Ian Blevins shows us around his studio.
Ian Blevins – My Studio
My studio, well our studio, which I share with ‘Cromby’, Chris McCormick, is out in Marzahn, a district of Berlin.
It is affectionately known as the shed due to the kebab shed that used to be outside the building ran by two old lads. It’s since been knocked down and been upgraded to a metal structure a few yards away we believe its under new management now. The old one was better and had more charm but it remains handy when you want a kebab and a beer.
We’ve recently had a bit of a rejig of the studio and I’ve got rid of my trusty Mackie 1604 mixer. Although still a work in progress, with a few of our pedals not in play at the moment, more treatment needed and some bigger speakers, we both seem to have a lease of life to get back up there. On top of a new few bits of kit, I’ve not been this happy to work on new music for some time.
Korg Poly-800 Mk2
Although this is not currently in play due to it, I think, being technically knackered. I’ve made most of my music on this bit of gear over the last 5 years or so thought it needs a mention first off the bat. After hearing Matt & Andy (Bicep) constantly rave about this synth I picked one from my old former record shop owning friend Fatdog, and had it modified by Circuitbenders. I absolutely love the thing and it does everything so well with a minimum amount of fuss. Chris has one that’s being fixed now for the last decade, so we’ll have that back soon in the next few years. The sooner I purchase a new one the better.
This is something we both own individually though mine is still back at my parent’s house in Horden, England. Another of my first hardware purchases, again on a firm recommendation. I’ve always used this mainly for beats as I like how quickly I can sample and control them via the DAW.
Though a certain type of sound is always associated with different equipment, this certainly is one of those bits of kit. I’m not quite sure how to describe it aside from sounding warm, and generally great. I can’t see this ever leaving any studio set up I have.
This is one of a few new purchases that has been on my hit list for some time, well originally the TR-8s but now this.
I’m still getting to grips it but I love what I hear and see so far. There is more practice required but having that many drum kits, plus the ability to load your own sounds is a winner.
Between that and the Akai MPC2000XL I’ve got the bulk of my drums sorted.
Ableton Push 2
Another recent purchase which I think is gonna make a big difference on how well I can control, arrange and automate my production. It’s only been here a few weeks and diving deep into tutorials but I’ve borrowed this a few times in the past so was familiar with how things work before I bought it. I’m very excited with the possibilities it will bring to the studio.
The last in a recent splurge, the boutique version of the 101. Versatile, fun and an absolute classic. This one I’ve used in friends studio’s, NY*AK‘s especially, so I’m familiar with it to some respect before buying. Check out Matthew Jonson’s Electronic Beats video for a good example at what’s possible with this machine and the older brother.
Asides from the trusty couch, the kettle has served us well. Bought from a questionable thrifty store. It’s lasted much longer than the blender I bought from the same place which broke the first time using it.
Berlin! It’s very calming, especially night, when you can’t hear loads of other fuckers in the building banging on drums, generally being mad cunts and playing the guitar far too loud for my taste!
The building right at the back always reminds of the one from Ghostbusters.