Having been previously described by the bastion of house music and UK house legend Terry Farley as ‘Rotary Connection meets Mad Mike’, BRUISE are no strangers to the scene, consistently delivering impressionable, heartfelt dancefloor productions that resonate across a wide scope of music lovers. Previous support has come in troves from the likes of Laurent Garnier, Laurence Guy, Andhim, Sasha, John Digweed, A-Trak and many more with features in top publications including the Guardian and Mixmag.
The latest dynamic house cut out of the BRUISE HQ studio is ‘When Piano’s Attack’, a no-nonsense, speaker rumbling night-time anthem. Doing exactly what it says on the tin, with banging house piano chords leading the charge. Through uplifting strings and melodic vocal/synth passages, breakdowns that pull on the heartstrings and drops that elevate to the highest states of ecstasy. BRUISE delivers once again with this almighty helping of authentic house music.
We get the chance to peer into the mastermind’s workspace to see their 5 favorite pieces of gear behind these wonderful productions.
Maschine MK3 Controller and Maschine Jam
I use Maschine pretty much exclusively for creating beats and I use the controller as my main audio interface. I’ll generally run Maschine as a plugin in Ableton and trigger Maschine scenes with program changes using Ableton midi clips. Maschine Jam works brilliantly as a step sequencer and a partner to the MK3 controller. The touch strips are really instinctive for controlling the Maschine performance effects which can create some really interesting, automated variations to loops and phrases.
I’d love to see Native Instruments release the Maschine performance effects as individual VST’s. Then you could add these to each channel in Ableton which could then be controlled by Maschine Jam. That would be awesome for live performances.
Ableton Push 2 + Novation Launchpad Pro
Push 2 is a great controller for controlling Live’s device parameters and mix levels/panning etc but I still prefer launching clips and scenes using Novation’s Launchpad PRO.
With the Launchpad you can see the colour of each scene not just the individual clip which is something that Push doesn’t do. The Launchpad lights are also a lot brighter and I prefer the feel of the pads.
AKAI MPC One
Bang for buck this device is incredible and since the 2.10 update, it 100% earns the ‘standalone’ status. I use the MPC One to take me away from the studio and just jam wherever I want. I’ve got the Ripcord USB cable so I can power the whole unit from a phone power block which means you can make beats anywhere you fancy. It works so well and I’ve yet to run out of charge in a session.
As I have loads of Maschine expansions already I used the ‘Kit Maker’ (https://www.kit-maker.com/) programme to convert everything to MPC kits and loaded everything on the SD card which gives me a ton of samples to play with. Kit Maker works so well and all the kits it converts are organised and colour coded depending on sample type which is super helpful.
Mac Mini (M1 Chip)
This is a fairly recent addition to the studio which replaced a noisy MacBook Pro which I’ve had for many years. The MacBook was finally creaking at the edges so I really needed to upgrade.
Although I’m currently running Ableton and VSTs via Rosetta, the new M1 chip in this Mac Mini seems super powerful and I’ve yet to hear the fans kick in once. Can’t wait until all music software runs on the M1 without Rosetta, even more power!
Behringer Clones – 303 and 808
Behringer gets a lot of stick and a lot of it is justified. But for me with their 303 and 808 clones they created something that Roland missed the opportunity to make. These tick all the boxes. Analogue, full sized and reasonably priced. I’d say the TD-3’s do have build quality issues as both my units have cracks on the plastic surrounding the back connections but they sound superb and the resistance on the knobs is just right.
I’ve never owned original 808s or 303 and probably never will considering the silly money they go for second hand. These do me just fine. All the Acid in the Bruise track ‘Theme’ came from the TD-3. Tweaked and recorded dry, live and straight into Ableton, then processed from there.
‘When Pianos Attack’ is out now on Foundation Music!
Turn it up & enjoy!