Serbian born DJ and producer, Dirty South, released his new album XV last month. It dove further into the more melodic and deeper sounds that he has been putting out over the past few years, but in a coherent, well structured thought. Dirty South is big on hardware, assembling a vast number of pieces for his studio. We asked Dirty South to take a trip back into his studio and give us five favorite pieces of studio equipment he used for the album. Listen to the album below and see if you can find the various pieces of hardware in his work. Read on to see the crisp pics of his studio equipment and how they were used on XV.
1. MFB Tanzbar:
I’ve used this drum machine all over the album. It’s a German synth company that makes this 808 inspired drum machine. I’m a huge fan of the 808 sounds, and this thing is a 808 on steroids. Amazing hi hats, claps and toms. Really fat subby kick drums and just in general great sounding drum machine with lots of control. Every time I need a huge sounding tom drum this is the first instrument I go to.
2. Ableton Live 9 and 10:
I’ve just switched over from Logic X to Ableton Live about 6 months ago for some new inspiration, and decided the best way to learn a new DAW was to make some actual songs and finish them. So I made my album XV completely in Ableton 9 and when Ableton 10 came out recently, I did a few finishing touches with the beta version. Absolutely love Ableton now. I feel like I’m much quicker now with making sketches and ideas and I love the Session view where I can just jam out with all my ideas and loops and come up with arrangements I wouldn’t have normally.
3. Speakers/Monitors (Various):
I mainly use 4 different sets of monitors/speakers to listen to my music while I’m mixing it. It’s super important to check how the music sounds on different types of speakers. I have the big Barefoot MM26 and they give me that big full sound that sort of creates a vibe of what the music would sound in a nightclub. They are also super precise and great to listen to at low levels. I use Neumann 310’s with a sub for main listening as they sit right in front of me and are very good for critical listening. I also use some smaller speakers like a Bose Soundlink boombox type speaker to check how the music sounds on more general consumer type speakers. Finally I use a pair of computer/PC cheap speakers ($29) which sound similar to what a mobile phone would sound like. On top of this I would also use headphones for testing. I use Sennheiser HD25. Finally…the car speakers are the ultimate test for me. I usually go for a drive and listen to the final mixes in the car and see if anything sticks out.
4. SSL Matrix2:
I bought this console early 2017 and designed a furniture desk around it to be the centerpiece of the studio. It has two modes. Analog and digital. Analog mode has all my outboard gear and synths patched into it and it makes it super easy when I’m recording a bunch of different synth parts or if I’m jamming out. The digital side controls all my faders in Ableton so when I’m mixing I don’t need to be using the mouse to ride levels and adjust things. The album came together really quickly and I think having the console was a huge help to move very quickly between analog and digital worlds. Has great VU metering, monitoring section and a really cool matrix system which is like a digital patchbay for all my outboard gear. On top of being extremely useful and functional, it just looks so inspiring and sexy sitting right in the middle of the studio!
5. Moog Minitaur:
This is the BEST bass sounding synth period!! I think it’s the cheapest synth Moog make, but it’s all over my new album because it sounds incredibly rich. I absolutely love this thing. It’s so small and simple to use but the bass sound that comes out of it is huge! I would definitely recommend this as a must have synth for anyone starting out. It will cover lot of stuff, not just bass.