How do you get 50 synths and drum machines in one studio? With some difficulty it seems as we chat with Adam Zwiazek, founder of Mavooi Studio…
MusicTech: Tell us about your amazing setup…
Adam: It’s located 45km from Brussels, Belgium. Over the last 10 years, I’ve managed to transform a small home studio and create a professionally equipped production studio. I’ve assembled a quite big collection of synthesisers, drum machines and sound processors.
It’s a PC based studio. I’m using Waves, Spectrasonics, Steinberg, D16, Soundtoys and UAD-2 plug-ins. I’m trying not to spoil the DAW and keep only the plug-ins that I actually use. My main monitors are Dynaudio BM5As (old, but good), plus the Avantone MixCube with a 10″ subwoofer. The audio interface and the AD/DA converter is an Antelope Orion 32. For several years, I’ve been gradually moving from virtual processors to hardware effects.
It started with great Pultec, 1176 clones and preamps from Warm Audio. Then came the clones of the SSL Bus Compressors and my last purchase was an analogue EQ with digital control, total recall and full integration with the DAW – a Bettermaker EQ232P MKII. I use dual Sherman Filterbank 2s and a DIY mono/stereo filter (MS-20 and Moog clones) and an Electrix Filter Factory for interesting and often extreme effects.
I’m a synthesiser freak and my collection of them and drum machines and cheesy keyboards is growing. I own around 50. There are some instruments from the late 70s like a Yamaha CS-30 and the latest models, like the Arturia MatrixBrute and Behringer’s DeepMind 12.
MT: That’s an amazing collection. What’s your favourite?
I really like my older synths – the Roland Juno-106, Korg Polysix and Roland JX-10. There’s something that attracts me to them and I use them more often than the others. For effects and processors, my favourites are the previously mentioned filters and the Strymon BigSky.
MT: How do you use your studio?
It’s primarily a production studio. I mainly focus on my own productions (POP/EDM). Together with my friend, we run an indie label, Metascope Records, and also work with various vocalists and artists. Last year, I produced for many different artists from around the world. 90% of the time, it’s online cooperation.
My part is the production process and the mix, and the artist’s part is to provide quality vocals. When it comes to mastering, I usually work with world-class engineers from LA (Maor Appelbaum or Warren Sokol), although often, artists are satisfied with my masters.
MT: Next on your shopping list?
I need to increase my analogue inputs and outputs, so probably the RME MADI interface and another Antelope Orion 32, which will allow me to extend my setup by another 32 I/O channels and gives me access to a larger amount of external gear from my DAW.
MT: What’s your dream gear?
Most of what I dreamed about is already here – I try not to let my dreams be dreams. But if in the future I move to a larger room, then the goal will be an SSL or NEVE mixing console and maybe another 50 toys…
MT: Any studio advice?
Buy things that bring something new to your setup. If you have a lot of racks then make sure you have easy access, to the cables (unlike me!). You can accidentally unplug some cable and spend all day trying to figure out what’s connected to what and why there is no sound.
MT: Any studio anecdotes?
My rack is very close to the synths attached to the wall. Last year, when I added a new device and pulled out the rack, I pulled too hard and knocked the JD-800 synth off the wall and it hit the Andromeda A6 on the way down. It damaged a few pots and some of the keys on the Juno-106. I caught it at the last moment, but it’s heavy and I could only cushion the fall. It took a long time tracking down the parts, but everything is now repaired.