PreSonus Blog

Studio One: A Brief Exploration with Great Good Fine Okay

Watch the Brooklyn Synthpop duo remix their song “Blame” in Studio One

Less than 24 hours after meeting each other, producer Luke Moellman and vocalist Jon Sander had already written their first song together. On that fateful night in 2013, Moellman’s lush, retrofuturist production style collided with Sandler’s soulful falsetto to birth the soaring synthpop banger, “You’re The One For Me.”

Within a year, the duo had released a critically acclaimed EP and secured a major label record deal – an explosive combination that would take them to the top 10 of iTunes’ dance charts, with performances at Bonnarroo and SXSW, collaborations with St. Lucia and The Chainsmokers, and headlining tours of their own. Four albums and hundreds of shows later, the band is still hungry, and performing at the top of their game – as evidenced by the intoxicatingly disco-dipped, dance-inducing single “Blame” from their forthcoming EP.

Watch this episode to see how Great Good Fine Ok remix “Blame” with lush group vocals and richly-layered synths in Studio One.

In this Brief Exploration, Luke Moellman and Jon Sandler of Great Good Fine OK build a richly-layered remix of their song “Blame” using a dynamic range of instruments and effects from Studio One.

Luke begins the process by pulling in an assortment of drum loops as his starting point. “I initially got into Studio One because I was drawn in by the simple drag and drop workflow. It’s super quick to come up with ideas and elaborate on them. And I love the way it looks. It’s just so clean and simple.”

The new beat in place, Luke takes the basic chord idea and splits it up between several different synths to create new textures and tones. “I like doing those by hand because it can give you more interesting stuff than holding down notes on an arpeggiator. So I just record the MIDI, then quantize it, and pick the parts that I like.”

Luke is a big fan of Studio One’s “Retrospective Recording” feature, which allows him to jam freely over the top of the track while he’s auditioning new parts, then retroactively capture standout performances: “When I play the right thing, I can hit ‘retrospective recording’ and just grab it,” which takes the pressure off the performance and allows him to explore ideas without overwriting existing tracks.

With the rhythmic and melodic foundations in place, Luke brings vocalist Jon Sandler in for a series of soulful vocal takes. “The easiest way for me to get a stacked group vocal sound is to just do a loop record over whatever the section is, get as many takes as you want, and once you have all those, just right-click and then “unpack tracks to layers.’”

“Jon nailed those parts, but it’s pretty easy to just throw them all in Melodyne at once and do just like a little bit of touch-up to the group. Then once they’re bounced out into a stereo track, then you can just go to town with more effects: you can start chopping them up like that rhythmic editing we were doing.”

Any final words of wisdom? “Luke is really a brilliant producer, and it’s so cool to see how quick and creative his mind is and so it’s important to have a DAW that can keep up, and it seems like Studio One really does that better than all the others.”

PreSonus products used: Studio One, Melodyne

Try Studio One+ and check out the rest of our Brief Exploration series here.