Show off your Studio – Part Nineteen

We’ve spent a lot of time of late rounding up the best #showoffyourstudio submissions in pictorial form, now we’re going to get back to asking some of your more details about your setups. Without further ado…

Raymond Obouvie

Interviewee: Raymond Obouvie
Contact: raymond.obouvie@gmail.com

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MT: Tell us the key components of your studio?
We have an Apple Mac Pro with a Xeon 2.6 with a UAD on board; then there is the Allen & Heath Zed-R16 mixer which we do love a lot. We have also got a vintage effect processor, a Korg A1, which is in very good condition. It was extremely expensive at the time that we bought it, but still sounds much better than most of the plug-ins that you can buy for much less money. We also have two Aphex EQs (for four-band stereo) being modified – our favourite devices for what we call our ‘warming factory’.

Which DAW do you use, and why?
We use Logic Pro. To our minds, it has the most intuitive workflow, no matter what you are doing – be it recording or arranging.

What is your favourite gear and why?
Of course, the Prophet 8 module by Dave Smith. I guess there’s no need to describe this item of gear too much?

How often do you spend time in your studio?
Whenever it’s possible, we try to use it between 40 and 60 hours every week.

How do you use your setup?
At the moment, we use it only for our own purposes: producing our music (there are four people in charge of the studio).

We are always looking forward to getting some more recording gear for guitar heads and some hardware, maybe some Class A compressor/limiters, so we will definitely be able to then offer some time to bands that we like, to help them to get access to the gear and also to understand the musical process. We will charge 10 Euro per hour, to make it affordable – but so that young bands don’t take it for granted.

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Next on your shopping list?
A Bugera 6260-212 Infinium 120-watt 2×12 tube combo. We need this to be able to record a guitar with proper tone. We like the sound of it. The price in the Ukraine is much more expensive than the other countries, so we need a bit more time to save up than guys anywhere else in the world!

Does anything annoy you about your studio setup?
Probably the low Bluetooth range of our Mac – it kills the process sometimes, but all Mac Pro users will be familiar with that issue.

What is your dream piece of gear, either real or imaginary?
A Studer A800 MkIII 24-track recorder. It’s the best way to make an analogue record, and mix it properly: directly on to tape.

Do you have any advice for MusicTech readers about setting up a studio?
Sound treatment. Sound treatment. Sound treatment… If you manage to make yourself a comfortable place with as few reflections of the sound as possible, then you will be able to hear how your music actually sounds.

Francesco Mulassano

Email: francesco.mulassano@gmail.com

MT: Tell us the key components of your studio?
I have collected instruments for at least 25 years. I started with guitars and had a rock and metal influence. As a synth addict, I have more synthesisers than outboard.

At this time, I have all the Elektron gear (minus the Octatrack), a Moog SUB 37, Access Virus TI2, Korg MS-20 (the original), a monophonic JEN SX1000 from the golden Italian synth era, one Nord Modular G2, the first Novation Bass Station Key, a beloved Roland JP-8000, Teenage Engineering OP-1 (the first one in Italy), a pair of Axoloti, Waldorf Streichfett, some custom and DIY machines, a pair of controllers (Push 2 and BeatStep Pro), a lot of software plug-ins (all original, of course).

I think that’s all! From the ‘metal’ period, only the hair and some guitars have remained.

Which DAW do you use and why?
When I switched from Windows to Mac, eight years ago, I chose Ableton Live and that’s now the only DAW I use. It took a long time to go from Cubase (Win) to Ableton because the way of working is completely different, but I wouldn’t go back. You can do everything with the tools offered by Ableton – it’s very complete – and then with the arrival of Push and Push 2, it has become more useful and cooler.

What is your favourite gear and why?
For me, it is the Access Virus TI2. I owned a Polar TI and a Polar TI2 at the same time – a very crazy time. Then I changed my TI for the G2. Access is one of the few brands that remains an investment, year after year.

What’s next on your gear wish list?
A Waldorf Q is one of the first on the list, but I think the next one will be the new Korg Minilogue.

