Ahead of his appearance at Cocoon London at Building Six on the 30th of November, we take a look at the hardware fanatic’s stunning Berlin studio.
My Studio – Mathew Jonson
I started building this studio in December 2012. The last building I was in got torn down to make room for fancy apartments. This is happening everywhere to art spaces in Berlin at the moment. I much prefer this one anyways though, so no loss. I brought my modular acoustic furniture with me from the last studio so all I really needed to do was put in carpet and bass traps in the back wall. So far it’s been used for some Cobblestone Jazz tracks, Modern Deep Left Quartet, some solo work and remixes for Quenum and Subb-an. It was a long summer of touring so I’m looking forwards to working this winter.
101, 303, 606, 727, 808, 909…
This is the left side of the studio. It’s run mainly with DIN sync and audio triggers. I like using this method a lot as it lends itself to a different sound and way of programming than with traditional DAWs. The right side of the studio is for MIDI.
APB-DynaSonics ProDesk 8 & Rack Synths
Here you can see my mixer and a better view of the racks. I have lots of processing: Neve, Manley, and some other compressors. Lots of rack synths over there too: MKS-80, MKS-30, MKS-7, MKS-70… Also effects: Eventide Orville, DP4, A10, D5000. The desk is a 40-channel APB-DynaSonics ProDesk 8. I love it!
Korg Trident & Oberheim OB-12
This is my Trident and OB-12. Both amazing for pads and ambient sounds. The OB-12 is totally buggy and can explode the speakers with just small changes in parameters so I don’t really let my friends use it. It is super powerful though, aside from all the glitches. The Trident is probably best described as majestic. Literally it sounds like the angels flying down from the sky.
Eurorack Modular & Roland System 100m
This is my modular system. The top suitcase is mainly effects. The Cwejman stuff is particularly good. It was used in the ‘Good Life’ remix I did for Inner City. I also have an SK1. The Roland System 100m was featured on ‘Symphony For The Apocalypse: New Age Revolution’, ‘The Girl From LBC’ and ‘Learning To Fly’. It’s probably the best bass in the studio.
This is my CS-60. I bought it from the sister of a guy that was going to throw it away as he thought nobody would want it. The sister said let’s put it up on eBay, so that’s how I got it. I took the train five hours from Berlin and then a taxi up into the hills to pick it up. People were laughing at me on the trains as I was moving it with a fridge dolly. It was worth the trip. Actually my D85 was a similar situation – I had to drive 13 hours to get it back to my house in Berlin. Also worth the effort.
Yamaha CS-30 & Sequential Circuits Prophet-5
The Yamaha CS-30 is from outer space. I don’t know how anyone could use this for making normal sounds really because the tuning is so bad… or maybe I just have to open it up and recalibrate it. I got it for nothing on eBay and when I opened up the case it was filled with dirt. Maybe it was a leftover from a flood or something. Anyways, it actually works – I’m just not sure what it’s been doing the last 20 years. The Prophet-5 probably speaks for itself. It’s the most used synth in the studio these days.
Fender Rhodes Stage Mark II
This is my Fender Rhodes Stage Mark II. That and my Yamaha CS-60 and D85 are my three favourite instruments. None have MIDI or CV so you just have to play them. I find more enjoyment sitting down at any of these than using the entire rest of my studio.