Synths, compressors, effects and a 909 signed by Jeff Mills. Gaetano Parisio (Drumcode, Planet Rhythm Records, Primate Recordings, Mosaic et al) was kind enough to show Attack Magazine around his studio.
I moved to Barcelona 3 years ago and the first thing I did was build my studio on the lower floor of my house. Actually, my house was previously an art gallery and had spaces for exposure which I then transformed into different living areas. The entrance to my studio is a mini cinema (another passion I have) with a 3-meters projection screen, a console with CDJ and turntables with all my vinyls collection. The building dates back to 1860 in the historical center of the Catalan capital. Like all the studios I’ve previously had, it’s located on the lower floor of my house and therefore of my bedroom, this is very important for me because I see my studio as an extension of my apartment, a place where I spend a lot of time and where I have the chance to go at any time of the day.
Basically, I built the studio from scratch. I created the classic box-in-the-box for the acoustic insulation. I tried to keep the original stone of the building as I liked it aesthetically and with the dedicated software, I did the acoustic treatment. Each panel is rigorously mounted in a specific place. I’m very happy with the result.
I bought this Korg Mono/Poly in Japan not long ago. It’s a synth I’ve always desired and today I feel lucky to have one. It’s definitely a fun machine and if we think about how old it is, it’s surprisingly technologically advanced, in fact it has a function that allows you to play a single note and turns it into chords and you can also memorize them. Almost like a modern plug-in. In addition, the power of its four oscillators offers an incredible warmth and powerful sound which certainly makes it one of my secret weapons. It has its own internal arpeggiator and I enjoy using it more and more. As it is not a modern synth, it has no MIDI outputs and inputs. So I had to connect it to my DAW with a MIDI-to-CV converter. I am sure that our love story has just begun and that the best is yet to come. I have already finished several tracks with my Mono/Poly and I tend to use it more and more.
Drawmer 1969 & Drawmer 1971
These two boys were born to be together. This is a match made in heaven! I have basically used them in all my productions. I bought them in 1996 and I’ve never stopped using them. They have a very strong character and like all extreme things you either like or don’t. They are both based on tube valves and I use them both to compress and equalize the final mix or even simply for a single sound. Their warmth and equalisation precision definitely makes a difference, both in the mastering phase and in the purely creative one. I have tried several times to replace them with audio plugins, but the result has never been good enough. I also love their aggressive look. I’m so fond of them and I can’t imagine myself working without them!
Clavia Nord Modular G2
This is a very special tool. It was certainly revolutionary when in 1998 Clavia decided to produce a hybrid instrument. At that time, computers did not have such a strong computing power as now and this synth has its own DSP that allows you to build patches that make it one of the most versatile machines ever. It is half hardware and half software and this makes it perfect for sound design. I remember that I used it for Conform 05 in 1998. Today, perhaps, with the new technology it no longer makes the difference and its software is probably no longer compatible with the new operating systems, but for me it remains a machine to be kept together with the others. I’m Italian and maybe sometimes I am too passionate even with my studio machines!
I’m convinced that without this multi-effect my life would have been more difficult. The peculiarity of this effect is the parallel process. The DP/4 has 4 inputs and 4 outputs allowing you to process up to 4 different signals at the same time. Personally, I’ve used it a lot to create a delay chain through its four processors. In all my Southsoul productions, my mixer auxiliary send was connected to this magnificent effect. Even today I use it a lot to give a different character to the sound I want to have. Being a hardware multi-effect, it creates that imprecision effect that I love to have in my productions. In addition the sub mixer controls signal output, maintains multiple stereo images with 4 outputs, an important option for those who work in a totally analog environment. Today perhaps, many audio plug-ins can do much more than DP / 4, but if the aim is to do something different, then my advice is to try it once. After a long period of non-use, I started using it again recently for the Conform 25 years release – trying to add that ‘unpredictability factory’ that made me fall in love long ago.
There are no words to describe the feeling of getting your hands on the Hi-hat or any other knobs on this electronic drum kit. During the period I didn’t have my own studio set up, I tried to use some audio plugins that would emulate its sound and swing. Impossible! Without “her”, techno and electronic music in general, wouldn’t have been the same. There isn’t much more to say about her, just that I wish for you to get one someday if you don’t have one already. I’ve been using it lately through Max for Live sequencers. The result is incredible. In fact, the only thing that can be improved in my opinion is it’s internal sequencer. Today, through dedicated sequencer software, the results can be limited only by your ability. If your goal is to do Techno, you cannot give up trying to own one. My 909 is signed by an artist, Jeff Mills, how it has brought out all its potentials, making it, if possible, even more popular
Michael Jackson Poster
When I was 9, Michael Jackson’s Thriller came out. The world stopped for something that had never been seen before. Someone who redefined the law of gravity when moving on stage. The reaction of a child could only be, to be amazed. I was that child. Michael Jackson made me understand that music can be magic, just like when a child sees a magician’s show. Also, my first record was a Bad picture disk. I was 14 years-old and I still remember the emotion, coming home, of having that record in my hand. It would have been the first of many others. It’s also a way of remembering how it all started. This is a dedication not only to MJ but to the magic of all music.