I guess there’s just something about Men I Trust’s smooth, synthetic sounds that makes you want to close your eyes, drift away, and then obsessively reverse-engineer their creative process. How else to explain why there’s not one but two pieces online deconstructing their songs down to the synthesizer settings. Not that I’m complaining – I love that sort of stuff.
First off, Noise Chest broke down the parts of the Oncle Jazz track “Show Me How”, showing their guitar and bass settings in Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig 5, keyboard parts in Arturia Prophet 5 and Solina V, and drums in XLN Addictive Drums 2, going so far as to re-record the whole thing with guest vocalist and a video. Pretty cool.
Reverb Machine takes a similar approach but tackles a few Oncle Jazz songs, breaking down “Numb”, “Tailwhip”, and “Norton Commander (All We Need)” using more Arturia soft synths as well as TAL’s TAL-U-No-LUX for Roland Juno 60 vibes. Their demos are just instrumental, but they sound pretty tasty.
Both Noise Chest and Reverb Machine offer the presets and attendant support files for their renditions for sale – hey, gotta make a buck somehow – but it’s well-earned and even if you don’t pony up, their lessons are really informative. Assuming you’re into playing with software synthesizers.
Relatedly, the band talked to Billboard in September 2019 about making Oncle Jazz as well as some of the gear they used to record it.