The Studio...

This post's for all you tekky geeks out there, so give it a wide berth if you just wanna listen to the music!

Took a step back from production this weekend to concentrate on configuring the studio setup. Been trying to sort it out for years and finally it's getting somewhere.

Everybody has their own way of working, but the main piece of software both me and Al use for sequencing is Propellerhead Reason. The GUI and manipulation of internal devices is fantastic. The only thing it doesn't allow for is importing of VST plugins, so I use Ableton Live to manipulate sounds in this way, which I then import back into Reason as processed wavs. I use a variety of programs to master the loops, wavs and tracks, such as Adobe Audition, which all go towards giving me the mixdown of that final track.

Now this weekend has been all about configuring the performance setup rather than any production time. I've wired in Virtual DJ and my custom presets into the back of Ableton Live. In addition to having my USB mixing console for the two decks in VDJ, I've assigned my USB MIDI keyboard a stack of Ableton Live presets to manipulate the output from VDJ into the master output. Gave it a trial run at the weekend and the potential for live performances is massive! There's the option to switching from VDJ to Traktor, as well as outputting from Reason into Ableton instead of vice versa, but we'll leave that revolution for another day. An unwanted issue was with my 64 bit machine not being compatible with some 32 bit software I use, but working around this...

Despite all this tech, I've still got one of my vinyl turntables and a multitrack cassette recorder in the studio, as I still find myself looking back before looking forwards from time to time. There'll always be a bit of old skool in there somewhere.

An equally big part of the revamped studio is the decor. Thrown a load of tat out and redecorated it a bit, complete with an Epicentre-eque colour scheme. It probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but it makes me feel like it's a place to escape from everything and focus completely on music. Now let's go play...

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