2012 is the year that Italian producer Gaudi celebrates 30 years in the music industry. With 12 solo albums, more than 250 productions, 95 remixes (including Lamb, Trentemoller, Bob Marley, Simple Minds, The Orb, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Scissor Sisters, Fatboy Slim, Africa Bambaataa, Shpongle and more) and with tracks featured on about 120 compilations, this self-styled ‘dub maestro’ shows us round his Metatron Studio in London.
NEXT: Studio overview
“Let’s start with a panoramic photo of myself and the studio equipment. In order to achieve depth and warmth in my dub/electronica productions, I am using pretty much all analogue equipment such as vintage modular synthesizers, analogue drum machines, tape echoes, spring reverbs, valve compressors, an analogue mixing desk and a lot of human touch, real instruments and tingz. This is all going into Logic, ready for some serious editing twists!”
“This gentleman is called the ARP2 600. Many producers use the virtual version by Arturia, which is not bad at all.The difference between the two is pretty straightforward: the Arturia version is not bad, but the original 1976 modular version is simply wicked! No comparison guys - another level, another planet!
“An incredible machine, very rare and quite pricey, but hey - if that's what you want you have to have it! It has a very distinguished ‘sound personality’ that’s perfect for obscure, aggressive, obsessive, repetitive, hypnotic textures.”
Minimoog and ARP Odyssey
“This legendary piece of technology is pretty much omnipresent in all my productions. This is THE synth: super flexible, good for punchy lead sounds, solid basslines, and also perfect for floaty velvety atmospheres, especially through tape echo or spring reverb… simply beautiful!
“The other synth, on top of the Minimoog, is the ARP Odyssey, another fabulous synthesizer! The majority of my sub frequencies come from this incredible and moody machine!
“A little curiosity: during one of my tours back in 1989, Air France broke my poor Arp Odyssey, and after being fixed it started to make weird noises and unusual sounds, sounds never heard before in the history of electronic music! And it still does it!
“It is very very difficult to control, as it has an uncontrollable and unpredictable personality. This is really a unique piece.”
“Top right in the picture we have the Roland RE-501 tape echo and chorus. It’s simply phenomenal; the colour and the warmth that this machine can add to your sound is unbeatable!
At the top left we have the Korg Stage Echo. This one is just tape echo - that's what it does and it does it well. A completely different body compared to the Roland, this is very good for ‘sound presence’. The RE-501 is more designed for dubby distant soundscapes.
“These are not just effect machines, these are musical instruments. Oh yes guys, I play my tape echoes, as if they were a piano, a guitar, a bass… for me the tape echo is one of the most creative instruments on Earth!
“Below the Korg you can see another incredible piece of technology: an original 1979 Roland SVC-350 vocoder. I use it quite often, and not only for vocals. It has a very warm sound.”
“My beautiful Fender Rhodes Eighty Eight. It doesn't really need any introduction, it is simply a perfect piece of equipment, something that you will never recreate virtually - that's it!
“It is so beautiful - sometimes I look at it and I feel happy! (Weirdo Mr Gaudi!) Seriously, it is so incredibly versatile. It can be super aggressive and crunchy, and it can also be the most lovely and ethereal sound on Earth (electronic pioneer Mr Eno understood the potential of this instrument and created incredible textures that actually defined a genre: ambient music).
“On top of it we have my secret love. Well, it is not that secret - it is always with me, in all my gigs, it is part of all my productions, it is in all my 12 albums! And every time it surprises me with new tricks, let’s put it like that: the Korg MS20 is an instrument that has unlimited possibilities! For real!”
“This is a piece of history in electronic music: the Roland TB-303, simply sublime! Super active since the late ‘70s, I would describe it as the music chameleon as it has an extreme capacity to adapt her sound (yes it is a ‘she’) to any kind of music genres!
“On the left we have my analogue Dub Siren: one oscillator, Moog components, LFO… very basic, very authentic, always with me on tour!
“In the background you see my Theremin, (my favourite instrument ever) and on top of it you can vaguely recognise another legendary piece of equipment: the Roland TR-909 drum machine!
“I bought my first 909 in 1983. I didn't like at all and sold it and of course I lost big money (at the time it was big money for me). Then in 1986 I bought another second hand and I paid a fortune because the house music phenomenon exploded that year. Then I still didn't like, it never convinced me, so I sold it… then in 1990 I bought it again. I love it, but really and truly I do not use it so often.”
Theremin and mixer
“This is my Theremin. I’ve played Theremin since 1991 - I love it! I still play it at all my gigs around the globe. It is an incredibly difficult instrument, so fascinating and trippy! Invented in 1920 by Russian Professor Leon Theremin, I use it in modern electronic and dub music. My 32-channel Soundcraft desk is underneath.
“Did you enjoy the visit to my studio? Cool - now go and buy my albums!”