Following the success of his debut track Friend, producer MODEL 86 recently released his first EP, Self Help Dance.
After cutting his music technology teeth on Acid Pro and Akai's MPC 2000XL, he dropped out of art school in favour of pursuing a musical career, honing his talents by producing music and taking on sound design work for rappers, commercials, TV and film. He has several new scores in the pipeline.
We asked MODEL 86 to get his camera out and photograph his studio, telling us about his favourite gear along the way. Here's his slideshow...
“This is my studio - it's been in this makeshift state for about three years. I have 5.1 Dynaudio BM6mk2 ,monitors and those mixcubes, along with a few hardware synths and compressors.
“I use Logic for most stuff, but as you can see from the [Avid] C|24 and Pro Tools I/O I use that, too.
“I’ve had that M-Audio controller for about eight years. I really need a new one as it’s a bit knackered now. That’s a Technics 1200 up there next to Sagat, too.”
“This is kind of a borrow - a beautiful handmade thing from the US. I used this for all the sounds in the track Sister, together with [iZotope]Iris 2. It’s basically a big 3-octave thumb piano but it doesn’t sound like that after I’ve finished.”
DSI Mopho X4 and Korg MS-20 mini
“That MS-20 mini was imported from Japan just before they got over here. I don’t use it enough, but I like it enough to keep it.”
“This is what I made Sister with - just this and then in the mix some 6-foot long hardware plate reverb, but only a tiny tiny bit of that. When I first got it I was throwing lots of recordings in it and making lots of different interesting pad and ambient sounds. It’s such a damn good synth.”
“A ‘Computational Hardware Processor’ - it has its own software that runs on OS X, then this box computes everything. It’s a little complicated at first glance, but when you get into it, it’s fun. I have a Wacom tablet that I use with it, too. I used Max/MSP a few years back so I had a slight start on using it I guess.”
Make Noise Share System
“This is my first Modular. It’s awesome. I love the general tone of pretty much everything that comes out of it. The DPO oscillators are so sexy and, of course, the whole thing is super flexible. I’ve been trying not to buy more modular stuff recently.”
Folktek Micro Garden
“I love this. It’s super simple but such an interesting and effective idea. Handmade in the US: those wires are guitar strings hooked up to a pick-up and delay circuit in the box.”
Akai MPC 2000XL
“This was the first bit of hardware I bought (second-hand) when I was 18. I saved up for months a year later to buy the 8-output card for it, too, which cost more than half of the machine again.
I made so many beats with this. This, along with Acid Pro - which, randomly, a neighbour gave me a bootleg of when I was around 16 - got me into music making daily. This machine also made me love 100MB Zip disks.”
Spectrasonics Omnisphere and SoundToys plugins
“I use the whole SoundToys suite all the time. There’s SoundToys stuff in pretty much everything I ever do. Unless I consciously decide not to, to see what happens, or I forgot my iLok.
“Omnisphere is a beast of a synth: so much flexibility, nice waveforms, and fast to edit and mess with stuff.”
Teenage Engineering OP-1
“The OP-1 is fun to take places and use to mess with beats and tracks. It’s so well made and the design and interface is fresh.
“It’s good, like back in the MPC days, to make music without a screen and computer in your face.”
Nagra IV and Sound Devices 422
“These are my go-to portable recorders. The Sound Devices is bulletproof and the preamps are amazing. The Nagra is the same, except not as portable (it’s heavy). You can record slow and fast without losing quality and get some tape saturation too, if you like. The quality and feel of the Nagra is stunning and the gauges are so sexy. I also have a Nagra SD, which is super portable.”