A new flavor of house music has been creeping up in the underground for a little over a year now, standing out through its blending of LoFi melodic and classic house swing. The sound is a unique pairing that really brings the energy of classic Chicago house music with the ear-worm melodies of some of the more musically-driven genres of dance music.

Mild Minds is a duo that is absolutely crushing this unique intersection of genres and is some of the most responsible, at least in my opinion, for bringing this type of sound to the foreground of the underground scene. This is exactly why, when I heard that they had a new single come out, I had to invite the guys on to pick their brains about how they made their latest release, a track called “U REALLY HURT ME,” which was released through MOODS INTL.

So give the track a listen below, I always recommend giving it a couple of listens to so that your ears are acclimated to the production sauce the guys are about to share when they break down their favorite plugins, before we pass the reins over to them to describe their favorite studio tools.

Let’s get after it…


We don’t normally reach for Ableton Operator, but I have a few great presets that we keep coming back to. Operator is primarily an FM synthesizer, which means it uses multiple oscillators (operators) to modulate each other’s frequencies, it can be used to create complex and evolving timbres. It has four oscillators, each of which can function as a carrier or modulator, which is often good for ambient, digital-like textures. 

The particular pad that Victor Pakpour and I used is one that I’ve been using a lot. On this song, I am using the bottom two oscillators to recreate something similar to a filtered-down sawtooth, and then the LFO tool to modulate the pitch—which gives it a warm analog sound. The separate LFO pumps the synth even when there is no kick sidechain. These are hugely important aspects of the song’s emotion. 

The oscillators can be added and subtracted in different patterns to create much more experimental timbres. I would normally be against using simple Ableton plugins, but I suggest people experiment with this one a bit more. I’m always surprised at some of the sounds I can get from this that I can also get with more analog-style plugins.

AI VOCAL Changer

I’m sure you’ve all heard of AI voice changing, which has mostly been used for fun and silly recreations. We experimented with this on “U REALLY HURT ME” as part of our effect rack to change a layer of our voice to a different tone. We added one layer that had been run through a female voice changer and then changed its format to lower the tone. 

How: You upload your dry take to the website – which may, for example, give it more definition and a cleaner sound, change the tone, or sex. Then bring it back into Ableton to repitch and effect it. We found that this gave a really smooth feel to the vocal that we had. It was also run through autotune to provide it with an almost robotic nature. 

The website will keep all the tuning, etc., so if you’re a terribly out-of-tune singer, it won’t help, except to change the tone or sex. There are many ways this could be used – obviously being able to make vocals of the opposite sex to your singer is cool, to create a more ‘sampled’ sound. It can also create a voice more consistent than the singer you work with, or it can sound better in ranges that a singer’s voice may be struggling at. I’ve used it to create a backing layer on vocals where I step out of my range and it helped smooth it over. 


We used the VST plug in called DIVA. The plugin has colorful, rich synth sounds and is great for electronic music. This tone is really the character of our song, and was the first sound we started with when writing “U REALLY HURT ME”. The preset is called ‘SG what the pluck’ and we just the preset as is. The sound was really cool to begin with and inspired the chords.

The chorus effect added nice width and warmth to the plucks, making them feel fresh. We don’t always spend time tweaking presets and put more energy into finding the right tone from the beginning; then, the sound sparks inspiration. This was one of those times.


If you listen to the song, you can hear the stutter ‘ahh’ lead’ – created using a boy’s choir in Omnisphere. There are multiple ways to create this stutter effect. We used Ableton’s arpeggiator with a swing to trigger the MIDI on 16th notes.

The mode is set to ‘chord trigger.’ Most people use the arpeggiator to create arpeggios, but the chord trigger is a lesser-known function. This can be useful to trigger sequenced chords at the timing intervals you want without needing to program in every hit on the 16ths. This works well if you want to keep it a consistent rhythm i.e. on the 8th or 16th notes, or 12th if you want to get triplets. There are many great modes to arpeggiate chords in this plugin, so it can be useful for experimentation and creating ideas you may not naturally have.

I love to hold one chord and use it to find an arpeggiated sequence that creates an ‘ostinato’ lead – then I play bassline movements underneath to create the harmonic movement in the song.

A Few Fast Production Tips

Tip 1

Music in this genre needs to be punchy & tight. So kicks should be short, with a nice high end and snares or claps that sound perfectly tight with the kick. You can often shorten the snare or clap so that it feels very short, dry and up front. 

Tip 2

It’s important to get the sidechaining timing right to give you a nice warmth in the emotion and to match the faster tempo of this genre. If the song is swung then you need to account for that and make sure it’s not too fast or slow. 

Tip 3

Songs can be short, don’t try to extend a song in this genre just to fill time. 

Tip 4

Vocal chops go a long way to enhance the emotion in this genre, I’d argue they are almost more important than verses and lead vocals. You can find hooks through experimenting with chops.

For more information on LUV HRTS, please visit:

For more information on MOODS INTL., please visit:

For more information on Mild Minds, please visit:

Website | X | Instagram | Spotify | Soundcloud

For more information about Ruby Haunt, please visit: 

Website | Instagram | BandCamp | Spotify | YouTube

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