In the week he released the single Untouchable, his collaboration with ex-Heaven 17 supremo Glenn Gregory, Dutch musician and composer Stephen Emmer took us on a tour of his Amsterdam studio.
Untouchable is the first release from forthcoming album International Blue, in which Emmer collaborates with a series of vocalists in a suite designed to celebrate the epic chamber pop produced by the likes of Scott Walker, Burt Bacharach, Nick Cave.
Lofty claims, clearly, but the album is mixed and produced by Tony Visconti, legendary peak period Bowie producer, with original tracks mixed and recorded at Abbey Road, so expectations are high.
Click through the gallery for a personal guided tour of Emmer's own facility, or for more see www.stephenemmer.com.
My studio and assistant, Lau
"I like the room to have a hybrid vibe; analog and digital.
"My assistant Lau has a Masters degree in Sonology and can even program max deep patches, but also has the old-fashioned expertise of tonmeisterschaft."
Too many guitars
"Far too many guitars of course! There is the old Epiphone Bonanza Baritone guitar there, my first classical nylon acoustic, a vintage 70s Fender P-Bass, the big Gretsch White Falcon reissue, but the real workhorse is the Fender Tele '52 reissue, that’s my fave."
Old school outboard
"Old school outboard. Yes, boutique brands rule!
"The Sta-Level is a must for blending the vocal into the instrumental, the SSL Bus Compressor Vintage gives that typical ‘it’s a real record’ feel.
"The Chandler TD GTRchannel is a Brit sounding, yet American guitar pre-amp, very clever design, next to the UAD Apollo which we adore in combination with their plugins - we’ve got them all now.
"All they need to do is make their own workstation software and they have come, seen and conquered the market, the Neve 1073 pre amps with eq, still the benchmark for most. We got our Pultec Mew back too, a beast. "
"Vintage U87 with a lot of history and tarnish, the Swiss Army Knife of recording really."
The studio museum
"As a reminder, here are just a few of the macs we used over the years and I like to display them as a pseudo-museum to remind us of those days that 2MB or 20MB was challenging."
"ProTools rules (for now). We still think it could do better on the midi side of things whereas logic could do better on the audio side of things, I’m an old cubaser anyway, except they lost it a bit I feel.
"But as I said before, I really would like a totally new daw by UAD."
UAD Apollo Twin
"The ideal portable little dousing of the biggie where we now can vibe with their plugins outdoors."
Macbook Air 15
"This, in combination with the twin, is now to us the ultimate portable set up with similar high-end sonic results - total freedom to pull the Ocean Way plugin out in your hotel room."