Music Tech Showcase 2021: What’s the one thing in your studio that you can’t imagine doing without? The one bit of gear that provides the heart and soul of your music making setup?
Every month we put that question to musicians and producers as part of our regular Talking Shop feature. Below, ten electronic musicians and producers explain what one thing holds their creative setup together...
“I always have to have an electronic keyboard around. I’m not particularly married to a particular one. That’s just my main instrument to write and compose with. I feel a bit handicapped without one when it comes to composing something from scratch. I have a Roland Juno Di that I’ve been using for a while now. I love the sounds on there.”
“Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet. It’s a stereo pre, a Pultec-type EQ, Neve and API transformers/saturation stage in a single unit. I utilise it for both tracking and stereo processing purposes on mixdowns.
“As for synths, the Roland SH-1000. Nothing comes close to it when trying to get an immediately beautiful-sounding synth part. I love its quirks and limitations; they always sound very musical.
“In software, anything done by u-He. Diva and Repro are incredible pieces of engineering. Often, I write a synth part on the go using them, thinking ‘this will sound great on a Moog at the studio’, only to then choose the original demo sound.”
“Probably my Prophet-6, because you plug it in and it just sounds bigger than anything else, the richness and texture it gives you is on a different level, it’s a beast.”
“At the moment the Nord Lead because I still find everything I need in it, from bass sounds to bright noises. I always come back to my Emulator VST too, which has a vintage vibe that’s interesting to combine with the Nord sounds.
“And I love my tambourine, it brings a special natural vibe into electronic music and sounds.”
“Probably my analogue synth OB6 from Dave Smith. I fell in love with that sound from the first second. It has a huge warm sound which plays perfectly with other acoustic instruments like the piano.”
“The Elektron Digitakt – I think it’s the most inspiring machine in my studio. Also, the TR-8S – it’s so easy to create grooves with it.”
“Probably Cirklon or Norns if I’m in writing mode, but then a good monitoring system is also really the backbone of a studio. It’s a hard choice. Having amazing monitors is great but I bet my new monitors measured similarly to our old ones at 10cm from the cone.
"Having a bigger room with treatment is as important as the frequency plot on your boxes. Saying that, I recorded 90% of the recent tracks in an untreated room and I really like how they sound; so if you only have headphones or bits of foam on your walls don’t worry.”
“The piece of gear that I couldn’t live without would probably be my Behringer Model D monosynth. So simple and obviously cheap, but it’s just so versatile. I’ve used it on basically every track that I’ve created since I bought it. Either that or my Adam monitors. They’re my babies.”
“Definitely my cello. It’s surely my voice when it comes to making music. It is a very versatile instrument, I’m constantly searching for unconventional ways of making music with it by experimenting and exploring extended techniques.”
“My Mac Pro Rack edition, It’s the life of my studio. No matter what, however deep the projects go, it doesn’t even blink. I'm sure it could power NASA, and what's great is that it’s fully modular so I can keep on adding more and more to it. “