The studio is a producer's sacred space. Some are extravagant, some barebones, but all are special in their own way. We recently launched a series called My Toolbox, which focuses on the key elements in a producer's studio they just can't live without. This time, we are joined by Afterlife artist Colyn, whose recent EP on RÜFÜS DU SOL's Rose Avenue further cemented his place as a respectable producer. Below, he takes us on a little tour of his creative den, showcasing his favorite tools and more.
Words and photos by Colyn
This is actually the only hardware synthesizer present in my studio these days. I’ve always been really satisfied with working in the box however this piece of gear allows me to reset my creativity sometimes. It allows me to think differently and it is one of the easiest hardware synths to sync with my digital workflow. I love writing riffs on the sequencer, also the new extra oscillator on the XD version of the Minilogue is a cool new feature that allows for the creation of unique different sounds.
Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro
These headphones are worth mentioning as I’ve had these puppies for over 5 years now and I love them. I’ve already replaced the ear pads 4 times to keep it in a good state, since I use them so often. Every single release I’ve done up to this point has been produced and mixed on these headphones. I also have wonderful monitor speakers, but I wouldn’t be able to produce my music without these headphones.
Abbey Road Saturator by Waves
This is one of the newest weapons in my digital production process. It is a high-quality audio saturator, which allows me to fatten or sharpen certain sounds. Especially on airy lead sounds or snappy drums this plugin has done wonders for me. It’s possible to go to the extreme, but sometimes just a subtle touch will do the job.
Serum by Xfer
One of the most versatile plugins I’ve ever encountered and one that allows me to push boundaries on my sound design. The wavetable synthesis allows for endless possibilities and the interface is quite user-friendly once you get used to its dynamic. Various leads and sounds in my music have originated in Serum. It is definitely not the only soft-synth I use but if I had to restrict myself to a single synth, this is my pick.
Hysteresis by Glitchmachines
This plugin is kind of a strange story, I bought this on impulse at a sale somewhere and left it in my plugin arsenal untouched for quite some time. Recently, however, I rediscovered this delay/fx unit using it to create fascinating backdrops and intriguing ambient sounds. It works really well in my intro tracks, but also in the background of my other productions it can do the trick to add something special.