Fender Plugged In: Kenny Beats, Episode 1
Acclaimed producer and sound engineer Kenny Beats takes the American Professional II Telecaster to the studio with artist Deb Never.
By Mike Duffy
Kenny Beats is known as one of the most sought-after producers in the game right now.
Over the past few years, the Connecticut-bred musician has shifted from being a globe-trotting EDM superstar to working with top-level hip-hop artists, such as DaBaby, Freddie Gibbs, Vince Staples, JPEGMAFIA and Denzel Curry.
An accomplished Berklee-trained musician, Beats knows how to strip songs down to their core and build them into chart-topping hits, and most often accomplishing that with the use of live instruments.
That’s why, in the first episode of Fender’s new series, Plugged In, Beats takes the audience into his domain to demonstrate exactly how he does it. With singer/songwriter Deb Never strumming out a head-nodding groove on a Fender American Professional II Telecaster, Beats plugs it directly into his system and shows how you can make magic in the studio with live instruments, too.
“My first guitar ever was a Fender Strat,” explained. “My first amp ever was a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. I’ve been playing guitar my whole life, but honestly, there’s been so many times when there’s a part that I liked, or a part I wanted to play in a beat I was making or a song I was working on, and I hated how the guitar ended up sounding.
“It was too thin when I did DI (direct input), or it would have phase issues when I recorded with mics. But I’m here to show you that you don’t need to be a studio engineer with 30 years of experience to get a good guitar tone. Sometimes, it’s just about a few quick tweaks and how you set up your recording process.”
With Never on the Tele, Beats records multiple versions of the same riff, and is a master at stacking takes and then coming away with what is sure to be an amazing song.
This, of course, was just the guitar tracking, so you’ll have to wait for the second episode when Beats adds bass to the mix to see how the entire process comes together.
For more information on the Fender American Professional II Telecaster, click here.