Me in my studio: Dr Meaker
2nd Nov 2012 | 15:03
"Hello, I'm Clive the producer behind the Bristol Collective, Dr Meaker. This is my studio. I named it Flightcase Studios for two reasons; mainly because there are loads of flightcases in the studio bathroom but also because I like to think of myself as a flight case. As in, when you get in the studio on a vibe you get lost in the musical flight.
"I've been working from this studio for six years now. It is based in the inner city grime spot of Bristol and I chose to have it here as people don't seem to care about loud music. I guess I got lucky with the neighbours as they don't object to the bass. I've been building up my gear since I was 16 years old and it all started with a little Yamaha SU10 sampler.
"I almost feel like the studio is complete, but I'm a gear junkie and all junkies know that there's always just one more little box that'll make ALL the difference to that tune! I recorded my first album in here and am busy working on my second album as we speak..."
Dr Meaker's single Fighter is available on V Recordings
"I was using a Mackie 32:8:2 and started to get loads of crackly knobs and faders and couldn't get it fixed easily so decided to make the leap to something modular and easier to maintain. I loved how the Mackie was tight and punchy but also really loved the sound of the Neve desk I mixed my last album on so was looking for sound between the two.
"I couldn't afford an API desk so I spoke to my man at Funky Junk and he recommended this beast which is a compact 16-channel mixer with EQ on each channel. These cost about £15k new and I picked one up for £2k a couple years ago so pretty chuffed.
"The build quality is mad and it weighs a ton. It has great mic and line preamps with transformers so I record a lot of synths and vocals through them into the Apogee. I miss the eight-bus routing options of the Mackie but I've kinda got used to the limited options and work with them. It has a good, solid warm and punchy sound."
"A Soviet-era synth from Poland that I call 'the communizer'. I picked it up on eBay before the prices went silly in 2005. It sounds amazing, warm and very similar to a 2-oscillator Minimoog so kept those Moog cravings at bay until I finally got the Minimoog.
"The only problem is that the keyboard is crap and feels worse than a plastic toy to play."
"The API is an absolute beast on the drum buss. It has that real tight and punchy envelopey sound. It also works really well when you completely smash the shit out of a kick or snare and mix it back with the original signal as you get it sounding smacky!
"If it's not on the drum buss then its on the mix buss. The magic in this box is in the gain make-up as you just crank it up and everything seems to sound better. You can hear the transformers doing their thing. I'm still paying for it but it's defo worth it!"
"Beast! My favourite synth ever! In fact, I bought two just in case one breaks! I have one in the studio and one for the road. It's my main live tool. Everyone these days has MIDI keyboards and laptops and I just love being able to get right into the analogue madness of the MS20.
"It makes my performance unique. I don't know anyone else in our era that smashes it up on stage with an MS20 like I do. The combination of resonant high-pass and low-pass filters are killer and allow the oscillators to cut right through the mix like lightning. I always say that if the Minimoog sounds like chocolate the this things sounds like sherbert!!
The white board
"This things keeps me in check. I write up things to do each session and also have an ongoing list of songs to finish and completed songs so that I can also see what I have achieved and what I have left to do.
"See XL Recordings record at the top. One of the first records that I bought as a kid was Out Of Space by The Prodigy. This was one of the songs that set me on my musical path. Would goddam love to sign to XL Recordings!"
"These are my little studio buddies. The Tango man and the Robot have been with me since I was a kid so it's good to keep that vibe going and remind me not to take myself too seriously. They kinda feel like pets in a weird, non moving way."
"I dreamt of having one of these when I was getting into music but couldn't afford one and then they brought out the new range and I was like... 'meh, its got MIDI and memory...'
"Then they brought out the old school version which is completely analogue with no digital electronics and I tried it and fell in love. So warm and phat. Weirdly, I find it quite hard sometimes to fit into a busy mix. Probably because it's so damn fat. It's the type of synth that is just good old fashioned tweaking fun to sit down and play for hours."
"I absolutely love this valve gear by Therminoic Culture. In fact, I just love valves full stop! I learnt about these when I was getting some music mastered by John Dent and he showed me the power of these beasts. I also heard that Liam Howlett uses this gear so I had to find out for myself.
"The gear adds rich harmonics and make the music sound more natural and organic and can also make things nice and distorted in a good way. I use the Rooster pre-amp through the AMEK pre's when I record all my synths and Im sure it gives my music a strong sonic signature. The only snag is that you gotta maintain this stuff as valves and the parts inside wear out over time."
"These are bespoke monitors made by Mitchell & Todd. I read about them in Sound On Sound when Pendulum did an interview, so thought I'd check them out and they are really great monitors.
"They are much louder than I need in my medium sized room so I keep the built in amps low. They have EQ on the back also so you can taylor them to your room which is really cool. The BBC use these in their maidavale studios and for live set ups on the road."
"This is a beautiful and classy sounding EQ which I love to use on pretty much anything. It just sweetens and works so well. It is a Pultec clone but with some added frequencies and also a 'subsonic filter' which shifts the low end curves around a little to give more punch on the bottom end.
"I particularly love putting vocals through the 2A3 during mixdown as you can always get the vocal to sit just above everything else in the mix - which is where I like my vocals to be."
"This is the most recent synth that I've bought. I hadn't been excited about a synth for years and then I tried this thing out and it reminded me of the feeling I first had when I sat down with my first analogue synth the Yamaha CS5.
"It was really exciting and I loved that so bought it there and then. Everything can be controlled from the front face plate with no hidden menus or screens to annoy you. The sounds are great. It's got the old school sensibility but with that new fizzy and bright sound. A real standout synth in the modern age and the synth that has kinda finished off my constant thirst for synthesizers. For now, anyway...."