Just look at this incredible collection of modular synths and, well every other kind of synth too – no, it’s not a shop, it’s a real living and breathing recording environment. All the details, and all (well, nearly all) of the gear, below…
Interviewees: Phillipe Allioth and Steve Cole
MusicTech: Amazing! Dare we ask? Gear list? Get ready… Go!
[Not complete!] ARP 2600 (2x), Odyssey (2x), Sequencer (3x); Korg PS-3300, PS-3200 (2x), PS-3100, MS-20 (2x), MS-50, SQ-10 (3x), 770, 900PS, Trident, VC-10, Wavestation; Moog PolyMoog, MemoryMoog, MiniMoog, Sonic Six, MultiMoog, Source, Little Phatty (2x), System 55, Rogue, Opus-3; Roland SH-1000, SH-2, SH-5, SH-7, System 100 (four full modules), CR-78, TR-808 (2x), TR-909 (2x), Roland TR-707 (3x), ProMars, Jupiter-4, Jupiter-8 (2x), Jupiter-6, Juno-106, JD-800, JD-990, SVC-350, INTEGRA (2x), SH-101; Oberheim OB-Xa (2x), Four Voice, OB-1, Xpander, MATRIX-1000, DSX… (exhale)
(inhale) Yamaha CS-10, CS-15, CS-30, CS-50, CS-40, CS-80; Buchla System 9; Serge 13-module system; RSF Kobol Rack-synth; Sequential Prophet-5, Prophet VS, Studio 440, Pro-One; Jen SX1000; Gleeman Pentaphonic (2x); Polivocks (2x); Estradin; Ensoniq Fizmo; Technics SY-1010; Elka Synthex; Airbourne modular synth; LinnDrum; MacBeth M5; Modcan Big Modular system; GRP A8; Eurorack: six modular systems; E-mu Modular System; Aries Modular; E-mu Modular prototype, Analogue Solutions Vostok (2x), Oberkorn (15x), Leipzig, Telemark; Metasonix Wretch-Machine; E-mu rack synths; Access Virus; Nord Lead Rack; EML 100, 101 (2x), 400, 500; E&MM Spectrum; Maplin 5600, 3800; EMS Synthi AKS (2x), Synthi E; Cwejman S1 MK2; Spectral Audio Neptune 2; Waldorf Microwave, Blofeld; Novation Superova, K-station. Mastering: Manley Backbone, SLAM!, Massive Passive; Drawmer S3; Avalon 747. (long exhale)
Various effects: Eventide, Manley,TC, Roland, UAL.
Speakers: Boenicke Audio custom-made various types, Genelec, Dynaudio, Yamaha, JBL.
Steve Cole & Phillipe Alioth – and with the rest of the pictures it’s simply spot the synth!
MusicTech: Phew. So which DAW?
We all use Cubase. We’re just used to it, and grew up with ‘24s’ back in the 80s and 90s.
We have to ask, what is your favourite gear?
Difficult to say. A Korg 770 for its incredibly sweet sound; a MemoryMoog for its fat, strong sound; a Buchla for big surprises; and Roland SH-5, because it often sounds like the music we were listening to 30 years ago.
How often are you in your studio?
If possible, every day and night.
How do you use it?
Mostly our own stuff – the projects we’re involved in from techno to pop, weird, disco and experimental, performance and so on. We also record and produce for friends or people from our own labels – BlackFoxMusic, Neopren Records and Schallbox Records – but no one can ‘rent’ the studio.
Next on your shopping list?
We’re full! Although one thing we really want is an ARP 2500 – anyone?
Does anything annoy you about your studio setup?
It takes us some time to check, repair and clean – there’s a lot of gear. Many things that people might call ‘annoying’ (like trying to find a bug when there’s one) could also be considered discovery, adventure, and new experience.
Do you have a dream piece of gear?
As we said, the one we’d really love is an ARP 2500 – it has a great weird sound, the matrix-fader system is pretty cool, it’s damn versatile and frankly, it looks impressive!
neoprenBOX have pretty much everything bar an ARP 2500, so if you have one kicking around, you could help to complete possibly the biggest and best collection of gear we’ve ever featured!
Any advice for MT readers about setting up a studio?
Start with the speakers and amps – what you hear is what you get. Acoustics are extremely important, too, naturally. Maybe for someone with less experience, it’s better to use less gear and really know it than have stuff that is difficult to use when you want to do something quickly. And be sure that the ambience (light, windows, colours, carpets) really makes you feel at home and feel comfortable.
MT: What are the key components of your studio?
I use a 27-inch iMac with Akai MPK25 and MPK61 as my controllers. I also use a Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk2, an MPC Studio and an Arturia SparkLE, plus a Yamaha MOTIF XF7, a Novation UltraNova, a Roland INTEGRA-7 and a JU-08 Boutique Synth. Plus, I also use the AIRA line from Roland.
I use Logic Pro X: I have found this to be the most intuitive and easiest to use for electronic music.
I would say my Yamaha MOTIF XF7. It does everything and does it well.
How do you use your setup?
I’m in the studio usually four to six hours a day, or as much as I can. I love it in here. I use it to produce music for iTunes and Reverb Nation, and for my own enjoyment.
Next on your shopping list?
A Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol, either 25- or 61-key.
Anything that annoys you?
I just wish I had a little more space to expand my studio.
A Korg Kronos 73. One of the best workstations out there, very flexible and sounds awesome. I had a Kronos 61, but sold it and always regretted it. Now the New Kronos is even better!
I would start with the basics: a great computer or keyboard controller, Komplete 10 and Apple Logic or Pro Tools. You can do so much with just these four things.