SKylar Mones

One hundred percenter with FX Collection

Skylar Mones
One hundred percenter with FX Collection

For Skylar Mones, the process of crafting a hit record isn’t like it used to be, and he isn’t one to complain. As a songwriter, producer, engineer, and arranger whose clientele is almost exclusively A list (Dua Lipa, Kesha, Flo Rida, Adam Lambert), he understands the importance of the coveted studio sound. But who says you can’t capture the studio spirit while working in the box? We spoke to Skylar about how he uses FX Collection to deliver his platinum sound.

Where the magic happens

Behind every record-breaking lead single, infectious topline hook, and show-stopping chorus drop is a team of people working musical magic. For over a decade, Skylar Mones has been one of those people. And, much like the other magicians behind the scenes, his skill set spans songwriting, arranging, audio production, and studio engineering; whatever it takes to get the job done.

I am a record producer, songwriter, recording engineer, mix engineer - and all-around one hundred percenter.

His career at the top started with remix and engineering work with the likes of Flo Rida, Rihanna, and Adam Lambert. Once he started flexing his songwriting skills, things accelerated pretty quickly, and he soon became one of LA’s Grammy-nominated top talents - a position he’s remained in to this day, most recently contributing to Dua Lipa’s acclaimed Future Nostalgia.

Production & mixing, hand in hand

Like most of his contemporary peers, Skylar works almost exclusively in the box. Creating chart-topping records is a different process to what it once was; creators collaborate in real-time across borders, time zones, and digital platforms with instant results - and leaving more room for a flexible, ever-changing creative experience.

I am 100% my laptop now. I love being able to just have a very small interface, close my laptop, put it in my backpack, go to a studio - I can do anything with that. I can produce, record, everything.

That’s where FX Collection comes into the fold. Rather than the familiar format of mixing and mastering plugins, these audio enhancers are designed to guide and encourage your flow at every step, from inception to the final master stages. Polish your mix as you write, tweak your tone as you arrange.

Production and mixing in 2021 is kind of hand in hand… The way that I use Arturia is I’ll shape the sound as I'm going.

The fact that FX Collection’s plugins don’t just emulate, but actually enhance the effects that inspired them, is the icing on the cake - allowing producers to enjoy the massive sounds of pro studio hardware without sonic cliches or compromises on modern flexibility. gives you more control, so that you can get the characteristics of a piece of gear without having to be stuck to one emotion.

Skylar & FX Collection

Skylar took the time to walk us through part of a vocal track mixing session, demonstrating the role that FX Collection plays in his flow.

Pre 1973

Skylar notes that the vocal needs some more detail in the high end. He achieves this by starting with everything pushed, then chisels away at certain frequencies until he’s happy with the balance - this way, the vocal gets the spotlight it deserves.

The way that I personally use EQ is I overdo everything, then scale it back. Basically this makes it pop out of the mix - there’s no question as a listener what I want you to focus on.

Comp DIODE-609

This coveted Brit stereo compressor is deployed to even-out & intensify the vocal, injecting classic diode dynamics but with a little more creative legroom than the original hardware. Where does Skylar begin? With a 4-to-1 preset to keep it simple and effective.

This is an emulation of a 33609C - I actually used presets on this one by the way. Presets are great because they’re just easy. Making a song is hard enough.


For the end of each vocal phrase, Skylar wants to add an isolated ambient tail for extra impact. The challenge is to add that space without crowding the main vocal when it comes back in. Enter Rev INTENSITY; he opts for an extra-long decay with a touch of modulation for that tape echo-style sound. A hint of pre-reverb sidechaining to the main vocal ensures that it slots right into the mix.

This is incredible, it just goes for what sounds good. It’s not based on any of the old technology - it’s just based on creating whatever sound you want.

Switching roles

As Skylar crafts his sound, he switches roles in real-time. Engineer, producer, songwriter, and back again. Having tools that can keep up with this kind of malleable, accelerated process is essential - not just for the sake of efficiency, but for the quality of the results.

FX Collection doesn’t simply bring the finest studio tools into the virtual realm, enhanced for today’s production needs; it equips them for every stage of the music-making process, from beginning to end, switching roles right with you to pave the way for your style of creativity.

There’s no right way to use this stuff... They’re doing something that’s different. That will spark a whole new thing.