Jack Fell Down

Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?

T - Hello, we're Tony and James, also known as Jack Fell Down. We've been producing music separately for a while now but have only recently gave up the day grind of a “nine to five”.

What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?

T - Neither of us is classically trained, we're both self taught. In fact, I was asked to leave music at school as I had "no discernible musical talent whatsoever." Turns out I just didn't like the recorder, ha.

J – In fairness to Tony's music teacher they probably had a point! We'd suggest having a frequency guide or range guide available when you're just starting out. It really helps you understand sounds and how to place them.

What hardware are you using?

J - Depends on where we're working from! As we work together but live in different parts of the country it's hard to use hardware. We need two versions of everything or have to mess about with audio all the time and it stops being fun. We have a TL Audio Ivory-Series 5051 Compressor which we LOVE for putting everything through. We also have some generic MIDI kit, a few drum boxes and a Roland MC-505 Groovebox.

Workstation wise I am running a 27” iMac, i5 with 8GB of RAM. I also have a pre Intel G5 that we use for recording with the help of a Yamaha 01X when I run out of channels.

T – I am cooking with a similar rig to James but using a MacBook as my workstation. I like being nomadic and we can use it when we travel. For headphones we both use Sony MDR-V700, and speaker wise we both have KRK Rokit 8's.

What software are you using?

T - We both use Logic Pro as our DAW, but we live in different parts of the country, so when we need to work on a track together, we host the .lso files in the cloud and work on them intermittently. Using the cloud has really allowed us to continue being creative outside of time allocated for the studio.

As for plug-ins, we are big fans of the whole vintage Korg Legacy pack at the moment. Nothing ever replicates the sound of analogue, but this comes close without buying a load of gear and ROM cards. We also use CamelPhat, FM8, Massive and Novation's Bass Station a lot. The EXS24 is also an underrated tool.

J – Not forgetting the PSP VintageWarmer set – this stuff is almost uneatable.

What would be your dream setup?

J – I am really happy with how things work for us these days. I would love it if Logic sort out a collaborative tool that will allow users to connect and work remotely in real time, at the same time but until that happens a slow studio evolution promotes a better understanding of all your equipment.

Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?

T - Normally we will begin a track separately, we'll have a rough idea of what we want a track to achieve then we'll share it. The other person will take the lso down from the cloud and spend sometime working on it. Sometimes the track will get totally changed, other times the changes will be less aggressive. We usually work this way until the track is finished and we divide up who works on which tracks at the start of each week.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

A lot of the great music we hear comes from friends. They can either come into our email inbox, or if we are looking, it'll be on sites like Juno, Whatpeopleplay, etc. We love having a good search on SoundCloud for unsigned gems. We also usually spend a fortune on Discogs each month.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

The obvious players like Detroit Swindle, Waze & Odyssey, Ripperton, Chaim, Timmy P etc, and for something a little different, we are feeling DFRNT, El Txef A, & Skinnerbox.

What's brewing in your studio?

We have just finished an EP with Stee Downes that is due out on the 24th June. These tracks took us 14 months, from inception to now, to get right. We tried a few ways to record Stee's vocals, we played his takes back through old tube compressors, layered them up Kate Bush style. As for the synths they're a combination of analogue and digital, they were all changed and modeled time and time again until we thought they were perfect.

We also have a track out now on Newington, it's called " For You" and features our newest addition, the Korg PolySix.

Any production tips & tricks you'd like to share?

For a nice spread on your snare, duplicate the track and pan one hard left and the other hard right. Simple but effective. Think of the stereo bandwidth as a canvas, if you have two black lines in the same place, you will cover up what's behind it so one will disappear and the other will end up looking messy. EQ and compress as like an artist and give everything its own frequency and stereo profile.

Where can we find you on the web?

SoundCloud / Twitter /