Producer Mike Rose's CV is littered with world-class acts that include the likes of Eagle Eye Cherry, Toploader, S Club 7 and Gary Barlow. And as an in-demand producer he has access to whatever tools he needs to get the job done. So when it comes to vintage keyboard and synth sounds, GForce are the first plug-ins he reaches for.
But things haven't always been like this for Mike, who's career path represents the quintessential music industry rags to riches story. As an aspiring producer and engineer, Mike was working in McDonalds when Pete Waterman (of Stock, Aiken and Waterman fame) called up to offer him a job after hearing some of his work. Mike, assuming it was a wind up, put the phone down on him. Pete called back, assuring him this was no wind up, and told him not to do that again. They arranged a meeting, and a few weeks later Mike was working for the most prolific production trio of the 80s.
Mike has also produced his own acts, scoring 26 Top 20 hits from the 28 tracks he's released. "I still have that elusive Number 1 spot to aim for, which is cool - I'm working on it!" So which GForce plugs are working for him right now?
"Right now I'm using all of them! The Mtron is just fantastic for strings - particularly those R&B style pads if you're looking for that 'Justin Timberlake' vibe. And I've just installed the new String Machine, which I'm getting to grips with. I already love it - it's a very expressive instrument."
"For punchy basses and the like, the Minimonsta is fantastic. I'll bet Timbaland uses it - one of the presets has his name written all over it. I know that some people have a problem using presets and prefer to make their own sounds, but if some bloke has spent two years developing the best bass sound possible... well, I'm going to use it!"
"And I just love the Oddity. I used to have the original hardware ARP Odyssey, but when I heard the GForce Oddity I bought it on the spot. I just had to have it, it's just that good. In fact go and buy one right now - and if you don't love it I'll buy it back off you! Need I say more*?"
"Then there&squot;s the ImpOSCar, which sounds just as good as it looks. Again, I used to have an OSCar and it's really, really close in terms of sound. I think the best thing - apart from the sound quality and that you can even load in your original tape dumps if you like - is that it doesn't take up any space, it doesn't overheat and it doesn't go out of tune. I use it for arpeggios, FX sounds and leads. It can cut right through a mix or burble away nicely in the background. I love it!"
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Great home recording starts with a great home recording studio. It doesn't need to be expensive if you know how to select the right equipment for your needs.