Studio 1.0

Posted by Scott

We’ve had the “Random Nostalgia” category on this blog for a while, but I think this is the first time a post has truly fit the bill. I was searching around my hard drive last night and stumbled upon this gem from my past, the photo you see above (sorry for the poor quality, I can’t find the original photo I scanned this from). I’m not quite sure, but this is probably from sometime around mid-1999 in Sacramento. This was the firs time I assembled what I would consider a proper studio, although it was just my bedroom (you can see the futon folded up in the right corner). I think before this I had a Roland MC-303 and SP-202 set up on a dresser in the corner so this was a big step up from that. This was also when I started using a computer to record; I had previously recorded everything into an ASR-X Pro sampler which could handle about 6 minutes of audio. I would then record the outputs of that to Minidiscs (still have a huge box of those I need to sift through).

This was before I really started designing but if you look closely you can catch one of my very early visual influences on the left wall. I rescued that tapestry thing from a dumpster; it depicts a waterfall made of rainbows. Pretty bad I know, but looking back I realize that color scheme and subject matter informed a lot of my earlier work. Not sure what happened to it, must have lost it in a subsequent move. The same goes for the other stuff, the only things I still have around are the computer keyboard, the grey box in the stereo cabinet and the wooden table in the foreground. I gave the keyboard stand to Dusty Brown and I saw it at the show in Sacramento this weekend, nice to know it’s still alive and well with the same Renthal sticker on it. As for the other stuff, it was either sold on eBay or junked (the milk crates that are holding up the desk, for example). Here’s a kit list of what I can make out from the picture:

– ASRX-Pro Sampler / Sound Module. Used this to make Science of Patterns a few years later.
– Roland JP-8000 Synthesizer.
– E-MU Orbit Sound Module (don’t ask why I owned this)
– Yamaha Stereo EQ
– Gemini 4-channel DJ mixer
– Sony MD recorder

Crazy story about the JP-8000, I put it on eBay about a year after this shot was taken. The winner of the auction was from the area so he came out to pick it up. It turned out to be Shaun Lopez, we ended up becoming friends and he still does mixing work on my tracks today (Daydream, Adrift, Disconnect to name a few).

12 Comments Leave A Comment


Spencer says:

February 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm

That tapestry or whatever is priceless. Good to see one of your early visual influences, really tells a lot. Hoping to find an unlikely influence like that one day, hopefully.


Scott says:

February 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

nice, I have a couple DK600s and an OR400 (+2 expanders). Love Siel. yeah, I am all about outboard but this was before there was an alternative. I think Rebirth was around but that was about it.


Brandon Daniel says:

February 3, 2010 at 11:12 am

I’m amazed you’re able to keep all that Siel stuff functional. I’ve been through several DK600s and Expanders, all of them had issues of some sort, if not immediately then eventually, and most were un-repairable. One of my coworkers was a repair tech in the 80s, and swears Siels were the worst of the lot to ever come through his door.

Sadly, they’re worth more for the SSM chips inside than they are as a whole, so most people don’t bother trying to fix these notoriously failure-prone things, and instead use their bits to repair more popular synthesizers.

But I hear you on the “hardware since there was no other option” bit. Prior to the picture above, it was all run off an Atari ST, try using a VST plugin on THAT!


Scott says:

February 3, 2010 at 11:19 am

yeah, somewhere around 9 years. But “only” isn’t a word I’d put in front of it, seems like it’s been a while to me.

The sound that comes out of them is worth more than any of the chips, they’re hard to keep running but worth it. I have a guy in CO. who specializes in them and I was able to score some DK schematics years back. But they’re a dime a dozen, so if it comes down to it I guess I could just get a new one on eBay.


Justin D says:

February 3, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Cool, thanks for sharing. Do you still have any of the music you produced with this setup? Now that we know how it looked, it would be cool to know how it sounded. :)


Daniel Carvalho says:

February 3, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Haha, awesome post. It’s so cool to see these type of things, the beginings. For me it’s so weird you should say “before you started designing”, because that’s largely how I came to recognize you.

Maybe I lie, because I guess it would have been the visual and audio component together, since I distinctly remember randomly landing on your portfolio site and saying, “oh, this guy again” and then realized there was an uncanny marriage between the visuals and audio.


Scott S says:

February 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm

What about that sexy d8b poster?
Did you ever get a real one?
Or was this just a way of fooling yourself that your studio was bigger?