How do you use your setup?
My studio is located inside my house, here where I work on my solo project Urbanspaceman, and on the pre­production for other two projects: Space Aliens From Outer Space (a synth trio with alien costumes inspired by 50/60s science fiction), and Giants (a tri­p-hop duo with an incredible female singer).

What is your dream piece of gear?
There is no dream synth, but if I have to choose, the Hartmann Neuron is one of the pieces of gear I’ve always looked at with some admiration.

Do you have any advice for MusicTech readers about setting up a studio?
If you’re starting from scratch, look at YouTube, talk with other musicians and focus on what you want to produce. Then read the manuals/reviews, and choose one machine only and spend all your available time on it.

Any studio anecdotes?
I could tell you about when the tenant upstairs broke a water pipe and it flooded. Fortunately, though, the synths stayed dry…

Alex Stone/Radar Services

Web: meetandjam.com/studios

MT: Tell us the key components of your studio?
I use a Rain Recording Nimbus Z2 Music PC with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 audio interface. We stock a variety of mics, MIDI and live gear and a whole load of software.

Which DAW do you use and why?
I’ve used Cubase for over 10 years, I’m currently on Pro 8. I’ve tried other DAWs but just find it’s the most flexible for mixing audio with MIDI, and covers most scenarios – whether mixing a live band or working purely electronically. The VariAudio feature is particularly useful when comping vocals and you can get away with a lot of ‘tweaking’ before vocals start to sound artificial.

What is your favourite gear and why?
My newest addition: a beautiful antique Challen upright piano. It’s one of the metal-framed originals and weighs an absolute tonne, so took three men to move it but was definitely worth the trouble!

How do you use your studio?
I’ve worked for years as a freelancer, working alone in my studio, mixing bands and solo artists, and have just recently opened it as a specialise vocal recording facility. So I’m now working with some of the hot new local artists, which is very exciting!

Next on your shopping list?
I’ve always been a bit tight-fisted when it comes to buying MIDI keyboards – I could never see the benefits of all the extra bells and whistles when it came to studio gear. However, I am slowly being won over by the NI’s Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboards. The way they seamlessly integrate with NI software (which I use an awful lot) justifies the hefty price-tag.

What is your dream piece of gear?
An Allen & Heath GLD-112 – a larger version of the acclaimed GLD-80, although ironically, there’s no way the 112 would fit into my studio!

Do you have any advice to anyone starting out?
Spend as much time as possible learning your craft before upgrading any of your gear. You can do great mixes with just a laptop and free software – the pros use stuff which is generally miles away from what amateurs can afford, but what makes them pros is their skillset, not what’s in their equipment cupboard.

We’ve teamed up with Meet&Jam Studio, a new service for studio owners to rent out their facilities across the UK and US. Sign up to the service at meetandjam.com and you will automatically be considered for inclusion in this, MusicTech’s (award-winning) Show Off Your Studio!

Don Goliath

Web: www.dongoliath.com

Tell us the key components of your studio?
A PC, Access Virus TI, UAD-2, SPL Gain Station 1, a condenser mic and a cheapo MIDI keyboard.

Which DAW do you use and why?
Cubase. It’s been my sequencer girlfriend since I was 15 (my first Cubase ran on an Atari at that time!). I’ve never even considered changing my DAW – I just love Cubase. Its workflow and GUI are perfect for me.

What is your favourite gear and why?
My Virus TI. It’s my only gear! I’m a software guy, really.

How do you use your studio?
Well, since there is barely any money left in underground music, I’d go for the fun option. Not that I wanted the pro route, although I’d love to quit my day job and only make music – but with music sales recently, there just is no hope for that.

Next on your shopping list?
Nothing really. I have the sound I want; after years of tweaking, sound design and sampling, I’m totally satisfied with the options and possibilities of the gear I have.

Anything annoy you about your setup?
Nope, I have a deep love for it. I wouldn’t want to change anything.

What is your dream piece of gear?
Not that I need it, but I’d love to get my hands on a Culture Vulture or Millennia NSEQ-4, so the pics of my studio would look fancy.

Any advice?
Don’t listen to people who say you can’t do proper mixes in headphones. I do it all the time and my mixes rock – and I also avoid any acoustics nightmares.

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