This is Show Us Your Studio, a chance for our readers to show off their set-up, shout about their gear and invite the world into their home studio. This week's studio shot has been submitted by MusicRadar reader Peter McCaughan, who releases music under the artist name Alpha Chrome Yayo.
Tell us about your studio set-up?
"For me, gear is important, sure - but equally important is that less tangible, ephemeral quality that makes a space fun and engaging to work in. Call it vibes, aesthetics, or just plain 'stuff that looks nice', this element is essential for me to make the music that I make - especially if I'm spending many long days and late nights in this room.
"So I've surrounded myself with the gear I need in a way that makes sense to me, but also plenty of inspirational artefacts including paintings, wall decorations, stickers of friends' bands and more. There's a Japanese shoji screen which simultaneously looks pretty, and hides shelves of stuff I don't need ready access to. My studio is in a pretty tight little space (growing ever-tighter with the walls of synths that surround me), so I've really got to think hard about where I place everything.
"I've got rackmounted synths, computer and effects to my left (including my beloved Roland JV-1080), a big Wakeman-esque stand of instruments behind me (the Prophet Rev 2 gets the most use), guitars on the wall (I like Ibanez stuff, can you tell?) and almost always an Arturia Keystep on my knees. Every corner is filled with tucked-away treats, like an alto sax I've had since I was single-digits-years-old, and some broken instruments that I occasionally harvest for parts.
"There's plenty of strange stuff in here too, like the Suiko VS-1; an obscure koto synthesizer from the '80s, a Sony PVM that I use for making glitchy music videos and a glorious old phone handset with carbon and dynamic mics inside. I love this space and, despite the countless hours I spend in here, I never get sick of it."
Tell us a little about your musical background and the music that you make in your studio?
"I release my own music under the name Alpha Chrome Yayo - it's a far-out mix of jazz fusion, city pop, chillwave and '90s-flavoured new age, with hot flashes of metal and ice cold ambient. In the past five years, I've put out about 300 tracks across 39 releases, and the best place to check it out is always Bandcamp. I'm exceptionally grateful for the support I get on there, and I've seen several sold out physical releases, live streams that have turned into wild parties and more.
"For the past couple of years I've also been working away as lead composer for some upcoming video games (currently NDA, but set for announcement in the not-too-distant future)."
What's your favourite piece of gear in your studio and why?
"It's definitely the Suiko VS-1, a fairly obscure '80s synthesizer built in Ikebukuro and originally designed to soundtrack poetry readings. It has that digital joy while also sounding magically acoustic. Tuned to Japanese pentatonic scales, it inspires lateral thinking. I've made a free sample pack from it if anyone wants it."
What was the first bit of gear you ever owned?
"Of the stuff I'm still using, my Trevor Horn alto sax. That being said, I had some glorious '90s Casio keyboards growing up and I loved the sounds out of 'em. I must go digging in my parents' attic next time I'm visiting to see if any are still lurking there."
What dream piece of gear would you love to own if money was no object?
"I'd love a Yamaha CS-80 if anybody has a spare 50k lying around to help me live out my space-age Vangelis dreams. If they could also come round and service it every time it breaks, that'd be great too, cheers!"
Listen to Alpha Chrome Yayo's And That, My Friends, Is What I Call Golf below or hear more on Bandcamp.
Peter's gear list
- Moog Sub Phatty
- Sequential Prophet Rev 2
- Suiko VS-1
- Casio CTS-1000V
- Tascam 424MkII Portastudio
- Proteus 2000
- Alesis Midiverb II
- Roland JV-1080 Roland Boutique D-05
- Roland Boutique JD-08
- Roland TR-6S
- Korg Volcas (FM and Modular)
- Cre8audio East Beast
- Evan Cook Landline
- Rotel RD-865
- Sony Trinitron PVM
- KRK Rokit 5 G4s
- Ableton Push 2
- Ibanez guitars (Jem, RG and SR bass)
- Trevor Horn alto sax
If you'd like to be featured on Show Us Your Studio, email us today with a clear and well-lit picture of your studio space.