THE TUNNEL AND THE CLEARING: RADICAL SETUP
February 7, 2021 § Leave a comment
When I decided I would set up my studio at home again a couple of years ago, after 8 years of having a separate studio, I did not anticipate that the thing I would enjoy the most would be the ability to work late into the evening and at night. The more progress I made on the album, the more I spread the workload between afternoon and evening/night (to my cats’ utter dismay): it somehow just felt so right, making me reconnect with sensations I hadn’t felt since my early recordings in the 2000s.
I feel so fortunate that super talented photographer Luis Torroja has managed to capture the night atmosphere of my modest but beloved studio in such a brilliant way!!!
I’ve been a fan of voluntarily restricted setups since my 5th album Captain of None, as I find that fewer parametres actually widen my creativity, and this album is the most radical thing I’ve ever done: all the sounds you’ll hear were produced with only 6 pieces of gear (not counting my Soundcraft mixing desk and Scarlett soundcard), 5 of them analog (Elka Drummer One, Roland RE-201 Space Echo – both from Soundgas – , Moog Grandmother, MF-104M Analog Delay, MF-101 Lowpass Filter), 1 digital (Yamaha Reface YC, the main sound source on all songs, manipulated through the analog gear) + my voice. No digital plugin whatsoever was used. Digital intervention is purely and strictly restricted to a few edits (could count them on the fingers of my 2 hands) where takes needed to be joined (with the exception of vocals for which I did have to do a bit more “Frankensteining” due to being particularly nervous when recording these sessions).
Case in point, single “Gazing at Taurus – Santa Eulalia”: Yamaha Reface YC into Moog MF-104M Analog Delay, Elka Drummer One into Roland RE-201 Space Echo for a tiny bit of spring reverb. Vocals double-tracked with no FX.