Studio Interviews: Ermes Records

MusicTech ventures to Rome to chat with Franco Pietropaoli, owner and manager of the beautiful Ermes Records…

Interviewee: Franco Pietropaoli, owner and manager at Ermes Records


1. Tell us a little about the studio…

I’m in the southern suburb of Rome, Italy. The studio is located at the basement of my parents’ house

2. What gear are you using?


  • Logic on Mac Pro
  • RME Fireface 802
  • Licenzes: Waves, Native Instruments, Synthogy


  • Focal CMS 65
  • Auratone 5C Super Sound Cube


  • Universal Audio Solo 610
  • AML EZ1073
  • Summit Audio MPC-100A
  • Telefunken V672
  • Focusrite ISA 428
  • Golden Age Project PRE-73 MKII
  • Golden Age Project PRE-73 DLX
  • McAudioLab TP1h
  • RME QuadMic.


  • Pearlman TM 1 con capsula Thiersch M7
  • Neumann U87i (vintage)
  • 2x Neumann U87Ai
  • 2x Neumann KM184
  • Apex 460
  • 2x Sennheiser MD421
  • Sennheiser MD441
  • AKG D112
  • Revox M3500
  • Audio Techinca 4041
  • NoHype Audio LRM-1
  • Soundelux R102
  • Shure Beta58
  • Shure SM58
  • 2x Shure SM57
  • Handmade Subkick


  • Fusti Sonor Force 3003
  • Hi Hat Istanbul Mehmet Traditional 14″
  • Crash Anatolian Baris 16″
  • Ride Tosco 20″


  • Yamaha Clavinova CLP860 (libraries: Synthogy Native Instruments)


  • 2x Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO
  • 2x Sony MDR-7506
  • Sony MDR-7505
  • Akg K240
  • Akg K271
  • Superlux HD669
  • Vic Firth SIH1


  • Fender The Twin
  • Fender Blues Junior
  • Trace Elliot 712 SMC

Broad selection of guitars (electric, folk, classical) and basses.

3. Which DAW do you use and why?

I’ve used Logic Pro ever since I began to produce music. It seemed both intuitive and professional to me.

4. What is your favourite piece of gear and why?

I just bought an AML EZ1073, one of the most faithful reproductions of the vintage Neve 1073 (with eq). I guess it’ll become my favourite piece for saturated and aggressive stuff, complimentary to my UA 610, gentle and sweet.

5. How often would you say do you spend in your studio per week?

I spend time in my studio almost every day, but the amount of the time depends on the work i have to do: I’m also a musician and a guitar teacher.

6. How do you use your studio as in are you recording bands, working professionally or just making music for fun?

I started producing my band, then I became more and more enthusiastic, and now it’s a big part of my job.

ermes records

7. What is next on your shopping list studio wise and why?

I’m considering the Softube Console 1. I’m curious about its sound and I’d like to work with all the pots instead of the mouse/trackball.

8. Anything annoy you about your set-up and why?

Sometimes my relationship with Logic is like an old and difficult marriage; it seems you never do enough to understand each other!

9. What is your dream piece of gear and why?

I once listened to a Maselec MLA-2 compressor and I was really impressed, but I’d also like an old Neumann U67.

10. What is your top piece of production advice?

Not underestimating the creative point of view. When it’s possible, I try to think how I’d like it to sound, rather than to how it should sound.

11. What is the one piece of advice you would give someone starting out building a studio?

Thinking about the process of recording more than the gear, and the process includes the artist as the most important part. So the creation of a pleasing and functional piece is of primary importance: lights, colours, temperature and above all comunication with the artist from a technical, artistic and human point of view. You are a medium (and, of course, a precious help!) to let the artist express him/herself.