Birmingham Nu-Disco/Funk duo Ekkah are taking us into their studio set up to show us how they make their music. Having grown up together, the duo bonded over a mutual love of music and soon started writing their own material. They released their debut track “Last Chance To Dance,” in 2014 followed by “Small Talk” and “What’s Up” with Dam-Funk. At the end of May, the pair released their new single “Room 4 Love” on Future Disco with a David Jackson remix coming this Friday, June 12.
Head into the studio with Ekkah for a new My Toolbox feature as they break down their essential gear that is used to make the music they have put out over the years.
1. Digital Compressor – Ableton
An absolute must for our production is a heavy sidechain on the compressor. Our songs are focused on making people dance, and forget their reality and step into ours. When we have the bass and the majority of the vocals bouncing with the kick it really gives our tracks that level of excitement.
2. Joyo D - Seed
For guitar sounds it has to be the JOYO D-SEED digital delay effects pedal, we use it on almost all of our tracks - as you can see I have a preferred delay setting labelled, this is due to a lot of our songs being at a similar tempo range lending itself to a tight delay.
3. Roland VE-20 Vocal Performer & Julius Keilwerth - Tenor Saxophone
Rebekah plays tenor sax live and on record, we really like to play around with FX for the sax, in and outside the box. We use this old vocal pedal of Bex’s which is surprisingly cool for the sax; The VE-20. We mainly link the delay settings to the BPM on the track and drench it in reverb for that hint of the 80’s meets future funk.
4. Roland TR-505
Our drum machine always builds the basis of the drums in our tracks. We play the parts in or send MIDI out from Ableton to record the sections we want. It’s so nice to be able to have a theme running through our drum sounds, from stage into track and we love the sound of this.
5. Korg Monologue Roland Gaia
Rebekah plays sax, synths (Roland - Gaia) and percussion on a Roland SPD-SX and BV’s. Pictured here is a snap of our home studio. When we play live, the whole set up comes with us, this has really helped us develop and hone in on a consistent sound from the studio to the road.
6. Custom-made Fender Telecaster
This guitar was a gift from a long-time friend and producer we had worked with called Mike Chapman. He amazingly built this guitar for me as a gift years ago, as I did not have my own electric guitar at the time - it is one of my most prized possessions and is great for playing discoey based rhythm guitar and licks.