In the studio with Marble Elephant
Jaz from the RepostExchange Team

Marble Elephant are a drum & bass duo hailing from Devon, UK. Consisting of Tina and Baptiste, the duo have been making waves in the underground music scene with their unique blend of liquid vibes, soulful melodies, and hard-hitting beats. Read all about their favourite plugins, their writing process, finding inspiration, and how RepostExchange has helped them grown their audience!

How long have you been producing music and how did you learn? 

We started producing music in November 2018. We bought Logic Pro and just started cracking by teaching ourselves to begin with. Luckily we had a friend who had studied Mastering & Engineering at university and also produced music so he was a great help to get things going and helped us gain a basic understanding of production and mixing.

What DAW(s) do you use and why?

Logic Pro was the DAW we started out with, after a couple of years we made the switch to Ableton as the workflow and the simple design suited us better and haven’t looked back since.

What are your favourite pieces of gear and why?

Our favourite piece of gear at the moment are our headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 1770 pro. We haven’t treated our studio yet so we heavily rely on these headphones for the good sound. To accompany these we also have the DT 1990 pro, which are so incredible for mixing.

What are your favourite software plugins and why?

Amongst our favourite plugins are the Fabfilter Pro-Q. The whole Fabfilter suit is amazing but the EQ is just the best, we love the design and also the functions of it, including the fact you can single out the sound which you have EQ'd out which is amazing. Our favourite reverb plug in is RAUM from Native Instruments, so simple to use and the sound suits our music perfectly. Trash 2 from iZotope is also another we wouldn’t wan’t to live without, the saturation and distortions are great but we also love playing with the convolve function.

How would you summarise your approach/workflow when creating a track?

Baptiste is really good at starting a track and also very good at finishing things quickly. I’m (Tina) better at the smaller details and zooming right into the project to get the most out of it. So Baptiste will go ahead and get a really good solid foundation, sometimes if he’s really inspired he will finish a track in just a couple of sitting. Mostly however once he has done the foundation, he may want to move on to the next project, so then I will get in there and finish it off. We both have different preferences, he prefers using samples and I love to play around with some midi instruments. When we do get to work on a track together our different abilities complement each other really well.

What resources do you use to improve your craft?

The most valuable resource we invested in was to join DnB Academy, it came to us at the perfect time and the resources on there are so valuable including tutorials from well known DnB producers and feedback sessions. We also are subscribed to a couple of Patreons and like to delve into YouTube videos as well.

What is the last YouTube tutorial you watched that you would recommend to other Re-Ex members?

It’s not the last tutorial we’ve watched but this is to us one of the best tutorials for anyone who would like to start creating liquid Drum and Bass. It's made by our music mentor, Humanature.

What knowledge or advice do you wish you'd learned earlier?

One of the best pieces of advice we wished we knew earlier is that you can’t be too disappointed about label rejections and writer blocks. The music is flowing when it needs to flow and not forcing the process will end up with you writing the best materials you can possibly imagine!

What challenges related to making music do you face and how do you overcome them?

I find it tough sometimes to make making music a priority. I love doing it and when I do it, it feels incredible, however days can go by without me prioritising it and to me, that’s not how I want to go about it because I know I need to practice to improve. I need to be patient with myself and at the same time remind myself to focus more attention towards it which has been working for me over the past few months.

For Baptiste his greatest challenge is to be patient and to not focus too much on the goal. Sometimes he gets caught up with the ultimate goals and that he hasn’t achieved them yet. However, he is learning to let go a little of this way of thinking and is learning to be more patient in his life in general thanks to needing to be patient more in terms of music.

Can you share any killer tips or techniques?

One technique we absolutely love is resampling. It's such a useful technique to be able to create sounds that go with the existing sounds but are also different and interesting.

In terms of mixing, gain staging is super useful and also having an eye on the correlation meter to ensure your mix works well in mono - maybe checking the entire mix in mono too before finishing your final mix down.

Do you use any online tools to assist with the production process?

We love Loopcloud and Splice, they are such great platforms for awesome quality samples and you can link them to the DAW as well to match the BPM while looking for samples which is super helpful.

Do you try and get feedback or suggestions to improve your music? If so, how?

We like to use resources like Discord groups for feedback and also just sending our music to other producers is also great, we have a couple of friends who are producers too who are always keen to give feedback as well.

Which track are you most proud of and why?

We’re the most proud of our track called 'Forever'. Even though it’s not our most listened to track, it’s a track we made influenced by our favourite artists, Visages. We love the way it turned out and we’re particularly proud of the second drop variation. This tune is also the closing tune of our debut EP released on one of our favorite labels, Celsius Recordings.

Has RepostExchange affected the way you make music? If so, how?

RepostExchange has definitely been a useful tool for getting our name out there a little more, thanks to this platform we have managed to reach more people to listen to our recent free downloads and we managed to grow our audience with people that will like the genre we’re making.

Desert Island Gear

Top L-R: Komplete Kontrol S88, EchoBoy.

Bottom L-R: Raum, Yamaha HS8, Fabfilter Pro Q.

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This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.