New Zealand producer OPIUO is someone who has espoused a sound most often associated with the Denver bass scene. The fact that the funky, jazzy bass music that kicked off the decade has made become prominent is a testament to the sound and the artists pushing it. This past Friday he released Syzygy 02 that captures the sort of uptempo funk that has become his calling card over the past 10+ years. In honor of the project, we asked OPIUO to take us inside the studio and explain how various pieces of gear were used on this album.
I use my Prophet 6 synth on virtually every song on this record. It has such an awesome old yet very interestingly new sound. The arpeggiator section was great for instant plucked melodies, and I’d often drop it into a song to round out a nice rolling groove.
Everything from bass, to drums, to leads were made with it. Plus, as it’s polyphonic (unlike my Moog Voyager), a lot of the larger chords were also written with the prophet. There’s a harsh yet warm quality to this piece of kit and I love it so so much!
My Virus Polar has been in my studio forever. I’d say coming up 10 years and many many bass lines have been written with this beast. I love the way it modulates and sometimes glitches out when bouncing from midi to audio, giving an unexpected yet beautifully random outcome. Its rich tones are so fun to push and pull around.
I have often run audio through the effects section too, but nowadays I do this less, as there are many soft synths who make it a lot easier to patch and rewire through to get a similar outcome.
Eventide H9 Effects Unit
This is my go-to effects unit for things a little outside the box. From manually extending the length of the snare reverb in "Send It," to absolutely crushing the top end of some bass lines with distortion, I use this pedal every second song I make. I love that the iPad control makes it feel like a piece of hardware that can be pushed and pulled in all directions.
AKG C414 Mic
My go-to mic in the studio when I need something recorded, especially quickly and efficiently. This mic has given some golden results. I love its clean rawness on big vocals, and "System Empire" is a prime example of how nice it sounds I feel. I also threw it in front of many guitar amps, and even as an overhead mic on some drum recordings. It's so versatile. I love it!