As a relative newcomer, James Saunders caught the attention of many with his unique take on house music. Drawing influence from funk, jazz and garage; James combines classic melodic elements with slick, modern drum patterns to craft his timeless sound. Countless hours spent in the studio are starting to pay off for the UK artist, having garnered attention from some of the industry’s biggest hitters. Following his breakout release on ANOTR’s imprint No Art, James has kickstarted 2021 with appearances on Moan Recordings and Elrow Music; alongside a string of forward-thinking remixes. Looking to make his mark on the house scene, the young artists’ output is not one to be ignored.
Celebrating his latest release on PIV, James takes us into his studio space and shows us his 5 essential pieces of gear used to make the magic!
I often make music at home late at night, so I get a lot more use out of my headphones than my monitors. I purchased these for under £100 about four years ago and they are still my comfort zone when it comes to mixing down tracks. I really like that as long as I have my laptop, soundcard and headphones I can make music wherever I am at any time.
This is a recent addition to my setup, I have been using it mainly to record ambient textures from sounds like my computer fan and noise outside my window. I’ve also been enjoying processing these recordings quite heavily and warping them to create distinct percussion loops; they have an almost modular/glitchy feel to them.
I created most of the bass on my new EP with my Moog Minitaur; I love the weight that you get in the low end of this, the filter sounds really nice and I think you can really hear the difference between this and a digital VST bass.
This is by far my favourite software synth, I use it in almost every track. I love the warm, smooth chords you can get out of it and the Arturia effects are very intuitive. The vocal filter, flanger and chorus modes on here are a highlight. I like this VST mainly because of its more natural sound compared to something like the Jupiter; it is a lot more suited to my style of house.
The newer tracks on the EP use Trilian for the bass, as this is what I use if not the Minitaur. The huge library of sounds lets you have a lot of variety in your tracks, and the vast majority of them needs little to no processing straight out of the box. It is essentially like having a whole studio of vintage analogue gear loaded onto your laptop to be used anywhere; for me, this is a must have for basslines.
Turn it up & enjoy!