So, an update from Vespers labs. I’m in the process of moving from Salt Spring Island, where I’ve been hibernating in my ghetto cottage studio for 5 months, to Victoria where I am setting up the new ultimate-badass-audio-mangling-music-factory. There’s a new acronym in there somewhere… Anyhooooo, in this time of transition, I reflected back on days past and dragged this photo of my first studio…ever…from the far reaches of my hard drive.
It reminds me of my ghetto-university-student beginnings when I lived in a 4 plex with paper thin walls, produced on a PC (I just threw up in my mouth a little there…), wrote in Cubase (just about barfed again…”God please NOOOOOO not another right click menu in a right click menu in a right click menuuuuuuu, is this fucking program a digital labyrinth????”) and thought that “hardware” was the secret to getting good sounding music (hence the very expensive and pretty, yet cumbersome Akai MCF-42 filter unit hanging out in the front of my mixing desk like a Rolex on the arm of an uptight investment banker – which I never used in a single track…not fucking one by the way). Aaaaah back in the day where my middle aged neighbor would pound on my wall with a broom stick because she couldn’t be bothered to walk her slightly less than morbidly obese ass over to my door to chat with me face to face. Probably better that way. I was a terrible tenant to live next to. If I wasn’t producing, I was DJing out in the living room.
Thankfully things have now progressed to something that looks more like this.
The main things that have changed are as follows, and I’ll list them in order of importance. If you’re looking for tips, I suggest you consider them in priority from top to bottom. Top being most important.
1) I moved into a concrete and steel building with rooms on either side of my studio between me and the neighbors. HUGE improvement in noise complaints…although I still got some. But, I have a new strategy for dealing with them…. option A “Sure I’ll turn the music down…while I do that would you care for a tequila shot?” option B “Oh, this isn’t music. We’re activating our chakras with sound vibrational healing. You have to try it. You start with the root chakra first – plays dubstep – “
2) Put up acoustic treatment on my walls. Not foam, not egg cartons, proper pro-stuff from Primacoustic using their London 12 kit. If you want more info on acoustic treatment, you can check out the video series I did on it here.
3) Because my monitors can’t sit on stands behind my desk, I used the Recoil Stabilizers to decouple them from my desk.
4) I got upgraded 8″ Mackie HR824 monitors, which actually sound accurate now in the properly treated room.
5) Picked up an Apogee Duet audio interface. Very nice DA/AD converters for super clean audio. Again, not a worthwhile investment before I got the room treatment and monitors to do it justice.
6) I’m a piano player so I grabbed the fully weighted, 88 key, hammer action MIDI controller from Akai, the MPK88.
7) This one should really go first, but I got a Mac. Not just any Mac, a dual processor Mac Pro tower with 2 UAD-2 cards. I call it “Big Mac”. It’s my best friend. If it had tits, I’d marry it. Then get divorced in 3 years when the new model came out and upgrade. Thankfully old Macs can’t take half your assets.
8) You see Kaos pads in this shot, but they’re shite. Don’t bother with them. I got gear lust one day and picked 2 of them up. Never used them once. Sound cheap. Although, the pink one runs on batteries so if I ever have a power outtage then I’m firing that mutherfucker up, plugging in some headphones and going to town on that bitch.