- Focal Trio6 Be
- PreSonus StudioLive 32 SC Mixing console
- Warm Audio WA-73 EQ, WA-47 Microphone, WA-76 Compressor
- Nord Lead 4
- Nektar T6
- Roland JD-Xi
- Arturia Keylab Essential 49
Tell us more about the studio, Dino!
The Masterclass Studio was built in August 2019 in cooperation with Athens Pro Audio and Alpha Acoustiki, two of the biggest sound and development companies in Greece. It was built as my personal studio but also as part of our DJ and production school, DJ Survival, and is located in Glyfada, Athens, Greece.
It took 3 weeks to build and the hardest part was the acoustic design, as the focus was to be one of the best sounding rooms in Greece, which it now is. The room has an ambient noise level of -60 DB. The acoustics include flat reverberation time from 20Hz to 20 Khz and all acoustic parameters are in line with the EBU (European Broadcasting Union). The supreme acoustics provide a sweet spot position for the producer, but also for six students in the studio. The stereo image is just fantastic and crystal clear.
Now all this is a standard for every professional studio, so why is it important for mine? The most amazing thing about all these measurements and facts are that it was achieved in a room that is quite small. The room is 3.15 meters by 2.67 meters, has a height of 2.67 meters, and on top of that there is absolutely no sound panels in the room, not even one broadband acoustic panel was needed after. Cable management was undertaken thoroughly and not one of the hundreds of cables are visible to anyone working in the room.
Which DAW do you use and why?
After a short fling with Ableton Live, I finally settled working with Logic Pro X. I guess since Logic was the first DAW I worked on it just feels better and looks better for me – my work has better results. But, of course, all this is 100% a personal preference and I don’t believe one is better than the other, it’s just what you are more comfortable with.
What is your favourite piece of gear and why?
I’m really loving the Nord Lead 4, but my favourite device is the Machine MK3; with the Nord, there are hundreds of sound presets on offer, but also hundreds of parameters you can play with, so I feel that you won’t feel the full effect of it for months – or years, even.
I just absolutely love programming the beats and rhythms from the Maschine, it has amazing expansions that sound magical and the workflow process is just something that is really helping me make groovy and hooky beats.
How much time do you spend in your studio per week?
I’m trying to get about 15 hours a week during the school period, the studio has about 20 production classes so it’s full-time work. I get to steal some hours in between lessons or late at night. This will be up until March, after that it’s offseason for the school, so I will be getting over 25 hours a week.
How do you use your studio?
We mainly use it for electronic music production, mostly dance music. We have some jazz students and hip-hop production lessons, too.
What is next on your studio shopping list?
We are actually waiting for the Moog Subsequent 37, it’s a piece that I feel is critical for an electronic music production studio, and can’t wait for those basslines!
We will be also in line for the Thermionic Culture Phoenix mastering Plus Tube Compressor.
Do you have any frustrations with your current set-up?
Actually the only frustration is not having enough time to work in it during the school season, but the music projects from the students are turning out beautiful so it’s worth it!
What is your dream piece of gear?
For the level I am at and the music we work with, I think I am really really happy at the moment, it’s been only 7 months since we completed the studio so I guess that was my dream and it came true.
What is your top piece of production advice?
What I am learning every day about the process is that you have to be very patient. You have to spend endless hours in your studio and not get disappointed when something doesn’t work out, I also find it very helpful to choose to work at that time of day or night where you have the least on your mind. Try to block the outside world for those hours you work so you can have a clearer canvas to paint. Also, a huge one for me is to minimize your social media habit while working, this only distracts you and you end up taking a lot longer doing a lot less.
What is the one piece of advice you would give someone starting out building a studio?
Fresh from experience, when you choose to build a studio you must make sure you have the right space from the start to work on and try to find a room that already has the correct dimensions. Make sure you do acoustic measurements with a professional. I believe that if you have an amazing sounding room. even if you get cheaper speakers and mid-budget equipment, it will sound amazing, as if you have a really bad sounding room and get really expensive equipment it will sound wrong and terrible.
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