Join us on a trip to the White Isle as Ben Hoo shows us around his Ibiza studio.
Ben Hoo – My Studio
Ben Hoo shows us around his studio, based in Ibiza.
Roland V Synth XT
The majority of instrument and sound creation I’ve done over the years is on this, the V Synth XT from Roland. Its unique way of playing with sample speeds, direction and formant, coupled with some gnarly waveform manipulation make it a rewarding sound design tool. Notable appearances are the arpeggio lead in my remix of Moby’s ‘The Right Thing’ featuring Inyang Bassey and synth elements in my track ‘Blueshift’ on Kindisch.
Expressive performance on keyboard came much more naturally to me with playing specifically Roland’s digital pianos. There’s something about the response of the weighted keys on the RD700SX that felt very natural. I use it as my controller all the time. The combination of the Roland and Synthogy’s Concert D inspire most of my tonal ideas. You can hear the Synthogy piano sound in my new collaboration piece with Enzo Leep, ‘Cosmos Excerpt’.
The Roland R06 is a digital stereo recorder with twin microphones built in. I use this lovely compact gadget every week for recording my vocal on my radio show. It also means I have a quick tool to record live sounds on the go or to capture ideas, sounds or field recordings when I’m out of the studio. Manipulated sounds of my holidays often sit under my music. I would love to couple it with contact microphones and quality field recording mics in the future.
For years I was monitoring with Tannoy System 600A speakers, which have a fantastic mid range and high end, but I wanted an extended low end and more power in my new studio space. Luis, the engineer from Flamingo Studios here in Ibiza suggested I should try sticking with the same speaker brand or group, so I switched up to a pair of Dynaudios. The BM15As have a superb low end and punch and they’re even more revealing than I expected. I’ve also added a Subpac, which is a silent bass driver that vibrates against your back and is great for feeling how bass frequencies interact and how they should feel in a club. It’s also awesome for listening to music in general and tracks you think you already know, as it adds a powerful and tangible dimension.
When moving into my house in Ibiza a couple of years ago, I really wanted good acoustics in the studio. I came across Artnovion online and their range of acoustic products looked amazing. I contacted them and they used my room measurements to recommend high end absorbers, bass traps and diffusers to engineer a proper studio-quality room response. The room is comfortable to monitor in. My connection with the sound is super defined. Tight drums are mega tight and the studio looks awesome! (You should check out their new Sahara range of acoustics, which look stunning.)
Today’s non-music related literary visitor to the studio, out of my strictly non-fiction collection, is this old-school Chinese cookery book (I’ve been dabbling with dim sum recipes recently!).