In the latest instalment of the My Studio series, we take a trip to the Berlin studio of FLASH Recordings boss Florian Meindl, who fills us in on the principles of effective acoustic treatment, reveals his favourite synth and outlines the importance of good tea.
Here’s my whole studio – a Mac powered setup with two monitors, two sets of speakers and a quality chair.
This is my self-constructed quadratic residue diffuser made of 284 wood parts. it diffuses the frequencies bouncing back behind me. Diffusers are often placed behind the sweet spot because mounting absorbers would be too expensive and would make the room too dry. Without the diffuser you would get a negative effect called the ‘Haas effect’ which appears in small studio rooms, but the diffusor spreads out the frequencies in different directions so you never get any unwanted frequency peaks. The diffuser doesn’t just bring in a natural look, it also makes the sound more natural because in nature you have a lot of diffusive surfaces and objects.
My SPL 2486 Monitor controller is in heavy use because I have got two pairs of monitors – my Martion Audio Bullfrogs and Genelec 1030As in combination with a subwoofer – and I need to switch between them often. I also use it to make a stereo-mono comparison and also to add surround speakers when I do surround mixes. The volume knob feels really good, which is important to me; the quality of the knob represents the quality of the whole sound system because it’s the only physical link that I can touch.
Virus TI Desktop
I use my Virus TI Desktop quite often. The reverb and tape delay effects and the whole synthesizer in general sounds awesome! I used it on this forthcoming album track and the main chords to my remix of ‘Like A Bird’ by Lexy & K-Paul. I also used it for this special synth package on my label Riemann Kollektion.
I mainly use MASCHINE from Native Instruments for drum loops, even though you can create whole songs in there. I love the 50 per cent quantisation function that allows you to play a rhythm and quantise it just half way to the spot – really useful! I use my own drum samples from Riemann Kollektion as well as the factory library, but I tend to layer sounds to shape their characteristics.
These are my mid-field monitor speakers – the Bullfrogs from Martion Audio. They’re high-end speakers but I use them to check back my productions when I want to have studio quality sound at a very high volume. They’re as loud as in the club, but with perfect acoustics!
Here you can see my side wall absorbers which absorb all frequencies from 20kHz down to about 250Hz. They improve the stereo field because reflections from the sides bring in unwanted frequencies. I’ve got more on the ceiling. They’ve made a big improvement to the sound in my studio; I can’t live without them any more.
Last but not least, here’s a box of tea. It’s important to drink a lot in the studio because the brain and the muscles need a lot of liquid. If you take in enough liquids the muscles are more relaxed which avoids pain in the neck and back – a widespread studio disorder. Also, don’t forget to stand up every 30 minutes and move for a few seconds.
Florian Meindl’s debut album, Waves, is out now on FLASH Recordings. Head to his artist page for a sneak preview of the album and an exclusive free download of ‘Spread Out’.