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 Parsoa Khorsand.
Parsoa's studio is notable for a number of reasons: we're a fan of this kind of 360-degree set-up, an arrangement that undoubtedly makes it easier to navigate that many keyboards.
While our eyes were immediately drawn leftward to the sky-blue UDO Super 6, a favourite synth over here at MusicRadar HQ, the next thing that caught our attention was the Arturia KeyStep Pro, a respectable MIDI controller and keyboard of which Parsoa has not one or even two, but three. Read on to hear more about Parsoa's affinity for all things Arturia.
Tell us a little about your studio set-up?
"I believe I have a rather unique setup which took me a couple of years to develop and perfect. I compose the songs by sequencing everything using three KeyStep Pros and a BeatStep Pro for drum and rhythmic parts. The KeySteps provide a total of 12 sequencing tracks, one of which controls the piano and five others control my synths (PolyBrute, Super 6, Iridium, MiniFreak and OB-6 at the moment). The remaining 6 tracks are available for software instruments - I use a lot of Spitfire Audio’s plugins.
"The KeyStep Pro controls software drum kits and other rhythmic sounds when needed. I use the Keylab 88 as my master keyboard to play all the other keyboards and to compensate for the small keys on the KeySteps. I’ve got a rather intricate MIDI setup under the desk which includes a bunch of MIDI Solutions modules and a MRCC MIDI interface that lets me control just about anything from either one of the sequencers or the master keyboard.
"Once everything is recorded using this approach, I’ll overdub the more expressive parts by manually playing the instruments. Finally I add the guitars and vocals if there are any.
"As evident, I’m a huge fan of Arturia’s gear and musical vision in general. The PolyBrute was my first synthesizer ever and I just love everything about it. And the KeyStep Pro is just such a unique and powerful tool. Hopefully one day I’ll get good enough at this to be noticed by them! The desk is an Output Platform desk which I just love for how large and sturdy it is. It's really the centerpiece of this whole setup.
Tell us a little about your musical background?
"I was classically trained on the piano but never took it that seriously. Nowadays I mostly play —and “collect”— synthesizers and make keyboard-centric music with electric guitars added here and there. My music is usually conceptual and deeply cinematic with strong experimental elements. I’m a huge science fiction nerd, so the music usually leans that way conceptually.
"I have released two full-length concept albums, an EP and a few singles so far. My latest release, the Odyssey EP was fully recorded using the setup you see here. It's an epic and symphonic story of a hero's odyssey. I also have an upcoming album The Past is an Undying Beast in September. This one’s more experimental and personal with each song being about a memory of mine. I’m currently releasing singles from it every 15 days. The second single Summer Green just dropped on June 1st."
What's your favourite piece of gear in your studio and why?
"As mentioned earlier I'm a huge fan of Arturia's gear. I'm somewhat at a tie between the KeyStep Pro (of which I have three) and the PolyBrute for my favourite gear, but I'll just go with the KeyStep as it really changed how I look at production and writing music. It's very powerful and intuitive to use albeit with some limitations that you can mostly work around.
"I find it a lot more intuitive to use than software MIDI sequencers as it allows you to work on the song one part a time and arrange and re-order things on the fly. Using a sequencer with hardware synths also allows me to adjust my patches on the fly so that they sound good together. I'm really curious to know if anyone else uses the KeyStep Pro the way I do!"
What was the first bit of gear you ever owned?
"My PolyBrute synthesizer is the first real piece of gear I got when I decided to record my first album Eulogy for a Fallen Moon in 2021. I've used the synth on basically everything I've recorded since then. I love the warm analog sound and it's very easy to modulate things and just come up with new sounds. I'll be keeping the PolyBrute forever."
What dream piece of gear would you love to own if money was no object?
"That's a tough one. A Yamaha CS-80 is perhaps my dream synthesizer, in part because it's such an important part of the synth history. I also love the aesthetics and sound of Roland's Jupiter-8 and would love to own one. However my real dream piece of gear is this sequencer that I've been designing in my head and I hope to be able to build one day! I have no idea where to start with it right now..."
Take a listen to Parsoa's track Cryptomnesia below.
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.
If you've already submitted and haven't been contacted, don't despair: we'll be continuing to comb through the emails we've received over the coming weeks, so keep an eye on your inbox. If we've already reached out, keep an eye on MusicRadar as we continue posting entries over the weeks to come.
Parsoa's gear list
Keyboards and synths
- Nord Piano 5
- Arturia PolyBrute
- Arturia MiniFreak
- Waldorf Iridium
- UDO Super 6
- Sequential/Oberheim OB-6
- Moog Claravox Centennial Theremin
MIDI controllers and sequencers
- Arturia KeyStep Pro x3
- Arturia BeatStep Pro
- Torso T-1
- Arturia KeyLab 88 Mk2
- MRCC 880 MIDI interface
- MIDI Solutions modules
- Charvel Pro-Mod DK22 - Electric Blue
- Fender Player Precision Bass - Capri Orange
- PositiveGrid BIAS FX 2 for amp, cab and effects simulation
- Behringer UMC1820 audio interface
- Berlinger ADA8200 ADAT interface
- sE Electronics X1 A with Reflexion Filter
- Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer
- PreSonus Eris E3.5 3.5-inch Powered Studio Monitors
- Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro
- Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro
- Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro
- Ableton Live 11 on Mac Studio with M1 Max