Hailing from Bristol, Onemind are the Metalheadz duo who have been dropping heavyweight d&b bombs since the winter of 2016.
Building up to their debut album via a series of EP releases, their recent OneMind Presents LP blurs the lines between jungle, dub and electronica, and marks the pair as serious players of the nu skool camp of drum and bass.
With heavily detailed productions, OneMind state that they want to challenge themselves and create a sound that is a sincere reflection of what came before whilst combining modern influences and production techniques.
With that in mind, we requested access to their studio, learning how they work together as one and delving deep into their favourite pieces of gear.
We run separate studio set ups, one at the Paintworks in Bristol and one in the heart of Clifton Village. We use a mixture of Logic and Ableton, with Ableton used to run our live sessions too. Our ideas can start either separately or when we meet up, sometimes the vibe can start from a session we had dedicated to making sounds and we stumble across an idea, a loop, a feeling that we just have to run with.
Tascam DA-30 MK2
We got this for £40 on ebay which was insane considering they used to retail for £1200. Goldie had given us loads of old DAT tapes which we needed to access. Some of the strings from ‘A Spiritual Movement’ were found on there. We use them very sporadically but there is still so much gold to find. Total Science also have loads of there old DATS too so when we session sometimes we draw on some of their old breaks and sounds. Using old sounds does help add a little nostalgia to the session.
Novation Supernova 2
We got this because its a 90’s classic, heralded by some of the old drum and bass legends like Cause for Concern, Konflict and Bad Company. The Novation Supernova was based on the old Bassstation. The synth has 7 effects per voice which adds up to 56 effects all programmable and simultaneously available on all voices at all times. There are two extremely flexible LFO sections, two ring modulators, eight audio outputs, complete MIDI parameter control and it is cased in a cool blue 3-space rack unit. Overall its sounds are amazing. It cleanly and nicely emulates and even transcends many classic synths like the Minimoog, Jupiter 8, Juno 106, and 2600.
Electro Harmonix – Super Space Drum
This little guy is pretty special, it’s something that’s been around for a long time and reissued recently there are a few companies that make them, they were used in dub a lot to get those amazing blips and bloops, sirens, zaps, risers, bass hits, and everything in between. We love using this guy live, not only does it help build hype but also you can tune it to the venue, especially low frequencies and start getting bass booms that are perfect for the rig that we are playing on… haha you have to be a little careful and I think the engineer isn’t keen on it as it’s got some serious power behind it and can range anywhere from above 20k to below 20hz, so it’s a system and ear destroyer if not used with care and attention.
Roland DEP-3 – Reverb/Delay Unit
Picked up for under £100, sort of known as one of the cheapest reverb and delay units on the market, but don’t let that fool you, this thing has a certain sound that is a lot of fun! I think potentially it’s been used in dub and reggae for a long time, maybe due to price, maybe due to the colourful knobs, or maybe to do with all of the above and the fact that it sounds wicked, it’s really versatile, simple to use, and build like a brick shit house, which is always handy for any heavy handed musician out there! I picked it up from the classic place, ebay, didn’t really know what i was buying, not saying I use it all the time, but it’s been used plenty and generally it’s all about getting the lights glowing red and having a good old play with them colourful knobs! Grab one if you can!
Normally we love units that actually create sound and use our studio budget on exactly that, drum machines, synths, basshit pedals, anything that makes a noise! But the WA-76 represents such sick value for money when it comes to a top end compression sound that is only found on units 4 or 5 times more expensive. Combined with a good mic and preamp we can record vocals loudly and clearly which makes doing radio shows and mixing down vocal tunes a lot easier. The WA76 is a modern reproduction of the Classic ’76 Revision D, has a fully discrete signal path and uses the original Reichenbach Engineering’s (now CineMag) transformer design. The ultra-fast attack time and trademark sound of the ’76 is right there at our fingertips now. Its almost a miracle.
It can also reproduce the classic effect known as ‘All Buttons In’ mode, sometimes also referred to as ‘British Mode’ or the ‘Four Button Trick’. Originally an accident due to the mechanical nature of the interconnected latching switches, this mode is reproduced by pushing in all four ratio buttons simultaneously and getting them to latch. The resulting compression curve is aggressive and unmistakably unique, and can be heard on the drum tracks of many classic recordings. We often put our drum tracks through and blend the wet and dry signals together.
Access Virus C
Again, the Virus series were synths popularised by late 90’s dance music. The ‘C’ was actually released in 2002 and was an ever more powerful strain of the Virus. Polyphony was expanded from 24 to 32 voices but otherwise the synth engine remained virtually the same as the B series. Amongst other things it had three oscillators, one sub osc, two independent multi-mode filters, two ADSTR envelopes, three LFOs, 16 arpeggiators, 32-band vocoder, five FM synthesis modes and 16 part multitimbrality and 98 effects! You can hear it on loads of our tunes, especially ‘Quiet Fire’, ‘Seek Knowledge’, ‘Skin Dem’ and ‘Woman in the Dunes’.
OneMind Presents is out now on Metalheadz.
Order it here.