Disclosure breakdown of how they created “Latch feat. Sam Smith”
British duo Guy and Howard Lawrence have taken the world by storm with their signature blend of British garage, deep house, house and synth-pop. Widely known as Disclosure, these DJ/producers have become world famous for their productions such as Omen, Magnets and Latch. The duo regularly take time out of their busy schedules to stream on Twitch and share some insights from their music production process with up-and-coming music producers. At the end of 2021, they did an in-depth analysis of their monster hit “Latch”.
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Thanks to one of their Twitch streams, we had the unexpected opportunity to peek into the kitchen of these masterminds. Guy Lawrence opened Latch’s original Logic project file and showed fans how they produced it. As we are all used to the vintage analog synthesizers and plugins that Disclosure uses in their productions, Guy himself is also stunned by the fact that Latch only consists of Logical stock plugins. Most of Latch’s synths and drums come from original plugins from Logic. Throughout the breakdown, you’ll get a closer look at how he made and processed his battery. He particularly highlights the custom “Gymnasium” preset he always uses when applying reverb and the fact that he only uses a simple limiter on the drum bus. ‘Just the raw sounds coming out straight, and that’s fine’.
Beneath the entire production, you’ll hear overhead effects sounds from the monotron machine, street noise, and vinyl crackle. These sounds will add character to your tracks, immediately put you in a certain mood, and fill out the frequency spectrum. For main synths, it uses ESP plugin, JUNO vintage synthesizer and EFM1 plugin. A total of 3 different sub-basses were used, sourced from the stock ESP plugin. The vocals, sung by Sam Smith, were processed with EQ, de-esser, reverb and delay. As Guy approaches the voice of Sam Smith, he says the following: “Another cool trick we used here was that we recorded Sam whispering over the pre-chorus vocals.” This remarkable production trick adds air and sweetness to the lead vocals.
As a DJ/producer, it’s really interesting to learn about their production process while creating such a hit record. Take a look at the breakdown below:
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