Jack + Ella release E.P ‘Ready’ and talk to MusitrendZ about studios, recording gear and drum machines

Jack + Ella are a country duo based in London, UK.  Their music is rooted in country, with infectious and catchy pop rock hooks.

Their influences include artists like Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, John Mayer, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line and Taylor Swift.

Both Jack and Ella are rock guitarists at heart and love to integrate the sound of rock n roll and male-female vocal harmonies in their country songs.

Jack + Ella met when they were 16 at a young talent competition that their dads had taken them to. Years later, in May 2016, they re-connected after recognising their musical and personality similarities over social media!

They realised very quickly that their writing and playing styles complimented each other too well for them to keep pursuing their own music without each other – and so their official partnership was formed !

The duo are gearing up to release their debut single ‘Hometown’ on 3 April 2017, with an EP entitled ‘Ready’ to follow two weeks after on 17 April 2017. They will then be playing shows across the UK for the rest of the year as well as starting work towards their first studio album.

MusiTrenZ take a deeper look into Jack + Ella – REVIEW and INTERVIEW

Jack + Ella combine perfect pop songs with a country style that melts the heart and takes you on a sentimental journey all the way home. The music is lush, the voices are melodic and kind and they give you a fuzzy warm feeling that convinces you they are the real Mackoy ready for word domination or at least in Nashville ! – 9/10


What instruments and recording gear do you guys use ?

Jack: At the risk of babbling on about gear, which no one except a sound-nerd like me is interested in, I’ll say I’m a big fan of API, SSL and especially AMS Neve. I have a good relationship with Neve, and I absolutely adore the sound of the 1073, which is my go-to preamp.

For compressors, we use 1176s, LA-2As, 33609s and various plugins. But obviously not working out of a multi-million dollar studio, I use a lot of in-the-box plugins and too. I absolutely adore the Universal Audio plugins. My old guitar teacher recommended them to me and everything else has paled in comparison so we track and mix with a mixture of outboard gear, the UAD plugins, and other bits and pieces here and there.

For vocals, it really varies depending on the song. As a standard go-to, I like to get Ella singing through a Peluso 2247 (which is a really good U47 clone) and myself through a Neumann U87. But as I say, there’s no one-size-fits all and I’ll use the 2247 sometimes. I’m not even against using a standard SM58 for vocals depending on the song!

What’s the best studio you have ever recorded in ?

Ella: That’s a tough question. We haven’t actually forked out for high-end studios much seeing as we’ve been able to do most of our production ourselves. Depending on how the future goes though, we’d love to record in some of London or Nashville’s higher end studios.

Jack: There’s nothing like the sound of drums in a rock song when recorded in a beautifully sounding big live room. But honestly, until we get funding from another source, my studio is great. We can do anything from tracking vocals through a U87 and Neve 1073 in a controlled space to recording live drums … and we don’t have a time limit in there!

Who’s your Top all time music producer or engineer  ?

Ella: I’ll let Jack take this one, this is his thing!

Jack: Producer: Hands down, it would be Byron Gallimore. The work he’s done is next level amazing. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are two of my favourite artists and the work he’s done with them has been nothing short of spectacular. “Two Lanes of Freedom” (McGraw) and “Fireflies” (Hill) are two of my top 10 favourite albums I’d say. Maybe even top 5!

Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge or Andrew Scheps. Legends… But there are so many.

Drum machine or real drummer ?

Jack: Both. We use sampled electronic drums when we want that effect. But when we want live drums we use live drums. It really depends on the song. Sometimes we’ll also record a live kit and use it to trigger samples. So there’s no real one way to do things. It depends on the song and its production-style.

Ella: Our current live drummer is just phenomenal though. We’re lucky to have him.

Do you prefer recording to live work ?

Ella: I’m going to be greedy and say I love both!! I couldn’t pick between them.  It’s amazing to see your song grow and create something from scratch, but you can’t beat the highs from performing.  Sorry, I cheated the question!

Jack: On one hand, I love adrenaline and the live buzz but on the other hand I’m a perfectionist and I like to fix things if they weren’t spot on (which you can’t do in the middle of a gig). So I love both. There’s something about producing a song that I’m just so in love with: watching it grow from chords and lyrics to a huge multi-instrument track that other people can rock out to. There’s nothing like it. But the main reason I got into music was performing, and I don’t think there’s any feeling quite like it.

Jack + Ella online at http://www.jackandellamusic.com