We settle down with Juan Villalba Escobar, owner of Solitude Studios in Argentina, for a tour of his incredible studio and a chat about his life in music…
Interviewee: Juan Villalba Escobar (Jack Mood, Tiefstone, Funk the Beat)
Position at studio: Owner
1. Tell us a little about the studio?
My name is Juan, I’m the owner at Solitude Studio in Argentina. I’m a producer, engineer and composer, working mainly on electronic music in different styles with different aliases.
2. What kit are you using?
My setup is:
- iMac 27 32Gb ram, i7 , Cinema display 27 , and Samsung Monitor 24 (3 views)
- Access Virus Ti 2 Desktop
- Elektron Analog Four
- Waldorf Blofeld
- Arturia Spark LE
- Roland Jupiter Ju 06
- Roland TB- 3
- Volca Kick
- Arturia Beat Step Pro
- Moog Subphatty
- Moog Slimphatty
- Tc electronics Clarity M
- Console 1
- Native Instruments Mashchine
- Arp Oddisey
- Roland Tr 8
- Eventide H9
- Soundcard: Universal audio Apollo Twin
3. Which DAW do you use and why?
Well I use Ableton and Logic in tandem. I really love to use Live for arranging audio, Warp, etc and Apple Logic for the rest.
4. What is your favourite piece of gear?
Hard question! I think every machine in my studio deserves credit as they are all important. Some of them create ambience, others have natural texture, but if I had to choose it would be my Moog and Access Virus Ti 2 desktop.
5. How often would you say do you spend in your studio per week?
I use my studio almost 4 times a week, as I have a musical institute called Level Academy, that I run with a friend. I’m in charge of the Production Laboratory, and he’s head of the DJ lab. I use those days to create music for all the names in collab, master, mix and more.
6. How do you use your studio?
I mainly use it for creating music under my different monikers: Jack mood ( Toolroom , Nervous , Spinnin , Sony , Material , Just for name) and Tiefstone ( Bedrock , Saved records , Sudbeat).
Also I do some work with different companies, where I create music for apps, games and FXs.
7. What is next on your shopping list studio wise?
I really want to buy the Prophet 6 . I think this gonna be my next purchase for sure!
8. Anything annoy you about your set-up?
Yeah, I think there’s a bit of a problem with the sound card model, which is now a problem for the inputs, but I’m going to add an ADAT to increase the ins!
9. What is your dream piece of gear?
I really want to build my modular wall, it’s a project for 2019, which I’m hopefully going to get started.
10. What is your top piece of production advice?
My top piece for the new producers is: just be careful with the dynamic range on your mixes. Remember to not compress too much or you’re going to kill your track. It’s also important to remember that the master is just a final touch. If your masters sound bad, just review your mixdown.
11. What is the one piece of advice you would give someone starting out building a studio?
Just start with the basics. If you want to sound good remember to create an appropriately acoustic treated room. Plus, if you want to start buying synths, make sure you think about the what you want to get out of them like the basslines, drums, ambience etc.