How It Was Made: Cerrone - DNA

Cerrone takes us into his studio to show how he made his new album 'DNA.'
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Cerrone

Cerrone

There are few artists with a legacy like Cerrone. The French producer, drummer, composer and artist has amassed a discography over the years that stands among the very best. Cutting his teeth in the late 60s and early 70s with the rise of disco, Cerrone has been a staple of music since then. His music has evolved over time, but still keeps much of the same synth-led spirit. Today he has released his new album DNA – a powerful message about the threats humanity is facing with climate change and our damage to the world around us. The chugging synths and drums all convey a sense of urgency to his message. This time around, we got the legend to take us into the studio for a How It Was Made feature.

He shows off the gear and software used to make this new album. Learn from one of the best to see his process for making music. Listen to the album now and get your copy here.

Roland V-Drums:

Cerrone Roland Drums

Drums!

One of the trademarks of my productions is that all my drums tracks are played and recorded live, and that rather than quantizing all the instruments to the same grid, the instruments are “quantized” relatively to the drums, to preserve the groove. That's probably the main reason why some many DJs sample my records, for this groove. The other thing is that I use the Roland V-Drums MIDI to trigger drum sounds sampled from my 70's multi-tracks, to get that unique “vintage” sound.

Cerrone Roland V-Drums

Drums!

Favorite Plug-Ins:

I use Arturia virtual instruments in almost every track I've produced for the past 10 years! I use mostly the MiniMoog (Mini V), the ARP 2600 V, Prophet V and the Solina V. They're very faithful to their originals, they really sound great and the most pleasant thing with these is that you can recall exactly the same sound you created yesterday, which is not really the case with analogue synths, where you have to note everything.

Cerrone Prophet V Plug In

Prophet V

For the DNA album, I wanted to use some specific sounds that were a "reference" back in the days of Supernature and the OST Brigade Mondaine. With the help of my sound engineer, we've managed to recreate most of these sounds with the plug-ins (and some other using “real” synths like the Behringer's ARP Odyssey and Korg Prologue). As you can imagine, this specific sound library was obviously extensively used in DNA.

MiniMoog Mini V Plug-In Cerrone

MiniV Plug-In

The Hardware:

It was a very nice surprise when I saw that Behringer did a very accurate copy the ARP Odyssey, which was a synthesizer I used extensively back in the days of Supernature. It was like meeting an old friend again after years! So I got me one as soon as it was available. I also liked the Korg Prologue, a very nice analogue polyphonic synth which sounds quite similar to the Oberheim OBXa (another old friend!), but that can also create complex sounds. I used some of these in DNA as well.

Cerrone Behringer ARP Odyssey

ARP Odyssey

DAW:

Logic Pro is definitely my weapon of choice. It's really easy and fast to use. Again, a couple of nice plug-ins like the T-Racks CS does the job brilliantly for a nice, warm analogue color. 

Cerrone Logic Pro DAW Computer

Logic Pro

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