Carl Taylor is a UK based deep house and techno don, who's just released a brand new album called True Faith.
We were lucky enough to get given the grand tour of of his studio, which features a nice mix of budget and high end gear, software and hardware.
"Hi I'm Carl Taylor, this is my bedroom studio located in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
"As you can see I run two setups: one 100% hardware and the other 100% software. I usually use them separately as I find the logistical and phycological workflow of both set ups very different. If Iʼm in ʻmad scientistʼ mode, I love nothing more than doodling around on the computer; but when just want to relax, have fun and ʻget deepʼ I turn to the hardware every time."
"Iʼve had the Pulse about 15 years now, I'm still yet to hear anything with a heavier and hotter sound. The raw waveforms just sound amazing, that's when you know you've got a good synth!
"I added the Blofeld a couple of years ago. I'd say that its been on every production since then, and Its all over my new album - as well as the whole of my ʻWarehouse Traxʼ series. The interface is not my favourite; but its probably as good as it could have been for such a tiny device. Regarding the sound: well, it can be smooth but when you crank up the drive curves its dirty! The filters are probably the best digital ones Iʼve heard so far, as well."
Akai MPC 1000
"With JJ OS2 installed this thing kicks arse. I started off on hardware sequencers (MC 303) and I just love the workflow on the MPC series.
"The lack of visual stimulation also allows me to get deep into the music and do it fast. I can write a full track in between 15 minutes and three hours. Iʼll never be able to do that with Ableton as there are so many distractions and fiddling to be done within the computer.
"Often I turn everything off without saving it after Iʼve recorded my track. This ʻno come backʼ approach keeps me sharp and stops me endlessly tweaking a song to death. It also helps keeps the artistic vision intact for what ever piece Iʼm working on, as the music is always finished one sitting."
"Never been tuned on since the 1K turned up, but I can't seem to sell this thing. The build quality and pads are way better than its little brother.
"I can see me firing it up one day when I want the extra outputs. Also, the on-board FX and filters have a nice old school character to them, and the DAC has slight crispness to the top end that I like."
Native Instrument's Massive
I absolutely hammer this thing, the UI is easy to use and the quality of the algorithms are
second to none. Also, the way you can wire up the modulation matrix is pure genius and
the range of sound is incredible.
I run two instances live as part of my live performance project, the macro dials come in
really useful here. I map the macroʼs to the APC40 and then simply send program change
messages to Massive inside Ableton to change the patches when needed... it works really
Korg Kaoss Pad 3
Korg came up with a winner here. Used in my studio productions as well as the live set. It's
so easy to use its unreal!
The quality of the FX is really good, providing delay, reverb, modulation stuff for the live
set. I have it hooked up via a soundcard and then buss out an Ableton subgroup (drums,
synth, vocals etc) when needed....
"The APC not only changed the way I used Ableton (I only use session view now), it also gave me a way to perform live that feels 100% intuitive.
"The other bonus is I don't have to cart loads of kit around with me. The build quality seems good so far, a modern classic in my eyes."
Samson Rubicon 5A
"I managed to blow one of these up with a sudden burst of noise from MaxMSP... whoops! I will get it fixed though, as they sound really smooth.
"I prefer the Rubiconʼs over Genelecʼs and Mackieʼs. I can still mix on one monitor though: as ive got some AKG headphones for backup. Im also a firm believer that you can mix on anything as long as you ʻknowʼ your speakers."
"Used to mix 4 of the tracks on my new album (ʻPerlexerʼ, ʻOnly Uʼ, ʻChordal Linkʼ and ʻGuiding Lightʼ) as well as my forthcoming Warehouse Trax EPʼs.
"I love using it as it takes me back to basics before I knew too much. The fact that its a DJ mixer also allows me to get busy on the faders and kill switches while jamming an arrangement on the MPC pads. Im looking forward to getting a NOX 606 actually. Analogue filters and proper aux sends!"
Stack of Behringer
"The early stuff from Behringer is excellent. One of the tech guys at the Drawmer factory told me the MDX 2000 is a DIRECT copy of a DL241."
"I couldn't believe it, so I went home and tried the MDX against my 241. I could not tell the difference, so sold the Drawmer and bought another 3 Behringer's with the money! Solid workhorse compressors that lend themselves well to electronic music."
"Also in the pic the Boss CE-300: wow what a sound! Nothing in plug-in form comes close this bad boy. It reminds me of the chorus on the Juno 60 actually. I frequently plug the Pulse into this for a super analogue sound."
"Super smooth sounding comp (with a little colour) that I use on the master channel: usually
to help ʻglueʼ the mix together, but sometimes I go for more extreme settings."
"The settings are limited (and I wouldn't want to use it as an actual mastering unit because of this) but the EQ and comp actually sound great. Its main job is to tame the output of the Blofeld.
"The Waldorf throws out some rogue frequencies now and then, multi-band compression comes in handy here. Also with so many elements coming out of 1 stereo output it would be really hard to keep all these under effective control with a single band unit."
This needs racking up again soon, you just cant beat the sound. Even with no filters (which
are amazing) or FX applied everything just sounds ʻrightʼ. Some people attribute this to the
convertors, whatever it is: you just can hear it....