Me in my studio: Royalston

23rd Nov 2011 | 12:18

Me in my studio: Royalston
By Royalston appointment

A future star in the making, Dylan Martin, aka Royalston started producing on the precursor to Reason, Propellerhead's ReBirth. He also had an old Yamaha groovebox, the RM1X, but is now a hardened Ableton Live addict.

Sydney-based, he's also classically trained, a DJ, a producer and has been listening to drum 'n' bass since 1993, producing for 12 years and DJing for about 10. His music is characterised by a raw, analogue sound with a techy edge, thanks to plenty of hardware such as his favourite Korg MS-20.

Royalston's new Cerulean Blue EP is out now. Check out his favourite studio kit and get an insight into how he produces his records in our exclusive gallery.

Me in my studio: Royalston
The studio

“My studio is located in a small office space in Sydney. It is very cramped, filled with junk and apparently it looks like a private detective's office from some 1930's Noir movie.”...

Me in my studio: Royalston
Tape machine

"This was loaned to me by a friend. It took three of us to carry it up the stairs but has an amazing sound. You can turn the input levels up to drive the signal to tape even hotter.

"Dizz1 and I recorded our own drum breaks in here which sound very nice. If I had a better outboard desk I think I would use this all the time."

Me in my studio: Royalston
Percussion box

"A bit more effort than using pre-made loops but definitely much more fun.

"Seeing studio collaborators hitting a wooden frog with great concentration or shaking a miniature set of maracas is another reason why I have them."

Me in my studio: Royalston
Korg MS-20

"This thing is a beast. The high and low pass filters make ridiculous bass that I can't get from anything else. The filter drives in a great way.

"It can process external audio and it's semi-modular as well. Like most older synths, all its functions have a dedicated knob so you can get your sound quickly. Not having presets means you have to learn the synth properly. It's 30 years old and it stays in tune. I have a Kenton MIDI-CV converter for it so I don't always have to use its little keyboard."

Me in my studio: Royalston
Access Virus TI

"I have a love hate relationship with the Virus TI. It has a great sound, excellent effects, a nice keyboard and almost too much power but the 'Total Integration' feature has never worked for me, despite years of trying.

"It has high latency and is very temperamental. I now use it as a normal MIDI synth. The huge number of presets are a good place to start from but you can get lost in them. As a MIDI synth it's great but I wish Access had used all the blank space to add knobs for all the sub-menu features - of which there are endless amounts."

Me in my studio: Royalston
Modular synth

"I've been building this up recently. The sounds it can make are very different to a hard-wired synth and it forces you to learn about synthesis and think a bit differently.

"Literally anything can be patched to anything so an oscillator can become an LFO (when slowed down) or be quantised and become a source of a melodic line, for example."

Me in my studio: Royalston
Mackie Big Knob

"I love this thing! It ties the studio together, making switching between monitors easy. Talking to vocalists whilst recording is much easier too.

"It does exactly what it says on the box and I can't recommend it highly enough. I've heard people say it colours the sound slightly but I really think that’s only audible in a mastering situation in a perfectly set up room."

Me in my studio: Royalston
Gamelan instruments

"My dad works in Indonesia and collects these things for me if he finds them. They're super cheap but make interesting sounds, especially when you start layering them up."

Me in my studio: Royalston
Rack gear

"I use these mainly with the modular. Tape delay is cool and so is spring reverb. Both are very noisy but they add a character to sound that is hard to get with digital plug-ins.

"The SPL Kultube is a good compressor with a nice tube saturation section that’s not too expensive either. My main interface is the RME Fireface which works really well and has never caused me any problems."

Liked this? Now read: Me in my studio: Spektre

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