Owners of the famous Blackhead Studios in Berlin, Tesla286 & Freestyle Man aka Klas and Jan are also partners with Anja Schneider at the production, mixing, and mastering house. Fresh of their first collab on Anja’s Sous imprint, which you can grab here, we caught up with them to get an insight into their studio, and what they deem their essential items.
See past My Toolbox features.
Words by Tesla286 & Freestyle Man
1. Sequential Prophet VS
Bought in the zero years from DJ ROK, it's still an important part of our setup, especially the vector syntheses (VS). It’s an absolutely creative tool for sound design. Also, the freaky arpeggiator with its faults and wonky timing brings life to composing in a way no software arp or sequencer could do. This is our 'desert island' synth.
2. ERM Multiclock
This is a very essential tool in the studio, a tiny magic box that manages all my outboard sync and midi timing in my analog hardware universe. Invented in Berlin!
We can go very precise in micro-steps to adjust timing and latency issues from gear to gear, and on top of that, I can add shuffle to some of my gear which is a great feature.
3. Ensoniq DP/4
"THE ONE", one of the multi-FX machines we use on every track. It's constantly on an AUX channel on our desk and works very well on synths and drum machines. Some people say that the sound is not high end, but we like the special darkish '90s colour and the extensive modulation possibilities.
4. SSL "sixth" mixing console
Jan bought this 2 years ago, and we use it mainly as a summing mixer, to handle working with different artists and different projects at the same time. It's essential to be able to work with different clients on a daily basis here at Blackhead Studios.
Since it's in our setup, our mixes get the right balance and are more detailed. Even if it's such a tiny unit, it’s based on the big family member from SSL and surprises me with high defined mid's and high's, including the well-known G-series Bus Compressor.
5. Random Chords Generator Pro by Audiomodem
Klas bought this, and I wanted to have it after he gave me a short demo.
It's a tool to create midi chords with automatic inversion, velocity, and ARP delay. It also has an option to add a final scale through 42 modalities that enables very fine chord adjustments and makes it a super essential midi tool in our studios.
For more information on Blackhead Studios, click here.