David Castellani’s studio is so outrageous, we are ripping up the long-standing My Studio format to accommodate him. It’s worth it, as John Bonham is in his back pocket. Intrigued? Thought so.
With a new EP ‘Balloonatic’ out on his own label, Noetic, we visit David Castellani to get the rundown on his gorgeous LA studio.
If you’re trying to save money, look away now…
Hello friends, I am David Castellani, and this is my L.A. studio.
I focus on live Eurorack performances and have a strong passion for hardware. My favorite thing about music hardware is how each and every unit has its own quirks and strengths. Spending time with a new piece of gear and learning its unique traits, drives my obsession.
David Castellani’s Studio
This is where I get most of the heavy lifting done.
I have an APB Dynasonics Pro Desk-8, 32 channel analog mixing console, which everything runs through before hitting my soundcard. I am in love with this mixer, as it’s an amazing piece of work.
My main speakers are a pair of Adams S3H, and I control most of my keyboard synths with a Sequentix Cirklon 2.
My studio is packed with hardware synths old and new. From my Juno-106, Pro-One and MonoPoly to my Solaris, Super-6 and Iridium, I am obsessed with electronic instruments. Lately, my heart has been buried in Eurorack – I can’t get enough.
Elektron Digitone Keys
I am a HUGE fan of Elektron (isn’t everyone?). This is my Digitione Keys which I also use as my main midi keyboard. For anyone that hasn’t had a chance to play with the Digitone, it’s a four-voice FM synth, and is a beautiful creation.
FM synthesis is a great way to get gnarly results but it can quickly become a fuzzy mess. Elektron has nailed frequency modulation here and has made a synth that I recommend to everyone. When it comes to metallic sounds, such as bells and glassy textures, few can compare.
Modular synthesizers run my life. Finding my way to these beautiful instruments has been a gift from the music gods and has completely changed the way I experience music making.
I often use the example that performing with modular synths is similar to riding a horse – though you may hold the reins, it’s an intimate relationship where you work together to get to your destination. The process is always full of amazing discovery and the final landing place never fails to fill my soul with joy.
More Modular Synths!
Here is some more modular porn.
I figured it made sense to include another shot here since Eurorack is such a huge part of my studio and musical life.
One of the best things about making music with a large modular rig is the lack of a computer screen, making it more like playing an acoustic instrument.
Using my ears more and relying less on the visual input, makes for a more connective experience and always leads me to more valuable choices. Though the Eurorack game is deep, I would nudge everyone to invite it into their world.
Precision Disrupter By Anti-Kulture
Say hello to the Precision Disrupter by my new module company, Anti-Kulture. Our team has been working on this for the past two years and we’ve launched our first module in early 2023.
The Precision Disrupter is a generative sequencer that empowers your creativity via controlled randomization. The motivation to develop this module, and to launch Anti-Kulture, came from the acknowledgment that such a sequencer was lacking and its functionality would be a powerful addition to the Eurorack environment. This sequencer was built with performance and creativity in mind.
We have created this instrument with the goal to conserve precious creative energy and help you obtain effective results on the fly.
Find out more on our website www.anti-kulture.com.
I have recently started pairing it (TB-303) with Splice, the new distortion box by Plankton Electronics and the results are offensive, to say the least. No matter how often I hear it on records, I will never get sick of this magical machine.
Who wants to drop some acid? It’s hard to say anything about the infamous TB-303 that hasn’t already been said. This synthesizer unicorn is at the head of an entire music movement and practically on every single track I make.
Its unique sequencer, which relies on gates, accents, and slides, is a groove machine unlike many others, and it’s no wonder why it’s been so successful in electronic music.
I have recently started pairing it with Splice, the new distortion box by Plankton Electronics, and the results are offensive, to say the least. No matter how often I hear it on records, I will never get sick of this magical machine.
Perkons HD-01 By Erica Synths
Erica Synths is one of the most popular Eurorack manufacturers on the scene, and it’s really no secret why.
They are at the forefront of innovation while being as solid, reliable, and mindful as a musical instrument company can be.
In recent years, they have ventured more into desktop instruments and in 2021, launched the Perkons HD-01.
The Perkons HD-01 is a 4 hybrid-voice monster that tears down the borders between drum machine, synthesizer and drone instrument.
Though versatile in any style, the Perkons is a techno-titan and one of the most exciting instruments I have ever laid my hands on.
I have used it religiously since purchasing it and used it heavily on my recent release, which included the tracks Balloonatic & Asphyxia.
If you haven’t checked out Erica Synths or the Perkons HD-01, drop what you’re doing right now and get to it.
I’ve used the Perc repeatedly on my records and you can hear it wailing away on the snare parts of my track Asphyxia. This is almost like having John Bonham in your back pocket.
Perc by Polyend
Unfortunately, now discontinued, the Perc by Polyend is a unique and powerful instrument that brings electronic control to acoustic percussive instruments.
This wonderful tool has a mechanically controlled hammer that can be placed on drum heads and other percussion instruments, and play them via midi and CV. What?…Exactly!!!
I’ve used the Perc repeatedly on my records, and you can hear it wailing away on the snare parts of my track Asphyxia. This is almost like having John Bonham in your back pocket.
My favorite part is cranking the bpm over 200 and watching the Perc go bananas, even starting to elevate and fly away at a certain point – so much fun!
“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
What is a proper music studio without some harmless time travel and the bending of the very fabric of the universe?
Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies (if not my favorite). As an Italian immigrant, I remember being overly captivated as a child at the amazing adventures of Marty Mcfly, Dr. Emett Brown, Einstein and Biff Tannen!
This movie was the doorway to my American adventure and has always had a magical place in my heart. It only makes sense to have these guys resting on my Adams monitors, reminding me how imagination and creativity is what being alive is all about.
If you like Elektron, check out our Elektron packs.
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