Recently, French artist Joachim Pastor released 'Sol Invictus', a sun-soaked progressive house record filled with warm analog textures and lush atmospheres. The Hungry Music founder and live act has become known for his timeless sound that comes from years of hard work and dedication. To learn more about how he's able to achieve his vibrant sound, we invited him for the latest installment of our series 'My Toolbox'.
Words by Joachim Pastor
I always use the lexicon as my main reverb, in a return channel. it serves the purpose of giving space and life without being overwhelming like most reverbs. The lexicon really has it’s own sound, but it has the amazing ability to be present without taking over the mix. I feed it mostly drums via the stereo auxiliary sends on my console, then it comes back into a stereo channel where I can EQ it and the signal is fed into my special « return » group and then fed into the masters.
Shadow Hills mastering compressor
I use this compressor on the drum bus, it has two stages: VCA and Optical. The VCA is used only to tame peaks and give that « SSL 4000 » punch, sometimes it’s a bit too aggressive so watch out to not lose too many subs. Then the Optical stage gives a roundness to the sound, I almost use it more as an EQ than an actual compressor, working max at -1dB of gain reduction, really slow. but it really does something to the sound and the width of the spectrum.
IGS Audio ONE-LA + Empirical labs DerrEsser
I record all my vocal through this combo (i also have a quick VCA compressor just to catch peaks prior to this). The DerrEsser is an analog de-esser, the fastest I have ever heard, it gets rid of hard sibilants and stays really transparent, to me it’s a must-have when recording vocals. The One-La is an optical compressor, inspired by the famous LA-2A, it really has a smooth sound, and it works amazingly on vocals. I usually set it so it always works at least a -1dB of gain reduction. this combo is really worth it.
A-Designs HAMMER 2 EQ
This 3 bans stereo tube EQ is a stunning piece of hardware from A-Designs, I use it mostly on the master bus, usually for the top end. The Q on each band is very wide, it’s a broadband EQ, no surgery will be made with this. It has the ability to boost a frequency a lot and staying totally natural, it is very transparent. The 10k band is astounding, not a lot of EQ can give air like this one.
The best overdrive/saturation/distortion I’ve heard (apart from mesa boogie amps, but it doesn’t belong too much in the control room). I use it all the time, it’s very versatile, and I love to have it on my bass synths. I normally run in parallel, just to give that grunt, with a lot of drive on the low end, to give it that top-end distortion that makes everything organic and analog. then it’s fed into the console as a return so I can EQ it, I usually remove the part of the spectrum that is dominant in the actual bass sound, to avoid conflict. this grunt is important because when you listen to the sound on a MacBook, without a sub, you’ll still hear the bass.