Producer and vocalist Mild Minds, real name, Benjamin David, has released a new album MOOD that feels like the a summer night in Australia or LA, where he is based. The summery album has a blend of bright and at times melancholic melodies that blend together shimmering house music with lo-fi electronica and pop songwriting. It is an album that blends easily from start to finish with some standouts like “SWIM” & “WALLS.” To get a better sense of the album, we asked David to show us how the album was made.
For a new How It Was Made, Mild Minds takes us into the studio to show off the gear and software he used to make his new album MOOD.
Stream the album now and pick up your copy here.
Elektron - Analog Keys
My friend lent me one of these and being so used to vintage synthesis and sounds this was a great change. It fit perfectly to this project.
I found so many sounds that I wouldn't have otherwise. It's super super confusing to use in comparison to the older analog synths I was used to, but I actually pulled quite a few presets from here that I felt were worthy of being on the album. It's a very original hardware synth. I quickly purchased my own.
Korg - Minilogue
This has quickly become a staple for a lot of both touring artists and in studio, for good reason. It has so much power for its price.
The grit and analog texture you can get from this are perfection, perfect for this project. It also includes a mono delay which really works well with its sound. I've got some great pads and leads from this mini beast.
Macbook Pro 2017
So this seems like an obvious one but when I first got this I was in love.
I'd heard a lot of bad things about this newer model, however I got the updated one that manages to skip a few of those issues. First, it reiterated that your workspace and the associated design aesthetic play a big role in how you create - at least for me.
The older Mac was sluggish and looked dated. This however was much more streamlined and beautiful.
I switched up to 64bit Ableton and suddenly I was able to do so much more with soft synths. Multiple instances of uHe's Diva was possible, which made it much easier to create freely.
Bigger hard drive (2tb) means I don't have constantly delete things every 2 days. Little things that can streamline your process and remove frustration are key for me.
Soundtoys Plugins Echoboy
You will never need another delay in my opinion. This covers nearly every type of delay out there and has a lot of features to keep the texture original and analog including saturation, width, swing and hardware emulation.
I used this a lot on vocals and leads throughout the album.
I had this in my collection, nearly since the start of me making music however I never used it. So it was a surprise for me when I whipped it out and started to find some good sounds.
As I've mentioned earlier, I was always into really vintage sounds and synthesis, however since I intentionally stopped using a lot of synths in that vain I decided to use this.
I thought it would have a more digital and modern sound but realistically it does a lot. It helped me to find some new sounds that I wouldn't otherwise have. You can hear this on formations sequence and the bass "womp" in "MOVEMENTS."
UAD - Apollo 8 + Plugins
I've always used relatively shitty soundcards in the past, I had never recorded vocals through a compressor, pre amp or anything like that. The amount of additional work and plug-ins I had to use to get vocals sounding good in the past was ridiculous. Once I got this I quickly found a chain that allowed me to record much faster and in better quality, which is essential for creativity.
I use the AMS 16 Reverb emulation on everything, is nice and dark. There are many great on board processing plugins that you can get through UAD.
Tape simulation, Vertigo VSM saturation, Eventide Harmoniser, Guitar amp models etc. Again, the on-board processing really saves your computer a lot of work which means better creativity.
This is all over my album. Lots of versatility. I used this more like a simple 3osx vintage synth. The benefit was being able to get an analog sound with the ability to automate detail.
It really allow a lot of the tracks on the album to feel alive through automation of filters, tuning, chorus etc. It has a built-in chorus, which i used a lot for width.