Welcome to our 'How It Was Made' series, where we dive headfirst into the behind the scenes process of how artists create the art we all enjoy. Each week, our guests walk us through the tools they used on their latest work, and how they use their gear to achieve the results.
On February 18th, Corseque Records boss Ascorbite will release his debut album on his own label; a hard-hitting techno album that blends human touch with mechanical processing, creating an introspective collection of music that is as familiar as it is foreign. Below, he walks us through the hardware used to achieve these results and shares the insight he's gained from years of refinement.
Elektron Analog Rytm:
On the album, I used the Elektron Machinedrum with some FX-processing from my DAW. The reason why the Rytm is in the picture is that I quite recently sold the MD to be able to afford it, and it is what I use nowadays. In my opinion, it's the best analog drummer on the market and I love it to death.
Arturia Beatstep Pro:
This is what keeps the machines running in sync at the live shows and what I use to sequence some of the VCO's in my Eurorack synth with. I do like to keep things simple and this is a perfect piece of gear in that sense. Easy to program, easy to jam with and easy to travel with.
Eurorack modular synthesizer:
If I could use one thing and one thing only for all eternity to come, it would definitely be the Analog Rytm. But my modular synth comes in pretty close at second place for sure, with its ability to make whatever weird sounds I want. It has definitely shaped the sound of my productions since we started working together. It is a constant work in progress and modules are replaced from time to time whenever I can afford something cool, which would mostly be effects of different kinds. Brands at the moment are Erica Synths, Bastl Instruments, Eowave, Pittsburgh, Synthrotek, Makenoise, and Doepfer. VCO's, VCA's, sequencers, filters, envelopes, multi-FX etc. Most of the sounds on the album are made with the Eowave Oráge, Makenoise STO x2 and the (discontinued) Pittsburgh Synthesizer Box, all going through several FX modules as well as some Reason plugins.
Soundcraft EFX-12 mixer:
All machines are run through the mixer before being recorded. The mixer itself is pretty simple, but it has a nice sound and can roar pretty loud in the club as well as give a certain character to the gear, which is all I'm asking for. Also, the built-in Lexicon effect section is great and saves a lot of space. Using the different reverbs for the extra low-end rumble and some extra depth to the modular sounds.
MacBook Pro laptop with DAW:
Everything is recorded on my laptop where I run Propellerheads Reason 9.5. Reason has been my go-to DAW for the past 16 years, give or take, and there are zero plans on switching to something else. These days I'm not using any of the synth plugins, but there's always at least one sampler involved and FX processing on my audio clips. Recording and mixing everything in the box.
Ascorbite's Macrocosmic Framework is out now on vinyl via Corseque Records, and digitally on February 18th. Grab it below.