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Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear

Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear

Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear

We take a look at some of Mercury nominee Jon Hopkins’ gear…

Jon Hopkins is part of a very select group of musicians that have been nominated for a Mercury prize more than once. Back in 2011, his album ‘Insides’ was nominated, and this year, current album ‘Immunity’ made the shortlist. (In addition, his collaboration with King Creosote also made the 2011 list, too…)

Though you may not know him as a ‘household name’, there is every possibility that you’ve already heard Jon’s work.

Amongst other things, he worked with Coldplay on ‘Mylo Xyloto’, played keyboards for Imogen Heap, worked with King Creosote on ‘Diamond Mine’ plus, work with Brian Eno, and a selection of acclaimed film scores, too…

Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear

Immunity is a dense, complex, rich yet accessible listen, reminiscent of Autechre’s classic early work, but rooted in the glitchy grooves of modern cutting-edge dance music.

What are the key tools he uses to produce his work?

We take a look at some of Jon Hopkins’ gear…

Korg MS20

Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear - Korg MS20 Mini

According to interviews, one of the key instruments that he used on ‘Immunity’ was a Korg MS20. Apparently, lead single, ‘Open Eye Signal’ was created nearly entirely with Korg’s classic synth, as were nearly all of the bass sounds and lead sounds.

Warm, rich and capable of hugely varied and evolving sounds, it’s easy to see why. If you can’t live without those sounds, you can pick up an MS20 Mini brand-new, which is identical, but of a smaller size…

Novation Impulse 25

Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear - Novation Impulse 25

The 25-note version of Novation’s excellent Impulse keyboard has also been spotted in Jon’s studio set-up. This provides eight assignable trigger pads with eight rotary controls, with a high quality keyboard and large backlit screen- all with Novation’s renowned, high quality construction.

The trigger pads also double as a ‘mini’ Launchpad, allowing for clips to be triggered with LED indication of clip status.

Korg Kaoss Pad

Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear - Korg KP3+

When performing live, Jon employs not one, not two, but three Kaoss Pads in his live show. Korg’s performance effects unit seems to be near immortal. But, there really is nothing quite like it.

Offering hands on intuitive control over multiple effects parameters simultaneously, with sampling, MIDI control and more, it’s the performer and DJ’s tool of choice, when sounds need to be mangled live… He uses KP3s, but the current version, the KP3+, expands upon this technology.

Ableton Live

Mercury Prize 2013 – Jon Hopkins’ Gear

Though Jon is Logic user in the studio, when he takes his music live, he switches to every electronic artist’s DAW of choice: Ableton Live.

This allows for audio and MIDI clips to be fired, looped, tweaked, mangled, and jammed with on the fly, all in perfect sync. And this all runs with rock solid stability, thanks to the incredible Ableton sound engine.

These are just a select few items from Jon Hopkins’ gear collection (I haven’t even mentioned the SH-09, Triton, Mackie Control….)

Stay tuned for more Mercury nominee mini gear guides…

About The Author


Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.