Creating The Sounds Of: Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes

Introduction & Overview

Introducing the latest in our 'Creating The Sounds Of' series.  Exploring the nuance that goes into the techniques used by our heroes, we look to remove the vail and show how you can sound like these artists. 


Why do this I hear you ask?! 

A fair point and one that's incredibly valid.  We're not looking to copy or sound exactly like these artists but want to showcase different music production techniques that can open up your repertoire.  

By learning these different methods, you'll be able to develop your own sound, harnessing these tips to create something completely unique and new! 




Download the samples from the session 👉 HERE

Build Tom Misch Inspired Guitar FX Chains 

By combing FX and thinking like a guitar player, you're been able to achieve some great guitar sounds in your DAW.   The chain below, similar to the one in our extensive ITB guitar article places the pedals before the amp, offering slightly more exaggerated FX outcomes.   

I often find placing FX plug-ins after the amp feel less realistic as they haven't been through the virtual speaker, a unit which always imparts an EQ curve on the sound. 


Free Live Drum Samples_Epic Gtr Chains_TomMisch


 Featured Pack: Soulful Drum Grooves


Our Soulful Drum Grooves collection was inspired by the greta man himself, Yussef Dayes.  Harnessing a beautiful signal path with some exquisite drumming, this collection optimises the sounds harness by Tom & Yussef!  Check the pack below: 


Live Drum Breaks




Getting Creative With Ableton Automations 

A huge influence on the 'What Kinda Music' sound are the FX found in Dub.  Stealing the techniques of King Tubby, we automated Waves' H-Delay into maximum oscillation. 

When a delay's feedback dial is pushed beyond a certain point it will start to oscillate and feedback on itself.  This extreme noise is perfect for transitions and blending sections together. 

  1. Below we automate the wet/dry up to reveal the intense oscillations.  
  2. By controlling this level we can control how intense the FX gets 
  3. At the same time we automate the filter down to slowly melt the sound away as the next section starts 
  4. By controlling multiple elements we can control the madness and create a silky transition.  


Free Live Drum Samples_AbletonAutomations



Add Some Saturation To Your Drums

A key element of the 'What Kinda Music' sound is the playing and tones of Yussef's drums.  By selecting a few choice beats from our Soulful Drum Grooves pack, a collection inspired by the great man we can start to get close. 

To truly match up with the album's tones we need to push the drums a little further.  My weapons of choice are the Slate Tape Machine & SoundToys Decapitator.  

Firstly up the Tape Machine: 

  • The Slate Tape has a great combination of low end bump with a slight saturation characteristic. 
  • The tape also naturally compresses and control transients - ideal!

SoundToys Decapitator: 

  • A Touch Loops favourite, this beast has numerous different saturation modes, perfect for fine tuning the sound. 
  • We chose A - Ampex driven Pre-amp which crunches things nicely. 


Free Live Drum Samples_Drum Mix


EQ Post Saturation: 

  • The effect of all this saturation is that things start to get a touch harsh.  We notch out some harshness around 5Khz, controlling the cymbals and hats 
  • A HPF at 25Kz controls and unwanted subs. 



 Featured Pack: Blue Tones


Did you know we built an entire collection that was inspired by Tom Misch?!  Our Blue Tones collection was performed by guitar genius Brent and features the psychedelic tones you know & Love!



Percussion Placement For Swing 


Free Live Drum Samples_Percussion Placement


By taking a spacious loop from our World Percussion sample pack, we use this space to our advantage and let the sound throw us onto the snare down beat. 

The early transient (On the bottom channel) comes before the first snare hit, propelling the beat forward.  

We then use some spring reverb for extra spacial loveliness. 


Top Down Mixing 


Finally in our Tom Misch deep dive Rich introduced the idea of 'Top Down Mixing'.  Inspired by the techniques Nolly GetGood uses, this super quick compressor is set up to control the snare volume on our master. 

  1. By bringing up the side chain we can stop the compressor from 'listening to' the kick drum - this way it only reacts to higher freq transients. 
  2. A fast attack is used to grab the snare hit and knock it down a few db. 
  3. A fast release stops the compressor from feeling sluggish and changing the feel of the track. 


Free Live Drum Samples_Top Down Mixing



How did Tom Misch record the drums on 'What Kinda Music'?

Yussef's drum kit was mic'd up in an incredibly simple way. They used 2 microphones:

- Kick Drum Mic
- 1 Between the Snare & Hi-hat. This microphone will need to have a cardioid pattern to prevent bleed from the Kick Drum. They often distort the microphones on the way into the recording desk providing extra saturation. 

How did Tom Misch mix the drums on 'What Kinda Music'?

Tom uses a series of different distortions and saturators on the drums. His favourites are: 

  • Thermionic Culture Vulture (UAD)
  • SoundToys Decapitator
  • Neve Pre-Amp (UAD)

Tom mentions that the most difficult bit was gettting the 'Balance between Yussef Dayes drum style with ‘Kaytranada’ inspired distortions.'

What FX & Pedals does Tom Misch use with his guitar? 

Tom utilises bass envelopes pedals to get his unique sound. A few of his favourites: 

  • Auto-Wah - Moogerfooger (Moog).
  • Pitched down guitars for bass.
  • Aguilar Filter Twin Dual Envelope Filter Effects Bass Pedal
  • Electro-Harmonix Nano POG Polyphonic Octave Generator

How does Tom misch Record his vocals?

Tom likes to record his vocals in an intimate way. He often uses an ElectroVoice RE201, tracked in front of the speakers. This allows for a more relaxed performance compared to that of using a vocal booth.