Show Off Your Studio – Part Eight

It’s one of our most popular features where we ask MusicTech readers to show off their studios. Simple as that! Here are three of the best…

Paquito Garcia

“A real relationship between the machine, the music and you…”

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Interviewee: Paquito Garcia
Contact: misteremagic@hotmail.com

What are the key components in your studio?
Powerful Apple iMac, Logic Pro 9, UAD Apollo Quad interface including lots of plug-ins; Moog Little Phatty; Korg MS-20; Roland TR-8 drum machine; Arturia and Korg’s Legacy collection; M-Audio Project Mix control; Yamaha monitors and more!

Which DAW do you use and why?
I’ve been a Logic user since version 2 and still my main DAW is v9. Logic does the job best if you work with MIDI. For live performances I work with Ableton’s Live.

What is your favourite piece of gear in the studio?
My Moog Little Phatty beast. It’s always such a warm sounding bass and it simply add something special to the tracks… You can basically dry your hair with a Moog bass – that’s how powerful this machine is!

How often are you in your studio?
Being a father changes your priorities. Therefore I spend much less time in the studio now, but I try to work faster and more efficiently. Around 20 hours a week and sometimes more. I’m also working on my Anthology album but it may take a while to finish the project which will be released on Vertige Records.

How do you use your studio?
For composing, recording and mixing. I enjoy inviting musicians and organising crazy recordings and jam sessions. You never know what can come out of a jam session. Sometimes you can be working on your own for hours trying to break a good sound, and one person can come in… and the magic happens!

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Perfect or room for improvement?
I think I spend far too much time doing one thing. For instance, creating a sound, on a track section, mixing, searching in samples libraries, etc. So it’s nothing really annoying but perhaps I have too many options. I miss the time of the Amiga 2000: making music back in those days was simply more straightforward. No internet, no plug-ins… nothing could stop you. It was a real relationship between the machine, the music and you.

What is next on your shopping list?
For the past eight years I’ve been using the M-Audio Project Mix (discontinued support) as my main audio/MIDI control. It’s probably about the right time now to upgrade – for example, to Avid’s Artist Control, which supports the latest OSX versions.

Dream piece of gear?
I’ve always liked 80s movies, music and synths. One day I’ll get a Roland Juno 106, Jupiter 8, Korg PolySix, Korg MonoPoly and – why not? – also a LinnDrum.

One piece of advice?
Maybe just to start with one powerful hardware sampler. Make it work! Period.

And finally, your philosophy?
No music, no life.

The Room

A room with a brain (and a Brian)

Interviewee: Brian McNatt
Contact: fuqpunch@gmail.com

Key components in your studio?
The Brain (StudioCat rack PC, Quad Core 4.4Ghz, 16GB RAM, Win7); Central Nervous System (Allen & Heath Xone 92 with an NI Audio10 & patchbay – gets it all in and out nicely); JoeMeek TwinQ Pre/Comp/EQ; Blue Spark Mic; Audix OM2 mic; FMR Audio RNLA (nice levelling amp); Technics 1200; Moog Sub Phatty; Moogerfoogers; Waldorf Rocket; Roland TR-8; NI Maschine & Kore 2; Akai APC40; Novation 25SL; Korg KP3+ & Kaoss Pad; KRK Rockit 8s with 10s sub and so many cables!

Which DAW do you use and why?
I’ve been with Live since version 2. As to why, I’m an old school cut and paster at heart. I first started making tracks on an old version of Cool Edit (RIP) when it was a single stereo file wave editor and only did offline processing.

Talk about time consuming: using a calculator and figuring out all the paste points in milliseconds! I’d learned MIDI from a Yamaha RM1X and been using Reason 2, but once a buddy of mine turned me on to Live I never looked back. That said, I use Maschine a lot – I have Komplete 9 Ultimate and the pairing of the two is beautiful. Reason still gets game time, too.

Favourite part of the studio?
Isn’t that kinda like asking a parent to pick their favourite child?

How often are you in your studio?
A typical week sees me in here about 10-15 hours. With a full-time job and a daughter, well, y’know… But there is this sweet spot of the day right when my girlfriend goes to bed. I’ll usually get two to three hours then.

How do you use your studio?
I like ‘High End Amateur’. I like many styles of electronic music – a love affair I developed when a buddy turned me on to Aphex Twin. I read how the Chemical Brothers got into making records as they didn’t like any of the music, and I said “sign me up for that”. That’s when I bought my Yamaha RM1X. That was when I was 20-ish – now I’m 35 (yikes). It’s been a helluva good time.

Perfect or room for improvement?
I keep avoiding it, but I should buy some acoustic treatment. As far as efficiency goes I’d like some hard wood floors and a chair with wheels.

What is your dream piece of gear?
I don’t really have a good answer. I really do like what I have. Maybe some massive modular setup.

One piece of advice? Make your studio interesting and fun. I’ve got sci-fi toys dotting the landscape, posters, TV, videogames – wonderful for writer’s block and when you need to give your ears a rest. The gear doesn’t matter. Some of my favourite albums/songs are being made by kids 15 years younger than me with a laptop and one MIDI controller. Get yourself a space, make it enjoyable, be creative and never stop having fun.

Wilson Flores

“Start simple and be patient”

Interviewee: Wilson Flores
E:  blair1065@yahoo.com

Main studio components?
Akai MiniAk and APC40; Korg EM-1; Arturia Spark LE, Mini Lab, Micro Brute; Moog Slim Phatty.

Which DAW and why?
Ableton Live 8: it’s awesome for creating remixes and live jamming.
Logic X: great for electronic music, hip-hop beats, etc.

Favourite piece of gear and why?
My favourite has to be the Moog Slim Phatty synthesizer, because it’s analogue and I grew up listening to analogue gear.

How long do you spend in the studio?
About three to five hours.

How do you use the studio?
At the present time it’s just for fun.

Perfect or room for improvement?
It’s in my living room – I wish I had a separate room.

Next on your studio shopping list?
I’d love a mixer with an audio interface, so that I can have more control over inputs.

Dream piece of gear?
A violin or cello – I just love the sound and would love to learn to play them both.

Any advice to people starting out?
Start simple, be patient, and never get rid of old equipment

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