These days music producers have access to a world of sounds from the comfort of their laptops. The digital age offers endless samples, plugins and tools to utilise—meaning music producers are able to create virtuosic and boundary-pushing compositions without ever touching a traditional instrument.
Despite their physical appeal and that special something you get from analogue synthesisers and drum machines, many young producers are opting for simpler studio set-ups as analogue equipment can often be expensive, harder to access, as well as take up valuable space in the studio (or bedroom studio).
Although it’s becoming rarer for upcoming producers to have access to analogue gear, there are organisations like MESS (Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio) — a unique not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the creation of electronic sound— who are helping to provide artists and producers with access to analog instruments.
The heart of MESS is the MESS Studio, a fully functioning sound production workshop representing one of the most unique, eclectic and historically significant collections of electronic instruments in the world. Working from within the studio is the MESS School, a place for people to engage with the history, technique and artistry of electronic sound and music creation presented in a format that is flexible, affordable and artist-driven.
For part two of our collaboration with MESS we tapped in with Vetta Borne, a multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter and producer based in Naarm/Melbourne who traverses genres like pop, soul and R&B with ease.
Born Maribelle Añes, the Filipino/Australian songstress has long stood out as a vocalist, songwriter and producer ahead of her evolution into the artist that is Vetta Borne. Her striking vocals have been an absolute standout on tracks with Carmada, Young Franco, Tentendo and Ukiyo.
In addition to her skills on the mic, Vetta is also a talented songwriter who has co-written and produced tracks for George Alice and Kira Puru, with further co-writing credits for artists like Becca Hatch and Thundamentals. As Maribelle transitioned into Vetta Borne, her potential as an artist continued to grow with her 2020 track ‘Girls’ racking up over 4 million streams across all platforms. As she continued to carve a path as a pop powerhouse in 2021, Vetta’s single ‘Kissing Strangers’ earned her spot as triple j Unearthed Feature Artist, and she was invited to perform the original alongside a cover of Gwen Stefani’s ‘Cool’ for Like A Version.
Vetta’s latest single ‘Sad Girl’ is out now and will appear on her upcoming EP Rose Avenue Vol. 1 set for release later this year.
When we brought Vetta Borne down to MESS, she was introduced to the Roland SH-101, a mid-’80s monosynth that became a staple in the popularisation of dance music through to the 1990s. This iconic synth has shown up everywhere from tracks by Aphex Twin and The Prodigy to Madonna’s ‘Ray Of Light’. Experimenting with the 101, Vetta created a futuristic bop putting with a touch of classic ’90s R&B flavour.
In addition to the final track which you can stream below, MESS and Vetta Borne also created this SH-101 sample pack for Ableton Live, which you can download for free here to use with your own creations.
Check out the full video above and follow Vetta Borne here for more.