DJ, producer and Grey Report label-boss Adriana Lopez has released her brand of rolling, future-facing techno on Stroboscopic Artefacts, Modularz, Semantica, PoleGroup and Mistress Recordings and has just put out a killer track on Close Encounters, ‘SMV’. We asked her to show us around her studio.
My studio is located in one of the rooms of my house only a few minutes away from Barcelona. I was born in Bogotá and started DJing at the end of the ’90s. I then moved to Barcelona in 2003 to study sound engineering and music production. I used to live in the city but a year ago I decided to move to a quieter place in the mountain and it definitely changed my life. The combination of nature and no immediate neighbours is exactly what I needed.
MODULAR SYNTH, ELEKTRON ANALOG RYTM, MIDAS VENICE F32 & iMAC
The heart of my setup is the modular synth, the Elektron Analog Rytm, the Midas Venice F32 and the iMac. The ALM Pamela’s New Workout module is the master clock of everything. It sends MIDI clock through the Pexp-1 expander to the Analog Rytm which at the same time distributes it to all the synths, samplers, drum machines, sequencers and effect processors. For recording, I use Ableton Live via the Midas Venice console.
My dream of having a Korg Mono/Poly came true three years ago when I finally bought one in Tokyo when I first played there. I was very lucky because it was in mint condition and the case was intact. The Mono/Poly is a synth that was built in the early 80’s and it was way ahead of its time. It’s very versatile as you can create either a bass, a chord, a lead, a pad or a noisy atmosphere with it. The bassline of my track ‘Embera‘ was made with the Mono/Poly using the built-in arpeggiator, linking the oscillators in unison mode and modulating the sound with the bend wheel assigned to the filter.
Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas Alter and Viol Ruina
Two of my favourite modules. The first one is a drum synthesizer and the second one is a distortion and low pass filter. The Basimilus is so multifunctional, it pretty much ends up in most of my patches as well as the Viol Ruina. On my track ‘Awa’ I created the bassline that comes in around 1:00min using a combination of both. I sent multiple control voltage signals from the ALM Pamela’s New Workout module to the Basimilus in order to trigger it and modulate some of its parameters such as Harmonic and Morph. I then sent the audio signal to the Viol Ruina to add some filtering and distortion.
I only got the Roland SH-101 a few months ago and I’m already falling in love with the warmth of it. It’s an analogue monophonic synthesizer that is very intuitive and easy to use. I created the lead sound of the remix I did for Svreca’s ‘Nida’ with the SH101. It’s one note being modulated by the LFO and the bend wheel assigned to the filter and the oscillator.
Roland RE-501 Chorus Echo
The RE-501 is the last model of Roland’s analogue tape delays. It’s less noisy than its predecessors and besides the echo, it has a chorus and a spring reverb. Its sound is unique and lush. I use it in almost all of my productions since I got it. On my track ‘Embera‘ the RE-501 is the one in charge of adding the delay to the bassline, as well as a bit of chorus in order to give more body and colour to the initial sound. I modulated it with the Intensity knob to control the length of the echo effect. You can hear how the intensity increases in the breaks (around 2:00, 3:50 and 5:30min).
Vermona Perfourmer and Doepfer MAQ 16/3 MIDI Analog Sequencer
VERMONA PERFOURMER & DOEPFER MAQ16/3 MIDI ANALOG SEQUENCER
The Vermona Perfourmer is the first analogue synth that I ever bought. It’s like having four synthesizers in one because it has four synth channels each with its own oscillator, filter, amplifier and LFO. You can link them together in many different ways to create monophonic, duophonic or polyphonic sounds. For the lead on my track ‘Decreasing Reality‘, I made the sequence with the MAQ16, sent it to the Perfourmer and adjusted the LFO of the synth to modulate the filter and the oscillator. As it’s an analogue LFO, you can notice how it’s not exactly synced as the frequency and tone modulation moves around the track tempo during the whole track. It gives an organic touch to the sound.
This one is my latest addition. The DFAM is a semi-modular analogue percussion synth with a built-in sequencer that has a warm and rich sound. I’m still getting my hands used to it but I’m already having a lot of fun playing with it and patching it in many different ways. Although the DFAM is quite new and not yet used in a released track, I’ve got some great results already. With the patch bay you can change the routing as you want in order to create and modulate either percussion, a bassline or a texture. I’m also hooking it up with my modular and the possibilities are infinite. They’re both becoming best friends now.
Dynaudio BM5A & Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
I’ve had the Dynaudio BM5A monitor speakers since I started making music. I love the impressive level of detail they deliver at all frequencies, They are very accurate, revealing and they can go loud without any complaint. I also like to use the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO open-back studio headphones when it comes to mixing because of their spaciousness and clear sound quality.
View-Master and Lego
White Boba Fett and friends make part of a collection of Lego Minifigures that I have in the corner of my studio. I also keep a pair of View-Masters with more than a hundred reels and some other 80’s toys. The View-Master was one of my favourites when I was a little kid. Those 3D images were the future!