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Artist Toolbox – CHANEY

Next up on our new ‘Artist Toolbox’ series, we’ve got Swindon born and bred producer CHANEY in! A budding talent in the House scene, CHANEY has been making waves and turning heads from just about everyone in Dance Music. Consistently dropping high quality productions on labels such as Make Em Move, Skint Records, Stress Records & Toolroom to name a few.

His latest release on Toolroom ‘Need You (Higher)’ is a prime example of the emerging artists talents as a producer, creating emotive yet impactful music. Off the back of this, we reached out to CHANEY to find what out what production tips & essentials are in his Toolbox…


CHANEY – ‘Need You (Higher) [Extended Mix]’

1. Maschine Mk3 (Native Instruments).

The Maschine Mk3 by Native Instruments is a beat pad, sequencer, sampler and many other things all built into one piece of hardware. For me, I enjoy the hands on part of making music and Maschine has always allowed that and for me to step away from the computer for a certain amount of time.

It’s software integrated with other NI instruments and libraries is flawless and after many updates it has become more and more user friendly and easy too use within my main DAW (Logic Pro X).

2: My Bass (Squire P Bass).

I have quite a small but precious collection of guitars from when I first started playing in bands and gigging – but one of my cheapest and oldest is the Squire P Bass, which is also my favourite.

Around 15 years ago my dad saw an advert for someone selling a bass guitar, so we went along to the guy’s home to have a look at it. We knocked at the door and a pretty shady fella let us in through the living room, where his house mate was wide-eyed staring at white noise blaring through the TV. The bass was in the corner, he said something like “forty quid?” – we snapped it up and to this day I still think it sounds better than any other bass guitar made.

3. Keystation 49.

My 49 key M-Audio midi keyboard is an essential. I’ve never properly upgraded but there’s something about it. Clunky and indestructible. Some bits of gear stay with you for a very long time, and they’re usually trust worthy.

4. Roland SH01A.

The boutique version of the SH101 is something I wasn’t expecting to be a “go to” synth. The original is obviously a classic but the new functions such as 4 voice polyphony and sequencer modes makes it something even greater.

I often use it when I’m coming close to the finishing off a track and it’s missing little bits of atmosphere or little synth riffs/FX to fill any unintentional gaps and it does the job amazingly. I’m not a massive hardware geek or anything, but I do agree that it’s sometimes nice to record audio into a project and not being able to go back and mess around with the initial sound or idea if it sounded so good in the first place.

5. WAVES H-Delay.

A master delay plugin made by Waves. Had this plugin since the early days of producing, and no delay plugin has ever beat this. There’s so many different ways I use it, whether it’s just very subtle space on a vocal chain or completely annihilating a build up using automation with it’s feedback and delay time. A must-have for any producer.

And last but not least…

Native Instruments Kontakt Library

Now I get a lot of messages asking how do I get my keys sounding the way they do, and the answer is different every time. I don’t have one single VST that I use for all of my pianos or electric pianos/keyboards – I usually layer and combine a couple of different sounds depending on everything else in the mix. The Native Instruments Kontakt library is definitely a “go to” instrument for keys, or at least a starting point that I can manipulate later on. The sample-based instruments are raw and closer to the real thing than the real thing, and their original synth-engine instruments are unique and versatile. Where I recently upgraded to the latest Maschine, the Kontakt Library integrates so well with the hardware – I sometimes don’t even look at my computer screen.