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Lostboy links up studio with Flock Audio’s Patch

Posted on: Tuesday 11th of May 2021

Producer LostboyRising pop producer Pete Rycroft (aka Lostboy) has seen chart-topping success in the UK during lockdown thanks to work undertaken in his private studio, which is built around a Patch software-driven analogue routing system.

“When Covid hit, I was really lucky to have this space to work in,” he says. “The first thing I did in lockdown was an album here for a band from the UK called The Vamps,” he recalls, “The whole album was done on Zoom, and I never saw them in person.”Despite these challenges, Cherry Blossom – the resulting LP – hit number one in the UK charts. Lostboy had further success with Tom Grennan, whose single Little Bit of Love has been in the top ten for the last five weeks. This is in addition to all of his recent work with artists like Little Mix, Rita Ora and Anne-Marie — all of which have had success in their own right.Rycroft says he acquired his first mixing desk at just 12 years old and admits he “didn’t understand what I was buying, but it looked cool.”He adds that, while he’s “naturally drawn to the science behind the tools I use,” it presents him with a “constant battle to not let the technology overtake the creativity.”

Flock Audio’s Patch system, which provides a software interface and functionality for an all-analogue routing system, keeps him happy on both of those fronts.

“I am conscious of downtime in a creative environment, and Patch helps me minimize this,” he says. “Downtime can affect everyone’s energy, and hitting a creative roadblock is not ideal. In my studio, vibe is everything.

“For someone who has used any DAW, it is obvious what you are doing straight away. As long as you’ve got everything plugged in in the right way, you can’t really go wrong,” he says. “Set up was really fast — I just made a spreadsheet and figure out how my gear should be routed. All told, it took about a day, and since then, I’ve been integrating new bits of gear piece by piece.”

Flock Audio Patch software interfaceWith much of his work involving writing and working on the fly, Rycroft says he wants appreciates the system’s ability to finding ‘the right sound’ faster, by integrating his analogue outboard into a software interface, and allowing the recall of preset routing options or the drag-and-drop addition and removal of items from his connected-kit list.

“If an artist comes and plugs in a guitar, it doesn’t take long for me to get the guitar to sound good because I can route it through anything,” he says. “I just don’t have to think about it as much, so it makes the creation process much more fluid.”

Some of Lostboy’s favoured gear includes his Manley and Neumann microphones, his Chandler and Neve preamps and his Tube Tech CL1B compressor before going into a Universal Audio Apollo x8 interface.

“These elements are usually my main chain [but] I’ve always had a lot of ancillary gear, like my Strymon Big Sky reverb pedal. When I’m using Patch, it’s suddenly it’s like, ‘ahh, remember all this gear you bought? Now I can send it from Pro Tools and back again because it is just a preset’. It’s unbelievable.

“When you are writing, which is what I do every day in a high-pressure environment, you don’t have time to try and work out if something is routed to the right patch point, or if a signal is muted — it just has to work. The fact that I know I’ve got a few chains I know will work in certain instances is very reassuring. The first time I saw it, I thought to myself, ‘How come nobody has invented this yet?’ It’s just great, and it helps me find the sounds I am looking for faster.”

Find out more about Lostboy here, and the Patch system here

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