Recently, Australian producer VNCCII dropped her latest single 'Dangerous Love', a fresh and smooth pop record along with an equally vivid and creative music video. VNCCII isn’t a typical genre-stricken electronic artist. Over the years, has crafted a strong authentic vision and fresh sound palette, while striving to push forward both music and cultural boundaries across a multitude of platforms being music, gaming, audio-visual, technology, and fashion.
An Ableton Live School alumni, VNCCII made her show debut playing the main stage at Canada’s Impact Music Festival, followed by Vancouver’s Red Room and the inaugural spot at the Oceania event at Amsterdam Dance Event in 2019. Hot off her newest single, we took a step inside her studio to see just how she's able to do what she does best for the latest addition out our exclusive series "My Toolbox".
Words and photos by VNCCII
Genelec 8240 SAM speakers
The Genelec 8240 SAM speakers are an invaluable and integral part of my studio set-up. The Genelec GLM room correction software is a room calibration technology that compensates for any anomalies in the layout of my home studio. What’s cool about the software is that it calibrates the room and eliminates the sound of the room through EQ adjustment. As a result, this allows for a more accurate and balanced reflection of what the mixes really sound like and informs my mixing and mastering process.
Dave Smith Prophet 6
My holy grail analogue synthesizer is my Prophet 6. After listening to composers such as Vangelis, I was inspired to get the Prophet 6 to provide that special analogue warmth to my productions and the classic timeless feel that this synthesizer makes. It transports me into another cinematic dimension, like I was stepping into a Tron or Bladerunner film. I experiment with the patches and also create my own chords, arpeggios, sequences, or psychedelic gliding leads and then leave the computer on record so I can play for hours. Sometimes I get so lost in the experimentation process that I forget the computer is still recording. I then go back and listen to what has been recorded to find all those golden nuggets and cool moments and sounds to use in my music production.
Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mk II
I use this interface for recording all my vocals as it’s super clean, transparent, and reliable and has some awesome mic pre-amp emulations (although most of the time, I record the vocal in clean with no pre-amp and post-process later). The UAD plugins, in general, are just amazing and I use it on all my tracks. Some favourite UAD plugins are the Precision EQ, UAD Pultec EQP-1A, SPL Transient Designer, dbx 160, LA-2A, Sonnox Oxford Inflator, Fairchild 670 and Tube-Tech CL-1B just to name a few. When post-processing and mixing my vocals, I highly recommend the UAD plugins to simulate an analog warmth when processing and mixing the vocals.
Neumann TLM 103 Condenser Microphone
I use the Neumann TLM 103 condenser microphone to record my vocals, such as in my song “Astro Life.” I highly recommend this microphone. It sits super well with the frequency range of my voice, as it picks up my low-mid range warmth in the tone and cuts through the mix, establishing a strong vocal presence. When I record, I get up close to the microphone to sing softly so it can pick up all the unique tonal inflections and vocal fry to enable an intimate vocal performance.
Xfer Records Serum: Advanced Wavetable Synthesizer
Serum (developed by Steve Duda) is my go-to virtual wavetable synthesizer. The possibilities are endless with this synth as it’s super versatile where you can make sick bass sounds, leads, arps, chords, sequences, pads, etc. I’ve spent so much time with this synth that I’m at this point where I hear a sound in my head and I can create it on Serum as it’s easy and seamless to navigate the interface and adapts to a fast workflow. When making custom bass sounds, Serum is top-of-mind. It’s cool that you can import your own wavetables and play with the warp settings and the LFO to create unique sounds.
This is my go-to virtual analogue-digital synth plugin. It has a beautiful, bright, and warm tone and I use this synth to add an extra analogue dimension to the soundscapes. I gravitate to using this plugin when I’m looking to create warm pad sounds, bright leads, and unique bass sequences. It does however add to the CPU load very quickly in my sessions, but it’s definitely worth it.
Granulator II (Max For Live)
This is one of the tools I’ve been experimenting with lately. It’s like the matrix, the possibilities are limitless! This plugin is Max For Live and was designed by Robert Henke. The plugin is very effective for creating unique micro-sonic textures. Sometimes I like to take a whole song of mine and then slow it down half time and drop it into the Granulator II, which then loop selects different micro grains where I can then automate the file position as well as the “spray” macro. The “spray” macro further randomises and deviates the sonic grains from its fundamental position. I can then resample the sounds and chop them up to create unique patterns and textures as well as cool glitches. If I could sonically envision the universe creating and destroying itself, I would use the Granulator II to help implement that vision, which gives an otherworldly sonic quality to my music.
Izotope VocalSynth 2
I use this plugin when I’m looking to manipulate and augment my voice to create either an alien or demonic vocal. It’s paradise for sound designers, as the human voice is a synthesiser at the end of the day. Everyone has their own unique voice and tone, so by running it through the VocalSynth 2 plugin, I can create unique and one of a kind sonic textures to add an extra dimension and alien quality to my music. I used this plugin in my new single “Dangerous Love” to create that vocoder sound at the end of the song by routing it to my midi channel with custom chords to trigger the source vocal.