A former member of Spanish dance act YALL, Barcelona-based producer HEREN spent 2016 attempting to establish himself as a solo artist.
Given that his club hit Here & Now racked up more than two million streams worldwide, we’d say that he achieved his goal.
You can expect to hear much more from HEREN this year, so we asked him to let us in on some of his production secrets and show us the studio gear that’s serving him so well.
“Cubase is my weapon of choice; I’ve been using it for almost 11 years. I really like its built in VSTs. Nowadays, you have so many choices of production tools, but I think the most important thing is your creativity and how you use them. It’s really important to learn the tools you use.”
KRK V8 Series 2 monitors
“Every producer’s favourite choice in the studio: clear sound, good look, and so responsive when experimenting with the levels and EQs in a mix. I also use some Yamaha NS10s and a mini radio to A/B test when comparing sounds.
“Although this model is very popular with producers and artists alike, buying the right speakers is down to personal preference, depending on the sound you’re looking for.”
NI Komplete Kontrol S49
“This is my master keyboard. From here I control the VSTs and run an additional line to my Roland JU-06 synthesizer to act as a controller.
“I really like the feel of the keys; it sounds simple but is still an important factor. In general, I find it comfortable to work with, which makes the creative process a lot more direct. You have the possibility to play with chords or arpeggios - it’s more than a simple MIDI controller.”
Access Virus Ti2 Polar
“Virus, my new toy - we are best friends now. It’s a ‘bare bones’, highly powerful synth. It’s what I use in the majority of my productions - you can use it for so much of the production process. When it comes to making sounds, you can almost make a whole track with it.
“One of the great features is that you can use it in conjunction with other tools in your studio, or if you want to use the delay or the reverb separately you can do that too.”
“Do you know when you see something and instantly think ‘I want that?’ This happened to me with this FX unit. I fell in love. It's a very high quality guitar pedal which I use mainly for vocal pads more than anything else - I even have it connected as an additional auxiliary into another production tool I like. It creates some really nice atmospheres to the vocals and you can get totally lost in the process, which is nice.”
“I imagine that many of you know the classic Juno-106 from Roland - this is the mini version. I usually use it for leads and sometimes bass, and I like to process it with the effects using the Virus to create new atmospheres.
“This mini version comes without keys, making it cheaper and (being the size it is) so easy to travel with!”
“This is one of the more complex synths I have in the studio. I use it for different modules, VCOs, filters, sequencers and many other things. You have the possibility to use them inter-connectively in a number of different ways. The creativity is almost limitless and (again) you can get lost, going from a simple wave sound to a strange melody and atmospheres or noise, too.
“The good thing about a modular synth is that you can keep building and building and do so much with them.”
“Since I began making music, Daft Punk have been a big influence on me and I knew that they used the talkbox a lot in their productions. I soon discovered this amazing (and sometimes difficult) piece of gear and I love it! So much fun to use…
“I usually use it for some leads, bass or sometimes simply for its cool robotic vocals. Or you can use it for a cool effect, just to add a special touch to your productions.”