure the drums / percussion are right! Having said that it’s important not to be too precious about the individual sounds you start with – often we need to tweak as we add more instrumentation, depending on the direction of the track, so it’s good to keep an open mind. Once the drums are tight we move onto the bass-line making sure it doesn’t clash with the kick, then we lay down some chords / stabs and lead sounds.
4) What piece of studio equipment or production process defines the Audiowhores sound?
In our opinion there’s no particular hardware or software that defines our sound, it’s more about our ears and our inspirations at that moment in time. That is probably why our sound has evolved so much over the years, we never stand still. Sound wise it helps that we have a library with 14 years worth of samples and also we are meticulous in our attention to detail… sometimes we can spend hours searching for a sound before we are happy that it’s right. We would say it takes a long time for your ‘production ears’ to develop.
A plugin we use on every channel & master bus is the Waves API 2500 along with the SSL Channel Strip. A recent discovery was the NI Guitar Rig 5 – don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just for guitars, it has some amazing compressors. For us personally we use it for the Traktor reverb and delay which sound amazing!
5) What piece of hardware/software elevated your production to a higher level & how?
Sonically the quality of our tracks has undoubtedly improved over the years. If you listen to some of our very early productions from 2000 / 2001 you’ll hear that the dynamic range and overall levels are quite literally all over the place! Over the years we have progressed in our use of compressors, limiters and EQ’s. Another recent discovery is the proper use of tape emulation, saturation and summing mixers. These help to give our productions a warmer analog feel. Generally though all the hardware and software in the world is not going to improve your productions… it’s time, perseverance and the willingness to learn new things that will make your productions stand out from the crowd.
6) What fresh equipment have you recently added to the lab?
Recently we have had a complete studio refurb’, as a lot of the equipment wasn’t being used at all. We used to have a NI Maschine, Access Virus TI Desktop and a Korg Triton LE keyboard that were collecting dust, so it made sense to have a complete overhaul. Graham took on the laborious task of buying and selling the hardware on Gumtree (which is a fantastic site for music pro equipment) but the end result was well worth the effort. The Yamaha TX81z was bought from a proper ‘old school synth nerd’ in Warrington ;-). He had an old Casio MT-520 keyboard which brought back fond memories of learning to play the keyboard – needless to say there was plenty of ‘synth talk’ flying about and it was quite hard leaving his house! Other new equipment we bought was the Waldorf Pulse 2, Moog Slim Phatty and the Focusrite Sapphire Pro40.
7) Your essential studio supplies (food, drink, cigs etc) are?
Neither of us smoke but we both certainly like our food and drink! Food is probably Graham’s number one passion after music. He eat’s vegetarian food during the week, mainly for the health benefits and you’ll find him regularly cooking up a treat before Adam lands in the studio. A favourite at the moment is the quick and easy Aubergine Pasta… we challenge any veggie-skeptic to cook this and not be pleased with the results! A glass of wine or a decent beer helps to get the creative juices flowing but providing it’s only one or two!
8) What list of artists have influenced your sound?
Wow.. where do we start? There has certainly been quite a few over the years. In the early days it was the likes of Masters at Work, Joey Negro, Knee Deep, Jazz n Groove, Dennis Ferrer, Copyright, Full Intention etc. More recently it would be Hot Since 82, Noir, Henrik Schwarz, Tube & Berger, Dennis F again!
9) Give us 3 of your favourite productions? (tunes that you created)
10) Any handy studio tips you would like to pass onto producers out there?
Investing money into quality hardware synths (and learning them inside out) is worth it’s weight in gold, it will give you the edge. It’s also worth investing your time in a decent sound and loop library. When it comes to getting your mix right, quality monitors are essential but you can also learn a lot about the mix by listening to it on as many systems as possible – in the car, a home hi-fi, headphones, club systems etc.
11) What new production should your fans be on the lookout for at Traxsource soon?
We have our 2nd single on Toolroom Records called “Sittin’ (Warehouse Mix)” which is out now exclusively on Traxsource. You can also look out for our debut sample pack called “Audiowhores Analog Deep House”. This was quite a labor of love going back through 14 years worth of recordings. Some people have asked if we were dubious about giving away our samples but we feel that if you’re going to release something like this then there is no point in holding back. We are also mid-way through our debut album which will be coming out on Toolroom sometime in the New Year… we’re very excited about this!