Inside The Producer's Studio (Prologue)

by +FE on April 3, 2009 at 8:36 AM · Comments
Nicolay is starting a new blog series aimed to provide an indepth look into the process behind his music production while breaking down specific tracks from his catalogue.

Photo by Stevie Mack | Uploaded by Nicolay Music.

The question that I get asked most is without a doubt, "What do you use?". I'm a fan and student of music first and foremost, and I have always been more than willing to answer that question, but I have found that it is impossible for me to do so in a MySpace or Twitter message using only a few sentences. Print and online articles and interviews don't always allow for indepth discussion, either. Fortunately, our new website finally gives me the platform to share the method to my madness, and so over the course of an indefinite number of installments, I'm going to break down the what, why and how of my music production setup. I will discuss my favourite pieces of hard- and software, my favourite ways of (ab)using them and the track(s) from my catalogue in which you can hear them at work. Because at the end of the day, it is all about the music.

That's also why we will be publishing "Track Breakdowns" to accompany each installment, in which I take a track from my catalogue and quite literally break down how it was built up. To keep things interactive, I am going to let you chose which track I'll be breaking down first. Simply post a comment with the title of your choice, and I'll start with the track that gets the most "votes".

DISCLAIMER 1: There'll be one or two exceptions, but as a general rule I will NOT be "giving away" samples. I am crazy, but I am not THAT crazy ;)

Photo by Stevie Mack | Uploaded by Nicolay Music.

In this prologue I will simply start by listing my current "arsenal". The studio itself, although lovingly referred to as "Home Studios", doesn't bear a name (yet). The photos were taken by Stevie Mack in december of last year. More photos of the studio including close-ups of instruments and other pieces of gear will be posted as we go along.

Photo by Stevie Mack | Uploaded by Nicolay Music.

DISCLAIMER 2: None of the music equipment manufacturers listed below are paying me to endorse any of their products. I'll only endorse a specific piece of equipment if I actually use it, like it and if I can honestly recommend it.

Computer and accessories:

Dell Precision 690 running Windows XP SP3
2 x Dell 19" Flatscreen
2 x Lacie External HDD

DAW and console:

Digidesign 003 Factory
Digidesign Pro Tools LE 7.4

Other software:

Sony SoundForge
FXpansion VST To RTAS Adapter
EMC Retrospect Backup software

Plug-ins: (selection)

Waves Platinum bundle
Waves SSL bundle
URS Classic Console Strip Pro
McDSP Analog Channel, FilterBank, CompressorBank and MC2000
Sony Oxford Dynamics, EQ, Inflator, and Reverb
IK Multimedia AmpegSVX, Amplitube2, CSR and T-Racks 24

Virtual instruments: (selection)

Toontrack EZ Drummer and Superior Drummer with all sound libraries
Arturia Minimoog and Analog Factory
GForce M-Tron


Yamaha Motif 6 and DX7 II
Roland Juno 106 and JV-1080 (Rack)
Moog Prodigy
Oberheim Matrix-1000 (Rack)
Fender Rhodes Mark I Stage 88

Other instruments:

Ibanez Acoustic guitar (Steel)
Aria Acoustic guitar (Nylon)
Ibanez Bass
Tama Drums

DJ/Live setup:

Sony Vaio Laptop running Windows XP SP3
1 x Lacie External HDD
Edirol FA-66 Audio Interface
2 x Pioneer CDJ-800
Numark DXM01 Mixer
Rane Serato
Ableton Live 7
Behringer BCR2000 Controller

I hope you'll find our little series worth your while!

Thanks for listening, and don't forget to add your comment!
Nicolay (of The Foreign Exchange)

Photo by Stevie Mack | Uploaded by Nicolay Music.

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