Gear Rundown: Finneas O’Connell
14.07.2021

Gear Rundown: Finneas O’Connell

Words by Mixdown Staff

We look at the instruments and equipment used by Billie Eilish's Brother and Producer.

Billie Eilish’s older brother Finneas has been receiving a large amount of praise for writing and producing a large swathe of the pop stars music. The first album they made together was recorded in their family home with a nice but minimal setup in which Billie would track her vocals sitting on Finneas’ bed.

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As to further understand his approach to music production and the kind of gear he uses, we’re diving deep into all the music equipment used by the Grammy winning producer and songwriter Finneas. You may be surprised by some of the entry level audio gear he uses.

DAW

Logic Pro X

logic pro x

For those wondering what DAW Finneas uses, its Logic Pro X, which serves as his main music production tool. He uses the sampler heavily in chopping up sounds he records around the house among other sounds he finds. The mainstay DAW from Apple is a big player in the pop music world so there’s no question why he wouldn’t be using it.

Audio Interfaces

Universal Audio Apollo 8

 

Universal Audio’s Apollo 8 is a quality audio interface, capable of handling stacks of audio processing. With it’s built in DSP (Digital Signal Processing), world class analog to digital conversion and almost negligible latency when tracking, this is one for the pros. Finneas uses this from his home studio in combination with the a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 as he likes to be able to hit record and let creativity flow instantly.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

scarlett 18i20

Connected via ADAT, this interface syncs with the UA Apollo 8 and allows more instruments to stay plugged in to Finneas’ setup. This interface from Focusrite is a reliable interface with clean preamps perfect for this application. Finneas knows what he’s doing.

Studio Monitors

Yamaha HS5 with sub

Yamaha HS5’s are just above entry level studio monitors in terms of price and performance. Finneas makes and records music with Billie in his bedroom, which is great to know for all you budding bedroom producers out there, you can do it without a really expensive setup! As there isn’t adequate soundproofing, these speakers are likely going to perform as well as more expensive ones in the same space, providing a relatively flat frequency response to monitor your music.

Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Speaking of entry level, these headphones are very commonplace. The ATH-M50x’s are one of the best affordable headphones out there and it’s cool to see that both Finneas and Billie use these while recording and on the road. Billie can be spotted rocking both the wired and bluetooth versions of these.

Microphones

Neumann TLM 103

This absolutely legendary mic is what Billie Eilish and Finneas use to record their Grammy award winning hits. This mic closely resembles the U 87 microphone, which have been used by pretty much all the best studios in the world and is a holy grail microphone. This particular microphone is reasonably affordable for a Neumann and with their reputation you bet you’re getting what you pay for.

Guitars

Ovation Celebrity Elite Acoustic Electric

This interesting guitar, spotted in his home studio, has multiple sound holes as apposed to just the standard centre hole, allowing the front piece to vibrate more freely, generating a unique tone. This shallow bowl acoustic plays like an electric despite having the tone of an acoustic, perfect for live performances which he no doubt has done.

Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster Custom

finneas and billie eilish on SNL

Finneas can be spotted rocking this custom guitar with a monogrammed Louis Vuitton Fender Acoustasonic guitar on Saturday Night Live. The guitar seems to have all the same features as the original bar the cool design cues. For more, check out our review of this guitar.

Fender American Elite Telecaster Thinline

While playing live, Finneas has been spotted with a Fender American Elite Thinline Telecaster. The guitar has some of the best noiseless pickups available in a Fender, and no doubt adds to his live sound. Check out our review of the Fender Thinline for a more in depth analysis of this particular guitar.

MIDI Controllers

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88

Finneas is known for chopping up a plethora of sounds, which end up being used in unconventional ways (like the matches lighting which turns into a snare on Billie Eilish’s ‘Watch’). Connecting with Native Instruments Komplete and NKS, this keyboard is a quality choice for playing these interesting chops and custom made instruments alongside Logic Pro.

Roli Seaboard

Finneas used the Seaboard on Billie Eilish’s ‘Listen Before I Go’ with its sliding bass line which could only be created on this unique instrument. ROLI’s Seaboard allows you to slide your hands (or any other body part) along its surface, bending notes and creating expression the higher up the keyboard you play. This MPE controller is definitely leading the new era of music creation and performance.

Find that interesting? Check out his live SNL performance with Billie Eilish next.